Tag Archives: easy recipes

The Whole Family Will Jump Right out of Bed for These Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Love the smell and flavour of cinnamon? Then these muffins — a moist yogurt-based vanilla cake with a crumbly cinnamon streusel — are for you. But, wait! There isn’t just a topping of streusel. There’s also a hidden layer inside each muffin to ensure you get a hint of cinnamon in each bite. This recipe will work with both plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, but I highly recommend using the full fat variety for maximum flavour. If the aroma of these muffins cooking doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning, we don’t know what will.

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

Muffins
¾ cups unsalted butter, melted
¾ cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Streusel
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tray with 12 liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter and brown sugar. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla and yogurt until well blended.

3. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir until ingredients come together.

4. Scoop a heaping Tbsp of the batter into each muffin liner.

Related: Start Your Morning on a Sweet Note With These Gooey Cinnamon Buns

5. For the streusel: in a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. Using your hands, work in the butter until a crumb mixture is formed.

6. On top of the batter already in the muffin tray, sprinkle with a heaping tsp of the streusel mixture.

7. Divide the remaining batter on top of the 12 muffins, followed by the remaining streusel mixture.

8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Tip: Drizzle with vanilla glaze if desired! To make the vanilla glaze, simply whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp cream and 1 tsp vanilla extract until smooth. If mixture appears thick, add more cream. If mixture appears thin, add more powdered sugar.

Love this muffin recipe? These lemon meringue cupcakes and matcha and white chocolate oat muffins will surely satisfy too.

Here’s How a Nutritionist Meal Preps Every Sunday

Meal prep is essentially making a handful of recipes ahead of time to have on hand for packed or home breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks throughout the week. I think of it as creating a salad bar or hot bar in your very own kitchen, adjusting the recipes with the season and my mood. Today, I’m going to focus on the meal that most meal prep lovers like to make: lunch.

When you’ve planned and prepped ahead, it’s easier to eat healthfully, save money and have more time during the week outside of the kitchen. It’s about investing a relatively small amount of time for a big return. If you’re busy, which I’m guessing you are, meal prep is calling your name.

Every week, I usually take 2 to 3 hours on Sunday morning or afternoon to prepare the recipes I’ll use to build my meals. In my house, there are just two adults, which means I rarely have to replenish the prepped food or make something new. However, if you have a larger family, you may have to do this. Make sure you get groceries on Friday or Saturday so you can get started when you need to on Sunday.

It’s all about simultaneously cooking and chopping a few things at once, using your time effectively. I use my meal prep Sundays to catch up on podcasts or listen to music or an audio book, which makes it more fun.

Make a Winning Meal Prep Team

I prefer not to grocery shop and meal prep on the same day. I will make a list the day before and give it to my partner, who is happy to get groceries for me, or I’ll order groceries online. And get someone else on dish duty in exchange for your awesome packed lunches!

Why Meal Prep?

There are several benefits of doing meal prep:

  • Moneysaving
  • Timesaving
  • Healthy
  • Adaptable for every taste and family member
  • You can try those exciting new recipes you’ve bookmarked or pinned
  • You can sleep in because lunch is already made
  • You have something delicious to look forward at noon

How to Meal Prep Like a Pro

To be successful at meal prep, start with a list of recipes you’d like to make. Most weeks, I keep it classic with a grain bowl or salad bar style meal with roasted and fresh veggies, a cooked whole grain, healthy protein, dip or dressing and a few snacks. Another way to approach meal prep is batch cooking a large pot of soup, stew or chili, cooking up a grain and making sure the fridge is stocked with fruit and nuts.

Don’t feel like you have to make everything from scratch. Nut butter and hummus are fine options to buy ready-made, for example, and canned fish is a portable, healthy protein option that you can stock up on for grab and go moments.

Sheet-pan meals that are all in one, as well as Instant Pot recipes are stellar meal prep options, too.

Make a Themed Container or Jar Meal

For your meal prep lunch, build your flavour choices around a theme. I love the fresh flavours found in poke bowls, and they’re easy to DIY with sushi-grade tuna or tofu, citrus, brown rice, ginger, crunchy vegetables and a bright sesame oil dressing. Homemade bento boxes and Southern BBQ lunch boxes are also fun. Embrace versatility!

The Meal Prep Formula

Choose one or two options from each category below to get started. Store each component separately in a BPA-free container in the fridge, or build the single serving containers or jars for the week (more on that later).

