With February quickly approaching, many of us may already be re-evaluating our enthusiastic New Year’s resolutions…
There’s nothing wrong with setting your goals high, but sometimes there needs to be a little bit of wiggle room to keep them within reach. Maybe you’re simply hoping to add more vegetables to your diet – or perhaps you’d just like to cut out that second cup of coffee every morning. Whatever your resolutions are, don’t be too hard on yourself – sometimes it’s good to indulge (in moderation, of course)! If you’d like to make some healthy changes to your food choices in 2018, we’ve assembled some of our favourite healthy(ish) recipes to motivate you.
For those of you who follow a grain-free or gluten-free lifestyle, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on delicious savoury meals! These spinach crepes require only spinach, water, chickpea flour and seasoning – and can be paired with your favourite fillings.
[Find the recipe at Occasionally Eggs]
Three, all-natural ingredients and 10 minutes is all you need to prepare these sweet and crunchy coconut cashew bars. Eat them for breakfast or grab them for an on-the-go snack!
[Find the recipe at The Bewitchin Kitchen]
When you think of chili, the word “healthy” doesn’t usually come to mind. However, this recipe features well-rounded flavours like pineapple, chipotle, gochujang, pork and maple syrup that make for a sumptuous – and nutritious – meal.
[Find the recipe at Pups with Chopsticks]
For parents out there who struggle with convincing their kids to eat real food – we’ve found the perfect short cut! Dupe their favourite canned meal and make your own homemade noodle and tomato dish with a handful of simple, fresh ingredients.
[Find the recipe at My Kitchen Love]
It may not be a salad, but this “healthy” take on beef and pasta boxed meals swaps cauliflower – rich in Vitamins C, K and B6 – for noodles, and requires real ingredients. For those who are gluten-free, omit the flour, butter and milk in the roux and replace with a cup of heavy cream and extra cheese!
[Find the recipe at Food & Whine]
Stir-fry meals are a go-to for any household on a time crunch or a budget. Thankfully, you can adapt your stir-fry to whatever food restrictions or preferences you may have. Add chicken, turkey, shrimp, pork or beef and sprinkle with a splash of soy sauce.
[Find the recipe at Green Healthy Cooking]
Make your own natural version of the well-known, crowd-pleasing hazelnut butter – but without the excessive sugar and preservatives! Perfect for anyone with nut allergies, easily blend together sunflower seeds, coconut oil, dark chocolate and a little bit of icing sugar and salt for a delectable spread.
[Find the recipe at Spice and Sprout]
Sweet potato and kelp noodles are life savers whenever those following a gluten- and grain-free lifestyle are craving some pasta. Make this fresh duck ramen with rich broth, bok choy, avocado – and any of your favourite soup toppings!
[Find the recipe at Flash Fiction Kitchen]
Impress your friends and family while sticking to your nutrition resolutions at your next dinner party or celebration. Filled to the brim with aromatic spices, olive oil, chicken and red onion – your guests won’t even realize what they’re eating is so good for them!
[Find the recipe at i am a food blog]
The cabbage craze has taken off – and for good reason, as the vegetable comes packed with nutrients and is a great source of manganese and fiber. Make your own delicious cabbage soup with ingredients you may already have in your pantry, including canned tomatoes and a plethora of spices.
[Find the recipe at Eff Yeah Food]
At Hanukkah, Jewish families celebrate an ancient miracle, when one day’s worth of oil lasted for eight days. It’s not a surprise, then, that oil-based cooking is an inspiration for this holiday’s decadent feature dishes. But whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not, these must-try comfort foods are sure to warm your belly and satisfy family and friends on any cold winter night.
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Your favourite breakfast foods (hashbrowns and pancakes) have combined into one glorious stack of onion-y dinner goodness. Making these is a family affair: They don’t taste right if there aren’t half a dozen people crammed into your kitchen hand-shaping the patties, fighting over flipping duty or trying to sneak a bite. Load them with sour cream, applesauce, or caviar if you’re feeling fancy.
With all of the pre-dinner shmoozing (read: chatting) that goes on at family events, waiting for that meat course can be tantalizing. Likewise, preparing this mouthwatering masterpiece requires a long-game strategy—we’re talking 3-4 hours in a good roasting pan—but it’s worth the wait. Bonus: This dish can be made in advance and stored in its braising liquid up to 4 days before your party. Extra marinating time, anyone?
