Top 10 ingredients for quick and healthy meals

Here are 25 delicious ways to combine these staples
A bowl of oatmeal and berries next to a spoon.

Tasty, nourishing meals and snacks don’t have to be complicated. We’ve picked our 10 favourite staples and found 25 ways to mix and match them in delicious combos.

Bonus: You can use fresh, frozen, or canned versions for some of these foods – that’s up to you! Choose the option that’s available, affordable and suits your tastebuds. 

Here’s the top 10 list:
  1. Canned salmon or tuna
  2. Unsalted mixed nuts and seeds
  3. Leafy greens such as spinach, Romaine, or kale
  4. Berries
  5. Chickpeas or lentils
  6. Plain Greek yogurt
  7. Eggs
  8. Crunchy vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and cauliflower
  9. Chicken breast
  10. Whole rolled oats

We recommend plain Greek yogurt and unsalted nuts because they can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Other ingredients to keep on-hand for mealtime include whole grain bread, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

Make breakfast
  • Mash chickpeas with a sprinkle of lemon juice and serve on whole grain toast.
  • Use oats and eggs to make these Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes, which you can top with berries.
  • Enjoy oatmeal! Cook oats in water or milk, then add to a bowl with Greek yogurt, nuts and berries.
  • Pair eggs with leafy greens, cauliflower or broccoli and garlic for a delicious scramble or omelet.
  • Add plain Greek yogurt and berries to a bowl and top with honey-toasted oats (add a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of oil to 1 cup of oats; bake at 325°F for 10 minutes; cool and store in a sealed container for multiple uses).
Whip up lunch
  • Top leafy greens with canned tuna, a sprinkle of nuts, and your favourite vinaigrette.
  • Hard boil some eggs, mash them with Greek yogurt, and serve on toast topped with leafy greens, salt and pepper.
  • Blend diced carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and chickpeas with your favorite dressing for a zesty, filling salad.
  • Enjoy classic poached eggs with a side salad of leafy greens and crunchy vegetables. 
  • Add cooked chicken breast to a bed of leafy greens, and top with nuts, berries and your favorite lemony vinaigrette.
  • Try this salad made with salmon, leafy greens and berries. 
Prepare dinner
  • Use lentils, eggs and Greek yogurt to whip up a batch of these lentil ricotta fritters. Serve with a side of broccoli or cauliflower.
  • Add chicken and kale (or another leafy green) to your menu with this lemony chicken dish.
  • Make simple salmon croquettes with canned salmon and eggs. Serve with a side salad of leafy greens and shredded carrots.
  • Blend broccoli and lentils in this delicious pasta salad.
  • Pair chicken and cashews (or any other nuts) with mixed crunchy vegetables in this delectable stir-fry.
  • Make a niçoise salad with leafy greens, hard boiled eggs, canned tuna and your favorite vegetables.
  • Enjoy a protein punch of chicken and Greek yogurt in this easy biryani with basmati rice.  
Have a snack
  • Bake up a batch of granola bites, with whole oats, nuts and seeds.
  • Blend Greek yogurt with berries and freeze it into popsicles, as shown in this recipe.
  • Roast chickpeas for a crunchy snack, and add some mixed nuts or seeds.
  • Make a dip out of Greek yogurt, honey and cinnamon. Pair it with berries.
  • Blend up some hummus using chickpeas, then serve with carrots and cauliflower to dip.
  • Snack on a handful of mixed nuts and a handful of berries.
  • Create a savoury Greek yogurt dip with garlic, cucumber and chives; dip in crunchy vegetables.

Learning to work with these 10 whole food ingredients opens a world of culinary possibilities. Keep them handy to inspire your own creative combos!