These local food recipes were created with families in mind. They were taste-tested by more than 400 children at City-owned daycares and they got the thumbs up! Each recipe feature at least 50 per cent Ontario-grown ingredients.

Top three benefits of choosing local food:

  • It’s fresh, nutritious and flavourful
  • You’ll be supporting Ontario farmers, the local economy, and local jobs
  • It’s good for the environment. Shorter shipping distances mean fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Autumn Spice Butternut Dip with Sliced Apple
Autumn Spice Butternut Dip with Sliced Apple

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (small to medium-sized, whole)*
  • ½ cup coconut milk, light, (no sugar added)
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • A pinch of clove, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger, ground
  • 3 McIntosh apples, small*

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario at the grocery store. Local butternut squash is generally available from August to March. Local apples are generally available year-round, except July.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (350ºF for convection ovens.) Wash produce.
  2. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise (see tips below). Remove seeds with a spoon and discard. Place squash cut side down on a foil-lined rimmed pan. Roast until cut side of squash starts to brown slightly and the squash is tender (1 to 1½ hours.) Browning of skin is not an indication of doneness. When cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh with a spoon. Discard skin.
  3. Combine 1½  cups of roasted squash with remaining ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth, scraping bowl to as necessary to ensure all ingredients are fully pureed. Chill for 1 to 2 hours to allow flavours to meld.
  4. Serve chilled with ½ apple per person to dip in butternut puree.

TIP: To cut butternut squash, first peel a ½” strip of skin around the squash from stem end to stem end, keeping remaining skin intact. Carefully and gradually cut along this strip with a sharp knife to cut squash in half (removing the tough strip of skin will make it easier to cut). Do not cut through the stem end; pry it open with your hands after splitting the remainder of squash.

The natural sweetness of butternut squash may vary. If necessary, add 1½  teaspoons of sugar. Light coconut milk will help to add some sweetness.

Mushroom Turkey Meatloaf
Mushroom and Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 6.5 ounces (185 grams) mushrooms, white/button*
  • ½ yellow onion, small, halved lengthwise, skin on*
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on*
  • ⅓ cup carrots, trimmed, peeled, grated (approximately 1 medium carrot)*
  • ⅔ cup quick oats
  • 2 tablespoons of light (reduced sodium) soya sauce
  • 1 large egg*
  • ¼  teaspoon thyme leaves, dried
  • ¾ pound (360 grams) turkey, extra lean, ground*
  • 1.5 tablespoons ketchup

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario at the grocery store. Local mushrooms, onions, eggs and turkey are available year-round. Local carrots are generally available year-round, except June. Local garlic is generally available July to February.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (325ºF for convection ovens.) Wash produce.
  2. Place whole mushrooms on a foil-lined rimmed pan. Roast 30 minutes. Cool enough to handle then grate in food processor.
  3. Place onion cut side down on the foil-lined pan. Roast until soft and caramelized (30 – 40 mins). Cool enough to handle, then peel and trim stem ends. Chop finely.
  4. Place separated garlic cloves (skin on) on a foil-lined pan. Roast until softened (15 – 20 minutes). Do not overcook. Cool enough to handle then peel and trim stem ends. Chop finely.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF (325ºF for convection ovens.)
  6. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except ketchup very thoroughly.
  7. Form mixture into 8.5″ x 3″ x 1.5″ loaf on foil-lined rimmed pan. Top evenly with ketchup.
  8. Bake until loaf reaches an internal temperature of 180ºF degrees, typically 30 – 40 minutes. Serve.
TIP: Roasted mushrooms and light soy sauce give this a rich taste much like traditional beef meatloaf.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, medium, whole*
  • ½ yellow onion, small, cut lengthwise, skin on*
  • 1 tomato, large, trimmed, finely chopped or pureed*
  • ¾ teaspoon oregano leaves, dried
  • 6 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, grated*

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario at the grocery store. Local onion and Parmesan cheese is generally available year-round. Spaghetti squash is generally available August-March. Fresh tomatoes are generally available March-November, and canned local tomato is generally available year-round.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (350ºF for convection ovens.) Wash produce.
  2. Using a sharp, sturdy chef’s knife, split the squash lengthwise (see tip below). Remove seeds with a spoon and discard. Place squash cut side down on a foil-lined rimmed pan. Roast until the cut side starts to brown and the squash is tender (50 – 60 minutes). Cool enough to handle. Use a fork to “pull” strings of squash from side to side (not from stem to flowering end). Scoop out squash strings with a large spoon. Discard skin.
  3. Place onion half cut side down on foil-lined sheet pan. Roast until soft and caramelized (30 – 40 minutes). Cool enough to handle then peel and trim stem ends. Finely chop onion.
  4. Combine onion, oregano and tomato in a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Serve warmed spaghetti squash with tomato sauce (1 tablespoon per person) and Parmesan cheese (1 teaspoon per person) garnishes.
TIP: Carefully and gradually cut the spaghetti squash in half from flowering end to stem end. Do not cut through the stem end; instead, pry open that portion with your hands after splitting the remainder of squash. Spaghetti squash has a mild, sweet taste.

Broccoli and Chicken Alfredo
Broccoli and Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 186 grams broccoli (approximately ½ medium bunch)*
  • ¼ teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled, trimmed, finely minced or rasped*
  • 1 cup milk, 2%*
  • 115 grams cream cheese, plain (slightly less than half of a 250-gram brick)
  • Scant 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, pure, grated*
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked, diced, hot (240 grams)*
  • 1 cup whole wheat macaroni, dry

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario at the grocery store. Local chicken, Parmesan cheese, and milk are generally available year-round. Local garlic is generally available July to February. Local broccoli is generally available June to October.