This globally recognized treat has a special place in Jewish tradition. It’s easy to fry up a batch in your own kitchen using a cast iron frying pan. Customize with different jams, or swap the milk and butter with coconut milk and coconut oil to make them dairy-free. These treats are best enjoyed fresh. (This also serves as justification for eating several. Right now. You’re welcome.)
Noodle Kugel is an ultra-comforting casserole, and it’s unbelievably simple to make. This creamy dish is lightly sweetened, which might seem surprising at first, but have a little faith…it’s a must-have at Jewish holiday gatherings for a reason. Serve it warm or cold next to your main. Adding raisins and a dash of cinnamon is highly recommended.
Challah is a type of braided egg bread that’s traditionally shared on the Jewish sabbath. After it rises, each braid loop forms a scrumptious little bun that can be broken off the bread is passed down the table. Move aside, dinner rolls! This moist, luscious loaf is the perfect complement to any hearty meal.
These flaky spiral crescents are made with a special cream cheese dough, and can be filled with dried fruit, chopped walnuts, chocolate, poppy seeds or whatever else your heart desires. Consider them a timeless treasure. They’re found in Jewish bakeries and cafes all year round, but rugelah-lovers will find any excuse to bring them out, and nobody ever argues.
In old Jewish tradition, money (“gelt”) was given out at Hanukkah. Nowadays, most families distribute chocolate coins wrapped in gold or silver foil. They’re often store-bought, but personalized gelt can be made at home if you’re crafty. Prefer white chocolate? Try mixing in some matcha powder for added flair.
Very lucky kids get a Chocolate Surprise Gelt Cake at Hanukkah. These cakes typically have a hollowed out core filled with (you guessed it) chocolate gelt. One slice reveals the spoils, and havoc ensues! For a less messy but equally delicious option, people with a sweet tooth can chop up the gelt and use it for cake layers. In the spirit of the holiday, some recipes call for olive oil in place of the eggs and butter.
We know we don’t have to say it–waffle irons are great! Who doesn’t love a fresh, fluffy waffle hot off the iron for Sunday breakfast? A waffle iron makes a great gift, and if you’re married, chances are you received one as a wedding present. (Thanks, Aunt Linda!). But, let’s face it, they’re not exactly a frequently used item. That’s about to change, because we’ve got eight delicious recipes that will bring your waffle iron into regular kitchen rotation.
Yes, it looks a bit funny, but your mouth will thank you for the wells of extra savoury sauce and gooey cheese. Plus, the waffle maker doubles as an oven for baking the crust to perfection, and a broiler for melting the cheese.
These mouth-watering morsels are relatively simple to make, and can be made in less time than it takes to make dinner. Bonus: your house will smell amazing afterwards.
Quesadillas are a satisfying, kid-friendly and easy dinner choice, but they’re never quite the same at home as the more authentic ones from a restaurant. The professional secret to perfect quesadillas is cooking them right on a griddle. Well, guess what a waffle iron is—a tiny, hatched griddle. A grid-dle!
Don’t have a campfire handy? You’re in luck, because these warm, sweet and decadent treats can be waffled! (Yes, we just used waffle as a verb. Sorry. Not sorry.)
Okay, okay these are technically waffles. But, they look so sensational, we had to include them on this list. Take the opportunity to experiment with the dips—maple syrup, Nutella, peanut butter, whipped cream…the possibilities are delicious.
Yes, it’s true—you can make healthy, vegetarian things in your waffle maker, too! These are super easy, even healthier than traditional, deep-fried falafels, and the best part is saying the name of this recipe out loud. Waffled falafels. Waffled falafels. We can’t stop.
This comfort food classic is perfect for a quick lunch, and the spicy dash of hot sauce gives it an extra kick. We love the sound of this particular recipe, but honestly, any sandwich that would go in a panini press works great in a waffle maker. Kitchen space saver!
What’s everyone’s favourite part of a pan of brownies? The edges, right? Well, waffle iron brownies, with their crispy outsides and soft insides, offers the promise of all edges, all the time. They also take a fraction of the time to make than baking in the oven. Top them with rich, vanilla ice cream, and you’ve basically won at life.
