Savoury spring recipes

March is Nutrition Month in Canada, and apart from celebrating the amazing work of UHN’s registered dietitians and diet technicians, this month is a great opportunity to explore new, healthy recipes you can bring into spring. From a low-sodium pizza dish to two side dishes inspired by the heart-healthy Mediterranean style of eating, Chef David Marcus and registered dietitians Maria Ricupero and Margaret Brum make healthy eating easy and enjoyable.  


Homemade pizza

This low-sodium take on a classic crowd-pleaser can be easily customized to everyone’s taste preferences and dietary needs. 

Yields: 2 – 4 servings   

Ingredients  

Pizza dough  

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil  
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour  
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour  
  • 1 tbsp honey  
  • 1 package yeast (around 2-1/4 tsp)  
  • 1-1/3 cup warm water  

Homemade tomato sauce  

  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes, diced  
  • 1 can low sodium tomato paste  
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil  
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced  
  • 1 tsp dried oregano  
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes  
  • 2 tsp dried basil  
  • 1 tsp garlic powder  
  • 1 tsp white sugar  

Pizza toppings  

  • ¼ cup mozzarella, shredded  
  • 1 cup red, green and yellow peppers  
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts  
  • ¼ cup baby arugula  
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped  
flat lay photo of a rectangle shaped pizza with various vegetables on a wooden table around it, on the left of the pizza there is a red and white checkered table cloth

Directions  

  • Add warm water, extra virgin olive oil, honey, yeast and whole wheat flour to a large mixing bowl. When adding the flour, make sure to add it in increments.  
  • Mix the dough with your hands, then roll it out to a long rectangular shape. 
  • Lay out your dough flat on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and set it aside to rest.  
  • Place a medium saucepan on the stove over medium heat, add olive oil then sauté onion and garlic for a few minutes.  
  • Add in the fresh ripe tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes and dried basil and mix together.  
  • Add low sodium tomato paste and sugar, stir until it reaches a sauce-like consistency.  
  • Let the sauce cool, then add to the dough.  
  • Put cheese, peppers, slices of grilled chicken and any other desired toppings on the dough.  
  • Set oven at 475°F and bake pizza for 25-30 minutes.  
  • Add arugula once the pizza is done baking so the leaves don’t shrivel in the oven.  

Tips

Short on time? Buy a pre-made whole wheat dough instead of making one from scratch. If you want to lower the sodium content further, replace the shredded fresh mozzarella balls (bocconcini).  


Green bean salad

This easy side dish is the perfect fresh addition to any main meal.  

Yields: 6 servings  

Ingredients  

  • 1 bag green beans  
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar  
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil  
  • 3 cloves garlic minced  
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds  
close up photo of green beans on a plate

Directions  

  • Put a large pot of water on the stove, bring to a boil, then add green beans.  
  • Cook green beans for five minutes. 
  • Remove beans from the water and let cool while you start making salad dressing.  
  • In a small container mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, and 3 cloves of minced garlic.  
  • Pour dressing over the beans, mix and let the beans cool in the fridge for a couple of hours. 
  • Serve and top with sliced almonds if desired, for a nut-free recipe omit almonds. 

Hummus dip

This low-sodium hummus dip is a delicious and healthy snack.  

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 can no salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil  
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced  
  • 1-2 tbsp tahini  
  • 1 lemon, juiced  
  • 1 tsp cumin  
  • 1 tsp paprika  
  • Parsley to garnish  

Directions 

  • Add extra virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh lemon juice, tahini, chickpeas, cumin and paprika to a food processor.  
  • Blend on and off until hummus is a creamy paste texture. 
  • Serve in a dish, garnish with parsley if desired, and enjoy!  
Flat lay photo of a plate with vegetables and a bowl of hummus. The plate is on a marble countertop, there is a beige linen cloth on the left hand side of the plate, on the right hand side of the plate there are extra crackers spilled across the table, there is also a bottle of olive oil on the right in partial view.

Which recipe is your favourite? Share on social media and tag us @tgwhf! 

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