How To: Stock Your Pantry with Grocery Pick Up & Make Quinoa and Chickpea Bowls


I pride myself in my meal planning abilities.

Not to toot my own horn, but I think preparing food for the upcoming week and planning each night’s dinner is one of my best skills; that, and juggling.

But raise your hand if you feel life has just become busy with a capital ‘B’? I can imagine seeing a lot of raised hands. So there are definitely weeks where the weekend meal planning session falls to the wayside. How then, are you expected to get a healthy and Instagram-worthy meal on the table? Enter, “your pantry.”

Having a well-stocked pantry is key for creating easy and healthy everyday meals. Getting dinner on the table is way less daunting when you know you already have over half of the ingredients on hand. So, when we had the opportunity to partner with Walmart Canada on a new program that would give all our How To Eat friends a little help in this department, we jumped right in.


Go to using your computer or the Walmart Canada app, add your selections to the cart, click on your pick up zone and boom – your order is ready faster than ordering takeout. The minimum purchase is just $50. The four downtown Toronto pick-up locations are conveniently located at Yonge & Davisville, Yorkville, Leslieville, and Harbourfront. Simply choose your preferred location and pick-up time, with as little as one day’s notice or same day if ordered before 11 a.m., add in a $3 service fee and you are done.


Way back when we were blogger newbies we shared our top 15 pantry items. We are now four years older and wiser and have created an updated list of our top 10 pantry must-haves. When I used the Walmart app to order my pantry essentials, I found the system not only easy to use, but extremely affordable. My pantry items accounted for just $34.90 of my total order. And don’t forget, price matching!

You can also save your pantry ‘favourites,’ so when you run low and need to restock, the items are easy to access and add to your cart. Also, when preparing your oder, everything in your cart will remain there, even as you log in and out throughout the week. It’s a living shopping list you can build on!

Top 10 Pantry Essentials

  1. Canola oil – I love the versatility of canola oil. It’s perfect for high heat cooking and is also a neutral flavour in salad dressings and baked goods.
  2. Apple cider vinegar – There are a lot of great vinegars out there, but this is my go-to. I love the subtle sweetness it adds to dressings and sauces.
  3. Chickpeas – These are a great way to bump up the protein in any salad or stir fry. They are also delicious as roasted for a snack or mashed into a sandwich filling.
  4. Quinoa – It cooks in 15 minutes, has more protein than any grain, and is just as delicious for breakfast as it is for dinner.
  5. Peanut butter – Go for the all natural kind that actually tastes like peanuts. Loaded with good-for-you fat, it’s the perfect snack or breakfast and when added with some soy sauce, makes for a delicious sauce.
  6. Maple syrup – Buy the REAL deal here. Perfect on pancakes and in salad dressings and can be used interchangeably with any other liquid sweetener.
  7. Whole wheat pasta – You get the added bonus of extra fibre and having a box in your pantry means you are always 10 minutes away from dinner on the table.
  8. Dried fruit, nuts, and seeds – Raisins, apricots, dried cranberries, or any dried fruit for that matter can jazz up a salad or an ordinary bowl of oatmeal. Toss some nuts into a salad in place of croutons for some crunch or just toss ’em in your mouth for a snack.
  9. Canned tuna – Choose light tuna for lower mercury levels.
  10. Spices and herbs – salt & pepper are a must, but having some other key spices can take an ordinary dinner to a new level. Essentials for me are cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, curry powder, oregano, cinnamon, and thyme.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list, you can easily add some fresh ingredients to these staples and create delicious and healthy meals. All of these products are available online at and at such an affordable cost. Note, if for some reason they are out of one of your essentials, they will gladly choose an appropriate substitution for you.

I decided to take my now perfectly stocked pantry for a whirl with this delicious quinoa and chickpea bowl.


This recipe comes together in no time at all using mostly pantry ingredients you already have on hand. Because you already have gone online and stocked your kitchen with this list, right!? Good.

Chickpeas, quinoa, and peanut butter – three of my kitchen pantry must-haves – form the base of this vegetarian bowl. Apple cider vinegar and maple syrup help form the sweet and creamy peanut dressing.



All I’ve added is some fresh baby spinach and roasted sweet potatoes. While this bowl is a complete meal on its own, you could also throw in some canned tuna, any leftover grilled meat or fish, or some roasted tofu to up the protein. Any leftover veggies you want to use up in your fridge could be tossed in as well. Make a large batch on the weekend, and you have lunch or dinner set for the week ahead.


Whatever you do don’t forget the sauce – it just turns this bowl of grains, beans, and veg into one of those oh so trendy Buddha bowls found at every vegetarian restaurant these days. Except way more affordable, healthful, and delicious.

