Recipes To The Rescue Blog

If you eat well you thrive and our blog will guide you in this direction. Come join the fun!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

How to Choose the Right Squash to Cook

Description fo 5 different kinds of squash
5 different kinds of squash

Confused about squash?

1.  Spaghetti squash. When cooked its pale flesh can be scooped out into spaghetti-like strands as shown in this Martha Stewart clip. 

2.  Red Kuri Squash.  These are part of the Hubbard squash family. It slightly resembles a pumpkin and has a nutty flavour.

3.  Blue Hubbard winter squash.   These rather rare squashes can grow up to 50 pounds!  I can’t imagine how you’d cut that squash…maybe with a chain saw?

4.  Acorn squash.  This one sports a ribbed, thicker skin and grows in an acorn shape, not surprisingly.  It has a bright orange and slightly fibrous flesh that pairs well with sweet, spicy and savoury dishes.  It comes in a variety of colours.

5. Butternut squash.  This bell-shaped squash has a thinner skin (easier for cutting) and is readily available.  It has a mildly sweet flavour that goes well in both sweet and savoury dishes.

When choosing squash, pick ones that are heavy for their size, and free of brown blemishes

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Peanut Butter Granola Bars with Chocolate Chips

A delicious treat that’s easy to make and good for the whole family.

1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl mix peanut butter, sugar, honey, melted butter and vanilla. Mix until smooth.  Stir in oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, sesame seeds, chocolate chips, and salt.  Mix well.  Pat into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake 25 - 30 minutes until lightly brown.  Let cool before cutting into bars.  Freeze extra.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Squash Lentil Stew

Squash Lentil Stew Recipe
Yummy Squash Lentil Stew
There are many different types of squash available this fall.  Take advantage of them by cooking up delicious soups and stews such as this tasty dish. 


Squash Lentil Stew

A kid friendly meal the whole family will enjoy.
Serves 6

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1” cubes
1 cup carrots, sliced ¼” thick
1 cup tomatoes, fresh or canned, chopped
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed well
1/4 cup brown rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

In a big pot add oil and heat on medium high.  Add onion, garlic and squash until onions begin to soften, about 6 minutes.  Add all other ingredients and mix well.  Bring to a boil. Lower temperature and simmer covered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Self-Care Healthy Eating Tips For Moms

A mom’s life is like being on a roller coaster ride going in circles.  You do everything and look after everyone: the kids, the dog, the house, schedules, daycare, appointments, meal planning, shopping, family obligations, real work to pay the bills, and in your ‘spare time,’ you squeeze in a personal life. It’s exhausting.

We’re so busy looking after everyone else that we tend to put self-care, including healthy eating, on the “I’ll do it later” list.  

But think about it. If you get sick, who’s going to get the stuff done?  
You are. 

That’s why self-care healthy eating is important to add at the top of your list.  It’s a doable goal and here are some tips to help you out.

1.  Get up 10 minutes earlier and feed yourself breakfast first.

You’ve probably heard it many times, ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.’ Why?  Because if you sleep 7-8 hours you’re basically starving yourself at night.  Your body needs fuel to kick-start into gear when you get up.  Even if your groggy brain doesn’t register it.  Fill your belly. It could be simply a banana and toast with peanut butter.  Then, your body can relax, gear down and slide out of starvation mode.  This will take away the urge to hunt down sugary foods later in the day when you’re ravenous. 

2.  Have a healthy mommy snack bag ready to go.

You wouldn’t leave the house without some sort of snack for your kids, so why not have one for yourself? Even better, use an insulated bag with an ice pack to keep things cold.  

If you’re in line at a coffee shop and the hunger pangs start, the call of those sugary treats will be hard to ignore.  But, if you have a healthy snack such as the peanut butter granola bar (in this newsletter) in your mommy snack bag, you’ll dive into those instead of buying something you’ll regret later.  Other snacks you could throw in are:  nuts, apples, dried fruit, trail mix, granola, cheese and crackers, or  hummus and veggies. You can even take leftovers from last night’s dinner.

