Healthy Planet Eating

Summer sensations

Summertime, and the eating is easy. It’s all good – but the reality is, summer’s also a short season, before we start heading into the fall, and back-to-school food ideas.

Creating delicious dishes in the summer should be based on your local farmer’s bounty, fresh salads and easy-to-assemble dishes and scant use of your kitchen. Nothing beats cooking in the great outdoors, even if you have a tiny backyard.

It’s a question of prioritizing your time, and making the most of the moment.

Summer should not only be a time of joy but also an opportunity to prioritize our health and well-being, says  Muhammed Mohamedy, GM of Healthy Planet, adding that a “healthy summer barbecue plan ensures that we can fully enjoy the festivities while nurturing our bodies and minds, creating lasting memories for ourselves and future generations.” 

Recognizing the importance of fostering wellness while making the most of the summer, Healthy Planet recently offered up the following tips to make the summer holiday season the best ever:  

5 tips for a healthy and happy barbecue:  

Snacks: Try switching out regular chips for corn chips! Made of just yellow corn, sunflower oil and sea salt. Ingredients that you can understand and feel good about. 

Drinks: No need to sacrifice flavour when it comes to indulging in your favourite soda. Try looking for sodas that are sugar-free, zero calories and non-GMO project certified. 

 Mains:  Consider going meatless occasionally and indulge in plant-based meals for a delicious and sustainable choice that benefits everyone’s taste buds. 

Sauces: Swap out regular ketchup for sugar-free ketchup to enjoy the same tangy flavour without the added sugar, making it a healthier choice for your meals. 

Desserts: Experience the guilt-free indulgence of organic chocolate, knowing that it’s made from high-quality ingredients and supports sustainable farming practices. 


Looking for an inspirational dish packed with fibre and vegetables? Try this recipe that celebrates all things good and delicious about Canada. Created with mixed greens, sliced cherry tomatoes, celery, red onions, quinoa topped with roasted white Swan squash packed with a maple pecan-walnut crumb topping. This may seem like a complex dish, but it is simple to prepare and is bursting with delicious flavours and loaded with nutrition.  Recipe and image courtesy Healthy Planet (

Maple Crumb Harvest Salad 

2 white swan squash (or a similar squash), cut in halves, peeled and seeded 

4 Tbsp. olive oil

3 Tbsp. Maple syrup 

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix olive oil with maple syrup in a small bowl and pour over squash halves. Roast in oven 25-30 minutes, until tender throughout. Cut each squash half into thinner slices. Set aside.  

Orange-Maple Walnut Dressing

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup maple syrup 

4 Tbsp. Olive oil  

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. EACH ground black pepper, garlic powder and sea salt

2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or blender until thoroughly combined, ensuring walnuts are pureed and no longer chunky. Add olive oil through feeding tube while food processor is still running. Add 1 Tbsp. water at a me if needed to reach desired consistency. Transfer dressing to glass jar and store in fridge until needed.

“Cheesy” Pecan-Walnut Crumb

1/4 cup EACH walnuts and pecans

4 Tbsp. Hemp seeds

2 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast

1/2 Tbsp. Garlic powder

1/4 tsp. sea salt  

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulsate. Make sure not to over pulse as you don’t want mixture to form a flour-like consistency, rather chunky/crumby. Transfer crumb topping into a bowl.

Place each squash piece in bowl and press to cover with crumb topping. Set aside.  

Salad Prep

Washed Mixed Greens (enough for 6 people)

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (follow directions on box to cook), cooled to room temperature

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced

1/4 cup chopped celery

Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

In a large mixing bowl, add your washed greens, diced red onion, chopped celery, dressing, room temperature quinoa, sea salt and ground black pepper to taste, toss and coat lightly. Start with less dressing and add more if needed. Once your greens are coated, transfer to your favourite salad dish. Place roasted squash with crumb mixture face up. You can add any leftover crumb topping for added crunch.

Serves 6.