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Food Matters

Frittatine di Patate

Submitted by Italian Centre Shop

Ingredients – makes 12


Ingredients – makes 12


Blushing Belle (Red) Baby Potatoes


Fresh Chives


Green Onions

1 bunch

Fresh Basil


San Marzano Mini Tomatoes

6, halved

Milk (1%)




Organic Eggs






Olive Oil


1 Pre-heat oven to 400°F & grease 12 cup muffin pan with olive oil.

2 Wash, dry & slice potatoes into thin rounds.

3 Toss potatoes in olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.

4 Evenly distribute potatoes into muffin cups.

5 Put potatoes in oven until cooked through and slightly crispy (approx 20-25 mins). Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients.

6 Halve the tomatoes & set aside.

7 Chop green onion, chives & basil, place in a large bowl.

8 Crack eggs into the bowl, add milk. Beat until frothy.

9 Remove potatoes from oven.

10 Place pinches of green onion evenly in each muffin cup.

11 Add 2 tsps of ricotta to each cup.

12 Mix in salt and pepper in egg mixture and evenly pour into muffin cups.

13 Put muffin cups onto baking tray and bake for approx. 20 mins.

15 Remove from oven, let cool before removing the frittatine from cups.

This is an Italian take on mini-quiches/flans. Perfect for kid’s lunch boxes, picnics, breakfast or dinner. Super quick and easy to make. If your kids like a stronger cheese taste, grate some of their favourite into the muffin tin after the ricotta.


Easy Peasy Lunches

Submitted by Italian Centre Shop

Pack them off to camp with picnic-style lunches you can put together in seconds!

Include protein from their favourite deli cheese and meats. Places like the Italian Centre have an enormous selection. Kids love mild and creamy cheeses like Polish Rycki, Danish Havarti or Marble Cheddar. Meat favourites like lean pork belly pancetta, flower shaped German Salami and garlic roasted chicken breast slices are also a big hit.

Add fruits and veggies for colour and goodness; mini peppers are super sweet while raw broccolini is super healthy and great to crunch.

Top off with something unusual to always keep them curious - like round Tarallini crackers made with olive oil.

Mozzarella In Carrozza

Submitted by Italian Centre Shop

Which child doesn’t love melted cheese? Melted mozzarella in Carrozza, means cheese in a ‘carriage’ in this case, made of white bread. Ready in minutes, it’s the Italian version of a cross between eggy bread and cheese on toast.

  • Simply cut a half inch thick slice of Buffalo Mozzarella and put it in between two slices of white bread. (This can be old but not off - a good way of using it up).

  • Use a large cup or small bowl to cut the bread into a circle, tightly closing the edges of the ‘carriage’.

  • Dip the bread into whisked egg and dredge with breadcrumbs.

  • Fry in at least half an inch of oil (sunflower or canola) in a frying pan until the mozzarella melts.

Not only quick, it’s versatile and works just as well for breakfast or dinner. You can mix it up by adding basil, pesto or other favourite herbs. For a dessert version add some apricot jam, honey or favourite spread. You also get to give the kids a lesson in Italian.  

Easy Peasy Pasta

Submitted by Italian Centre Shop

Ingredients: -

500 g De Cecco Farfalle Pasta

Half a tin (830 g) Pomodorina Neapolitan Tomato Sauce

Grated cheese of your choice. Parmigiano (Parmesan) is delicious.

Heart shaped cookie cut cheese for an extra bit of love.

We didn’t believe a pasta sauce in a tin could taste this good, but the Pomodorina brand imported from Italy really does taste like homemade. Packed full of tomatoes and veggies and herbs. And at $5.98 for an 830g bucket of yumminess it’s a great value meal for the whole family.

Directions: -

  • Bring the water to boil with salt.

  • Add pasta, stir occasionally until cooked. (About 14 minutes)

  • Heat Pomodirina Tomato Sauce in a small pot, do not boil. Pour over pasta when cooked.

  • Sprinkle with grated cheese. And add a cheese love heart for an extra bit of protein. You can get the kids to cut these out while the pasta is cooking.

Buon appetito!

Warm Up with Hot Chocolate

Submitted by ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

With winter in full swing, why battle the cold when you can embrace the season and enjoy the snow and ice while it’s here? From skiing to skating to building snow forts in the backyard, there’s plenty to do when bundled up for the weather.

As much fun as it is to play outside in the winter, it’s almost as fun to head inside afterward, take off the boots and mittens, and warm up with a mug of hot chocolate. These creative hot chocolate recipes are fun for the whole family, and they’re easy to make with some help from the team. Enjoy, stay warm, and have a great winter!



4 cups (1 L) milk

3/4 cup (175 mL) milk chocolate chips

2 jumbo marshmallows, halved lengthwise

2 graham wafers, cut in half lengthwise

16 milk chocolate chips

4 bear-shaped honey graham cookies

Heat milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until steaming and just beginning to simmer. Do not boil. Remove from heat.

Add 3/4 cup (175 mL) chocolate chips and whisk until chocolate is melted and milk mixture is smooth. Return to low heat; keep warm.

Preheat broiler. To make s’mores, place 1 marshmallow half on each graham wafer half. Transfer to a non-stick foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil until marshmallows are golden brown. Remove pan from oven. Place 4 chocolate chips on each marshmallow half. Top each with 1 graham cookie.

Stir milk mixture and pour into mugs. Top each serving with a s’more. Serves 4.



4 cups (1 L) homogenized milk

1 tbsp. (15 mL) grated lemon peel

1 cup (250 mL) milk chocolate chips

1/2 tsp (2 mL) rose water

1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream

2 tbsp. (25 mL) strawberry or red currant jelly, melted and cooled

1 drop liquid red food colouring

SpecItaly Rolls: Easiest, most versatile-ever lunchbox recipes

Submitted by Italian Centre Shop 

Delicious and wholesome doesn’t get much easier. Here’s how to make SpecItaly Rolls:

  • Slice a whole wheat pita in half.
  • Spread with pesto. (The best store-bought pestos have basil, olive oil, pine/cashew nuts as their top three ingredients, in that order.)
  • Add a layer of thin sliced cheese. Havarti is really popular with kids. Then another layer of your favourite deli-meat. Most children really enjoy prosciutto cotto, which has a slightly sweet taste.
  • Finish off with a layer of sliced, succulently sweet cherry tomatoes. Roll up and cut into bite sized slices.

If you’re children don’t like bread much, then leave it out. Spread the prosciutto with a layer of pesto, add the cheese, then the tomatoes and roll up. This doesn’t need toothpicks to keep it together.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can swap out the cheese for feta or provolone, mozzarella or any of your kid’s favourites. Same with deli meat: Try prosciutto di Parma, turkey or salami.  

With over 600 different types of cheeses and deli meats to choose from at the Italian Centre, no two lunches ever need be the same.  You can pick up a whole week’s worth in one trip to the deli, different combinations each day of  cheese and meats, with easy veggies like carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce. All wholesome and healthy. And if you let the kids assemble these themselves, they’re learning the basics of how to love cooking.

Perfect, Portable Pumpkin Cheesecake

Submitted by ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

These Individual Pumpkin Cheesecake cups, from our new Holiday Collection cookbook, are a creative way to use pumpkin in a dessert after the Thanksgiving and Halloween seasons have come and gone.

The cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice/pumpkin combination is warm and inviting, a carryover from the autumn months, while the gingersnap crumbs in the base bring notes of holiday cheer, reminding us that gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies are just around the corner.

It’s an ideal dessert for seasonal cocktail parties, as the individual self-contained serving size makes them easy to carry around a room while mingling.

If you’re in need of Mason jars, check the canning section at your local supermarket or in other large retailers.


1 3/4 cups gingersnap crumbs

2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

6 tbsp salted butter, melted

8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, softened

4 large eggs

2 cups canned pure pumpkin

1 cup packed golden brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp salt

Pinch nutmeg

Citrus Whipped Cream (recipe follows)*


1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. To prepare crusts, combine crumbs, walnuts and melted butter in a bowl until blended.

3. Press mixture onto bottom of 9 wide-mouth half-pint Mason jars or 3/4 cup heatproof ramekins; set aside.

4. To prepare filling, use medium speed of an electric mixer and beat cream cheese until creamy. Beat in eggs until blended. Add pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, salt and nutmeg; beat until smooth.

5. Divide filling among prepared jars and place jars in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of jars.

6. Bake until filling is set, about 45 minutes.

7. Remove jars from pan and place jars on a rack. Cool cheesecakes completely in jars.

8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Alternatively, cheesecakes may be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator.

9. Uncover and serve in jars topped with Citrus Whipped Cream. Makes 9.


Nutritional analysis per cheesecake:

439 calories, 25.5 g fat, 7.7 g protein, 45.7 g carbohydrate, 2.6 g fibre, 343 mg sodium


*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis.


Citrus Whipped Cream

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tbsp packed golden brown sugar

1 tbsp fresh orange juice

1/2 tsp grated orange peel

1/8 tsp cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg

1/2 cup whipping cream


1. Combine sour cream, brown sugar, orange juice, orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.

2. Using medium speed of an electric mixer, beat cream until stiff.

3. Fold in sour cream mixture. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.


Nutritional analysis per 1 tbsp serving:

26 calories, 2.3 g fat, 0.2 g protein, 1.2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fibre, 3 mg sodium


For tips on energy safety, food or household matters, call ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s Answer Line at 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, visit us online at, or email us at For help planning meals for your busy family, check out the newly improved Meal Planning section of our website.



Back to School Bites

Submitted by the Italian Centre Shop

We know you’re so busy that the thought of making stuff from the fridge look so fabulous it’s irresistible isn’t really a consideration. But why not make these with the kids, and the 10 minutes it takes to prep will be 10 minutes not spent arguing and persuading them to eat.


1 ball Italian Centre Shop fresh made pizza dough. (Or frozen & defrosted)

1 jar favourite pizza sauce.

Honey roasted ham.

Grated mozzarella cheese.

Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface, cover with tomato sauce, ham and grated mozzarella. Roll up into a sausage shape, cut into 1 ½ inch slices. Bake in a hot oven at 375° F for ten minutes.


1 ball Italian Centre Shop fresh made pizza dough.

1 packet gluten free Natural Selections chicken sausages, cut in half.

Roll out the pizza dough as above, cut into 1 ½ inch strips. Wrap around the sausages, toothpick in place. Bake in a hot oven at 375 ° F for five minutes. Done.


Kids love assembling their own food. Cut their favourite meat and cheese into cubes and skewer on a stick, adding vitamin packed tomatoes and grapes. Top with a bocconcini mozzarella ball. Make a bouquet with the skewers on an apple.


Slice the kid’s favourite colourful fresh veggies into strips – carrots, cucumber, peppers are great. Place five strips onto two slices of ham, we used Tuscan Style Cotto, with two strips of mild cheese like Provolone. Roll up and add a mozzarella bocconcini and slice of olive for each eye.

Mix Things Up at Your Morning Meal

Submitted by ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

It’s easy to get in a rut with the same old milk and cereal, morning after morning, five-days-a-week for an entire school year. If you’ve got a bit of extra time, why not break the cycle? Keep a few of these special recipes in your pocket for when your family needs to step out of the routine.

If you’ve got some extra time on the weekend, try your hand at making granola from scratch. Fresh granola is a delicious homemade substitute for store-bought cereal, and this batch size makes enough to feed a hungry family for a few meals. Serve it with milk as you would cereal, and for extra fun add some blueberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries on top. It’s also great in yogurt and granola parfaits.  

And speaking of parfaits, for something a bit more last minute, pick up a few ingredients at the grocery store the night before and make our Crispy Breakfast Parfaits in the morning. For a video tutorial on how to segment an orange – which is a prettier alternative to dicing one – visit our YouTube channel at


?This granola is great with milk or on its own as a snack.

?5 cups (1.25 L) old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup (125 mL) ground flaxseed

1/2 cup (125 mL) wheat germ

1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped almonds

1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup (125 mL) pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup (125 mL) canola oil

1/2 cup (125 mL) liquid honey

1/4 cup (50 mL) packed golden brown sugar

1 tbsp (15 mL) cinnamon

1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger

1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla


?1. Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC).

2. Combine oats, flaxseed, wheat germ, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and coconut in a large bowl; set aside.

3. Place oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

4. Pour oil mixture over oats mixture and stir until coated.

5. Spread mixture in a greased large rimmed baking sheet.

6. Bake, stirring once, for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Cool completely in pan on a rack.

8. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  May be frozen. Makes about 10 cups (2.5 L).


Nutritional analysis per 1/4 cup (50 mL) serving:

133 calories, 7.6 g fat, 3.4 g protein, 14.2 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fibre, 3 mg sodium



Hosting a family brunch? Children of all ages will enjoy these parfaits.


1 cup (250 mL) diced peeled navel orange

1 can (8 oz/227 mL) pineapple tidbits, drained

3 cups (750 mL) peach yogurt

1 cup (250 mL) crisp rice cereal

1/4 cup (50 mL) sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Combine orange and pineapple. Spoon 1/4 cup (50 mL) yogurt into each of 6 parfait glasses. Layer with half of orange mixture, dividing equally. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tbsp (25 mL) cereal. Repeat layering with remaining yogurt and remaining orange mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cereal. Top with coconut. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Serves 6.


For tips on energy safety, food or household matters, call ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s Answer Line at 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, visit us online at, or email us at For help planning meals for your busy family, check out the newly improved Meal Planning section of our website.

