Back to the fall rou­tine with meat­less meal ideas Court­ney Masey

Truro Daily News - - NEWS - Court­ney Masey is a Reg­is­tered di­eti­tian with at­lantic Su­per­store in truro.

As sum­mer comes to an end, now is the time to pre­pare for get­ting back into a fall rou­tine. You’ve likely heard many times how im­por­tant meal plan­ning can be when it comes to healthy eat­ing. Plan­ning ahead and or­ga­niz­ing meals makes gro­cery shop­ping and meal prepa­ra­tion much eas­ier, es­pe­cially if you’re chal­lenged with a busy week.

Think about what works for you when it comes to your rou­tine and then in­tro­duce more small changes grad­u­ally. For ex­am­ple: meal prep on days that you have more time; when you can, make ex­tra food at sup­per­time to have on hand for the next day or to use in an­other meal later in the week. Some foods freeze well, so take ad­van­tage of this by freez­ing ex­tra soup, lasagna, home­made sauces, cut-up veg­eta­bles or shred­ded cheese. Keep healthy foods on hand, like pre-cut veg­eta­bles, fruits, hard-boiled eggs or trail mix for quick snacks or to add to a meal.

Chal­lenge your­self to in­clude more meat­less meals in your rou­tine this fall. Meat al­ter­na­tives have been linked to re­duced risk of heart dis­ease, di­a­betes and can­cer and can help you main­tain a healthy weight.

Even if you are not fol­low­ing a veg­e­tar­ian diet, in­clud­ing a cou­ple meat­less meals each week could ben­e­fit your health. Meat al­ter­na­tives not only con­tain pro­tein but some are high in fi­bre and many are low in sat­u­rated fat. They are also more eco­nom­i­cal and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.

Start by pick­ing a meat al­ter­na­tive that you haven’t tried or would like to try in a new way. Tofu, also known as soy­bean curd, is a ver­sa­tile choice. Soft tofu is great in smooth­ies, dips and dress­ings and firm/ex­tra firm can be used in casseroles, stir-fry, on the grill or in soups. Tex­tured Vegetable Pro­tein (TVP) is made from soy­beans and can be used as meat sub­sti­tute in al­most any recipe that calls for ground beef/turkey. Try it for tacos, meat­loaf or chili. You can even cook a dou­ble batch of TVP and keep it in the fridge for a cou­ple of days or freeze for later.

Tem­peh, which is made of fer­mented soy beans, is an­other meat al­ter­na­tive. Try Tem­peh steamed, mar­i­nated, grilled or even crum­bled into casseroles or soups, to add a nutty flavour and source of pro­tein. Like tofu, tem­peh takes on what­ever flavour it’s cooked with.

More meat­less meal ideas for busy week­days

• Whole grain pasta salad – add veg­gies, beans/chick­peas and a sim­ple vinai­grette. (Try canned No Salt Added or new PC Blue Menu frozen kid­ney beans or chick­peas that are ready in min­utes!)

• Stir-fry – Steam frozen mixed veg­eta­bles and serve over brown rice, topped with mar­i­nated tofu.

• BLT Sand­wich – Use al­ready-mar­i­nated PC Blue Menu Ba­con Maple Flavour Tem­peh s strips.

• Lasagna – Pre­pare with lentils and TVP in­stead of ground beef. Make ahead and cut into in­di­vid­ual serv­ings to store in the freezer.

• Veg­e­tar­ian Chili – Try us­ing TVP, lentils, beans, and even crum­bled tofu or tem­peh along with an abun­dance of veg­eta­bles. Make a large batch and freeze in in­di­vid­ual bags.

Up­com­ing event

Drop by my di­eti­tian booth at the Truro At­lantic Su­per­store on Sept. 6, 2 to 5 p.m. to help ring in the new school year. Don’t miss the chance to taste sam­ples of easy recipes us­ing PC Blue Menu prod­ucts.

Have a nu­tri­tion ques­tion? Want to book a free ap­point­ment or ed­u­ca­tional store tour for your­self or your com­mu­nity group or busi­ness? Con­tact me by phone at (902) 921-0700 or by email at court­ney.masey2@loblaw.ca.

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