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

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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.

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Go to Walmart.ca 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.

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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 Walmart.ca 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.

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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.

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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.

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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?!

Dara

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

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 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

Note

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.

Directions

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 Walmart.ca 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 – One Pot Quinoa with Chicken, Vegetables, and Peanut Sauce

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Do you know what I want more than anything in the world?

I want there to be some kind of robot that will just follow me and my two girls around and continuously clean up after us. It seems that my entire day is spent cooking, feeding, and cleaning. And at the end of the night, when all I want to do is put on netflix and binge watch my latest show (any new ones??), I have a high chair covered with the remains of dinner, a kitchen counter covered with whatever snack my 3 year old has chosen before bed, and a kitchen sink filled with dishes.

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So my latest weapon against all this kitchen destruction is the one pot meal. The less pots, the less mess, the more time for netflix.

Enter this one pot quinoa. You have your protein, veg, and grain, all cooked together in one large pot and tossed with a creamy peanut sauce. Okay so you do need a small bowl to mix that sauce up, so we can call it a 1.25 pot meal if you want to get picky.

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This meal is easily customizable for the  whole family – I separated out the edamame and chicken for my daughter who wants everything divided on her plate (typical threenager) and gave her some extra peanut sauce on the side for dipping. As a side note, I find she will generally eat anything if she has a dip – that’s your free tip for the day. My husband and I enjoyed it all mixed together with a squirt of sriracha for some extra heat.

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Until my kitchen and dining room can magically clean themselves, get ready for many more one pot recipes!

Dara

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One Pot Quinoa with Chicken, Vegetables, and Peanut Sauce

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 bag of coleslaw
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 Tsp ginger
  • 2 Cups frozen shelled edamame (thawed)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (chopped)

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp sesame oil

Note

If you wanted to make this a vegetarian dish you could substitute tofu for chicken and cook it the same way, or simply double up on the edamame. Other vegetables, like mushrooms, cauliflower, or zucchini, could be used in place of the red pepper and broccoli. If you like things spicy, top with a squire of sriracha.

Directions

1. Place chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag and add the 2 tbsp of soy sauce and cornstarch. Shake so all the chicken is evenly coated and place in the fridge to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium high heat and add canola oil. Stir fry chicken until browned and cooked through. Remove and set aside.
3. Add red pepper and broccoli and stir fry for about 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add coleslaw mixture and continue to cook for another couple minutes. Add ginger, quinoa, and 1 1/2 cups of water and mix to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fully cooked.
4. Fluff with a fork and add edamame and chicken and mix to heat through. Add peanut sauce and cilantro and mix to evenly distribute sauce.

 

 

How To: Quickie Meal – Chicken Meatball Banh Mi Bowls

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We already have a delicious banh mi recipe on the blog.

It’s of the more traditional sandwich variety, but untraditional in that it features tofu instead of meat. If you haven’t made it, you should. This version sticks to the meat, but instead requires a fork for eating rather than your hands. You all know I have a thing for food in bowls.

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img_0943You may look at the recipe and think it has quite a few components – meatballs, quinoa, pickled veg, and a sauce that has me licking my lips just thinking about it. But the reason this meal can still be a weeknight dinner saviour is that many, if not all the components can be made a day or two ahead of time. And even if you have a spur of the moment banh mi craving, it still comes together lickity split – a 35 minute meal for sure.

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One of the best parts about these bowls is if you have some toddlers or babies in your household with discerning palates, they can be deconstructed to fit everyones needs. My husband and I ate them as is, my 3 year old had the meatballs pre-saucing, quinoa, and only the pickled carrots, and my 7 month old ditched the fork and used her hands to shovel some smashed meatball pieces into her mouth.

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Dara

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Chicken Meatball Banh Mi Bowls

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish
From magazine Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 Pound dark meat ground chicken
  • 1/2 Tbsp chicken broth powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)

Bowls

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup carrots (shaved into ribbons (use a vegetable peeler))
  • 1 cup radishes (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 3/4 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chile paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
  • 1 cup quinoa

Note

The meatballs, quinoa, and pickled vegetable mixture can all be made a day ahead of time. You can use turkey or beef in place of the chicken in the meatballs. Brown rice or barley would make a good substitution for the quinoa.