Need a great waffle maker to help you master these delicious creations? Check out the Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker or the Chefman Volcano Waffle Maker. Either one will help you create delicious waffle-y treats.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get waffling!
These days, there is no end to the amount of gadgets out there, especially for the kitchen. Let’s face it, not all of them are useful, and they end up taking up precious space in your kitchen. To save you some trouble, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite, affordable and genius kitchen gadgets, whether you want to up your own kitchen game, or surprise your favourite home chef.
Many chefs swear by cooking bacon in the oven. It reduces the fat, eliminates stovetop splatter, and guarantees a perfectly crispy result. The Bacon Bonanza makes cooking bacon in the oven even easier: the non-stick rack spaces up to 12 pieces of bacon perfectly, the non-stick pan catches the grease for easy cleanup, and both are dishwasher safe.
Fresh herbs are a key ingredient to taking the quality of your home cooking up a notch. But unless you’ve got your own fresh herb garden, store-bought herbs don’t last very long in the fridge. This simple little item will add life to your fresh herbs so you can use them again and again, and save you the sadness of watching them wilt in your fridge. Its compact size fits easily in any fridge door. Works for saving asparagus, too!
Now that you have all of these fresh herbs just sitting around, you’ve got to use them! This little gem will save you loads of time; it easily strips, collects and measures herbs all in one step. Four separate sized holes fit any variety and size of woody, stemmed herbs (such as rosemary, thyme and tarragon) and the bowl easily catches the leaves and simply measures your portion.
What’s the best part of a pan of brownies? The corners, of course! This time-saving brownie pan will give you 18 perfectly portioned corner pieces every time. The durable, non-stick surface allows you to mix the batter right inside the pan, no pre-greasing required. The slicer insert slides right out when the brownies are done, with no arguments about who gets the corners.
Traditional oven mitts are awkward and bulky, and who hasn’t burned themselves on the oven using a tea towel? Never fear, because the Ove Glove is here to save your precious fingertips. Three layers of insulation protects from heat, flame and steam up to 540℉, and the five fingers with silicone grip will have you nimbly dashing around your baking and barbecuing like the kitchen hero that you are.
If you’re obsessed with keeping your cooking space neat and tidy through the dinner-making process, have we got the gadget for you. This beautiful bamboo cutting board hides secret, tidy prep drawers underneath to store your ingredients until you’re ready to use them, making room on your cutting board in the process. Aahh…satisfying, isn’t it?
So, you like precision, do you? Oh, we’re gonna get precise. Any good baker knows that winging it is a recipe for disaster, especially when it comes to making the perfect dough. That’s why the always-inventive Joseph Joseph gave bakers this ingenious rolling pin that measures the thickness of the dough while you roll it. Simply attach one of three included sets of discs to the pin for rolling thicknesses of 3/8”, 1/4″ and 1/16”. There are also measurements etched into the barrel help you roll sheets of dough to exact widths. Guesswork, you’ve met your match.
If you’re trying to kick the sugary drink habit, the Soda Stream makes healthy, carbonated beverages at home, right on your countertop. Have your beverage your way with customizable carbonation settings, and optional low-sugar, natural flavours. Voted Best New Product in 2016 by Canadian Living, this handy, compact gadget will save you money on your grocery bill, and save hundreds of plastic bottles and cans from going into the waste cycle.
This is not your mother’s Crock-Pot. This insanely useful appliance is the new rock star of the small appliance world for people who love to cook, and even people who don’t. This multi-cooker does the job of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and warming pot. It’s a single appliance that does the job of seven! And we don’t know about you, but we definitely don’t have the space in our humble kitchens to store all seven of those appliances. Whether you want to prep your meal in the morning and cook all day, or have a fast healthy home-cooked meal in under an hour–this one-pot wonder does it all!
No matter how long you’ve been cooking, you’ll likely never be able to eyeball the perfect portion of pasta. A pasta measuring tool is essential to any cook’s tool kit, so why not make it fun, too? This adorable tool helps you portion pasta for a kid, woman, man or a visiting T-Rex. Warning: approach hungry T-Rex with care, and don’t make any sudden movements.
