Summertime… and the eating is easy

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The season of barbecues, picnics, and leisurely meals on the deck has finally arrived! Summer meals can be a welcome change after a winter of hearty comfort foods. So fire up the grill, dust off the picnic basket, and try some of these great tips to make summer eating easier and even more fun.

Great Grilling Tips

  • Jazz up your burgers by playing with new flavour combinations. Try a chicken burger with guacamole or a lamb burger with tzatziki.
  • Add ground flaxseed or natural wheat bran to hamburger patties to increase the fibre.
  • Grill firm veggies such as peppers, zucchini, onions and asparagus. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite dried herbs and spices.
  • Place cubed fresh fruit on a skewer to grill. Try pineapple, mango, watermelon or strawberries. Serve with flavoured yogurt for dipping.
  • Remove the husks from corn on the cob. Lightly spray aluminum foil with oil and wrap corn in foil. Place on hot grill and cook for about 20 minutes or until done. Turn often to prevent burning.
  • Tenderize raw meat with kiwi slices for at least 30 minutes (don’t eat the kiwi after it has touched the raw meat).
  • When you get home from the grocery store, freeze portions of meat in your favorite marinade. Place frozen meat in the fridge the night before you plan to cook it. The meat will marinate as it thaws and will be ready for the grill.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure meat, fish and poultry are cooked to a safe temperature, but not overcooked and dried out. Use this chart when reading your thermometer.

Product           Internal Temperature

Fish     70C (158F)

Pork, lamb, steak (medium)    71C (160F)

Poultry (pieces or ground),     74C (165F)

ground beef, shellfish,

game meats hotdogs, sausages

Poultry, whole                        85C (185F)


Picnic Pizazz

  • · Give your sandwich fillings a makeover. Try chicken salad with sliced grapes and curry powder, or canned salmon with ginger and red pepper slices.
  • · Toss cooked whole grain pasta and chopped vegetables with your favorite salad dressing for a quick pasta salad.
  • · Bring a container of ready-to-eat mixed greens.  Add salad dressing and top with nuts and dried fruit.
    • · Create your own kabobs with left over pieces of cooked chicken, cut up vegetables and cubes of fruit.
    • · Pack hummus with raw vegetables and pita bread for dipping.
    • · In a hurry? Stop at Sobeys for a rotisserie chicken, whole wheat rolls, prepared salad and cut fruit. Instant picnic! 


Don’t Spoil the Picnic!

  • · Pack food in a cooler. Put ice packs above and below food. Make sure the cooler is tightly closed.
  • · Put the cooler in the back seat of your car instead of your hot trunk.
  • Eat foods within 2 hours of being out of the cooler. Eat within 1 hour if the temperature is over 30°C. Throw it out if it is longer than this. Food can spoil quickly when temperatures soar.


Free Nutrition Event at Sobeys Aberdeen:

Taste & Learn: Watermelon. Taste test our food of the month and take home recipes you will love!

Monday, June 23, 11am – noon.

Reserve your seat! Contact Emily Harnish, Registered Dietitian. Phone: 755-3645 / Email:

Like our Sobeys Dietitians Facebook page for more great recipes and nutrition tips!


Watermelon & Feta Bruschetta

Makes 14


1                                              Baguette, multigrain, sliced into 14 rounds

2 cups              500 ml                         Watermelon, seeded, diced

¾ cup               175 ml             Feta cheese

2 tbsp               30 ml               Chives, chopped

2 tbsp               30 ml               Mint, fresh, chopped

1 clove                                                 Garlic, minced

1/3 cup             75 ml               Olive oil

3 tbsp               45 ml               Balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp                1 ml                 Pepper



1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Arrange baguette rounds on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 10 minutes.

3. Combine all remaining ingredients in a small bowl and toss gently.

4. Top each baguette round with 1 tbsp of bruschetta mixture and place back in oven

for 5-7 minutes.


Nutrition Information per Serving:

Calories            119

Fat                   7 grams

Carbohydrate   11 grams

Fibre                1 gram

Protein                        3 grams

Sodium             189 milligrams


Tip: Slice your baguette on an angle to allow for a little extra topping.


Organizations: Sobeys

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