Dietitians stir up 'Cookspiration' for Nutrition Month

Zucchini Frittata from Dietitians of Canada, Cook Great Food: 450 Delicious Recipes (Robert Rose...

Zucchini Frittata from Dietitians of Canada, Cook Great Food: 450 Delicious Recipes (Robert Rose Inc.).

Rita Demontis, National Food Editor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:45 PM ET

February may have Valentine's Day, but March has nutrition close to its heart — Nutrition Month, as well as March break for many schools across the nation.

Which means more meals to worry about! According to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Dietitians of Canada, (a national professional association that strives in advancing health through food and nutrition) 43% of Canadians say they do not cook balanced meals for themselves or their family on a regular basis.

Yet “research shows that families have healthier diets when they cook and eat at home,” says Gina Sunderland, a Winnipeg-based registered dietitian and Dietitians of Canada spokesperson. “Many feel they don’t have the time or the skills. As dietitians, we want to show and inspire Canadians how to overcome these barriers. A healthy home-cooked meal can be simple, quick and delicious.”

In celebration of this year's Nutrition Month, everyone's being encouraged to "simply cook and enjoy" with practical advice, tools and suggestions. You'll also have access to a new free iPhone and iPad app called Cookspiration (visit cookspiration.com to download or to find all of the details and recipes).

The app allows you access to a wide array of recipes, nutritional details and much more.

For more details on tips to ‘Simply Cook and Enjoy!’ and more information about Nutrition Month 2014, visit dietitians.ca/nutritionmonth.

Zucchini Frittata

From Dietitians of Canada, Cook Great Food: 450 Delicious Recipes (Robert Rose Inc.).

  • 2 cups (500ml) sliced zucchini
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. (15ml) butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (7ml) olive oil
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. (15ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) ground fennel
  • 1/2 tsp. (2ml) ground dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. (2ml) salt
  • 1/4 tsp. (1ml) ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, cook zucchini and onion in butter and olive oil for about 5 minutes or until tender. In another bowl, combine eggs, parsley, fennel, rosemary, salt and pepper; pour over vegetables. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until the bottom of mixture has set but top is still soft. Sprinkle cheese on top. Place under preheated broiler for about 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is brown. Makes 6 servings.

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Goat’s Cheese


From Dietitians of Canada, Cook Great Food: 450 Delicious Recipes (Robert Rose Inc.).

  • 4 cups (1L) cubed zucchini
  • 2 cups (500ml) cubed eggplant
  • 2 cups (500ml) coarsely chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 cup (250ml) coarsely chopped sweet white or red onions
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (7ml) dried Italian seasoning
  • 8 oz. (250g) rotini, penne or other pasta
  • 3 1/2 to 4 oz. (100-125g) soft crumbled goat cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F (220C). Combine zucchini, eggplant, peppers and onions in a large bowl. Add oil and Italian seasoning; toss to coat. Place vegetables in a single layer on baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil. Roast in oven, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are slightly softened.

Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions or until tender, but firm; drain. Toss vegetables with pasta. Sprinkle goat cheese over top; toss to combine or leave as is and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Cooking Tip: For best flavour, use fresh herbs rather than dried, but add them at the very end with cheese. Substitute about 2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh for every 1 tsp (5 mL) dried.

Six Must-Have Tools

  1. Steamer basket: Why not skip the frying pan and forgo the oil? Steaming your veggies is a quick, easy, and healthy alternative to sautéing.
  2. Box grater: While we love using our grater for cheese, it can also be used for all kinds of vegetables. Salads with grated zucchini, beets or carrots are a tasty side dish option.
  3. Immersion blender: Will make preparing healthy soups an absolute whizz.
  4. Lemon juicer: A healthy and easy way to infuse your meals with tons of flavour while forgoing the added salt.
  5. Oil mister: Helps cut out excess fat, the tool gives you precise control over how much oil is used.
  6. Measuring spoon set: Use them to sprinkle just the right amount of herbs or spices on your dish.

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