Grains or grain salads (choose 1 to 2)

  • Quinoa
  • Basmati rice
  • Brown rice
  • Spelt pasta or brown rice pasta
  • Millet
  • Whole wheat couscous
  • Wheat berries
  • Barley

Protein (choose 1 to 2)

  • Marinated tofu or smoked tofu
  • Cooked chicken (grilled, poached, roasted, rotisserie)
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Canned fish (tuna, sardines, mackerel, salmon)
  • Pan-fried halloumi
  • Pulled pork or pulled chicken (use your Instant Pot or slow cooker here)
  • Greek yogurt or goat cheese
  • Dhal
  • Leftover cooked meat or fish (beef, pork, chicken, salmon)
  • Canned beans and legumes

Cooked Vegetables (choose 1 to 2)

  • Roasted squash or sweet potatoes
  • Roasted mixed seasonal vegetables
  • Roasted or steamed broccoli
  • Grilled mixed seasonal vegetables
  • Sautéed kale or spinach

Raw Vegetables and Make-Ahead Salads (choose 1 to 2)

  • Cucumber coins (store in water to retain freshness)
  • Cut up carrots (store in water to retain freshness)
  • Cut up fennel or celery
  • Raw or frozen corn and green peas
  • Kale salad
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Fennel and apple salad
  • Thai slaw or yogurt-based cabbage slaw

Dressing and Dip (choose 1 to 2)

  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Green goddess dressing
  • Caesar dressing
  • Tahini-based dressing
  • Spicy peanut sauce
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • White bean dip
  • Peanut butter or almond butter

Seasonings (to taste)

  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Flaky salt (pack in a little tin to bring or keep at your desk)
  • Hot sauce (available in tiny lunchbox-sized bottles)
  • Olive oil

Simple Snacks

Packing Your Meal Prep To Go

In containers or jars, which I like for building salads, arrange your prepared components grain bowl style, just like you would if you were at home, packing dressing on the side or adding it to the bottom of the container before loading in the ingredients. If you have enough containers, you can do this all at once, but I usually keep the components separated until the night before when I pack up tomorrow’s meal (I find it keeps it fresher). Keeping components separate also means more people will enjoy it, as they can build their own lunch to suit their taste.

I usually make 4 to 5 days’ worth of lunch recipes for two people, as one day we may have a larger dinner with leftovers or choose to eat out at lunch.

Meal Prep Any Meal

While that’s my main focus, I do also meal prep my breakfasts. I make overnight oats (muesli) for the week or granola, which I can quickly portion into a small mason jar. I also find that breakfast recipes, like overnight oats and yogurt and granola, double as healthy, packable snacks.

Meal Prep Recap

Here are my final key points to make Sunday meal prep lunches happen:

  • Plan the meals you want to meal prep each week
  • Make a list from your recipes and grocery shop
  • Devote Sunday (or the day of the week that works for your schedule) morning or afternoon to preparing the bulk of your recipes
  • Keep a stash of large, small and personal-sized containers, as well as large and small glass jars to store your prepped components and meals in
  • Make 4 to 5 days of lunches, upping the quantities based on your family size
  • Choose 1 or 2 themed cuisines (Southern, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Greek, etc.) to avoid dietary boredom and jazz up your every day
  • Keep snacks on hand and in the freezer for fast bites
  • Double up a make-ahead breakfast, like granola and yogurt, for weekday snacks
  • Batch-cook soups, stews and roasts to store in the freezer for weekends when you don’t have time to do meal prep
  • Divide and conquer; get your partner or family members in on the meal prep game. Even someone getting the groceries will make this way easier to stick to
  • Head outside with a pal to enjoy your meal or go into your workplace’s common room and grab a place at the table. A packed lunch doesn’t mean you have to eat alone al desko, unless you prefer it

Check out our Love Your Lunch series to keep your meal prep game strong.

3 Fun Ways to Spice up Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Save the pumpkin seeds from your Jack ‘O Lantern this fall and bake up a crunchy, high-protein snack that you’ll be eager to add on top of soups, salads — even ice cream! Including garlic honey mustard,  maple bacon, and chocolate pumpkin spice, we’ve got three fantastic flavour combos for tasty snacks that will satisfy you all week long.

Roasted-Pumpkin-Seeds

Note: One sugar (pie) pumpkin yields approximately 1/2 cup of seeds.

