World Inspired Meals with Local Ingredients
From a registered dietician
This blog and the following recipes come from registered dietitian Andrea Shackel of Revive Wellness. Revive’s mission is to improve the lives of Canadians through nutrition and wellness coaching.
Has anyone else gotten the travel bug these days? During the pandemic, there definitely was a decline in travel and everyone kept closer to home for obvious reasons, but now that restrictions are being lifted, the excitement for travel is returning. Travelling is a fantastic way to explore, discover and learn about new places and cultures and even push our taste buds and palettes when trying new foods.
Although food is often viewed as a source of “fuel” or for “nutrition” and “health,” food is much more than that. Food brings people together during the good times, the bad times or times of comfort. Food is used as a connection that can bring communities and groups of people together. There are many traditions surrounding food that are passed down over multiple generations and are unique to a culture, country, or province.
Maybe we are not able to fully travel around the world to experience other cultures, but we can think about how we can incorporate a variety of new food experiences influenced by different cultures right here in Canada. And to take that even further, our food diversity found on local levels will differ from province to province and coast to coast.
We can expand our food experiences by embracing new ingredients, spices and cooking techniques in everyday dishes. Here are some great tips!
- Look at your own cultural heritage and reach out to family or friends who could show you how to continue passing on traditional foods and cooking techniques.
- Start with finding one new spice or ingredient that is influenced by another culture or your region. Then find a recipe from a cookbook, internet or the library to learn how to use it.
- Learn more about the region you live in and what is considered a local ingredient:
- Wheat is the largest crop grown in Western Canada
- Canada is one of the largest producers in the world of pulses
- Wild rice is grown in Saskatchewan
- Fruit and mushrooms are found in British Columbia
- Atlantic provinces have rich aquaculture (mussels, salmon, trout, oysters)
- Find ways to learn more about cooking styles by searching out cooking classes or demonstrations put on by different cultures and communities.
We have put together two recipes with flavours influenced by some of the spices commonly used in Mexican and Indian cuisine. Happy cooking!
About Andrea Shackel
Growing up in an agricultural family in rural Manitoba, Andrea had always had an interest in food and an appreciation of where it comes from. After being a Registered Dietitian for over 10 years, becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), and being a Strategic Centre for Obesity Professional Education (SCOPE) Certified Dietitian, Andrea’s interest in nutrition and food has continued to evolve and grow.
Andrea has come to realize that being a Registered Dietitian is looking at not just what we eat but the bigger picture. Food is delicious, food can be therapeutic, food is complicated and messy, food is a part of our culture and passed down from each generation, food is enjoyment and social and part of an emotional roller coaster. Learning how to recognize our relationship with food and how complex it is can allow us to understand our ability to unlock our potential to move forward with our health goals.
Andrea is honoured to be a part of an amazing team at Revive Wellness and to be able to offer unique opportunities and services to all clients.
PREP 5M | COOK 30M | ENJOY IN 35M
Makes 4 servings (1 taco per serving)
1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and drained
2 cups reduced sodium vegetable stock
1 tsp canola oil
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced tomato
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp smoked paprika
4 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
1 cup mixed greens
Lettuce and cilantro for garnish
- Combine lentils and stock in a medium pot and cook until lentils are tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat oil in a medium fry pan on medium-high heat.
- Add onions and cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add peppers, tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and cooked lentils, along with any excess cooking liquid that may remain in the lentils (if there is no excess cooking liquid, add 2 tbsp water or broth).
- Cook until vegetables have softened, and mixture is fragrant.
- Fill each tortilla with lentil mixture, dividing evenly. Garnish with lettuce and cilantro.
- Serve and enjoy!
*Meal prep tip: make lentil filling ahead of time and freeze for up to three months.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 356 calories, 6 g fat, 22 g protein, 66 g carbohydrate (46 g available carbohydrate), 20 g fibre, 483 mg sodium
Apple and Turkey Curry Wrap
PREP 5M | COOK 0M | ENJOY IN 5M
Makes 4 servings (1 wrap per serving)
2 cups diced cooked turkey
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp curry powder
¼ cup diced Granny Smith apple
¼ cup diced celery
½ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp raisins
4 whole wheat tortillas (8 inch)
- Combine all ingredients except raisins and tortillas in a medium bowl.
- Fill each tortilla with turkey mixture and sprinkle with raisins. Wrap up tortillas to enclose filling.
- Serve and enjoy!
Nutritional analysis per serving: 195 calories, 5 g fat, 19 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate (15 g available carbohydrate), 4 g fibre, 182 mg sodium