President’s Choice® Alberta Burger: Spice of the Prairies Burger


4 PC® Free From® Bison Burgers
4 slices provolone cheese
4 PC Round Pretzel Buns
2 Tablespoons PC® Mayonnaise made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Spicy Blueberry Aioli:
2 shallots (diced)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon PC® Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon goat cheese
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup PC® Mayonnaise made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Burger toppings:
8 leaves butter lettuce tossed in 1 tablespoon PC® Sweet Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing
4 slices tomato
2 PC® Thick Cut Rippled Potato Chips, plain (crushed)

Spicy Blueberry Aioli:
1. Heat oil on medium-high heat and cook shallots until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add blueberries, water, cayenne and black pepper. Once mixture comes to a simmer, reduce to medium heat and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Transfer to a medium bowl and place in refrigerator to cool.
4. Once cool, add remaining ingredients to bowl and stir until combined.
5. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Yields 1 ½ cups aioli

1. Follow barbecue instructions on box of PC bison burgers.
2. When there is approximately 2 minutes of grilling time left, top each patty with a slice of provolone and continue to cook until cheese is hot and bubbly.
3. Brush insides of pretzel buns lightly with PC mayo and grill insides down until slightly crispy, about 1 minute.
Burger Toppings:
1. When burgers are ready to assemble, brush the insides of each bun liberally with spicy blueberry aioli.
2. Top with patty, tomato slice, 2 leaves butter lettuce and a couple spoonfuls of crushed potato chips.
3. Enjoy!
Serves 4

Pair Spice of the Prairies Burger with Dan’s recipe for Shaved Fennel and Baby Potato Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing for the perfect summer meal!

Shaved Fennel and Baby Potato Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing
1 bulb fennel (thinly sliced)
½ red onion (thinly sliced)
3 cups PC® Mixed Little Gems Yellow, Red & Blue Mini Potatoes (boiled and chilled)
½ cup dried cranberries
4 strips bacon (cooked until crispy, loosely chopped)
4 tablespoons PC® Aioli Creamy Garlic Sauce
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1. Place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently with a spoon and let chill in fridge until ready to serve.
2. When ready to serve, place remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Pour over salad ingredients in large bowl and toss gently until well-coated.
4. Serve immediately.

Find more great recipes on the PC website here -->

Sweet on Sour Cherry Pie

Submitted by ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

With summer comes fresh fruit in seemingly endless quantities, either fresh from the backyard or from the local market. Berries, cherries, apples, peaches … we’re spoiled for selection.

When in doubt about what to do with an abundance of fresh fruit, a pie is an excellent place to start. You can enlist the kids to help wash and sort the berries or fruit, and it’s fun to watch something like a pie take shape from scratch. And is there any better way to end a summer family meal than by slicing into a still-warm homemade pie?

This Sour Cherry Pie recipe from our new From the Grill cookbook was originally conceived with fresh sour cherries in mind, though frozen pitted sour cherries can also work. Many varieties of sour cherries grow well in Alberta backyards, including Evans cherries and many “romance” varieties. If you don’t have a tree of your own, check the farmers’ markets. They should be ready for picking around late August.

If you’re in need of a great recipe for a pie crust, give our Foolproof Pastry a try. 


Pastry for a 9 inch double-crust pie - All-purpose flour (for dusting surface)* - 5 cups fresh or frozen pitted sour cherries - 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar - 3 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca - 1 - 2 tbsp grated lime peel - 1 tbsp salted butter - Milk (2%)* - Granulated sugar*

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.

2. Roll out half of pastry on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 9 inch pie plate, allowing for 1/2 inch overhang.

3. Combine cherries, 1 1/2 cups sugar, tapioca and lime peel.

4. Spoon cherry mixture into crust. Dot with butter.

5. Roll out remaining pastry and use for top crust. Trim, fold and flute edges of pastry.

6. Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with additional sugar. Cut vents in top crust to allow steam to escape.

7. Bake for 10 minutes.

8. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 1 1/4 hours.

9. Cool pie completely in pie plate on a rack. Serves 8.

Cook’s Note: If desired, this pie may be frozen before baking.  If freezing, do not use a glass pie plate. Bake pie from frozen at 425ºF for 10 minutes, then at 350ºF until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 1 1/2 hours.

Nutritional analysis per serving:

398 calories, 12.3 g fat, 2.6 g protein, 68.6 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fibre, 217 mg sodium

*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis.


This easy-to-roll pastry is great for a novice cook.

3 cups (750 mL) flour - 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt - 1 cup (250 mL) shortening, chilled and cubed - 6 tbsp (90 mL) ice water - 1 tsp (5 mL) pure white vinegar - 1 egg, lightly beaten - Ice water, optional

Combine flour and salt in a bowl.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Whisk together 6 tbsp (90 mL) ice water, vinegar and beaten egg.  Gradually add ice water mixture to flour mixture, mixing lightly with a fork just until dough starts to hold together.  If dough is too dry, gradually mix in additional ice water, 1 tsp (5 mL) at a time, just until dough comes together.  Gather dough into a ball; divide in half.  Flatten each half into a disc shape.  Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before rolling out. Makes 1 double or 2 single 9 inch (23 cm) crust(s). 

For tips on energy safety, food or household matters, call ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s Answer Line at 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, visit us online at, or email us at To buy a copy of our latest cookbook, the 2014 edition of our popular From the Grill, visit the online shop on our website, drop by the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen office, or call our toll-free cookbook order line: 1-800-840-3393.

Fennel Salad with Sunkist Ruby Grapefruit Vinaigrette

You can make the vinaigrette in advance and keep any extra for your favourite green salad or drizzle over grilled shrimp, fish or chicken.

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 large bulb fennel (about 2 cups shaved)
  • 3 Sunkist grapefruit
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/2 Sunkist Ruby Grapefruit Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

With a sharp knife, trim off any brown outer parts of the fennel and cut off the top stalks. Slice fennel in half, then in quarters. Carefully remove the core and sicard. Shave the fennel very thin on a mandolin if you have one - if not, slice the fennel as thinkly as possible with a sharp knife. Place in a bowl and refrigerate.
To segment the grapefruit: With a sharp knife, cut a thin slice off the ends of each grapefrit. Then cut the rind off all the way around, using downward cutting motions. Repeat with the remaining grapefruit. With a small paring knife, cut out the grapefruit segments over a bowl, saving any juice for the vinaigrette recipe.
Toss the grapefruit segments with the shaved fennel, arugula and 1/2 cup of the Ruby Grapefruit Vinaigrette.
Sunkist Ruby Grapefruite Vinaigrette

For extra grapefruit flavour, zest the grapefruit before juicing and add 2 tsp. of it to the vinaigrette.

Makes 1 scant cup

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Sunkist Ruby or Red grapefruit juice.
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed Sunkist lemon juice
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. local honey
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

To make the vinaigrette: Combine the grapefruit and lemon juices, shallot, Dijon mustard, and honey in a bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly whisk in the oil unitl emulsified. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Lunch Ideas for Hungry Day-Campers

Submitted by ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

If you’re looking for an opportunity to break up the packed lunch routine during day camp season, these recipes should provide some inspiration.

Our Backpack Snack Bars are easy to please and easy to freeze, which makes them a convenient alternative to store-bought granola bars. If your day camp has a no-nuts policy, these bars can be made entirely nut-free by simply omitting the nuts.

Our Ranch Turkey Wraps are a nice change from the traditional sandwich, and you can substitute chicken for turkey if that’s more convenient. The batch size can be easily reduced if the recipe makes too many wraps for your family’s needs.

Before the start of camp, it’s a good idea to ask if there’s a fridge or microwave available, or if there are any allergy-related restrictions (no peanuts, or no nuts at all). And always remember to keep cold foods cold. Use an insulated lunch bag with ice packs if there’s no fridge at camp for lunches.