The days are colder, the nights are longer, and we’ve fallen back, ending Daylight Saving Time. Time to start planning for the holidays! Do you know what gifts you’re going to get for your loved ones this year? We’re here to help.
Throughout November and December, we’ll be posting holiday gift guides for everyone on your list, with a wide range of gift ideas and price points on each. From showstopper items to smaller stocking stuffers, we’ve got you covered.
We’re starting our holiday gift guides with ideas for the home cook in your life. Whether you know an adventurous chef or a young person just learning the basics, you can’t go wrong with kitchen-y gifts. Everyone needs to cook!
Here’s our guide to buying the perfect kitchen goodie for the home cook on your list.
The Crock-Pot Express 8 in 1 Multicooker is an outstanding gift for the home chef. It’s a convenient way to make delicious, hearty fare that will nourish an entire household. The bonus? It does all the work while you’re out preparing for the holidays or relaxing with a good book.
This particular model is an 8 in 1 wonder appliance, with settings for rice cooking, yogurt making, and more. Include some recipes with your gift so the recipient can get started with it right away–we’ve got a list of 3 sensational crock-pot recipes right here.
Chances are your foodie friend loves coffee just as much as they do cooking. But do they have all the tools needed to make a truly great cup of coffee? A real chef will appreciate a grinder to grind their own beans to the perfect coarseness for their coffee maker of choice.
Do they need a new coffee maker? Why not a cold brew coffee maker to make delicious cold brew at home! If they love design as well as functionality, this beautiful Bodum pour over coffee maker with a classic cork band will look gorgeous on their shelves. And for those that would prefer to spend their time cooking rather than making coffee, a Keurig K-Cup machine to make the perfect cup every time with no effort on their part. Help them end their dinner parties with just the right amount of coffee, and without stress.
Chances are, the home cook in your life has a solid set of pots, pans, and knives, but those good reliable basics may need some upgrading. Non-stick coating wears off and pans get scratched–it happens to the best of us. This Gotham Steel 10 Piece set is made with stainless steel, and the cooking surface is scratch resistant and oven safe. If your friend is a little more traditional, you can’t go wrong with a good cast iron skillet.
Even if they have a good set of kitchen basics, no home cook worth their salt can resist a beautiful new tool that’s good for cooking and serving. Think colourful enameled cast iron dutch ovens, cookware classy enough to go from oven to table, and quintessential white CorningWare dishes.
The best part about being a cook is that there’s always a cool new tool to try. Specialized utensils, gadgets designed to make a job easier, or niche appliances would make great gifts for the kitchen connoisseur in your life. Add some tools to their toolbelt!
It can seem overwhelming trying to find something that they don’t already have, but if you pick something related to a recent food trend, you’re generally good to go. Think spiralizers, cupcake carriers, and milk frothers.
Or go the other way, and pick up tools that will always be useful: multi-blade herb scissors, a knife sharpener, or an egg poacher. This knife mat will corral their blades and keep them sharp, while this covered bowl with included serving set is perfect for bringing to parties. No matter who you’re buying for, there’s a gadget out there for them.
For more gift-giving advice for the home cook on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online. We’ll be back next week with a gift guide for kids (and parents). See you then!
See all of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guides here:
Excess kitchen equipment can take up valuable cupboard or counter space, but there are a number of amazing kitchen tools that are worth the extra real estate. We’re highlighting five kitchen appliances here that will make family dinners easier, as well as fantastic recipes for you to use with them. Bon appetit!
The wok isn’t your typical frying pan. It’s a particular type of round-bottom cookware that can be used to stew, braise, poach, boil, steam, pan fry, deep fry, and stir fry. It’s almost a pot and a pan in one dish, but the distinct shape makes it easy to toss food around with a spatula and it heats better than a flat pan. It’s simply the best tool for stir-fries, which make super quick weekday meals.
Indoor grills bring the flavour of the summer inside, all year long. Instead of struggling with coals or barbecuing in the rain in the fall, turn on your indoor grill. It has a more even cooking temperature than an outdoor grill and is dead simple to use. Everything tastes better grilled.
