Along with a proper exercise routine comes a balanced, nutritional diet. Check out these great meals to help you maintain your HEAL lifestyle while still keeping it delicious! Check out the nutrition related services I offer HERE

Tropical Burst Smoothie

Smoothies are a great option for breakfast, a snack or as a way to get in those oh so important veggies and fruits. This one has a bright and delicious flavour, sure to please any paletteView More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving.

Ingredients 

1 chopped banana 

1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen) 

1/2 fresh orange

2 basil leaves 

1/2 cup Greek or Coconut yogurt 

3/4  cup coconut milk (or liquid of choice) 

** A few ice cubes if fruit is all fresh and you prefer your smoothie a little colder**

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Pour, sip and enjoy! 

Cilantro Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad

Summer time calls for fresh and easy-to-prepare; meals. This salad is perfect to batch cook for a week of lunches, or to wow your guests at your next BBQ. I first whipped this salad up to bring to a potluck, and when it got rave reviews, I knew I had to bring it to the blog. Give it a try and let me know what you think. View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat penne pasta noodles (dry measure)
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables 
    • 1/2 zucchini diced
    • 1/4 large red pepper diced
    • 2 large cauliflower florets diced 
    • 1/2 medium carrot diced  
  • 1 cup cilantro pesto sauce 

Directions 

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add 2
     Tbsp canola oil and pasta noodles. Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking together. 
  2. While the pasta cooks prepare the cilantro pesto and chop the vegetables. 
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl. 
  4. Add pesto and vegetables to warm pasta, stir well to ensure all the pasta becomes coated with the pesto. 
  5. Serve the pasta warm, or let cool and store in the fridge to serve cold. 

Makes 4-6 servings. 

Three Step Cilantro Pesto

I love cilantro, but typically use it in small amounts. So in an attempt to prevent the remaining bunch from going to waste I made this pesto recipe using cilantro instead of traditional basil. The outcome is super delish! I use Manitoba grown garlic from the St. Norbert Farmer’s Market which adds huge flavour to this sauce. I make sure to buy some at the end of the season so I can enjoy it all winter long. If you choose to do the same just make sure you store the garlic upside down in a cool dry place. This garlic provides amazing flavour to this pesto sauce. This sauce is really versatile providing a number of ways to enjoy it.

A few ways are:View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

  1. On your classic breakfast toast with a poached egg.
  2. As a dressing on cold or hot pasta salad. 
  3.  As a marinade for chicken, beef or fish. 
  4. As a dip for chopped veggies. 
  5. As a sauce for homemade pizza – fun switch up from classic tomato sauce. 
  6. As a spread for a hot or cold sandwich. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds 
  • 3-5 medium bulbs Manitoba garlic (3 if you like garlic, 5 if you love it). 
  • 3/4 cup canola oil 
  • 1 handful of cilantro 
  • Juice of 2 medium lemons 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Step 1
Add peeled garlic and almonds to a food processor and blend until it creates a fine powder. View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2. 

Add in washed cilantro, canola oil and lemon juice. Be sure to catch the lemon seeds so they don’t end up in the food processor. Blend until smooth. 

View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

Step 3. 

Add in Parmesan cheese and blend one more time.  

View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like that, three steps and you are done! Enjoy your cilantro pesto however you choose. A bonus to this recipe is the flavour builds as it sits. Store in a class container like a mason jar for up to one week. View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

Red Pepper & Black Bean Vinaigrette

This is a super simple vinaigrette that packs big flavour. It can be used on salads and as a marinade for meat. 

View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil 

1/2 cup white vinegar 

1 Tbsp black bean garlic paste 

1 Tbsp Chili garlic paste 

1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime 

Sprinkle of salt and pepper

Directions 

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar, cover tightly with a lid and give a good shake. Voila – Done! 

Food Photography: Bree Ann Merritt Photography 

Green Lentil, Arugula & Spinach Salad

View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactivelivingThis salad says horray for summer! Fresh and full of flavour, it’s perfect for a light lunch or to bring to a potluck or cookout. 

Ingredients 

4 cups arugula and spinach mix 

1 cup of cooked green lentils 

1/2 cup feta cheese 

Directions 

  1. First prepare your lentils for cooking. They do not need to be soaked but be sure to rinse them under cold water very well. 
  2. In a sauce pan with 3 cups cold water add 1 cup rinsed raw green lentils. 
  3. Bring lentils to a boil and then cover the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let lentils cook for about 15 minutes until tender. Be sure to check them so they do not over cook.
  4. Once lentils are cooked drain any excess water and set aside to cool. 