2 cups (500 mL) flour, 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda, 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon, 1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, 3/4 cup (175 mL) thawed frozen orange juice concentrate, 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped dried apricots, 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped nuts, 1/2 cup (125 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats, 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pitted prunes, 1/2 cup (125 mL) raisins, 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped pitted dates, 1/4 cup (50 mL) wheat germ, 1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame seeds, 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened, 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar, 1/2 cup (125 mL) fancy molasses, 1 egg

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a bowl; set aside. Combine next 9 ingredients (orange juice concentrate through sesame seeds) in a bowl; set aside.

Using medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg until blended. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Stir in orange juice concentrate mixture. Spoon batter into a greased 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack. Cut into bars. May be frozen. Makes 32.


2 cups (500 mL) chopped cooked turkey

2 cups (500 mL) slivered baby spinach or lettuce

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen kernel corn, thawed

1/4 cup (50 mL) thinly sliced green onion

1/4 cup (50 mL) ranch salad dressing

6 flour tortillas (8 inch/20 cm)

In a bowl, combine turkey, spinach, red pepper, corn, onion and dressing. Spoon turkey mixture evenly down the centre of each tortilla. Fold bottom edge of each tortilla 1 inch (2.5 cm) over turkey mixture. Fold sides of tortillas to centres, overlapping edges. Serve immediately or wrap individually and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Serves 4 - 6.

For tips on energy safety, food or household matters, call ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s Answer Line at 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, visit us online at, or email us at To buy a copy of our latest cookbook, the 2014 edition of our popular From the Grill, visit the online shop on our website, drop by the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen office, or call our toll-free cookbook order line: 1-800-840-3393.

Healthy Snacks for Food-Curious Kids

Submitted by ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

Why buy kale chips when you can make them at home? These healthy chips are an interesting and inventive way to use kale. Using thicker, curlier kale leaves results in a better-quality chip. Have your young kitchen helpers tear the kale into pieces, then assist with drying the kale in a salad spinner. You can experiment with other seasonings, or keep it simple with the sea salt and freshly ground pepper called for in the recipe.

While you probably already know chia seeds from the terracotta statues that sprout and grow an ornamental carpet of green, they’ve become more popular in Canadian kitchens in the past few years. Chia is a plant whose seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber and various vitamins and minerals. The seeds are sold in natural food stores and specialty food stores. When soaked, the seeds form a gel, which helps thicken this Fruit and Chia Smoothie.


1 bunch kale (stems removed)

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Wash kale thoroughly under cool running water. Tear kale into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces. There should be about 12 cups (3 L). Spin kale dry using a salad spinner; pat kale dry with paper towels.

Combine oil, salt and pepper in an extra-large zip-lock plastic bag. Add kale. Seal bag and shake to coat. Alternatively, combine kale, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss until coated. Place kale in a single layer on prepared pans.

Bake for 20 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely in pans on racks. Kale chips should be served soon after they are cooled as they will lose some of their crispness upon standing.

Makes about 8 cups (2 L).---


2 tbsp (25 mL) chia seeds

1/2 cup (125 mL) warm water

1 cup (250 mL) apple juice

1 cup (250 mL) frozen raspberries

1/2 cup (125 mL) undrained canned crushed pineapple

2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh lime juice

1 - 2 tbsp (15 - 25 mL) honey or agave nectar

Soak chia seeds in warm water for 15 minutes. Chia seeds should form a gel.

Place chia seed gel and remaining ingredients (apple juice through honey) in a blender; purée until smooth. Pour into glasses. Serve immediately. Serves 2 - 3.

Cook's Note: Agave nectar is also known as agave syrup. It is a Mexican sweetener that is sweeter and thinner than honey. Look for it in natural food stores, specialty food stores or the natural foods section of grocery stores.-----

For tips on energy safety, food or household matters, call ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s Answer Line at 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, visit us online at, or email us at To buy a copy of our latest cookbook, the 2013 edition of our popular annual Holiday Collection, visit the online shop on our website, drop by the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen office, or call our toll-free cookbook order line: 1-800-840-3393.

New Moms and Dads Need Feeding, Too

Submitted by ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

Before baby, cooking supper from scratch on a weeknight was relatively normal, especially when two people shared kitchen duties. With a new baby in the house, energy and sleep are at a premium, and intricate dinners are too often replaced by drive-thru take-out and frozen pizzas. It’s a rut many new parents fall into, and it’s easy to see why. When a new member of the family takes centre stage in a household, menu planning and shopping forethought can move to the backburner.

To help make sure mommy and daddy are nutritionally taken care of, consider stashing away a freezer full of make-ahead meals that can be reheated for supper when you’re running on three hours of sleep. When one partner has an extra hour on the weekend, whipping up and freezing a large batch of chili, lasagna or pasta sauce in meal-sized portions can make all the difference mid-week, when both parents are tired and tempted to succumb to fast food cravings. Add a loaf of French bread picked up at the grocery store and you’ve got a satisfying meal.

It’s worth noting that many of our recipes for soups, stews and casseroles can be frozen, even though not all recipes mention this. If in doubt, get in touch with our Answer Line via the contact info at the end of this article.

This recipe for Everyday Chili is easy to put together in a pinch, and the ingredient list is modest and affordable – another great trait in a recipe when part of the family budget has been redirected to diapers and baby monitors. The recipe can easily be doubled for extra food prep efficiency. For added flavour, serve it with a dollop of our three-ingredient Lime Cream.



1 lb (0.5 kg) lean ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped, optional

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) diced tomatoes

1 can (14 oz/398 mL) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp (25 mL) vinegar

2 tbsp (25 mL) chili powder

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper

In a large fry pan, brown beef. Drain off excess fat. Add onion, green pepper and garlic; sauté until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (tomatoes through pepper). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Serves 4.


Lime Cream 

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) sour cream

2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh lime juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lime peel

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving or for up to 24 hours. Makes 1 1/2 cups (375 mL).


For tips on energy safety, food or household matters, call ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s Answer Line at 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, visit us online at, or email us at To buy a copy of our latest cookbook, the just-launched 2013 edition of our popular annual Holiday Collection, visit the online shop on our website, drop by the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen office, or call our toll-free cookbook order line: 1-800-840-3393.

Easy Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Submitted by: Amaranth Whole Foods Market at the Enjoy Centre

4-6 red peppers, remove seeds
1 large onion
1 tsp Coriander, ground
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Water or stock
salt & pepper
-add other vegetables eg. zucchini, carrots, etc.
-change up the spices...add heat with red pepper flakes
-toppings: your choice of yogurt, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, fresh chopped basil etc.
Preheat oven to 450F.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Cut up all the veggies into 1 inch pieces and place onto baking sheet.  Season veggies with the ground coriander, salt, pepper & give the veggies a good drizzle of olive oil.  Place veggies into over & bake 30-40 minutes till veggies are roasted and slightly caramelized.  Remove from heat, let cool.  Place veggies into your Vitamix blender with enough stock/water & puree till your soup is the desired consistency. If you do not have a Vitamix blender, place roasted veggies and water/stock into a pot and use a hand immersion blender.   Gently reheat soup before serving, adjust seasoning and add desired toppings.  Enjoy!
Note:  This soup is great served at room temperature or chilled.

