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FOODWISE: BBQ right into fall with local produce

Chicken Confetti Salad
Chicken Confetti Salad - Contributed
NEW GLASGOW, N.S. —

By Terry Daley, RD

Thanks to what seems like the hottest summer ever, I am looking forward to this cooler weather and the bounty of produce that will be harvested in our region this fall. Our local Superstore is filling with a variety of beautifully fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables that have been grown right here in the Maritimes. Walking through each aisle of the produce department I am so excited to see local fare including many varieties of apples and pears, bright purple beets, huge heads of cauliflower, sweet corn, many colours of peppers and so much more. 
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is essential to an overall healthy lifestyle, as these foods provide the body with the nutrients necessary for optimal health. All fruits and vegetables are a source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, and contain antioxidants. 
During this transition in weather, why not enjoy the bounty of the season while preserving any ounce of warm weather we have left. Throw all this produce on the backyard grill to bring out its flavour with the char and caramelization of a flame. Slice cauliflower lengthwise into ‘steaks’, slice peppers into quarters, and remove the husks from corn. Simply drizzle or brush vegetables with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and your favourite herbs and spices. Place directly on the grill or on skewers. Cook, turning every few minutes until charred on all sides. 
The grilling possibilities also extend to fruits. Sprinkle apple or pear wedges with cinnamon and place directly on the grill. There really is no vegetable or fruit that cannot be grilled, so get creative!
Grilling can also help with batch cooking for packed lunches and dinners on busy weeknights. Add leftover grilled cauliflower florets to fresh greens and sprinkle with chopped walnuts or pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette for a side salad with dinner. Prepare a few extra few cobs of corn, a sweet pepper and some chicken breasts on the grill with supper to use in the Chicken Confetti Salad recipe below. Stir in some quinoa or couscous prepared the night before and this is a complete meal that can be eaten cold right out of the lunchbox. 
Your entire meal doesn’t need to be prepared on the grill if there is not enough room for everything. Throw some bean burgers or pork chops on the grill and prepare an apple slaw in the meantime. My favourite apple varieties for a fresh slaw are Gala and Pazazz, as they are both crunchy and so sweet. Purple cabbage adds a bite as well as a beautiful pop of colour and is rich in antioxidants. Extra proteins can be re-vamped the next day for a tossed salad or warm skillet.
At Atlantic Superstore, “local” is considered to be from any farm in NS, NB and PEI. The short transportation time required to ship within this geographical region means that the produce is fresh and excellent quality when it reaches your fridge (and the grill) at home. Support local farmers this season by looking out for ‘Near You’ signage in the produce department! And keep in mind as well, that at this time of year, approximately 50 per cent of all of the fresh produce in our stores comes from Canadian farms.

Terry Daley is a Registered Dietitian with Atlantic Superstore in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

Do you have a nutrition health goal in mind? The Atlantic Superstore dietitian team can coach you to success! Set up a personalized appointment at bookadietitian.ca or email us for more information at dietitian@loblaw.ca. Dietitian services are also available for schools, business and community groups!

Chicken Confetti Salad 

Ingredients:
1 lb (500 g)  PC Blue Menu Air Chilled Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 tbsp (25 mL)  chopped fresh coriander
1/4 tsp (1 mL)  each salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL)  PC Salsa Ranch Dressing
2 tbsp (25 mL)  PC Splendido Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1  sweet red pepper diced
1  large celery stalk diced
1  small red onion diced
2 cups (500 mL)  PC Frozen Peaches & Cream Corn thawed (or use grilled local in-season corn on the cob, kernels cut off)

Instructions:
1.    Preheat barbecue to medium-high.
2.    Brush chicken breasts with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on greased grill. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until cooked through. Meanwhile, in large bowl, toss together corn, red pepper, celery, onion, dressing and coriander.
3.    Divide corn salad among four plates; top with chicken breasts.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 424 calories, fat 20 g, sodium 525 mg, carbohydrate 23 g, fibre 3.5 g, protein 38 g

Recipe source: pc.ca

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