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Two things we love about the updated Canadian food guide (and a yummy recipe)

Drink water. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Cut saturated fat. Avoid processed foods. The new Canadian food guide (updated for the first time in about ten years) is simple and doesn't include a lot of surprises. Two pieces of advice, however, stand out:


  1. Include more plant-based proteins. Meat and dairy, while still part of the picture, have a less prominent role than in years past. Proteins from soy, nuts and pulses or beans can provide more fiber and less fat while helping to meet your nutritional needs.1  


  2. Eat meals with others. Rather than simply recommending healthy choices, this guide discusses the value of cooking at home and eating with friends and family. This can help you slow down and eat mindfully, not to mention the emotional benefits of being social.2     


    Give the new guidelines a try—cook up a pot of this easy, flavourful curry and invite some friends for a casual meal. It delivers a super protein boost from chickpeas. Plus, while it's simmering, you can toss in just about any other vegetables (spinach, frozen peas, chopped tomatoes) you might have on hand.


    Easy Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry

    Serves 6



    2 tbsp vegetable oil

    1 large onion, diced

    2 tbsp sweet or mild curry powder

    1-1/2 tsp garam masala

    Chili powder or flakes (optional, to taste)

    2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

    2 tsp freshly grated ginger

    3 tbsp tomato paste

    1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed, cored and cut into bite-sized florets

    1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

    1 can light coconut milk

    1 cup water

    1/2 tsp salt

    Steamed rice

    Plain yogurt and chopped cilantro (optional)



  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally, until just starting to brown, about 5-10 minutes.

  • Clear center of pan and add garlic and ginger, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add curry powder and garam masala (and chili, if using) and cook, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds longer. Add tomato paste and stir so the mixture forms a crumbly paste. Add cauliflower and stir about 1 minute, roughly coating it with the mixture.

  • Add chickpeas, coconut milk, water and salt. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil, then reduce to medium and cover.

  • Simmer, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender, about 5 more minutes.

  • Serve over rice with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro, if desired.


    Nutritional facts (per serving, including 1/2 cup steamed rice)3


    Total carbohydrate       66.9 g

    Sugars                           9.7 g

    Fibre                              11.5 g

    Calories                         419

    Total fat                         11.4 g

    Saturated fat                 3.8 g

    Protein                          13.5 g

    Cholesterol                    0 mg

    Sodium                          246 mg

1Government of Canada. Cook more protein foods. Available at: Accessed April 23, 2019.

2Government of Canada. Eat meals with others. Available at: Accessed April 23, 2019.

3Verywell Fit. Try our recipe nutrition calculator. Available at: Accessed April 24, 2019.

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