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: Make your Own Mushroom Bourguignon

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This post was inspired by the leftover wine I had sitting around from Christmas.

Just kidding.

No such thing.

But if there is such a thing in your home, this recipe will make excellent use of it.

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It’s also an adaptation from my blog hero Deb Perlman via Smitten Kitchen. I’ve been making and swooning over it for years, but haven’t shared it before because, well, it’s a lot of work.

I’ve adapted the method and have done my best to streamline this crazy delicious meal for you without sacrificing on flava flave. Start to finish you’re looking at about 45 minutes. Perhaps not a quickie weeknighter, but definitely do-able if you have a little extra time to spend.

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Those up there are pearl onions and they are flippin delish. Though I’ve seen food TV chefs cook with pre-peeled frozen packages of them, I have never found them frozen myself, so I take the extra step to peel them, which I admit is a pain in the A.

You can absolutely leave them out if need be though.  I have in the past and it really is still excellent.

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I’ve also adapted this dish to make it truly vegetarian (vegan, actually). Use a good quality vegetable broth instead of beef and use a little cornstarch and water for thickening rather than the butter and flour.

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It’s a really great and satisfying vegetarian main. Perfect for a dinner party and dynamite served over my creamy baked polenta. I promise, it tastes as luxurious as it looks.

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Freeze whatever you don’t eat, too.

Imagine coming home on a blistery winter’s night after a long day of work and having to simply pop a bowl of this in the microwave for dinner?

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Heaven I tells you.

Erin

Mushroom Bourguignon

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Website Lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2lb cremini mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 Medium carrot (diced)
  • 1 Small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups pearl onions (peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 1.5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • more salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • parsley and sour cream/greek yogurt for garnish

Note

The pearl onions are a delicious addition to this stew, but you can leave them out if you have a hard time finding them.  To easily peel them, drop them in boiling water for 1 minute and drain. Slice off the very end of each side and slip the peel off.

Directions

1. Heat canola oil in a large pot over high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté (they will squeak around in the pan) until they begin to release their juices. About 3-4 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, red wine, salt and pepper and simmer until vegetables are soft and liquid is reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes. Add beef broth, tomato paste and pearl onions and continue to simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, mix together softened butter and flour until it forms a paste. Stir it into the mushrooms, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
4. Remove from heat. Serve with smashed potatoes, egg noodles or your carb of choice to soak up all the wonderful gravy. Garnish with sour cream or greek yogurt and parsley, if desired.

How to: Slow Cooker – Daal

There is no shortage of slow cooker recipes popping up all over the place now that it’s fall. So why should you try this one? Because.

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And also, it was a “perfect on the first try” recipe. A simple, healthy, flavourful stew that tastes great right out of the slow cooker and even greater the next day for lunch.

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I tend to use my gigantic slow cooker in fits and starts. I find it does a great job of braising meat slow and low, but vegetables? Not so much.  In my experience, they get obliterated beyond recognition.  Sure, you can shorten the cook time. But then why use a slow cooker? Isn’t the idea to set it and forget it for the day? All this to say, since I seldom cook with meat at home, mine has been getting hauled out a couple of times a year at most. And I’ve decided, it’s just not enough to justify all of the valuable kitchen real estate it occupies.

So it’s been slow cooker testing mania all up in here.

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This recipe is a mash up of a slow cooker daal I found in The Best of Bridge Family Slow Cooker cookbook and my favourite stovetop daal recipe from Indian Cooking Unfolded by Raghavan Iyer. Guys. It’s really really good.

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I really like the combination of split peas and red lentils.  The lentils break down quite a bit more than the peas and give the daal a rich, thick texture.  If you’ve only got one or the other though, it’s all good.  Roll with it.  Fiddle with the spices if you like, too.  Add a pinch of cayenne for heat. Replace some of the chicken stock with coconut milk, or simply add a can of coconut milk and make it more of a soup.

When it’s done, jazz it up however you like.  Add fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley), a dollop of yogurt or sour cream or a squeeze of lime. Sprinkle on some toasted almonds or pine nuts or top with some cool, creamy avocado cubes.  It can be as humble or as fancy as you like.

Eat up, buttercups.

Erin

Slow Cooker Daal

Serves 6-8
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 6 hours
Total time 6 hours, 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried split yellow peas (well rinsed)
  • 1 cup red lentils (well rinsed)
  • 1 Small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 796mL (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes (chopped roughly in the can with scissors)
  • 3 cups no salt added chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons tumeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)

Directions

1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker, stir once or twice to combine. Set on low heat for 6-8 hours until split peas are cooked through but maintain their shape. Serve with rice, naan or something to soak up the delicious juices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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. 

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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.

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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 ;)).

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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.

Dara

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Spiced Roasted Chickpea and Sweet Potato Bowls

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Sauce

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

Note

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.

Directions

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: Make your own – Vibrant Green Veggie Patties

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Thank goodness for partners.  Dara has really stepped up her game over the last couple months and has picked up my blog slack. It’s been a crazy but wonderful time. My hubby was off on paternity leave for 6 weeks and we took a family road trip to the Maritimes (so. much. seafood.). That, and my babe turned one and I’m back to work!

Truthfully, it’s nice to be back to work and back to a routine.  I really loved so much of time off with my daughter but I was ready to get back to the world and ready to let her learn about it. Daycare gave me my fair share of anxiety, but she transitioned really smoothly and seems happy there already.  Best baby ever.

This recipe comes courtesy of my friend Shauna, a fellow RD, who runs a private practice and regularly offers really unique cooking demonstration classes. I’ll actually be assisting her in an upcoming class about spiralizing! How on trend is that?!

She sent this recipe on over to me for a test and I’ve made them THREE times.

Flavour. Bombs.

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The recipe is straightforward and very easy to put together, so don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list. If you’ve never cooked with millet before, it’s a snap. It has a really mild flavour and when pan fried, gives the patties a perfectly crunchy coating.

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Shauna’s original recipe calls for ½ cup of cilantro.  I’m a no-go on cilantro so I subbed with parsley.

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All the aromatics (herbs & zest) give these patties a bright fresh flavour.  Sub in your faves!

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Refrigerating the mixture is important because it allows the panko, millet and baking powder to absorb some of the liquid and makes forming the patties much easier, so don’t skip this step. The patties are pretty delicate until they start to cook through, so pack them together as tightly as possible.

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Trust me, you will just swoon over the crispy factor of the crust.

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Erin

Vibrant Green Veggie Patties

Serves 4-5
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Website Friend and fellow RD Shauna Lindzon

Ingredients

  • 1 Small bunch broccoli (chopped into medium florets)
  • 1 Small onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1 cup cooked millet (see instructions in recipe note)
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (divided)

Note

To cook millet: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.  Add ½ cup of millet, return to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat (keep covered) for 10 minutes, fluff with a fork. Feel free to snack on remaining millet with a little soy sauce!

Directions

1. In a food processor, combine broccoli florets, onion and garlic and pulse until pieces are roughly the size of rice grains.
2. Transfer broccoli mixture to a large bowl and add remainder of ingredients. Mix until combined and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
3. Remove from refrigerator and form into small patties (pack them tightly), about 2 Tbsp each. Mixture should make 15-18 patties.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry each patty for 4-5 minutes each side, until a golden crust forms and patty is cooked through. Fry the second batch with the remaining canola oil.
5. Serve along side a creamy lemony dip (¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup greek yogurt, juice of ½ a lemon and s&p to taste)