Lay out your arugula and spinach on a platter to create a bed for the lentils. Sprinkle lentils evenly over the greens, followed by the feta cheese. Finally top with my special red pepper black bean vinaigrette. 

Food Photography: Bree-Ann Merritt Photography 

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks

Food Photography: Bree-anne Merritt Photography 

You will need… View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healsummermenu

Prepare the chicken… Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees Celsius

  1. Place chicken in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper coating all the pieces. 
  2. Pour about 1/2 cup barbecue sauce over the chicken and mix to evenly coat.
  3. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, then baste chicken with sauce in the pan and additional barbecue sauce. 
  4. Reduce temperature to 200-250 degrees Celsius and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven. 

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Barbecue Sauce

You will need… View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healsummermenu

  • 3/4 cup liquid honey 
  • 3 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic chili sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cup water

Prepare the Sauce…

Add all your ingredients into a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low-medium heat. Keep it at a simmer for 5-7 minutes. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool. 

Makes about 1 cup of barbecue sauce for 10-12 medium chicken drumsticks. 

 

Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Potato Salad

Food Photography: Bree-Ann Merritt Photography 

You will need…View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healsummermenu

  • 2 large red potatoes
  • 1 large clove of garlic chopped 
  • 1 cup canned corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers chopped
  • 2 stalks green onions chopped
  • 1 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 large basil leaves chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the salad…

Bring 3 cups of water with 1 tsp of salt to a rolling boil. Give potatoes a good wash before cutting. Cut potatoes in half length wise, and then cut each half into 6-8 pieces. Add potatoes to the pot of bowling water and cook until potato is soft when pierced with a fork.

While potatoes are cooking, prepare the dressing.

In a large mixing bowl add Greek yogurt. Add green onions, red pepper and garlic to the bowl. Add in corn, paprika, basil, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together.

Drain cooked potatoes, ensuring they are completely dry of water. If serving the salad warm add potatoes directly to the dressing and combine so that all of the potato is covered. If serving the salad cold place the dressing in the fridge and allow potatoes to cool. Once potatoes have cooled, combine with the dressing and serve. Garnish with more roasted red pepper and fresh basil leaves.

Makes 4 side servings.

Berry Lemon Cupcakes

Food photography by Bree-Ann Merritt Photography Design

e07You will need… 

2 cups pastry flour

2 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp salt 

1 cup canola oil 

1 1/2 cup sugar 

3 eggs 

1 cup milk 

2 tsp lemon zest 

1 tsp lemon extract 

The juice of 1/2 lemon 

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees Celsius. Place large muffin cups in each tray cup.

Now prepare the batter…

In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar and canola oil. In a separate bowl combine flour (spoon flour into measuring cup until over flowing. Then level the top off to level the cup), baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients into the large bowl and combine. Add milk, lemon extract, lemon juice and zest. Combine until smooth.

NOTE: The batter will be very thin! This is exactly what you want. Pour the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 16-20 minutes.

Top your cupcakes with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and mixed berries. Enjoy!

Makes 18 cupcakes or a 13 x 9 inch cake.

 

Manitoba Bison Sausage Scrambled Egg Hash

This delicious breakfast meal highlights Manitoba bison sausage. It’s perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch. 

Food Photography: BreeAnn Merritt Photography 

You will need… e10

1/4 small white onion diced 

1/2 large red pepper sliced 

10 baby potatoes 

1/2 cup low fat cheddar cheese 

2 eggs 

2 bison sausages sliced  

2 Tbsp canola 

2 cups of water 

1 tsp oregano 

salt and pepper to taste 

Prepare the Hash… 

In a small pot bring about 2 cups of water to a boil and add potatoes to cook.

In a small bowl crack eggs, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then scramble the eggs and set them aide. In a large frying pan add oil and bring it to a medium/high heat. Add onions and peppers and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add sausage and cook for 1 minute (if you purchase Storsley Farms Ltd vacuum sealed sausages from the St. Norbert Farmers Market they are already cooked and only require reheating). 

Pour eggs over the vegetables and sausage. Stir while they cook. Once eggs are cooked, reduce the stove to low heat. Strain cooked potatoes (they should split or be tender when pieced with a  fork). Add potatoes and oregano to the pan, stir gently to combine. Top with cheese and allow remaining heat to melt it. 

Makes 2-3 servings