Tasty, nourishing meals and snacks don’t have to be complicated. We’ve picked our 10 favourite staples and found 25 ways to mix and match them in delicious combos.
Bonus: You can use fresh, frozen, or canned versions for some of these foods – that’s up to you! Choose the option that’s available, affordable and suits your tastebuds.
Here’s the top 10 list:
- Canned salmon or tuna
- Unsalted mixed nuts and seeds
- Leafy greens such as spinach, Romaine, or kale
- Chickpeas or lentils
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Crunchy vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and cauliflower
- Chicken breast
- Whole rolled oats
We recommend plain Greek yogurt and unsalted nuts because they can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Other ingredients to keep on-hand for mealtime include whole grain bread, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Mash chickpeas with a sprinkle of lemon juice and serve on whole grain toast.
- Use oats and eggs to make these Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes, which you can top with berries.
- Enjoy oatmeal! Cook oats in water or milk, then add to a bowl with Greek yogurt, nuts and berries.
- Pair eggs with leafy greens, cauliflower or broccoli and garlic for a delicious scramble or omelet.
- Add plain Greek yogurt and berries to a bowl and top with honey-toasted oats (add a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of oil to 1 cup of oats; bake at 325°F for 10 minutes; cool and store in a sealed container for multiple uses).
Whip up lunch
- Top leafy greens with canned tuna, a sprinkle of nuts, and your favourite vinaigrette.
- Hard boil some eggs, mash them with Greek yogurt, and serve on toast topped with leafy greens, salt and pepper.
- Blend diced carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and chickpeas with your favorite dressing for a zesty, filling salad.
- Enjoy classic poached eggs with a side salad of leafy greens and crunchy vegetables.
- Add cooked chicken breast to a bed of leafy greens, and top with nuts, berries and your favorite lemony vinaigrette.
- Try this salad made with salmon, leafy greens and berries.
- Use lentils, eggs and Greek yogurt to whip up a batch of these lentil ricotta fritters. Serve with a side of broccoli or cauliflower.
- Add chicken and kale (or another leafy green) to your menu with this lemony chicken dish.
- Make simple salmon croquettes with canned salmon and eggs. Serve with a side salad of leafy greens and shredded carrots.
- Blend broccoli and lentils in this delicious pasta salad.
- Pair chicken and cashews (or any other nuts) with mixed crunchy vegetables in this delectable stir-fry.
- Make a niçoise salad with leafy greens, hard boiled eggs, canned tuna and your favorite vegetables.
- Enjoy a protein punch of chicken and Greek yogurt in this easy biryani with basmati rice.
Have a snack
- Bake up a batch of granola bites, with whole oats, nuts and seeds.
- Blend Greek yogurt with berries and freeze it into popsicles, as shown in this recipe.
- Roast chickpeas for a crunchy snack, and add some mixed nuts or seeds.
- Make a dip out of Greek yogurt, honey and cinnamon. Pair it with berries.
- Blend up some hummus using chickpeas, then serve with carrots and cauliflower to dip.
- Snack on a handful of mixed nuts and a handful of berries.
- Create a savoury Greek yogurt dip with garlic, cucumber and chives; dip in crunchy vegetables.
Learning to work with these 10 whole food ingredients opens a world of culinary possibilities. Keep them handy to inspire your own creative combos!