Prep time: 5 minutes (per recipe)
Cook time: 30 minutes (per recipe)
Makes: 1/2 cup (per recipe)

Garlic Honey Mustard Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:
Seeds from 1 sugar pumpkin, approximately 1/2 cup, pumpkin flesh removed, rinsed, and dried well, or 1/2 cup raw, unsalted green pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
1/4 tsp granulated garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/8 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine honey, mustard powder, garlic and salt; stir in pumpkin seeds.
3. Add coated seeds to prepared baking sheet, tossing well to combine. Spread into a single layer.
4. Roast for 25–30 minutes if using sugar (pie) pumpkin seeds or 10–15 minutes if using green pumpkin seeds, until brown and beginning to pop.
5. Cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Roasted-Pumpkin-Seeds-Baking-Sheet

Maple-Bacon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:
Seeds from 1 sugar pumpkin, approximately 1/2 cup, pumpkin flesh removed, rinsed, and dried well, or 1/2 cup raw, unsalted green pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp bacon fat, melted
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine maple syrup, bacon fat, smoked paprika and salt; stir in pumpkin seeds.
3. Add coated seeds to prepared baking sheet, tossing well to combine. Spread into a single layer.
4. Roast for 25–30 minutes if using sugar (pie) pumpkin seeds or 10–15 minutes if using green pumpkin seeds, until brown and beginning to pop.
5. Cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:
Seeds from 1 sugar pumpkin, approximately 1/2 cup, pumpkin flesh removed, rinsed, and dried well, or 1/2 cup raw, unsalted green pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
Pinch of salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine maple syrup, coconut oil, pumpkin spice and salt; stir in pumpkin seeds.
3. Add coated seeds to prepared baking sheet, tossing well to combine. Spread into a single layer.
4. Roast for 25–30 minutes if using sugar (pie) pumpkin seeds or 10–15 minutes if using green pumpkin seeds, until brown and beginning to pop.
5. Cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week.

pizettes

3 Weeknight Dinner-Worthy Pizzettes

These decadent flatbreads will make you feel like you’re dining at a trendy gastro pub. Simple and quick enough to make on a busy weeknight, you can customize each pizzette to the diner’s taste with just a few ingredients.

Serve as an elegant appetizer or a simple main course with a side salad as the perfect way to enjoy those end-of-summer garden flavours.

three-pizettes

California Club Pizzette

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1 small soft flatbread or pita or naan bread
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp berry jam (raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, etc.)
1/2 avocado pitted, peeled and sliced
2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled into large pieces
3 Tbsp shaved aged white cheddar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place flatbread or pita or naan on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven.
2. While crust is still warm, spread with jam. Top with avocado, bacon and cheddar. Slice and serve immediately.

Apple, Prosciutto Pizzette

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1 small soft flatbread or pita or naan bread
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp goat cheese
1/2 apple, any variety, cored and thinly sliced
2 slices prosciutto
Small handful arugula

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place flatbread or pita or naan on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven.
1. While crust is still warm, sprinkle with goat cheese. Top with apple, prosciutto and arugula. Slice and serve immediately.

pizettes

Garden Vegetable Pizzette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:

For the Spiced Hummus:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp za’atar or baharat or curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 (19 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup water

For the Pizzette:
1 small soft flatbread or pita or naan bread
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, shaved
1 watermelon radish, shaved or thinly sliced
Small handful salad greens such as baby kale
2 tsp balsamic reduction

Directions:

Spiced Hummus:
1. In a food processor, pulse garlic until minced. Add tahini, lemon juice, za’atar or baharat or curry powder, cumin and salt. Blend until smooth.
1. Add chickpeas and blend until combined. Add water, to thin, beginning with 2 Tbsp and adding until desired consistency. Use immediately or refrigerate airtight for up to 1 week.

Assembly:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place flatbread or pita or naan on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven.
1. While crust is still warm, spread with hummus. Top with shaved vegetables, greens and balsamic reduction. Slice and serve immediately.

8 Ways to Adjust Any Recipe for a Slow Cooker

Embrace slow cooker season by tweaking your favourite recipes for some serious countertop cooking. Here are 8 important tips for perfecting your slow-cooker game and ensuring you get it right.

888_adapt-recipes-for-slow-cooker

1. Choose the Right Recipe
If the recipe calls for braising or slow-roasting, consider it a good dinner omen because chances are it’ll be a slam-dunk in the Crockpot. While you can bet that almost any soup or stew will work, don’t forget that recipes for things like pulled pork, chicken thighs and even ribs, all benefit from a slow and low cook time, which means it’s perfect for the slow cooker.