You are only one click away from having this meal on your table. So what are you waiting for?!



Quinoa Bowl with Chickpeas, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Spinach and Peanut Sauce

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 Cups water
  • 2 sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 5oz baby spinach
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup


While I've assembled these bowls individually, you could also toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl and store in the fridge until you are ready to eat. It will keep in the fridge up to 5 days. The quinoa, sweet potatoes, and peanut sauce can all be made a day or two ahead of time.


1. Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until all the water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked, about 12-15 minutes. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub sweet potato with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.
3. Divide quinoa among four bowls. Top with spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. Drizzle peanut sauce over top and dig in!

This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada as part of the Grocery Pick-Up program. In exchange for this post, I have received perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.


How To: Quickie Meal – Spice Roasted Chickpea and Sweet Potato Bowls with Tahini Sauce


I feel like I deserve a medal.

Not for my epic gymnastics floor routine or super fast back stroke (Olympics on the brain much?), but for braving this heat and turning on the oven to roast these vegetables. All in the name of the blog. #dedicated. 



Can we just talk bout this heat for one minute – the other day I was out for lunch on a patio and I was actually dripping in sweat just sitting there. It was kind of gross but the food was so good it made it worth it. See? Sometimes you just have to sweat it out in the love of food, and these bowls are just another example of that sacrifice.

These are my favourite kind of meals – roasting up a whole bunch of vegetables, picking a protein, adding a delicious sauce, and calling it dinner. Here I’ve used broccoli, red pepper, and kale as the veg du jour, but cauliflower, eggplant, or zucchini would also be delicious.


If you haven’t had roasted kale before, well then you also need to sweat it out and roast some up this instance. And definitely try our kale chips while you are at it. Sweet potatoes add the carb factor, but you could also serve these bowls over a bed of quinoa or millet (you all must have some leftover form our last post ;)).



The crispy chickpeas add the crunch factor which all good bowls need. And don’t get my started on tahini sauce – I think if I could I would bath in this stuff it’s that good.

It may be so hot that I am literally drenched in sweat the second I step out the door, but these bowls of goodness are totally worth sweating buckets.



Spiced Roasted Chickpea and Sweet Potato Bowls

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Minimalist Baker


  • 2 sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 1 large broccoli (cut into florets)
  • 1 red pepper (cut into strips)
  • 2 Large handfuls kale (chopped)
  • 1 can of chickpeas (drained, rinsed, and dried)
  • 1/4 Tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp coriander
  • 1/4 Tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 2-4 Tbsp water
  • salt (to taste)


You could easily sub other veggies for the ones I've used here - red onions, cauliflower, green beans or asparagus would all work great. If you are making the sauce ahead of time, you may need to add a little more water as it tends to thicken up with time. I like this dish warm or at room temperature.


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Toss the sweet potatoes, broccoli, and red pepper with 1.5 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper and spread the sweet potatoes on one, and the broccoli and red pepper on the other sheet.
3. Toss the chickpeas with the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, coriander, and salt and place on the baking sheet with the broccoli and red pepper.
4. Bake both sheets in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Remove the broccoli pan and place kale on top and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the kale begins to wilt and brown.
5. Remove both sheet pans from the oven and divide vegetables and chickpeas evenly among four bowls. Drizzle with as mush sauce as desired and dig in!
6. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, adding as much water as necessary to make a pourable sauce. I needed about 3 tbsp.


How To: Recipe Makeover – Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons


We have to talk about these crispy chickpea croutons.

You are going to want to make a double batch and eat them by the handful they are that good. I was going make our delicious and one of my ‘go-to’ salads the other night – our curry roasted squash and chickpea salad with an addictive tahini dressing, but I was craving a caesar salad. And no, I am not expecting again. Just sometimes you want to ditch the old vinaigrette and load up a salad with a creamy dressing and boat loads of cheese.



But, being a “healthy” eating blog and all, I swapped the usual dressing for this bright and lemony version, kept the cheese, because cheese, and created these addictive crunchy chickpeas in lieu of the usual crouton toppers. Not that I have anything againts those mind you, and I do love our other kale caesar version, but with a can of chickpeas staring me in the face I wanted something different.


Can we talk also talk about my mini food processor? I love it and highly recommend it for whirling up small batch recipes, like this dressing. It saves you from lugging out and cleaning the big gun.


Back to the chickpeas – make them! And this salad!

We had it topped with a piece of simple olive oil and salt and pepper roasted salmon, but this salad would stand alone as a delicious lunch or turn it into more of a substantial dinner with a some grilled chicken, steak, or salmon.


A craving for the classic caesar? Give this updated version a whirl!



Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons

Serves 4-6
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Website Adapted From Mountain Mama Cooks


  • 1 large head kale (stems removed, leaves shredded)
  • 1/2 Pint grape tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp garlic powder
  • grated parmesan cheese (to garnish salad)


  • 1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tsp worschershire sauce
  • 1 Tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


While this salad is great on it's own, turn it into more of a substantial meal by topping it with a piece of grilled chicken or salmon. The heartiness of the kale stands up to the dressing, making leftovers just as delicious the next day.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place chickpeas on a parchment lined baking sheet.
2. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to chickpeas and toss to evenly coat. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until browned and starting to get crispy. Set aside.
3. Place kale and tomatoes in a large bowl. Top with chickpeas and dressing and toss to evenly coat. Top with additional parmesan cheese before serving.
4. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until combined. Taste and add salt and pepper. If dressing is too thick, add a little bit more water.

How To: Quickie Meal – One-Pot Farro with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, Kale, and Feta


Mondays after a long weekend are always rough. You’ve had a blissful three day weekend to celebrate Passover or Easter, the weather was actually spring like for one of the days, and the sun was shining most of the weekend. And then comes Monday – back to the grind.




I also had the lovely fortune of falling ill with some sort of terrible cold and stomach virus. So sick with no appetite, I couldn’t even enjoy my morning coffee. I know, so tragic.




So after finally recovering, I was craving comfort and nourishment all in one. This one-pot farro fits the bill. As I’ve mentioned before, I love farro. And I love it even more in this simple vegetarian main.


I will apologize – it is not Passover friendly. But if you do celebrate Passover, just think what you have to look forward to when the eight days are up!


Just seven ingredients and one pot – a “quickie meal” at it’s finest!



One-Pot Farro with Tomatoes, Feta, Kale, and Chickpeas

Serves 3
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Pinch Of Yum


  • 1/2 cup farro
  • 1 1/2 Cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Pint grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 Cups kale (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup feta (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce


This vegetarian main is delicious warm, but can also be served at room temperature. Spinach or swiss chard could be substituted for the kale. Feel free to use whatever beans you have on hand in place of the chickpeas.


1. Place the stock and farro in a medium pan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the farro is tender. Add the kale during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain any stock that hasn't been absorbed.
2. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, feta, and tomato sauce to the pot and stir until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

How To: Healthy Lunch – Curry Roasted Butternut Squash, Chickpea, and Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing


It’s time to get back to reality folks.

The holiday season has come and gone, school is back in session, and vacation time is over. I must say, I really didn’t mind being at work over the past two weeks. There was no traffic, I got the best parking spots, and everyone just seemed happier.




But today there will be tons of traffic, I will likely be parking extremely far, and the back to work blues will be setting in. At least we have this delicious salad to help us get through this rough transition back from holiday mode.


I think this is the perfect back to reality salad – it’s loaded with all the healthy stuff you probably lacked over the past couple weeks. Kale, butternut squash chickpeas, red peppers – you know, those things we call vegetables?? But just so we don’t shock your systems, some crunchy and sweet candied nuts are thrown in and the whole things gets tossed with a creamy tahini dressing. The perfect meal to get you back into your everyday routine.




The recipe for the candied nuts will make more than you need for this salad. So think of that as extra support to help you through this rough first week. All the components can be made ahead of time so all you have to do is assemble this salad when the time is right and you have a healthy lunch for the week ahead.



I know this first week back will be hard, but at least you now have a delicious lunch to look forward to. Not so bad anymore is it?



Curry Roasted Chickpea and Butternut Squash Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Serves 2-4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Website Adapted from Foodiecrush


Candied Nuts

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Cups walnut or pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg white (whisked)


  • 1 bunch kale (stems removed and chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • pinch salt


  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tahina
  • 1 Tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp salt


The nuts, squash, and dressing can all be prepared ahead of time. The candied nut recipe makes double what you need for this salad so you have plenty of extra for snacking! While this salad is a meal on it's own, it's also great topped with some chopped feta or goat cheese.


Candied Nuts
1. In a small bowl combine the sugars, salt, cayenne and cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix the nuts and egg white until the nuts are coated. Add the sugar mix and toss until well coated.
2. Preheat oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out nuts evenly on baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, tossing after about 20. Remove from oven and let cool. (you'll only need about half of them...feel free to snack away!)
3. Combine all ingredients in a tupperware or mason jar and shake well until combined.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss chickpeas and squash with oil, curry powder, cayenne, and salt. Add chickpea mixture to baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, until squash is tender. Remove and let cool.
5. In a large bowl combine kale, dried cranberries, and red pepper. Add squash mixture and 1 cup of the candied nuts and toss with dressing. Let sit for about 30 minutes before serving so the kale has some time to soften.