I was delighted to be a guest on Mommy Talk with Melissa Neuen. Melissa and I whipped up recipes that not only taste great, but fuel your body too! Both recipes are 100% child and parent approved. Fast family food done right!

Caramelized Apple and Salted Caramel Muesli 

This might be the easiest, and most delicious hotel/spa inspired breakfast you will ever prepare.  Start your day off on the right foot with this make ahead muesli featuring Ontario apples, maple syrup and Gay Lea Nordica Smooth Salted Caramel Cottage Cheese.  Morning oats never tasted so good!

2 tbsp. (30 mL) Gay Lea Salted Butter

3 McIntosh apples, cored, and thinly sliced (about 3 cups (750 mL) sliced apples) *I prefer the skin on, but you can peel apples if you like.

1 tbsp. (15 mL) brown sugar + pinch cinnamon

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook apples, stirring occasionally, until very tender and light golden, about 5 minutes.  Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cook for an additional minute or two, until sugar has melted.  Transfer to bowl.

1 cup (250 mL) large flake oats

1 McIntosh apple, cored and diced (*skin can be left on)

2 tbsp. (30 mL) each; ground flaxseed and chia seeds

½ cup (125 mL) dried blueberries (*or dried cranberries)

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each; ground cinnamon and ground ginger

2 (100 g containers) Gay Lea Nordica Smooth Salted Caramel Smooth Cottage Cheese

¾ cup (175 mL) orange juice

2 tbsp. (30 mL) Canadian maple syrup (*or to taste)

2 tsp (10 mL) pure vanilla extract

1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest

¼ cup (60 mL) shelled sunflower seeds

Garnish: fresh raspberries

Place all ingredients (*except for seeds and raspberries) in a large mixing bowl with caramelized apples.  Stir to combine.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.  When ready to serve, stir in seeds. Garnish each portion with raspberries.   Yields 4 cups (1 L).  Makes 8, ½ cup (125 mL) servings.


Click here to learn more about Gay Lea Nordica Smooth (like silk!) Cottage Cheese.

Avocado and White Bean Dip

Guacamole meets hummus.  Seriously, the best dip ever.  Bonus: great excuse to dive into a pile of cut up veggies.   

1 can (540 mL) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed  

1 ripe avocado, mashed

2 tsp (10 mL) minced garlic *or to taste

¼ cup (60 mL) chopped green onion

½ tsp (2 mL) cumin

zest of one lime

juice of one lime

hefty pinch salt

pinch chili flakes *or to taste

¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil

2 tbsp (30 mL) water

½ cup (125 mL) chopped, and patted dry (jarred) sundried tomatoes OR ½ cup (125 mL) seeded chopped plum tomato

Whole grain crackers and/or veggies of choice

Place beans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until roughly chopped.  Add remaining ingredients (except for tomatoes) and pulse until well incorporated.  Scrape down sides of bowl when needed.  Stir in chopped sundried tomatoes (or chopped plum tomatoes).  Serve with whole grain crackers and veggie sticks.  Makes about 2 cups (500 mL).

Click here for more of Charmaine’s March Break inspired recipes for active kids on-the-go!

Charmaine is a regular guest on Rogers Daytime York Region, CHCH Morning Live, Canada AM & Breakfast DSC_1081Television and food writer for Running Room Magazine sharing her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and running.

Charmaine is a proud ambassador of Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon: a celebration of Women & Fitness, come join in the FUN June 6th, 2016.  Hope to see many of you at the start line in 2016!  Click here to register.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys, Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind. For more tasty recipes visit