2. Cooking Meat
There’s no hard and fast rule for slow cooking meat, but tough and inexpensive cuts happen to work best, since the tough fibres have time to relax and soften during a low and slow setting. To coax the best flavour out of your meat, take the time to brown it well before putting it in the Crockpot so that you seal in as much moisture and flavour as possible. That being said, meats like a well marbled pork shoulder, chicken thighs and legs, and brisket all trump boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which tend to dry out in the slow cooker.

3. Opt for Fresh
If you’ve got fresh vegetables, use them. While we love frozen vegetables for quick cook recipes, they tend to release more water and steam in the slow cooker, which can add excess liquid and make for soggy vegetables. Also remember to chop all your vegetables roughly the same size to ensure even cooking.

4. Be Mindful of Seasoning
Cooking in the slow cooker doesn’t allow aggressive seasonings and flavours time to meld and mellow the same way they do when simmering on a stove or in the oven. Be careful when using strong seasonings like paprika, chili powder and cumin, which should be used in moderation, and adjusted or added at the end. When it comes to wine, reduce it before adding it to the mix so you can properly cook off the alcohol and leave behind the concentrated flavour.

5. Know When to Add Ingredients
Leave delicate ingredients like herbs for the final 30 minutes, and starchy items like rice or pasta for the end. If the recipe calls for dairy, add it at the end of the cooking time so the fat won’t separate, and when it comes to veggies like green peppers, pop them in about 20 minutes before the timer goes off to keep them from turning bitter.

6. A Rule for Starch
If your recipe calls for cooked pasta, cook it a few minutes before the suggested time on the box, until it’s a bit firmer than your traditional al dente and then add it in near the end. For rice, try converted or long grain versions, and add an extra 1/4 cup of liquid per 1/4 cup of uncooked rice or choose parboiled rice, added about 20 minutes before the dish is done. For longer cooking recipes, add fully cooked rice just before serving.

7. Liquid Remedy
Since cooking liquid doesn’t have anywhere to escape in a slow cooker, it will simply accumulate and make recipes like chili and stew too soupy. A good rule of thumb to follow when adapting a recipe for the slow cooker is to halve all liquids. If you find it’s still too much, transfer the dish to a heavy-bottomed pot and simmer uncovered until it reduces and thickens up.

8. Time it Right
If your recipe calls for 15 to 30 minutes in the oven, it’s going to need roughly 4 to 6 hours on low or 1 1/2 to 2 hours on high. If it says cook for 35 to 45 minutes, set your Crockpot on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. For a recipe with a longer cook time of 1 to 3 hours, set it on high for 4 to 6 hours or leave it on low overnight for 8 to 12 hours.

9 Simple Ways to Use Leftover Canned Pumpkin

You’ve made your pumpkin pie, but you’re left with a cup or so of pumpkin purée at the bottom of the can. So what can you do with it? Check out these easy and delicious ways to use this nutritious and versatile ingredient.

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1. Waffles or Pancakes
Add the purée to your pancake or waffle batter along with a pinch of cinnamon for a delicious autumn breakfast treat. Try this recipe for Sweet Potato Waffles and simply swap the sweet potato for pumpkin.

2. Pumpkin Pasta
If you enjoy making pasta from scratch, pumpkin purée can replace some of the liquid in your recipe. Toss it in with the pasta after cooking with butter or olive oil, caramelized onion, sage and Parmesan.

3. “Pupcakes”
When you need to show your dogs some love, try making them some  pumpkin “pupcakes” — just add some pumpkin purée to your favourite “pupcakes” or even puppy dog biscuits.

4. Pumpkin Soup
This is an easy one! This beautiful soup is hearty and comforting — with just a touch of spice. It’s the perfect anecdote to over eating during the holidays.

5. Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares
These beautiful, tasty treats are easier to make than a full cheesecake, but just as satisfying! They’re full of colour, flavour and would be a great addition to any holiday dinner table.

6. Pumpkin BBQ Sauce
Pumpkin is a perfect consistency for sauces, and adds depth of flavour and sweetness without having to use sugar.

7. Pumpkin Maple “Butter”
Looking for an alternative to jam? Simmer pumpkin purée with a hint of maple syrup and cinnamon until it’s a spreadable consistency. It tastes great on a toasted cinnamon bagel!

8. Pumpkin Onion Dip
All you need to do is add the purée with some caramelized onions and a pinch of chili powder for a healthy, colourful dip.

9. Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
Need I say more? These fragrant, spiced doughnuts are sure to hit the spot, and they’re super easy to make. Agave is used in place of sugar, making for a beautiful shiny glaze.