Berrylicious Smoothie Recipe

Delicious & Nutritious (Makes 2 Smoothies)
1 organic banana
1 cup organic frozen/fresh berries
1 cup ice
2 cup coconut water/milk/dairy-free alternative
Choose an optional delicious add on:
- handful of hemp hearts or chia seeds
- tablespooon of your favourite nut butter/nut free alternative
- 1 tbsp. organic cocoa or cocoa nibs
- 1/2 cup organic greens (spinach/chard/kale)
- organic avocado
Blend everything in your blender till smooth and enjoy!

Submitted by: Amaranth Whole Foods Market

Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom

Submitted by: ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

If the only version they know comes frozen in a box, why not let them help make the real deal?

Sometimes, on those nights when soccer practice runs late, when homework needs extra attention and when time gets the better of you, frozen chicken nuggets and a jar of supermarket plum sauce look like a dinner table knight in shining armour. That’s fine. Who hasn’t been there?

For when you have a bit more time, it can be fun to show your kids that things like chicken nuggets aren’t just plucked, fully ripe, from a nugget tree, then individually flash frozen. Before they show up in a box, there’s a process to making them, there are ingredients, and they can be made at home if you’re curious to try something new. 

For dipping, leave that jar of plum sauce in the back of the fridge and make a fresh Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce from scratch.

All in all, the pair makes for a delicious alternative to a frozen dinner that’s still familiar enough to please picky eaters.---

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
3 tbsp (40 mL) sesame seeds
2 tbsp (25 mL) chia seeds, optional
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) paprika
3/4 tsp (3 mL) salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup (75 mL) mayonnaise

Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)*

1. Combine panko, sesame seeds, chia seeds, paprika and salt in a pie plate; set aside.
2. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Cut each chicken piece crosswise into 1 1/2 inch (3.75 cm) chunks.
3. Place chicken in a bowl. Add mayonnaise and toss to coat.
4. Working with a few chunks at a time, place chunks in panko mixture, pressing lightly so that panko mixture adheres; turn to coat all sides.
5. Nuggets may be prepared to this point and frozen for up to 1 month. If freezing, layer nuggets with wax paper in an airtight container. Do not thaw before baking.
6. Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
7. Place nuggets in a non-stick foil-lined large rimmed baking sheet.
8. Bake until nuggets are completely cooked and coating is golden brown, about 15 minutes if fresh and 20 minutes if frozen. Serves 6.

Nutritional analysis per serving:
278 calories, 14.9 g fat, 21.3 g protein, 15.7 g carbohydrate, 2.7 g fibre, 429 mg sodium
*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis.

Sweet And Sour Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup (75 mL) rice vinegar
1/4 cup (50 mL) chicken broth
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed golden brown sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped green bell pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1. Whisk together vinegar, broth and cornstarch in a small non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, bell peppers, soy sauce, ginger and garlic; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 5 – 7 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 1 cup (250 mL).
Nutritional analysis per 2 tbsp (25 mL) serving:
62 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.3 g protein, 15.3 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g fibre, 166 mg sodium

For tips on energy safety, food or household matters, call ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s Answer Line at 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, visit us online at, or email us - . To buy a copy of our brand new Everyday Delicious 2013 cookbook, visit the online shop on our website, drop by the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen Calgary Learning Centre, or call our toll-free cookbook order line: 1-800-840-3393.

Raw-Tella Spread

Submitted by: Amy-Jean Taylor

1 cup raw hazelnuts – significant amount of protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, Vitamins B1, B2, C, E, A and folate

½ cup raw Agave Nectar/Syrup- alternative to your refined sugars – as it contains a fiber called inulin with a low impact on the blood sugar level - helping feel full longer

¼ cup raw cacao powder – Super Food high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, calcium & magnesium

1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt - necessary for our brain function, and for balancing our systems. Celtic sea salt – hand-harvested and dried slowly under the Brittany sun--- is among the most nutritious, containing more than 80 minerals, including calcium

½ teaspoon raw vanilla bean powder - contains small amounts of the B-complex groups of vitamins which help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and regulating body metabolism.

All ingredients are raw and 0rganic for optimum health benefits!

Place hazelnuts in processor and grind into flour like consistency.

Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth

Keeps for 3 days in the fridge –3 weeks in the freezer.

Contact Amy-Jean at:;  Facebook: Raw Cuisine and Lifestyle or Twitter: @rawcuisine

Mushroom, Turkey and Rice Casserole

While we certainly all enjoy the family get-together, some of us salivate in anticipation of the turkey that’s left over, after the guests go home. 

Stir things up a bit by creating this easy, nutritious mushroom, turkey and rice casserole dish. Of course nothing’s stopping you from using turkey cuts such as breast meat and thighs, found on a regular basis in your local grocery store, when you want to satisfy the family’s taste buds throughout the long, cold winter months.


2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil

1 lb. (500 g) sliced fresh crimini or white mushrooms

1 cup (250 mL) sliced celery

¾ cup (175 mL) sliced green onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp (5 mL) each dried thyme leaves and sage leaves (or 1/2 -3/4 tsp (2-3 mL) if using ground thyme and ground sage.

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

½ tsp (2 mL) pepper

4 cups (1 L) cubed, cooked turkey breast

4 cups (1 L) cooked brown and wild rice*

2/3 cup (150 mL) poultry stock

½ cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped pecans

2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped parsley (optional)


  • In large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, onions and garlic; sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in thyme, sage, salt, pepper; sauté for 2 minutes and add poultry stock.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In 2.5-3 qt (2.5-3 L) casserole combine turkey, rice, and pecans, stir in mushroom mixture.
  • Bake in 350°F (180°) oven for 25 minutes or until heated through.
  • Garnish with parsley if desired.

*To cook rice: In medium saucepan bring 2 ½ cups (625 mL) water to boil. Add 1 cup (250 mL) uncooked brown and wild rice mix. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 35-45 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is until tender.

Nutritional Information (Per serving): Calories: 372; Protein: 32.5 g; Fat: 14.4 g; Carbohydrates: 28.4 g.  

Recipe and photo courtesy of Mushrooms Canada.

Baked Holiday French Toast

Growing up, we always got to open Christmas presents first thing Christmas morning and would snack on the oranges in our stocking to tide us over until breakfast. If this is tradition in your family, then this is a great recipe that not only can be prepared the night before and stored in the fridge until morning, but can be put into the oven to cook so that it is ready when you and your family are.

This recipe is for two people and can be multiplied for the desired quantity.

In a bowl combine:

3 pieces of whole wheat bread torn into pieces

1/2 cup chopped apple

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/6 tsp cloves

3 eggs

1/2 cup egg whites

1/4 cup milk (or egg nog for some festive flavour)

Transfer into a casserole dish and either cover and refrigerate until the morning or bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. The egg should be cooked through and the top of the casserole golden brown when it is ready. Serve topped with syrup, yogurt or apple sauce.

Jen Panteluk is the Director of Development at Ronald McDonald House® Northern Alberta and an avid triathlete and runner who has a passion for all things health and fitness. She loves to experiment in the kitchen to create new, healthy recipes which she shares on her Fabulously Fresh & Fit blog (

Avocado Goodness

Most people know avocados make a great addition to guacamole.  But did you know avocados are a deliciously rich, healthy and creamy fruit that may be sliced for a salad, mashed and used as a spread for a sandwich (just skip the mayo) or even used to thicken up a smoothie.

