With 2017 well underway, many people (including myself) are looking to make this the healthiest year yet! Living in Vancouver, we’re spoiled for choice. With endless options for dining out and top notch grocery stores on every street block you’d think it would make eating healthy an easy task, right? Wrong. With all of these great choices, come confusing marketing tactics that are almost as difficult to navigate as it is avoiding that slice of late night Uncle Fatih’s.
We started the New Year with a quest to eat at home and for less, Gary and I made our way to the new Loblaws City Market at Arbutus Ridge. With our weekly meal plan in hand and taking note of lunch date with my girlfriend and her two kids, we were ready to divide and conquer the aisles. We don’t often cook for kids, but I know enough to understand they’re likely not going to chomp down on a kale salad with quite the same enthusiasm as I would—so it was on my list to pick up something kid friendly.
About four aisles into my list, I came across the President’s Choice Guiding Stars program. I had heard a bit about ‘Guiding Stars’ from the TV ads but hadn’t really taken a closer look. I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills who paired me up with a nutritionist who helped understand the program and easily choose ingredients to prepare a nutritious meal for my friend’s child – chicken fingers! We talked about how the more stars a product has, the more nutrient dense it is. She handed me a recipe card for chicken fingers and together we swapped out the frozen meal for skinless, boneless chicken breast, quinoa and gluten-free bread crumbs. We reconvened at the check out and went home to give the new recipe a try.
I cooked my usual ‘Sunday afternoon mountain of quinoa’ (PRO TIP: Having cooked quinoa on hand ensures a quick protein fix so you’re not tempted for the bad foods!) and portioned out a bit to help bread the chicken tenders. Gary added in the gluten-free crumbs and squeezed together until the quinoa moisture was spread evenly to the crumbs. I sprinkled the chicken tenders with salt, garlic, paprika and a bit of pepper; dipped it into an egg mixture and coated with the quinoa/crumb mixture. After placing the chicken onto a baking sheet, we popped it into the oven and twenty minutes later my chicken nuggets had been upgraded!
Shortly after, my girlfriend came barrelling through the door with gum boots, raincoats and backpacks flying. I expertly arranged my chicken tenders in the form of a sunflower with dipping sauce in the middle and we both held our breath as the kids took their first bites. My girlfriend assuring me the kids were picky eaters and would turn their nose at the finest cuisine. I’m happy to say that the kids (and Gary!) ate the chicken fingers faster than we could keep them coming! I sort of felt like I had conquered Everest– I seriously don’t know how moms do it. My girlfriend was impressed and even snapped a pic of the recipe to put in her rotation! See recipes below for how to make these items in your home.
I want to ensure you have the opportunity to create easy, nutritious meals for you and your family or friends! Tell me the meal you want traded up, or how you trade up your current favourites in the comments below using #TradingUp for your chance to WIN a $150 President’s Choice Gift Card!!!
CHICKEN FINGERS – TRADED UP
SWEET POTATO FRIES – TRADED UP
Images by Olivia Ann Photography
Dress from Barefoot Contessa
Thank you to President’s Choice for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own.
I’d love a traded up recipe for pulled pork.
The one item I always buy frozen is pizza so I’d love a trading up recipe for vegetarian pizza!
Traded up turkey dressing by using the P.C.Superstore gluten free bread instead of regular bread for making breadcrumbs & it was so good you wouldn’t know the difference! Also traded up by making mashed sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes!
Oh my goodness this sounds SO good!!! I HAVE to do this!!! Great ideas!!!!
I would love to find a #TradingUp recipe for mac & cheese! It’s my son’s favorite meal and I would love to find a way to possibly sneak in some veggies without him noticing 🙂
That’s such a great idea!! I’m sure the experts at President’s Choice can help ;)!!!
I’ve #tradedup my favorite cookie recipe for haystacks for one that is simply coconut/coconut nectar/raspberries/vanilla/cocoa powder. No sugar, butter, milk or oats.
So delicious, quick and easy!!
This sounds delicious!! I would love to try it! Sounds so good!
How about pizza traded up? #TradingUp
Great idea!!! I’m always a fan of making pizza healthier!!!
I traded up Mac n Cheese. I bake a spagehetti squash & shread it. Make quinoa based macaroni, create a home made cheese sauce made with lactose free milk & lactose free cheese. Mix together & pour into a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese & gf breadcrumbs & bake until browned. (Mom was GF & hubby is lactose free)
I would like a trade up for butter chicken
I would like to trade up my cheesy scalloped potato recipe. It is so good but also loaded with fat from cheese and butter. It needs an upgrade! #TradingUp
Please email me Langston.firstname.lastname@example.org!! We would like to give you the prize!!!! Team Natalie 🙂
I would like to trade up my ginger fried beef recipe!
I’d love a healthy Mac and Cheese #tradingUp
A #TradingUp recipe for poutine would be awesome. Despite being one of my go-to foods I sometimes worry about high amount of calories.
I’d like trade up for mac & cheese #tradingup