3.  Carry a water bottle around.

Water bottles are like those darn cloth grocery bags. You know, the ones you forget in the car when you go inside the grocery store?  We all have multiple water bottles in the house. But I know, it’s so easy to forget to fill them up and take them with you when you’re on the go. 

Why water?  Well, water perks you up and keeps you hydrated.  You need to keep hydrated because every system in your body relies on it.  And drinking water regularly throughout the day replenishes what you lose.  If you need an incentive to drink more, then add a few lemon or cucumber slices to your water bottle for a tastier sip. 

4.  Take a break and eat lunch with your kids.

Turn off your cell phone, sit down at the table with your kids and enjoy lunchtime together.  It’s tempting to be busy the minute kids are preoccupied with food. But remember, you need a break, and you need to eat as well.  Lunch is a good and easy way to squeeze in both.

5.  Meal plan. 

It’s stressful getting meals together fast with screaming kids at your feet.  As much as you want to create healthy meals, it’s difficult to do on the fly. That’s why having a meal plan is golden. Plus, it’s easy to do.  It will also save you money, add variety to your meals and help to feed your kids great tasting dinners. 

Here’s what you do: when the kids are in bed sleeping or napping, grab your calendar and decide how many nights that week you will cook. Find recipes you will make. Maybe it’s only one or two nights, it doesn’t matter.  Write the recipe name in your calendar and where the recipe is (cookbook, magazine, website). Create a shopping list.  Order your groceries on-line and strike  “What am I going to make for dinner tonight?” off your to-do list.  You’ll be amazed at how stress free daily cooking will be. Really. 

As a mom, remember to put yourself first.  Healthy eating is a doable self-care goal. If you do it, everyone will benefit.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Healthy Eating and Meal Prep Ideas

Sign up for our 4 week guided online course.  

For parents who want to cook more meals at home but need a boost of inspiration. 

At the end of the course you'll be confident to call yourself a healthy home cook and  have the healthiest family possible.

Healthy Eating and Meal Prep Ideas
Cooking Reboot:  Online course with healthy eating and meal prep ideas for parents

Friday, October 6, 2017

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Homemade cranberry sauce made in 15 minutes!

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Impress your guests this Thanksgiving by serving freshly made Cranberry Sauce.  It's super easy and can be made 1 week in advance.  

12 ounces fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Add all ingredients into a sauce pan and heat on a medium high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Lower temperature and simmer for 10 minutes stirring until soft.  Cool, then refrigerate in a air-tight container.

Picture of fresh Cranberries
Fresh Cranberries

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Should I Refrigerate Eggs?

Should you refrigerate farm fresh eggs?
Farm fresh eggs from the Farmers Market

Have you ever wondered why eggs are refrigerated in North America and not in Europe?  

The answer is because hens lay eggs with a protective coating that naturally protects eggs from becoming contaminated with salmonella.  In North America, the eggs are washed and sanitized which removes the protective coating. Hence, the reason they have to be refrigerated.  In Europe, eggs are not washed, the protective coating is kept on so eggs can be safely left on the counter.  It also forces European chicken producers to have cleaner living conditions for their poultry.  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookies (with less fat!)

Chocolate Chip Cookies (with less fat)
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Makes about 20

These cookies are tasty event though there is less butter (less fat) in them! I personally like to use dark chocolate chips but milk chocolate chips are great too. 

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt 
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter and both sugars until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Then mix chocolate chips. Place balls of dough on baking sheet; flatten slightly and cook until golden brown about 12 minutes.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How To Buy An Eggplant

How To Buy An Eggplant.
How to buy the best eggplant

True or False?  Eggplants are a fruit ?

If you guessed fruit you are 100% right.  

Eggplants first appeared in China during the 5th century.  Although they are now eaten in countries world-wide they are prevalent in many Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine.

A common eggplant found in local grocery stores is fairly big, deep purple, plump and tear shaped.  However, there are many varieties and they come in various sizes: skinny, long, plump, and with colours that range from lavender, white, to deep, dark purple.  

