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Posts Tagged ‘#pesto’

Johnston Healthcenter Recommended Healthy Recipes

In yesterday’s blog we discussed the importance of eating nutritious food.  Sometimes it can be hard to find great recipes and then you run the chance of getting bored with your food repertoire.  We have found some delicious healthy recipes for you to add to your healthy meal planning;

Source - http://foodmatters.tv/content/rainbow-rice-bowl-with-pesto-dressing

Source – http://foodmatters.tv/content/rainbow-rice-bowl-with-pesto-dressing



This meal is super easy to make and it tastes delicious! It is also so healthy and filling. When you prep the veggies in advance, it only takes a few minutes to prepare! So much health in a bowl: Fiber, healthy fats, protein, and whole grains! This recipe is also gluten free, vegan, and low fod-map friendly!

Tip: Cook a big batch of roasted veggies and have other veggies ready to steam for easy veggie bowls throughout the week!

Rainbow Rice Bowl (1 bowl serving):


• 1 cup of organic brown rice cooked
• 1/2 of an organic avocado
• 1/2 cup of organic corn
• 3/4 cup of organic baby kale steamed (it shrinks when steamed!)
• 1 cup of roasted veggies
• Desired amount of pesto dressing


  1. Prepare brown rice on the stove following directions on the container.
  2. Steam 3 cups of fresh kale and corn, and slice the avocado.
  3. Add roasted veggies and finish with pesto dressing. (Recipes for pesto and veggies are below)

Roasted Veggies


• 2 organic bell peppers (I used one yellow one red)
• 1 organic Zucchini
• 1 cup organic carrots
• 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• Salt and Pepper


  1. Cut up all the veggies, toss with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and bake on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until cooked. This is enough veggies to last a few days, and they also taste great on salads!

Pesto Dressing


• 1 1/2 cup of organic basil
• 1/4 cup of organic chives
• 1/2 cup of olive oil
• Juice of half a lemon
• Salt and pepper


  1. Blend all of the ingredients in food processor or nutribullet.
  2. This makes more than one serving, so refrigerate or freeze the rest!

Healthy Appetizers for the Holiday Season

Today’s blog post focuses, once again, on providing some healthy and delicious recipes for your and your guests this season!





Caprese Appetizer

Processed with MOLDIV


  • 20 grape tomatoes
  • 10 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

*Use a good Olive Oil

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 20 toothpicks


  1. Toss tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until well coated. Skewer one tomato and one piece of mozzarella cheese on each toothpick.

Prosciutto Cups with Ricotta & Spinach

 Processed with MOLDIV


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 375 ml ricotta cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the garlic, spinach, pepper and ricotta cheese until well blended. Set aside. Place strips of prosciutto into mini muffin cups so that they line the bottom, but there is some meat hanging out over the sides, and it kind of looks like a flower. Fill each cup with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture, or so the cup is full and rounded on the top. The filling should look like the center of the flower.
  3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the prosciutto is browned and stiff to the touch. The cups should be able to retain their shape after removing from the pan. Serve warm, but not hot.

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Processed with MOLDIV


  • 8 large fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Wash mushrooms, remove stems, hollow out and brush inside and out with olive oil.
  3. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine cheese and pesto, reserving 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese for later. Stuff the cheese-pesto mixture into the mushroom caps. Arrange the caps on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the reserved Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and brownish.

Cucumber, Avocado & Tomato Salad with Feta

Processed with MOLDIV


  • 30 -40 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 -3 cucumbers cubed & skin left on
  • 200 grams of feta cheese cubed
  • 3 large avocados cubed


  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (Good Olive Oil)
  • 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Garlic Clove minced
  • 11/2 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 11/2 tsp Basil, dried
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon style mustard


  1. Combine all ingredients for Vinaigrette in a blender for 30-45 seconds OR in a bowl and whish. Set aside.
  2. Wash and prepare all vegetables and place in large bowl.
  3. Mix desired amount of vinaigrette to salad and serve.

Note: if preparing in advance; do not prepare avocado in advance


For the Love of Basil….

Here is a great article from Julie Daniluk and the health benefits of basil.

Every year in the summer, my husband skips the flowers and brings home a bushel basket of basil from the farmers’ market for only $25. I’m always able to turn that gift into a freezer full of delicious homemade pesto. You see, while basil is native to Asia and Africa, it’s Italy that has instilled this herb into our hearts ever since pesto became one of the world’s most loved sauces. No surprise then that in Italy (and in my home!), basil is a symbol of love.

But I also love basil for a few other reasons: its intense aromatic oil scares pests away and ensures a good harvest, and it also happens to be an incredible guardian of your health, too!

Have a look at these brilliant basil facts:

1. Adding basil to your diet can help to protect you from bacteria, yeast and mold. Basil has strong anti-bacterial properties. This powerful plant contains several essential oils that have been found to exhibit antimicrobial activity against a wide range of bacteria such as listeria, staphylococcus and salmonella. These strains of bacteria are not only widespread, but are becoming resistant to treatment with antibiotic drugs.

2. Basil has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Basil not only provides healing benefits for people with inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, but it also provides relief from the symptoms. The volatile oils in basil contain a compound called eugenol, which mimics the action of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

3. Basil can protect your DNA from radiation and oxidative damage. Basil contains compounds called flavonoids. Two of these compounds, orientin and vicenin, have been studied extensively and results show that they protect the structure of cells as well as chromosomes from damage caused by radiation and oxidation.

4. Basil contains volatile essential oils that can help in the fight against acne. The volatile oils in found in basil have strong antimicrobial action that can help to fight the bacteria responsible for causing acne.

5. Basil oil’s eugenol also has anti-cancer properties. It is well documented that eugenol has a protective effect against melanoma, skin tumours, osteosarcoma and leukemia.

6. Basil can protect your heart and help to reduce blood pressure. The high levels of beta carotene in basil will be converted in the body to vitamin A. This vitamin provides strong antioxidant protection to the lining of the blood vessels and helps to prevent damage from free radicals. The high levels of magnesium in basil have been shown to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow.

Basil and tomato salad

Basil and cherry tomato salad
This recipe highlights the best of local produce. The tomatoes have a more concentrated flavour this year due to the dry weather and pair perfectly with fresh basil. Due to the acidity of the tomatoes, there’s no need for vinegar. Yellow cherry tomatoes are milder and easier on sensitive stomachs. The omega-3 fat in the walnuts and the anti-inflammatory action of the olive oil make this salad wonderfully healing. This recipe can last a few days and is a huge family hit anytime.

4 cups of cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
1 cup basil leaves, packed
1 cup walnuts
½ cup kalamata olives

1. Chop cherry tomatoes in half and add to a mixing bowl.
2. Season with olive oil and salt.
3. Chop basil into thin ribbons and sprinkle over tomatoes.
4. Add walnut pieces and chopped olives and gently toss all ingredients together in the bowl.

Makes 8 servings
Bushels of tomatoes are still available at a great deal of our local farmer’s markets.  Why not pick up some tomatoes and make this delicious and nutritious salad?  Have a super weekend!

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