Willing to give it a try?   Often, avocados can be rock hard when purchased at the grocery store.  To ripen, place it in a paper bag with an apple or a banana for about a day until it yields slightly to pressure.  When ripe, cut the avocado lengthwise in half around the pit. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate. The pit will stay in one of the halves. Cut each half in half again to make quarters; separate. The pit can then be easily removed from its section.

After peeling, the green avocado flesh will darken when exposed to air. Toss with lemon or lime juice or flavourless powdered citric or ascorbic acid to prevent darkening.  When preparing guacamole, fresh lemon or lime juice is often added to the dip to prevent darkening and to enhance flavour.

If you’re a fan of guacamole, try the recipe that is included with Southwestern Turkey Burgers from ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen. For more recipes from ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen, check out HYPERLINK ""


Either homemade or store-bought guacamole may be used in this recipe.

1 lb (0.5 kg) ground turkey

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped green onions

1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh cilantro

1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt


4 flour tortillas (6 inch/15 cm)

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup (50 mL) Guacamole, recipe follows

Combine first 6 ingredients (turkey through salt).  Shape mixture into 4 oblong patties. Brush with oil. Grill patties over medium heat on natural gas barbecue until completely cooked. Serve wrapped in tortillas with tomatoes and Guacamole.  Serves 4.


1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and cubed

3 tbsp (40 mL) mayonnaise

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) fresh lemon or lime juice

3/4 tsp (3 mL) salt

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced

Place avocado, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth.

Transfer mixture to a bowl; stir in tomato.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups (300 mL).

2012  © ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen.  All rights reserved.

Roast Pork and Pesto Sandwich

Inspired by delicious Italian flavours, this hearty sandwich is sure to leave you satisfied, yet craving more. You’ll be hooked after your first bite! More great recipes can be found online at

Makes 4 sandwiches

½ cup garden or confit lemon pesto 125 mL
8 slices D’Italiano Thick Slice Original White Bread
½ lb mozzarina, well drained and cut into 8 slices 250 g
½ cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped 125 mL
1 lb thinly sliced porchetta or leftover roast pork 500 g
8 slices tomato
1 cup baby spinach 250 mL
½ cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped (optional) 125 mL

1. Spread a thin layer of pesto on each slice of bread.
2. To assemble sandwich, start with 1 slice of cheese and a scattering of olives. Then layer the meat, 2
slices of tomato, ¼ cup baby spinach, mint and 1 more slice of cheese.
3. If grilling, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and brush the bottom of the pan with oil. Place
the sandwich on the pan and brush top with oil. Brown on each side 3 to 5 minutes.

Asparagus – Any Way You Want It!

Roast it, grill it, steam it or pickle it!  Anyway you want it, that’s the way to make it! 

Asparagus is delicious prepared a number of ways, is packed full of B vitamins and is a good source of potassium and fiber. 

When picking out green or white asparagus, buy firm, fresh stalks with closed, compact tips and uniform diameters, so that all spears will cook in the same amount of time.   If possible, cook promptly because the spear’s natural sugar will quickly turn to starch, causing the asparagus to lose flavour and develop a woody texture. 

Even with the best intentions, we don’t always get to our fresh market vegetables as quickly as intended.  When you can’t rush the asparagus from the market to the cooking pot, treat the asparagus similarly to how you treat fresh cut flowers.   Trim the ends and store the asparagus upright in an inch of water.   Cover the tops with a plastic bag and refrigerate for no more than a few days.   When travelling, wrap the asparagus ends in moist paper toweling.

If you’re eager for fresh asparagus, check out your local market garden or visit the Asparagus Festival in Innisfail, (, in early June.  It will be a delicious experience!

To preserve those road trip memories and the asparagus a little longer, try the Refrigerator Asparagus Pickles from ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen.  For more recipes using asparagus, check out


1 tbsp (15 mL)   olive oil

1 tbsp (15 mL)   fresh lemon juice

1 tsp (5 mL)   chopped fresh parsley

1/4 tsp (1 mL)   salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL)   freshly ground pepper

 1 lb (0.5 kg)   asparagus, trimmed

 1/4 cup (50 mL)   freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper until blended.  Steam asparagus just until tender crisp, about 4 - 5 minutes.  Transfer asparagus to a plate.  Drizzle with oil mixture.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Serves 3 - 4.

2012  © ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen.  All rights reserved.


One of my family's favourite summer salads is Tabbouleh. Here is a great recipe from Company's Coming Publishing Limited. It is a great salad to have with lunch or dinner, and many of the ingredients can be grown in your garden - on hand at anytime.

Tabbouleh (pronounced tah-BOO-luh) is a traditional Lebanese salad whose green?comes from parsley and green onions. Great as a side with grilled meats or?served?with crisp bread.

Bulgur, fine grind 1/3 cup 75 mL

Water, to cover

Finely chopped fresh parsley 2 cups 500 mL

Finely chopped English cucumber (with peel) 1 cup 250 mL

Finely chopped tomato 3/4 cup 175 mL

Finely chopped red pepper 1/2 cup 125 mL

Finely chopped green onion 1/4 cup 60 mL

Finely chopped radish 1/4 cup 60 mL

Dried mint leaves 1 tsp. 5 mL


Lemon juice 1/4 cup 60 mL

Olive oil 1 tbsp. 15 mL

Salt 1/2 tsp. 2 mL

Measure bulgur into small bowl. Add water. Stir. Let stand for about 20?minutes until tender. Drain well. Set aside.

Put next 7 ingredients into medium bowl. Toss.

Dressing: Combine remaining 3 ingredients in small cup. Drizzle over parsley mixture. Add bulgur. Toss until coated. Makes about 4 1/2 cups (1.1 L).

1 cup (250 mL): 88 Calories; 3.5 g Total Fat (2.3 g Mono, 0.4 g Poly, 0.5 g Sat); 0 mg Cholesterol; 14 g Carbohydrate; 2 g Fibre; 3 g Protein; 283 mg Sodium

Reprinted from Whole Grain Recipes

© Company’s Coming Publishing Limited

Tangy Grilled Asparagus

Here is a fantastic side dish to try on the barbeque courtesy of ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen. It’s easy, flavourful, and perfect for asparagus season.

Tangy Grilled Asparagus

1/4 cup (50 mL) balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp (25 mL) oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp (5 mL) sugar

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper

24 asparagus spears, trimmed

To prepare marinade, combine all ingredients except asparagus in a heavy zip-lock plastic bag. Add asparagus and squeeze bag to coat asparagus with marinade; seal bag. Let stand for 30 minutes. Remove asparagus from marinade; discard marinade. Grill asparagus over medium heat on natural gas barbecue, turning occasionally, until tender, about 5 - 7 minutes. Serves 4 - 6.

Summer Picnic

By: Jessica Assaly

A family picnic is a great way to enjoy the outdoors this summer; it’s a fun way to hang out and enjoy being together! The menu can be as simple as a bucket of chicken and coleslaw from the drive-thru, to something more involved like gazpacho, herb crusted goat cheese, bruschetta, chilled grilled salmon, and fudge brownies. Mmmm.