When choosing eggplants look for ones that are heavy for their size and are smooth, firm and shiny with no blemishes.  Their tops should be a bright green colour.  

They become bitter as they age, so it’s best to buy them fresh and use them right away.  Young eggplants don’t need to be peeled, but the bigger ones do.  They will quickly discolour when peeled, so prep just before using.  

Eggplants are versatile.  They can be fried, roasted, grilled and stir-fried. 

When picking an eggplant look at the tops, they should be bright green.  Avoid blemished on the body.
Look for bright green tops when picking eggplants!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Five Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Grocery Bill

Five Simple Ways To Save Money On Your Grocery Bills
Groceries don't have to be expensive
Have you noticed that the price of food is rising as fast as the housing prices in Vancouver? Well, okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you have to admit, food is not cheap.  When at the grocery store, I have to stop myself from gasping at the cashier when told my total and stop myself from accusing them of overcharging me. I typically smile (a fake smile), pay, and discreetly check the bill while walking away.  It is never wrong. 

We have to eat. And if we eat well this means lots of fresh whole foods and not much junk food (such as the high fat, high sugar yummy food that we shouldn’t, but do, eat).  Our bodies will work better, we will have more energy and think smarter…. in other words, we will be “healthier.”  However, the not-so-good for us food is typically cheaper (think fast food take-out) than the good-for-us food (think fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese).   So what is the solution to this eat-healthy/eat-affordable food dilemma? 

We have to shop smarter.  We have to strategize and think of grocery shopping as a competitive sport where the goal is to eat and live well...without going into debt.

Here are 5 simple ways to help you save money on your grocery bill:

1.  Be ruthless in the produce department 

Choose what looks like the freshest fruit or vegetable in the pile.   It may require rearranging the food displays the produce folks work so hard to build.  You will have to be discreet.   Dig around, move things and find the best looking fruit or vegetable. Often they are at the back of the pile.  The produce staff  like to move the older stock to the front because we tend to grab the first ones we see. This is how they rotate their stock. 

When you find what looks like the ‘one,’ pick it up and inspect it carefully before you put it in your basket.  Avoid bruises, blemishes and signs of spoiling.  Take charge. If it looks slightly old, then keep hunting.  This way, you will purchase the freshest produce and it will keep longer, eliminate food waste and save you money. 

2.  Know your prices

If you know what you should pay for your food, then you will not be tricked into buying products that claim to be ‘on sale.’ For instance, I buy a type of coffee that always goes on sale. However, the ‘on sale’ price varies between stores. The one-pound bag can go as low as $13.00 a pound. So when I see it ‘on sale’ for $16.00 I know I’m being duped. If you know your prices (roughly, we can’t all be perfect) you can avoid being ripped off. This requires paying attention to prices when grocery shopping.

3.  Look for sale signs 

If you have the space in your home (and the extra money) it’s worth stocking up on the deals.  Sale items are often at the storefronts, at the end of the aisles or at the checkout counters.  However, you may have to hunt for them because they aren’t always obvious. Don’t be fooled by signs.  Some stores advertise certain food items with signs that are camouflaged as sale signs.  However, if you look closely, the signs are only advertising the product but not a sale.  Shopping can be as intriguing as a detective novel.

4.  Search for the discount bins

Stores typically have them tucked away in a corner.  You can find decent deals on hard goods, such as soaps, tea, cleaning solutions, etc. 

5.  Bring your magnifying glass

Read the ‘best before dates’ before you buy, especially on perishable items such as bread, milk and boxed lettuce.  Pick the package with the longest ‘best before date,’ which is usually at the back of the pile (you are at an advantage if you are tall or have long arms).  This way, your food will last longer and you will not be throwing out as much. You’ll save money in the long run and have more flexibility about when you eat your food.

There are many great ways to save money your on the grocery bill and these are just a few simple ideas.  It really boils down to shopping smarter. And remember, the cashiers do not purposely charge you too much for your groceries. Fresh whole food is not cheap.