Directions

Meatballs
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix all ingredients together and form into small balls. Place on baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.
Bowls
3. Place quinoa and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to low. Simmer for about 12 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Set aside.
4. In another saucepan, bring vinegar, water, and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and add carrots and radishes and stir to coat. Let the vegetables sit in the liquid for 20 minutes. Drain and add cilantro and mix to combine. Set aside.
5. In a large skillet over medium heat combine stock, soy sauce, chile paste, and peanut butter. Add meatballs and toss to coat. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until heated through. Remove meatballs and continue to cook sauce uncovered for another 2-3 minutes, until thickened.
6. Divide quinoa evenly among four bowls. Top each bowl with 3-4 meatballs, the pickled vegetable mixture, and additional sauce. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and dig in!

How To: Make Your Own Veggie Burgers – White Bean and Quinoa Burgers

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I have a problem with throwing things away –

Clothes I haven’t worn in two years, “you never know when you will want to wear them again, shoes that have been gathering dust at the back of my closet, “it’s always good to have an extra pair of flats hanging around,” and old cooking magazines.

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I have a very large pile of a variety of food and recipe focused magazines sitting on my dresser. You just never know when you will be in need of a recipe circa spring 2013. And wouldn’t you know as I was flipping through an old issue, the exact date doesn’t matter, I spotted this veggie burger recipe.

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I was immediately intrigued – no bread crumbs, no flour, no egg. I had a feeling I would not be posting this week due to a disastrous veggie burger incident. But lo and behold, the power of a can of beans, some oats, and the magic food processor pulled together a thick batter that turned out glorious veggie patties.

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These burgers are simply flavoured with thyme and lemon zest and filled with all sorts of goodness – beans, quinoa, pine nuts, and oats. On first trial I baked them – don’t do that. Pan frying in a little oil gives them a nice crisp exterior and tender interior.

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You could totally serve this on a bun with the condiments of your choice, but I like them best on top an arugula or spinach salad. But the choice is yours.

While my bedroom may be in need of some late spring cleaning, I will still hold on to my old food magazines – I may find another recipe hit in that pile someday!

Dara

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White Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
From magazine Fine Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 can white beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp worscestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 Lemon zested
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

I love these burgers on top of a salad with lots of creamy avocado. They also freeze well and can be reheated in the oven or in a skillet.

Directions

1. Place quinoa in a medium saucepan with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 12 minutes until the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Place quinoa and remaining ingredients (except for canola oil) in a food processor and process until mostly smooth.
3. Divide mixture into 8 patties. Preheat a non stick skillet over medium high heat and add canola oil. Cook until brown on both sides, about 5 minute per side. Serve hot over a green salad or on a bun with the fixings of your choice.

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How To: Healthy Lunch – Spring Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Dates, and Oranges

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I think quinoa and I need a break.

We’ve had a good run, but I think we need to spend some time apart.

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I’ve been eating quinoa for breakfast, quinoa for snacks, and quinoa for dinner for the past week. Don’t get me wrong, I love this nutty grain. In fact, we have a good bunch of quinoa recipes to suite your every need in our recipe section. So why this need to break up with quinoa?

Well, we are finally nearing the end of Passover, and quinoa, being more closely related to a seed than a true cereal product, is really the only grain product one can eat during this 8 day holiday. So, it’s been bowls of quinoa morning noon and night. And this spring salad has carried me through my lunch and dinner meals.

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This salad is brimming with all the fresh and bright flavours of spring. The oranges and dates add sweetness, the asparagus and basil give it that spring-time feel, and the pecans add a nice crunch. Topped off with a tangy lemon dressing, it’s really the quintessential grain salad for this season.

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It packs up perfectly for a take to work lunch and also presents beautifully for a dinner party side. It was a hit at not only one, but two passover dinner feasts!

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Even though I may be sick and tired of quinoa (thankfully Passover is over tomorrow night!), I could always eat another bowl of this delicious quinoa salad.

Dara

Spring Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Dates, and Oranges

Serves 8
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 2 large oranges (cut into sections)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (minced)
  • 12 dates (pitted and chopped)
  • 2 Bunches asparagus (steamed and cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1/4 cup basil (chopped)

Dressing

  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

This quinoa salad makes a great side dish to chicken or fish or stands alone as a vegetarian main. Add a can of chickpeas or white beans for even more protein and fibre. The salad can also be made a day or two ahead of time.

Directions

1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a non stick skillet or saucepan over medium high heat and sauté onion until softened, about two minutes. Add quinoa to pan and sauté until toasted, about 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Cover with lid and let stand an extra 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.
2. Add dates, remaining onion, pecans, orange sections, asparagus, and basil and toss to combine.
Dressing
3. Combine all ingredients. Add to quinoa and toss to coat.

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