It’s Peanut Butter-Jelly Granola Bar Time!

Peanut butter is a convenient (and very kid-friendly) way of adding some nutrition to your daily diet! Eaten in moderation (read: small amounts at a time), it is a good source of healthy fats, protein, fibre, and vitamins–all of which help boost your energy and immune system. Opt for low-sugar and lower-fat peanut butters when you can!

PBJ Bars.jpg

(Source: Leanne Brown’s “Good and Cheap” Cookbook)

These bars are great for a quick but nutritious on-the-go breakfast or snack, and better for you than store-bought granola bars!

Makes ~12 bars

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 3 cups oats (or 2 cups of oats with 1 cup Rice Krispies cereal)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup hot water

Fresh/Frozen

  • Butter or vegetable oil

Seasonings/Add-ins

  • 1/2 cup jelly/jam of your choice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Optional: chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, dried fruit, honey

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Baking pan
  • Large bowl
  • Small pan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Use butter or oil to grease the baking pan.
  3. Pour oats into a large bowl.
  4. Add peanut butter and half of the jelly, hot water, and salt into a small pan. Stir over low heat until smooth.
  5. Mix the peanut butter and jelly mixture into the oats until the oats are evenly coated.
  6. Pour mixture into the oiled pan and press into an even layer.
  7. Spread remaining jelly on top.
  8. Put the baking pan into the oven and bake for 25 minutes (or until toasty brown around the edges).
  9. Leave the bars in the pan until cooled completely (approximately 1 hour). Slice into separate bars.
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How to Be a Sauce Boss

These awesome sauces can be served on pasta, rice, or even meat dishes or mashed potatoes… the possibilities are really exciting 😉

Butternut Squash Sauce with Sage

Butternut Squash Sauce.jpg

(Source: FoodNetwork)

This gorgeous golden sauce packs a powerful nutritional punch, with lots of vitamins! You can also try this recipe with pumpkin instead of butternut squash–either way, this is a fantastic and very inexpensive fall recipe to try this year.

Serves: ~6

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (we will explain how in this recipe!)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Optional: Cheese

Seasoning

  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 6 sage leaves, cut into thin strips

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Microwave
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Blender

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare butternut squash: wash the outside of the squash. Cut off the top “stem”. Microwave on a microwave-safe dish for ~5 minutes, or until you can pierce easily with a fork. THE SQUASH WILL BE VERY HOT!! You can either wait for the squash to cool, or dunk it in a LARGE BOWL OF ICE WATER to help speed up the cooling. Then you can peel the squash, cut it in half, scoop out the insides, and cut the flesh into ~1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic.
  3. Add squash and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add bay leaf, nutmeg, sage, and chicken broth.
  5. Cover the pan and cook for 8 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  6. Puree the sauce with a blender until smooth.
  7. Serve over pasta of choice–pictured here is gnocchi!
  8. Add cheese of your choice.

Easy Marinara Sauce

Marinara.jpg

Marinara is a classic tomato-based sauce that you can make in huge batches and store in the fridge in jars or freeze in zippered freezer bags. Making your own can take some time, but it’s a great way to cut down on salt (also known as sodium) in your diet. You could also select “low sodium” or “no sodium added” varieties of pre-made sauce, but nothing really tastes quite as good as homemade! Adding lentils, canned beans, ground meat, or canned tuna can complete this meal with a great source of protein.

Serves: ~4

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • Optional: 1/2 cup lentils or 1 can tuna
  • Pasta of your choice
  • Drizzle of oil of your choice to grease the pan

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, diced

Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Bowl
  • Refrigerator
  • Saucepan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes with their juice. Crush and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in seasoning and lentils/tuna (if desired), and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Healthy Spaghetti Sauce Boosts

If you do want to use pre-made tomato/pasta sauce, adding lentils will boost protein without much additional cost. Lentils provide more than just protein–they are also a source of iron, folic acid, magnesium, and potassium. As always, you can add as much of any veggies you would like: 1/2 a package of frozen spinach or 1 can of drained mushrooms would also be delicious in this sauce!

Serves: 3-4

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1 can/jar of regular pasta sauce
  • 1/2 can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp oil (canola or olive)

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced (OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 small onion, chopped

Seasoning

  • Optional: 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning (or oregano +/- basil +/- parsley)

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Grater (for the carrot)
  • Saucepan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion, stirring, until sizzling.
  2. Add carrot (or other vegetables), lentils, and pasta sauce.
  3. Add the seasonings, if desired.
  4. Heat through until all ingredients are mixed and sauce is hot (bubbling slightly). Pour over prepared pasta and serve. Feel free to add some cheese!

Mushroom Sauce

Mushroom Sauce.jpg

(Source: FoodNetwork)

This creamy, silky sauce is absolutely scrumptious over any pasta, and goes wonderfully with chicken. You can use any type of mushroom you like–button mushrooms are the least expensive, but feel free to use portobello, cremini, or any other type of mushroom. You can always mix and match! If you’re not a fan of leeks (or just don’t have any at home), you can use an onion instead.

