Incorporating more plant protein and vegetables into your overall diet can be fun AND delicious!! I promise: you and your gang won’t even miss the meat/fish when gobbling down these flavourful and nutrient dense recipes.

Chickpea, Sweet Potato & Spinach Roti

Hearty and delicious – this roti recipe hits the spot and uses one of my fave pantry staple ingredients: peanut butter! Peanuts and peanut butter are a nutritious, satisfying and an economical plant protein source. Click here for the recipe.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Balsamic Marmalade & Pomegranate Seeds

I developed this recipe about ten years ago for an issue of Running Room magazine. It was a huge hit with readers and I’ve taught it countless times at cooking classes. If you can’t find pomegranate – garnish with dried cherries or dried cranberries. Click here for recipe.

Not sure how to safely cut an acorn squash? Click here.

Hearty Carrot & White Bean Soup

This soup costs about $1 per serving and is ready in less than 30 minutes = fast food on a dime!!   

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil

1 white cooking onion, sliced

2 tbsp (30 mL) Canadian maple syrup (*or liquid honey) 

½ tsp (2 mL) each; salt, pepper, ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cardamom

4 cups (1 L) chopped carrots, well washed (*skin left on)

6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable or chicken stock

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

1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger

1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest

1 clove minced garlic (*or to taste)

Garnish: dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and chopped fresh mint

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion stirring, until lightly brown (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add maple syrup, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, carrots and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are fork tender (about 15 minutes). Add beans and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ginger, orange zest and garlic. Cool slightly. Using an immersion blender (or stand up blender), puree soup in batches. Reheat soup and serve. Garnish evenly with cranberries, seeds and mint. Makes about 8 cups (2 L).  

Charmaine is the host of “In Char’s Kitchen” on YourTV Muskoka and regular guest on: Rogers Daytime OttawaCTV Morning Live OttawaCHCH Morning Live and Breakfast Television sharing her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and fitness.

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.

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