Put nature on the menu this summer

Atlantic salmon with creamy pesto zoodles (Photo by NCC)

Atlantic salmon with creamy pesto zoodles (Photo by NCC)

July 17, 2018 | by Raechel Bonomo

In my opinion, nature is the single greatest provider that we, as humans, have. Nature gives us the opportunity to explore beautiful and unique landscapes, and there’s so much inspiration to be found in the forest or on the water.

Since starting my weight loss journey, I found a new love in creating and sharing healthy meals. Much of the food I create is vegan or vegetarian, and I ensure every meal or dessert is easy to make. Healthy eating can seem intimidating at first, and I found a way to break through that ― with a little inspiration from nature, of course.

With the warm weather here, it’s safe to say that BBQ season has arrived. This summer, here are a few of my favourite recipes that are inspired by things Canadians can find in their own backyards.

Strawberry cucumber mint lemonade (Photo by NCC)

Strawberry cucumber mint lemonade (Photo by NCC)

Strawberry cucumber mint lemonade

Made with wild mint, a native species that can be found in backyards and grocery stores across Canada, this refreshing drink is perfect for a hot summer’s day.

Get the recipe here >

Sweet potato dandelion salad

Sweet potato dandelion salad (Photo by NCC)

Sweet potato dandelion salad (Photo by NCC)

Swap out traditional lettuce for dandelion leaves foraged from your own lawn. Sweet potato and freekeh (or quinoa) are the perfect additions to make this salad hearty.

Get the recipe here >


Atlantic salmon with creamy pesto zoodles

Atlantic salmon with creamy pesto zoodles (Photo by NCC)

Atlantic salmon with creamy pesto zoodles (Photo by NCC)

This healthy dish is packed with nutrients, such as protein and omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon and anti-inflammatory properties from the zucchini. By making this dish, and removing non-native garlic mustard plants, you can help decrease the spread of this invasive species.

To make this dish vegetarian/vegan, substitute salmon for extra-firm tofu and butter/margarine for coconut oil.

Get the recipe here >

Deconstructed crabapple crumble

Deconstructed crabapple crumble (Photo by NCC)

Deconstructed crabapple crumble (Photo by NCC)

Crabapple trees are not only great for providing food for pollinators, the tart fruit they produce is delicious!

More sour than orchard apples, crabapples counteract the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients to come together in harmony for the perfect deconstructed apple crumble. This healthy spin on a homestyle classic is a perfect snack to satisfy a sweet craving or as a summertime dessert.

Top with homemade granola (store-bought works, too)!

Get the recipe here >

Disclaimer: When foraging for ingredients, consult a field guide for correct species identification. When in doubt, don’t take the risk.

Raechel Bonomo (Photo by Chase Wastesicoot)

About the Author

Raechel Bonomo is the content creator/staff writer at the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Read more about Raechel Bonomo.

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