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Cooking at Home

Staying healthy and on-the-go in the winter. Skip take-out food and make it yourself at home. It’s much warmer than trekking to a restaurant!

Make take-out foods at home

Being on-the-go encourages trips to fast-food restaurants, where many choices are filled with sodium, fat and sugar. By stocking a healthy kitchen, you can make the same foods at home using better quality ingredients – and it can be done quickly too! Start with simple pizza, noodle or rice dishes and burgers.

The advantages to home-cooked meals are many. They are more affordable, healthier, and allow you to teach essential cooking skills to other family members. And, while Canadians do enjoy restaurant meals, statistics show that we are eating more meals at home. When we do eat out, we're choosing less expensive restaurants and ordering cheaper items. Skip the cheap food and learn to make better versions at home!

Considering the cost of seasonings, condiments and your gas/electricity to cook your food, in most cases, the cost per ounce of food is nearly the same for homemade vs. fast foods. And when compared with more upscale restaurants, the cost at home is much less expensive.

Our busy lifestyles often affect how we eat, with Canadians of all ages snacking and skipping meals in an effort to work their dietary needs into their schedules. According to a recent national consumer survey, ¼ of all meals in Canada consisted of portable foods or beverages meant to be eaten between meals, what we commonly call snack foods. Skipping meals in favour of eating snacks can lead to unintentional weight gain and related health problems, since snacks are usually lower in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and aren’t usually high in healthy vegetables and fruit.

Make quick pizza

The number one take-out food in Canada is pizza. Skip the 30-minute wait and make your own version at home in the same amount of time!

See full recipe

Prepare Pad Thai in 20 minutes

No need to stop at the local Thai restaurant for a taste of this delicious cuisine. With some noodles, egg, peanuts and vegetables, you can make pad Thai from scratch in just 20 minutes. Add some fresh cilantro for a zippy kick.

See full recipe

Sushi bowls are quick and easy

Rolling perfect sushi may be a skill you need to home, but the flavours of that sushi roll can also come in a bowl. Simply mix rice with diced cucumber, avocado, carrot, crumbed nori (seaweed), some rice vinegar, wasabi and ginger. Add some canned salmon or cooked shrimp, and you have sushi in a bowl! If you are feeling adventurous, try your hand at making the real thing!

Sushi Meshi (vinegared rice) Kappa-Maki (Cucumber Roll)

Sushi Meshi (vinegared rice) Kappa-Maki (Cucumber Roll)

See full recipe

Make Chinese food at home

Bright and lively stir-fries are the cornerstone of Chinese cookery. Add rice or noodles and some protein from pork, chicken, beef or tofu, and you have a perfect meal. The only downfall can be the salty sauces, so choose sodium-reduced versions when possible.

See full recipe

Chinese Noodles with Shrimp

Tips for eating lunch at work

If you carry lunch to work, you are saving money, time and likely, your waistline. Skipping prepared foods in favour of homemade is a smart choice! Here’s what to pack:

  • Lots of vegetables and fruit
  • Whole grain bread, crackers or cooked grains
  • Protein from chicken breast, lean meats, legumes, tofu or egg
  • Greek yogurt
  • Nuts and dried fruit for snacks

Canadians tend to eat lunch on most days – but do skip the odd one. On average, Canadians tend to eat lunch about 300 out of 365 days a year. That statistic has been the same for the last ten years, and highlights that busy lifestyles get in the way of eating lunch! The most likely age groups to skip lunch are the 18 to 34 year olds, followed by the 45-54 year olds.

Lunch, of all daily meals, is the one that’s eaten out of the home most often. That’s because we’re usually on-the-go during the day, or we eat at work. Compared to ten years ago, all age groups are eating fewer lunches at home.

What are Canadians eating for lunch? Sandwiches and fruits are the top foods to be carried from home.

Here’s a look at the top 10 foods that we eat for lunch most often:

  1. Sandwiches
  2. Fruit
  3. Vegetable
  4. Soup
  5. Salads
  6. French Fries
  7. Bread
  8. Cookies
  9. Yogurt
  10. Pizza

Ham and lunch meat, two of the most common sandwiches, are now being eaten less often, and have been replaced by turkey sandwiches, which are perceived as being leaner and better for you.

Following a decline in the middle of the decade, leftovers are gradually making a comeback and they are being carried from home at an even faster rate. Soup remains the most common leftover eaten at home or carried away from home.

Make Indian lentil soup at home

When soup is chock-full of vegetables and protein-rich lentils, it’s no longer an appetizer. It can stand in for the whole meal. Add some brown rice or whole grain noodles, or a piece of fresh, crusty whole wheat bread for a perfectly balanced lunch.

See full recipe

Healthy Bite

  • Compared to ten years ago, all age groups in Canada are eating fewer lunches at home and more in restaurants.
  • More Canadians are turning to frozen food as an option for the “carried from home” lunch. It’s a whole meal in minutes.