If you want a super-fast version of this sauce (even though it won’t be the same), try using a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup with only ~1/4-1/2 a can of milk, and let it simmer over low heat to allow the sauce to thicken. Then you can serve over pasta or anything else of your choice.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 sage leaves, chopped
  • 6oz mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream (35%)
  • 1/2 leek, roughly chopped

Seasoning

  • Salt and pepper to taste

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped leeks, garlic, and sage, and cook until leeks soften (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
  4. Pour in cream and heat slowly. DO NOT “scald” the cream–keep stirring until bubbles begin to form, then bring the heat down (or remove from the heat) and continue to stir as the sauce thickens.
  5. Serve with pasta of your choice.

Oatmeal Pancakes

Want a more interesting breakfast than just plain old oatmeal? Try these pancake recipes!

Plain Oatmeal Pancakes

These pancakes are delicious and high in fibre!

Serves: ~2

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1/2 cup quick oats

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk (could be any variety–soy, almond, rice…)
  • Butter, margarine, or oil to grease frying pan

Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Large bowl
  • Frying pan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and use a spoon to mix thoroughly. Let sit 1-2 minutes.
  2. Heat frying pan over medium heat, with a small amount of oil or butter on the bottom.
  3. Spoon batter into frying pan, making 2-4 evenly sized pancakes.
  4. Cook on each side until lightly brown.

Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes

You can top these pancakes with anything you like–maple or table syrup, fruit (e.g. bananas, fresh or frozen berries), jam…

Serves: ~2

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1/2 cup (40g) quick oats
  • Oil or cooking spray for frying pan

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 4 egg whites

Seasoning

  • 1 tsp vanilla

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Blender
  • Skillet or frying pan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Spray skillet with cooking spray or grease with oil.
  3. Spoon small, even spoonfuls of batter onto pan, careful to leave lots of space between them.
  4. Cook on each side until lightly brown.

Fruit Crumble

Fruit Crumble.jpg

If you’ve got a bunch of regular soda crackers on the verge of going stale, why not make this healthy, tasty dessert? (Here we suggest using cranberries in sauce, but you could use a (348mL) can of drained fruit cocktail, or 3 small apples, diced with skins on.)

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1 (796mL) can pears, drained and chopped into pieces (NOTE: reserve 1/3 cup of the syrup!)
  • 1 (348mL) can cranberries in sauce

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 sleeve soda crackers
  • 1/2 cup melted margarine or butter, OR 1/2 cup cooking oil

Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon (OR 1 tsp cinnamon sugar)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Oven
  • 8×8 inch baking dish/pan (or ~9-inch diameter round baking pan)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 370F.
  2. Prepare crumble: crunch soda crackers into a mixing bowl. Do not make fine crumbs, but leave small chunks. Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter/margarine/oil and stir well (should look like moist coarse sand).
  3. In an 8×8-inch baking pan (or ~9-inch diameter round baking pan), combine pears and cranberries. Add 1 tbsp sugar and 1/3 cup pear syrup. Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes in oven, or until juices bubble up and crust is golden brown.

A Cornucopia of Corn Recipes!

Corn is easy to add to any recipe–throw it in a pot of chili, mix it with a bowl of soup, or sprinkle it on eggs for breakfast… whether it’s fresh, frozen, or canned, the possibilities are endless!!

Sauteed Corn and Tomatoes

Quick, simple and easy, this recipe can be used as a sauce or a side.

Serves: ~2

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw!)

Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp sugar

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Pan or skillet

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium-low heat and sautee garlic for about 1 minute, or until softened.
  2. Add diced tomatoes (with the juices) to the pan, along with basil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir to combine and bring heat up to medium.
  3. Allow skillet to simmer for about 1 minute, or until most of the juices have evaporated and the mixture has thickened.
  4. Add the frozen corn to the skillet and stir to combine. Heat thoroughly (about 3-5 minutes).

Black Bean, Corn, and Tomato Salad

Salads are super easy to throw together and you can add more or less of each ingredient depending on what’s available (and what you like!). You can store this salad in the fridge for 4-5 days (will stay fresher if you store the salad and the dressing separately).

Serves: ~4-6

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1-2 cups canned corn (could substitute with fresh or frozen!)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Fresh/Frozen

  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • Optional: 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (lemon would work too!)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (can use more or less depending on how spicy you like your food)

Seasoning

  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook or rinse corn according to instructions.
  2. Combine corn, black beans, tomatoes, and avocado in a large bowl. (Feel free to add any other vegetables you may have lying around, like carrots, cucumber, peppers, celery, etc.)
  3. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil, lime juice, ground cumin, jalapeno, and salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables.
  4. Mix well and serve.

Corn and Cheddar Chowder

For a hot, satisfying dinner on a chilly day, whip up some of this quick chowder!