Many grocery stores offer a number of prepared foods in the deli like salads, roasted chicken, veggie and fruit trays, assorted cheese, dips and crusty breads. These are all great options for eating outdoors.

As for the location, on the grass in the backyard will do, but it is a bit more adventurous to head out somewhere different. How about our beautiful river valley or Elk Island Park? Find a place that is safe for your family and that has some shade. If you need to walk a ways with all the picnic supplies, coolers on wheels or a wagon can be really helpful. Bringing something to do after eating is a great idea too - a ball, some bubbles are fun, or find a location close to a park for young children. And bring lots of water - it is so important to stay hydrated.

A few other things to have on hand:

  • a large blanket or sheet to sit on and set the food on
  • napkins, wipes, antibacterial hand gel
  • plates, utensils, cups
  • a bag for garbage and a bag for dirty dishes
  • knife and cutting board
  • salt, pepper, and other condiments
  • a first-aid kit, and toilet paper (you never know when these may come in handy)
  • and of course the camera

Happy cooking!

Jessica Assaly is currently freelancing and staying busy with her own children. She loves cooking and finding creative ways to involve children in the process. Healthy, great tasting, and easy to prepare foods are her passion!

What’s on the Menu? Camping, Culinary-Style!

By: Sandy Schaloske

In a moment of solace, in a time during my life when I had preschool aged children, I was able to pick up a magazine and read it--not just dust around it. I was horrified, however, to read about the ingredients that go into a hot dog. "Oh no," I thought. "What does that do to our camping menu?" If I were to subscribe to the idea of everything in moderation, then the occasional hot dog around the campfire during the summer would be just fine. There are enough healthier choices in the grocery stores these days that provide alternatives, however, so if you’re planning a lengthy camping trip, here are some great ideas.

Keep up energy levels for hiking and playing, with yummy snacks. Some easy and nutritious choices are granola bars, apples and oranges—these are great because they keep in the car or the cooler and don’t squish easily. Dry cereal, dried fruit, cheese strings, rice cakes, graham wafers, and fruit cups are also great choices. Juice boxes are a good option for drinks, as they can be frozen and used to keep other perishables cold in the cooler.

Breakfasts can be quick and easy with home-made muffins and pre-made oatmeal mix. Home-prepared is better because you can increase the fibre and control the amount of sugar and salt, and more importantly, the additives. If you are feeling more creative, pancake mix can be put together as a dry mixture, and then add water. The batter can then be squeezed out of a Ziplock bag to form perfect pancakes. Instead of syrup, use fruit cups or yogurt for toppings, or you can mix up some wonderful fruit dip. Egg whites come in re-sealable cartons that are great for avoiding breakage of whole eggs. Stir in your favourite dip mix (instead of packing individual spices) and some cheese string for a scrambled eggs treat. Bagels are great as well; mix up your own flavoured cream cheese using a low-additive fruit dip mix.

Lunch can go beyond hot dogs if you like. Home-made soup prepared with low-sodium bouillon and lots of barley and chopped vegetables is a favourite. Freeze in portioned containers and place in the cooler to help keep other perishables cold; just remove and cook when ready. Bagel sandwiches with peanut butter or roasted chicken are popular. Wraps can be filled with lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers along with some mix-as-you-need-it salad dressing for a vegetarian lunch. Keep perishable vegetables at the top of the cooler and use them during the first couple of days camping.  Grilled cheese sandwiches make a great lunch, especially when you serve them with a simple home-made tomato soup for dipping. Hummus and pitas are great as well, and don’t forget the carrot sticks and low-calorie favourite dips!

Supper can be a specialty every night! Chicken and veggie kabobs are easy and can be cooked on a small grill. Spaghetti and meat sauce is a favourite in my family.  You can put the pasta on to cook while the meat is being browned. Packing the frozen meat in the cooler is another way to keep the cooler contents cold. A dried pasta sauce mix, added with low-sodium canned tomatoes and then a little parmesan cheese in a small container, is a special topper. Canned beans are a great quick protein; serve with crusty buns and some turkey sausage. A quick curry dish can be whipped up with some mango, meat or tofu of choice, coconut milk, and 2 teaspoons of a fine curry seasoning.

Some wonderful ideas for seasonal dessert favourites are watermelon, pineapple, and of course, smores over the fire!  Pudding can be whipped up quickly and served with graham crackers. A bucket of homemade cookies filled with oats, nuts, and chocolate chips are always gobbled up.

That’s one full car-load of food, but it beats a daily hot dog by a long shot.  Have your family give you that extra hug for prepping healthy, delicious meals in advance!  You can then hug them back for helping you mix dip, chop veggies, and roll cookies into balls.

If you’re looking for low-additive fruit dip and vegetable dips, low sodium bouillon mix, hummus mix, mix-as-you-need-it salad dressings, dried pasta sauce mixes, fine curry seasoning, taco seasonings, Belgian chocolate chips and other culinary help, contact Sandy Schaloske, Epicure Selections Independent Consultant at (780) 425-2791 or

Kid-Friendly Road Food

By: Kerri Leland

As most parents know, traveling with kids means packing a lot of extra things for the trip - and a good supply of food is no exception.

Depending on the length of your trip, a cooler and picnic basket are good things to bring along. Packed with the right ingredients, you should be prepared for almost any snack-attack or meal time when on the road.

With safety in mind, it’s a good idea to keep the cooler or picnic basket in a place that is within easy reach of an adult or older child. The last thing you want on a long road trip is to be stopping every hour or so to rummage around in the trunk or far reaches of your mini van or SUV. As well, dividing your attention between the road and the almost-within-reach stash of food is very dangerous.

Some children feel anxious or uncomfortable when traveling; packing some of their favourite snacks is a good way for them to feel connected with home. As well, packing some snacks individually in small, re-sealable bags is a good idea. Children can become overwhelmed if presented with too many options, so if you can just hand them a little bag of snacks, the whole process can be a lot simpler.

Paper plates, bowls, cups, forks, knives and spoons are convenient. To reduce the amount of waste you create using them, consider washing them at rest stops or at your hotel. You can pack them again, and reuse them on the next leg of your trip. As well, fill re-useable drink containers with ice and water in the morning, and you’ll have a cold drink for a good portion of the day.

Providing healthy choices for kids while traveling is ultimately up to the people who pack the food – typically the parents. Fitness expert Paul Plakas says parents don’t need to trick their kids into eating healthy foods, even while on the road – it’s what those little bodies crave. Paul also shares a few suggestions for food to pack on a road trip:

"Some good choices are whole wheat melba toast, organic yogurt, dried fruits, raw unsalted nuts like almonds, frozen grapes (taste like candy), or oatmeal raisin cookies made with three quarter apple sauce ratio to one quarter butter," says Paul. "If you leave healthy food out and just expose them to these choices, kids will eat them because it is there."