The rice cooker sounds like it’s only good for one thing–cooking rice–but it’s far more versatile than it seems. You can also use it to make curry, oatmeal, soup, polenta, and tons more. Surprising, but delicious! We’ve listed recipes here that go beyond the classic use, although rice cookers do make cooking a side of grains pretty darn simple as well.
Slow cookers are for the perfect tool for someone who wants a meal ready to go by the time they get home. Prep in the morning, set it, and forget it. You’ll come home after a long day with your house smelling amazing and dinner waiting.
If your kitchen space is truly at a minimum, don’t fret. The Instant Pot is an amazing kitchen appliance that basically combines many features from the previous tools into one: it’s a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and more. It even makes yogurt! And it uses much less energy than many stoves. Easy, simple, and environmentally friendly.
Do you love your Instant Pot or your rice cooker? Find all of these kitchen appliances at your local London Drugs in-store or online.
We are well into #PSL season, as you’ve probably gathered from your Instagram feed. (That’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season, for you non-coffee drinkers.) Luckily for foodies, there is so much more to this versatile autumn gourd than just coffee shops and Thanksgiving pie, so we’ve put together some of our favourite pumpkin recipes to help you celebrate everyone’s favourite fall flavour.
This hearty, savoury dish has a surprising hint of sweetness from the pumpkin that will warm up any cool fall night. Double the recipe and save for a freezer full of leftovers to enjoy throughout the season—it’s no secret that chili is always better the next day (or week, or month). Don’t forget the chipotle sour cream!
Pumpkin for breakfast? Of course! Inspired by traditional Indian cooking, these healthy and simple pancakes are also known as besan ka puda. Ingredients can be substituted to make custom flavours, as well as vegan and gluten-free options. Perfect for getting you out of that breakfast rut.
Even the people who aren’t into the whole #PSL thing will find it hard to pass up a nice, hot bowl of velvety, spiced pumpkin soup. Top with pecans or goat cheese, throw on a pair of fuzzy socks and a cable knit sweater, and you’ll be a Pinterest board come to life. A fall classic.
Got a craving for a creamy pasta dish, but trying to cut down on the fat? We’ve got you covered. The richness of the pumpkin in this recipe takes the place of the loads of cheese traditionally found in a baked pasta dish. Comfort food level: EXPERT.
Pumpkin and curry go together like a pile of leaves and a jumping toddler. Skip the take-out and instead whip up this spicy crowd-pleaser, even if you’re short on time. You can pour this delicious concoction over your favourite rice, vegetables, or tofu, or whichever combination of the three satisfies your current craving.
We hope you hung on to the innards of your jack-o’-lantern, because these crunchy snacks are a fall must-have. Packed with iron, magnesium, fibre, zinc, potassium, healthy fats, protein, and tryptophan (which can boost your mood and help you sleep), vegans and vegetarians have been using pumpkin seeds for years as a natural source of nutrients. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours: soy sauce, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg – time to get creative!
Yes, it sounds strange on paper, but we promise this will be on your top 10 list of best pizza EVER. Mild and creamy havarti cheese is the perfect flavour accompaniment with the veggies in this dish, and a fun change from mozzarella. Don’t skip the sweetened onions step—they’re the secret ingredient that will put this dish over the top into OMG territory. Meat eaters and vegetarians alike will be instantly addicted, and gluten-free foodies can use their favourite GF crust.
Looking for an alternative to your pre-packaged veggie burger option? Try these quick and healthy pumpkin patties. Spices can be dialed up or down to your preference, and toppings are open to creative interpretation. Don’t get boxed in by the bun—these baked, crunchy beauties can also be tucked into a super-healthy lettuce wrap or crumbled on salads. They also freeze nicely, so they can be made ahead of time. Future you will heartily thank present you.
Who doesn’t love a trip to the Cheesecake Factory during a visit south of the border? Well, someone did us all a favour and broke down their creamy, decadent pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and now we’re here to share it with you. (Yeah, you’re welcome.) Next to the prevalent pie, this modern classic is a fall dessert staple. Pro tip: replace white sugar with brown sugar for a deeper, richer taste.
Tuck into these perfectly pleasing pumpkin recipes and enjoy all that fall has to offer. Happy eating!