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can (12oz) corn, drained

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (if you don’t have this available, you could also use cheese slices or 1/2 cup of Cheeze Whiz)

Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Large saucepan/pot

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan/pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until they begin to soften. Add carrots and potatoes, and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add flour and stir well until mixed completely with the butter. Gradually add chicken/vegetable broth and milk.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  4. Turn down cooking temperature to low and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender.
  5. Add corn, cheese, salt, and pepper, then continue stirring and cooking until cheese is melted and soup is heated through.

Chickpeas, Please!

Chickpeas are another wonderful legume (small protein and fibre-packed morsels) that are widely available both canned and dry! The canned variety is a bit more expensive but they’re immediately ready-to-use (seriously, you can just dump them into a sauce or soup and they’re good to go once they’re heated through!). Dry chickpeas require soaking overnight and being boiled until tender (like pasta or potatoes) before they’ll be ready to eat. However you choose to get your peas on, try them in these delicious recipeas! (Haha, I couldn’t resist…)

Creamy Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Chickpea sandwiches

Super simple and satisfying sandwiches (or wraps!) to make a great packed lunch or quick dinner.

Makes up to 4 sandwiches/wraps.

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, drained (or ~1 cup dry chickpeas, prepared according to package instructions)

Fresh/Frozen

  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Several lettuce leaves
  • Any other veggies you like in your sandwiches!! (e.g. tomatoes, cucumber)
  • 8 slices whole wheat bread (can substitute with 4 whole wheat pitas or 10-inch tortillas)

Seasonings

  • 4 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Optional: 2 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Lightly mash chickpeas with a fork (to desired chunkiness).
  2. Add seasonings to chickpeas and mix well.
  3. Peel and mash or slice avocado.
  4. Spread 1/4 of chickpea filling onto bottom slice of whole wheat bread (or into pita/tortilla). Spread 1/4 mashed or sliced avocado onto top slice of bread.
  5. Layer several lettuce leaves on top, add any other veggies or toppings of your choice, and combine your sandwich!

Chickpeas with Potatoes and Peas

This is a quick, delicious meal (that can easily be vegetarian or vegan if you use vegetable broth and a plant-based oil instead of margarine) with the warmth of yummy curry seasonings.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1 can vegetable or chicken broth (PLUS 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp oil or margarine

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 1/2 cups peas or green beans (can used fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Seasoning

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Saucepan/large frying pan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In large frying pan/saucepan, heat oil or margarine over medium heat and saute garlic and onion until tender (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add all remaining ingredients (potatoes, vegetable/chicken broth + water, crushed tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, ginger, salt, pepper, chickpeas, and peas/beans). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  3. Add more water to mixture as needed to prevent drying out while potatoes are cooking.
  4. Serve on its own or over rice.

Spicy Chickpea Pasta

This recipea (sorry, still couldn’t resist) is very versatile and you can add any vegetables you like! Note: if you have a sensitive stomach (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome), it may be best to leave out the garlic and onion. You can adjust the amount of chili powder (or leave it out altogether) based on your preference.

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1-2 cups uncooked pasta (rotini, fusili, macaroni)
  • 2 tbsp oil (olive oil recommended)
  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Fresh/Frozen

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot and/or 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen green beans or peas
  • Feel free to add additional vegetables!

Seasoning

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Saucepan/pot
  • Large frying pan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, cook the pasta in boiling water until tender (according to package instructions). Drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and fry until they start to soften.
  3. Add carrot (and/or red bell pepper) and cook until soft.
  4. Add chicken/vegetable stock, crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, green beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir.
  5. Cook until hot and bubbly and green beans are completely heated through.
  6. Pour sauce over cooked pasta and serve.

Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese
You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a satisfying macaroni and cheese, and this doesn’t require a box of Kraft Dinner!
Serves: ~6
INGREDIENTS
Non-perishables:
– 4 cups elbow macaroni pasta
– 4 tbsp Flour
– Optional: Crushed corn flakes
– Optional: Grated parmesan cheese topping
Fresh or frozen:
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 1 1/2 cup grated cheese
– 4 tbsp butter or margarine
Seasonings:
– Pepper
– Garlic
– Optional: Italian seasoning
COOKING TOOLS
– Casserole dish/baking dish
– Large pot
DIRECTIONS
1) Boil the pasta until it is just tender (al dente). Drain well.
2) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
3) In the large pot over medium heat, melt some butter/margarine until completely liquid, then add an equal amount of flour (usually about 4 tbsp of each). Stir well with a fork or wooden spoon until smooth and lump-free. Continue to let the mixture heat for a minute to cook away the “raw” taste of the flour.
4) Add milk and seasonings, stirring constantly until sauce thickens.
5) Add seasonings and half of the grated cheese.
6) Stir in the drained pasta.
7) Spoon all of the pasta into the casserole dish/baking dish.
8) Top with the other half of the grated cheese and grated parmesan and crushed cornflakes, if desired.
9) Bake for ~15-20 minutes, or until top is golden brown and bubbly.
10) Let cool for ~5 minutes before serving.