Eating in a vehicle can create a big mess of crumbs and mysterious smears on the upholstery. Some low-mess, healthy ideas for food to pack are:

  • Mini boxes of cereal. These are great for breakfast on the road or even as a snack.
  • Cereal bars or granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Cheese strings. Crumb-free and a good source of protein, these can survive out of the cooler for shorter trips. On longer trips, keep them fresh for longer in a cooler.
  • Mini boxes of raisins
  • Fruit such as apples and pears. These don’t have to be cold, they’re healthy, and  they won’t make a mess.
  • Bottled water or juice boxes. Re-useable drink containers may be a better option for little ones inclined to squeeze the juice boxes, though!

Planning ahead for your family’s food needs while on the road is a great way to save time and money. As well, offering healthy options to your family while on the road will help give everyone the energy to have fun!

Cutting Boards and Food Prep Surfaces

Common-Sense tips for preventing cross-contamination of bacterial in the kitchen 

Transferring harmful bacteria from one food or drink to another through cutting boards, utensils, and kitchen accessories can cause cross-contamination if the cutting surfaces or utensils aren't handled properly and cleaned often.

An example of how easy and often cross-contamination occurs would be cutting raw meat, poultry, or fish on a cutting board and then slicing the salad vegetables on the same cutting board without washing the cutting surface between uses.? "Knife cuts in the boards allows for bacteria to harvest even after it's been washed or sprayed," says Bruce Maxwell, owner of A Spot Of Wood – a maker of antibacterial cutting boards.

Most everyone has had some form of food poisoning and whether mild or severe, food poisoning can be uncomfortable and frightening.? Most people will go to great preventative measures after they've had food poisoning, such as never returning to the same restaurant or changing and organizing their home cutting surfaces to be sure meats, poultry and fish aren't being cut on the same surfaces as vegetables and other foods that don't get heated to a temperature that would kill the bacteria.

"Good kitchen food safety is important," says Maxwell.? "Many cooks and consumers have confusions about bacteria in food and cross-contamination and that increases the risk of bacteria in food.??

According to an FDA/USDA consumer food survey:

Twenty-one per cent of main meal cooks do not wash their cutting boards after cutting raw meat;

One quarter of main meal cooks do not wash their hands after handling raw meat and fish; two-thirds do not wash their hands after handling raw eggs; and

Sixty-one per cent of people who use a cloth or sponge to wipe kitchen counters change them less than seven times per week.

Maxwell offers a few common-sense tips for preventing cross-contamination of bacteria in the kitchen:

Always wash hands with hot, soapy water after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or fresh fruits and vegetables

Wash cutting boards, dishes, and utensils with hot, soapy water after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or fresh fruits and vegetables

Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from other foods in your shopping cart, on kitchen counters, and in your refrigerator

Use the bags provided in the meat section to bag your meat, poultry or seafood before adding these items to your shopping cart

Only use cutting boards made of hard woods and lightly sand the knife grooves if they appear to deepen.

Own and use multiple cutting boards;? one cutting board for fresh produce and a different one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood is recommended

Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw food without washing the plate or cutting board between uses

Maxwell's company handcrafts wood cutting boards from Maple and other exotic hardwoods from around the world.? His company also provides sanding kits for periodic maintenance.? For more information or to see the one of a kind cutting boards at Spot of Wood,?go to more information contact Spot of Wood at or 408-293-2226. 

U-Pick It!

By: Jessica Assaly

In Alberta, our hot summer days are numbered, so it is nice to enjoy each day to its fullest. Visiting a local U-pick farm is a fantastic way to spend some time with your kids. Not only is it a wonderful chance to take a drive through the country, but it’s great opportunity to find out where your food comes from. Picking some asparagus, saskatoon berries, strawberries or green beans, and taking them home to include in your next meal, can be fun and educational. A few tips to keep in mind when planning a trip to a U-pick farm are:

  • Phone first to check what is ripe and ready for picking. Some farms may require an appointment.
  • Find out hours of operation
  • Get directions
  • Find out if it is wheelchair/stroller accessible
  • Bring buckets for picking
  • Dress comfortably for the weather (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray...)
  • Bring a snack
  • Bring cash
  • Bring a cooler with ice packs to keep your treasures from over heating in the car on the drive home
  • Bring a friend too!

Don't forget to plan a few trips to our great local farmer's markets as well. Support our local growers, have fun, and spend some time outdoors with family and friends while enjoying the warm sunshine, and of course, enjoying some great food!

Happy cooking!

Jessica Assaly is currently freelancing and staying busy with her own children. She loves cooking and finding creative ways to involve children in the process. Healthy, great tasting, and easy to prepare foods are her passion! For information on some terrific Alberta fruit and vegetables farms, log onto

Back to School with Something New: Change up School Lunches to Keep Things Fresh & Interesting

Submitted by: ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

Another school year means another year of packing lunches five days a week. It’s always hard to find the right balance of flavour, cost and ease of preparation while keeping things from getting boring by mid-November.

Instead of sandwiches on two slices of bread, try mixing things up with wraps, made with either pita or tortilla shells. You can use some of the same ingredients you would normally use in a sandwich (lettuce, cheese, mustard, deli meats, etc.), or you can do something completely different. Our Fiesta Roll-Ups, made using flour tortillas, are a good fit for kids who appreciate a wide range of tastes, including olives, peppers and cream cheese.

Instead of a chocolate bar or bag of chips, a homemade muffin is a great dessert. You can speed things up by preparing and freezing our Bran Muffin Mix ahead of time – either on a weekend after the kids have gone to bed, or on a Sunday afternoon with their help – and do the final mixing and baking mid-week, when time is harder to come by.



16 oz (500 g) cream cheese, softened

1 envelope (28 g) ranch dressing mix

1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped green onions

1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped ripe olives

1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped canned roasted red peppers, well drained

1 small can diced green chilies, drained

6 burrito-style flour tortillas (10 inch/25 cm)

Using medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and dressing mix until fluffy. Add onions, olives, roasted peppers and chilies; stir until blended. Spread mixture evenly over one side of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) border. Tightly roll up each tortilla jelly-roll fashion. Wrap rolls individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Rolls may also be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator. To serve, trim ends off each roll. Cut each roll into 8 pieces. Makes about 4 dozen roll-ups.



3 cups (750 mL) wheat bran cereal

2 1/2 cups (625 mL) flour

1 cup (250 mL) sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) skim milk powder

1 tbsp (15 mL) cinnamon

1 tbsp (15 mL) baking soda

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, chilled and cubed

Combine all ingredients except butter in a food processor. Using an on/off motion, process just until blended; do not overprocess. Add butter and process, using an on/off motion, just until blended. Divide mixture in half and place in two resealable plastic bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Makes 2 packages (3 cups/750 mL each).

Baking Instructions: Remove 1 package muffin mix from freezer. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Combine package contents with 1 cup (250 mL) raisins in a bowl. Whisk together 1 cup (250 mL) water, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp (15 mL) vinegar or lemon juice and 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla. Add liquid ingredients to muffin mix; stir just until blended. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 400ºF (200ºC) for 18 - 20 minutes. Makes 12 - 14 muffins.Cook's Note: The Blue Flame Kitchen used Post 100% Bran Cereal in this recipe.

For tips on energy safety, food or household matters, call ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s Answer Line at 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, visit us online at, or email us at To buy a copy of our latest cookbook, Everyday Delicious 2013, visit the online shop on our website, or call our toll-free cookbook order line: 1-800-840-3393.

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