Author Archives for Melanie Steele

About Melanie Steele

Hi! I’m Mel, a registered dietitian, avid home cook, and new mom.

Fresh Pick – Apples

When most people think about September, apples come to mind.  They are associated with the start of the school year and the beginning of fall.  They are also associated with good health.  As the saying goes, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”  In truth, it’s not quite that simple, but apples do provide nutritional benefits.  They are an excellent source of soluble fibre and even provide a modest amount of Vitamin C.

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Fresh Pick – Raspberries

Well, it’s happened.  The leaves on the trees have started to change colour.  I have mixed feelings about this time of year.  On the one hand, I do love the crispness in the morning and evening air, but I also know that once fall passes the rains will come.  And the grey.

The good news is that summer is not over just yet.  There is still time to enjoy what the season has to offer.  With that in mind, this week’s Fresh Pick is raspberries.

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How to Make Your Own Pesto

Traditional pesto is made with basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese. It’s delicious served with pasta, spread on sandwiches, and as a base for your favorite homemade pizza. The problem is, it can be expensive to make. Pine nuts are not cheap and those tiny plastic containers of basil at the grocery store can set you back a few bucks too. Of course, you could always grow your own basil, but I thought I would share a way for you to make pesto out of whatever green that you have on hand. Whether it be fresh herbs or something more hearty like beet tops, you’ll be able to put your own stamp on things.

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Fresh Pick – Beets

Today I am starting a new weekly series called Fresh Pick Friday where I will feature a local and in-season whole food. It could be a fruit, a vegetable, some local seafood, or even a nut (yes, we grow nuts here). Follow along and you will learn what foods are in season in BC throughout the year, new ideas for meals and snacks, and maybe a nutrition tidbit or two. Don’t forget to add the Fresh Pick to your grocery list!

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Green Bean Kimchi

Earlier this month, I was inspired by Desiree Nielsen to make kimchi. I had seen her whip up a quick batch on Breakfast Television and thought it was time that I give it a go. There was only one problem: I didn’t have any cabbage in the house. Although we have several grocery stores within walking distance of our house, I hate having to run to the store unless it’s absolutely necessary. The convenience is alluring, but it stifles ones creativity.

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Turnip, Chard and Bacon Hash

Hash is a wonderful dish to make for Sunday brunch. It’s also a great weeknight dinner, if you’re a breakfast-for-dinner person, like me. Hash is best when you use leftovers for the starch component, but you can start with fresh turnips and it works out just fine (instructions are given for fresh). If you don’t have enough turnips on hand, you could always add-in or substitute with potato.

turnip and chard hash_close up

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Sunflower Shoot, Beet and Avocado Salad

After receiving sunflower shoots and beets on two separate occasions from our CSA share, this salad has been on repeat in our house. The recipe requires that you cook the beets, which can be done the day before if you like. I recommend roasting the beets, but if you are short on time you could get away with boiling them.

beet and avocado salad_label

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How to Rescue a Stale Baguette

homemade crostini

Make Crostini!

You’ll save five bucks on the store bought kind and be a food waste hero at the same time.  Here’s how:

1. Thinly slice the baguette.

2. Toss with olive oil and your choice of dried herbs.

3. Lay slices on baking sheet and bake at 350°C for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.

Sausage with Fennel and Potato

Sausage with Fennel and Potato

This recipe was developed when I received a fennel bulb in my weekly CSA box. I had never cooked with fennel before, but knew that the flavour would pair well with some sausage and potatoes that I had on hand. The dish is light enough in flavour for summer, yet still provides the comfort of a winter stew. I suggest enjoying it with the rest of the bottle of white wine needed for cooking – be sure to get a good one!

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Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto

dinner_blogPasta is one of my go-to dinner dishes. Why? It’s quick, easy, and leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day. One of my favorite ways to serve pasta is with pesto. While I do love a traditional basil pesto, I make it out of a lot of other things. I’ve learned that pretty much anything green and leafy can be made into a pesto. Beet greens, radish tops, kale, cilantro – use your imagination. Add some cherry tomatoes and peas to the mix and you have a fast and nutritious meal!

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