Instructions

  1. Wash produce.
  2. Trim broccoli stems, peel remaining stem and cut stem and florets into bite-sized pieces. Cook broccoli in boiling water (or steam) until fork tender. Drain.
  3. Cook macaroni in boiling water. Drain.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pot, sweat garlic in canola oil over medium heat. Add milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cut cream cheese into small pieces and add to simmering milk, stirring frequently until milk returns to a simmer and most of the cream cheese is melted into sauce; if necessary whisk to combine. Stir in Parmesan to thicken sauce and return to a simmer briefly.
  5. Thoroughly combine hot chicken and hot pasta with Alfredo/cream cheese sauce in saucepot. If some cheese remains unmelted, stir pasta constantly over medium heat for a few minutes. Pour pasta over broccoli. Serve.
TIP: You can also add (or replace the broccoli with) cooked local asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, and peas.

Cauliflower Scramble Open-Faced Sandwich
Cauliflower Scramble Open-Faced Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 320 grams trimmed cauliflower (just over ½ small head)*
  • 8 large eggs (or liquid whole egg equivalent)*
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon canola oil
  • 4 slices whole grain multi-grain bread, sliced, toasted
  • Scant ½ cup mozzarella cheese (50 grams), 18% M.F., grated*

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario at the grocery store. Local eggs/liquid whole egg and mozzarella cheese are generally available year-round. Local cauliflower is generally available June to November.

Instructions

  1. Wash produce.
  2. Trim cauliflower and cut into medium florets. Boil cauliflower until very tender. Drain and immediately puree with egg and salt in a food processor. until smooth.
  3. Distribute canola oil in a large pan over medium heat and scramble cauliflower-egg mixture by stirring constantly with a spatula until set. Divide scrambled egg equally on top of whole grain toast then sprinkle with grated cheese. Serve.
TIP: For a lower fat variation, replace approximately half of the egg volume with egg whites.

Chili-Style Vegetable Soup
Chili-Style Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, small, halved, skin on*
  • 1 garlic clove, skin on*
  • ½ carrot, medium peeled*
  • 3 celery ribs, trimmed*
  • 3 to 4 green bell peppers, seeded, trimmed*
  • 1½ teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed, ground
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin, ground
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1¾ cups tomato, canned, diced*
  • 1 cup kidney beans, canned, drained, rinsed*
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup vegetarian ground round
  • 1 scant cup mozzarella cheese (100 grams), 18% M.F., grated (optional)*

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario. Local onions, canned tomato and canned kidney beans are available year-round. Local carrot is generally available year-round, except June. Local bell pepper is generally available March to November. Local garlic is generally available July to February. Local celery is generally available July to October.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (350ºF for convection oven). Wash produce.
  2. Place onion halves cut side down on a foil lined sheet pan. Roast until soft and caramelized (30-40 minutes). Cool enough to handle then peel and trim stem ends.
  3. Place separated garlic cloves (skin on) on a foil-lined pan. Roast until softened (15 – 20 minutes). Do not overcook. Cool enough to handle then peel and trim stem ends.
  4. Finely chop roasted onion, roasted garlic, carrot, celery, and green bell pepper in food processor.
  5. Add canola oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add spices and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  6. Add vegetables, beans, and ¾ of water to the pot. Cover and bring to a simmer then continue simmering for 25 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  7. Add vegetarian ground round near end of cooking and additional water as necessary until desired consistency is achieved. Return to a simmer before serving. Garnish with cheese (optional).
TIP: Roasting onion and garlic helps to give this chilli a sweeter flavour so it can be simmered for a shorter amount of time.

Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup
Curried Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

Ingredients

  • 1⅓ pounds of sweet potatoes, whole, raw (approximately 2-3 each small)*
  •  ⅓ cup yellow onion, peeled, minced finely (approximately 1 each small)*
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, rasped or minced finely*
  • ½ McIntosh apple, small, peeled, cored, grated*
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seed, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder, mild
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger, ground
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2¾ cups water (reserve ¾ cup for later use)
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt, 3.2% M.F.* (optional)

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario. Local sweet potatoes and yellow onion are available year-round. Local apples are generally available year-round except July. Local garlic is generally available July to February.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (350ºF for convection ovens). Wash produce.
  2. Pierce sweet potato skins on 3 sides with a fork and place pierced sides up on a  foil-lined rimmed pan. Roast until very tender (1 to 1-½  hours). When cool enough to handle. Peel and discard skins (flesh should come out easily if it’s cooked long enough). Puree sweet potato in a food processor.
  3. In a large sauce pot over low to medium heat, sweat onion in canola oil for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add grated apple to onions and sweat for an additional 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add garlic and spices and sweat briefly for 30-60 seconds.
  6. Add sweet potato puree and 2 cups of water. Stir. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes to prevent burning.
  7. Adjust consistency with ¼ cup of remaining water at a time as necessary to achieve a soup consistency.
  8. Sodium level of kosher salt varies by brand, so add ½ of salt then taste. Add remainder of salt as necessary. Return to a simmer then serve. Garnish each bowl of soup with 1 tablespoon of yoghurt (optional).
TIP: For a more chunky soup, mash or chop sweet potatoes.

Eggplant Dip
Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanoush)

Ingredients

  • ½ eggplant, large, whole (approximately 1.25 lbs)*
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on*
  • ⅔ cups kidney beans, canned, drained, chilled*
  • 1¼ tablespoons lemon juice, fresh, strained
  • 1½ teaspoons tahini (sesame paste), plain

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario. Local garlic is generally available July to February. Local eggplant is generally available August to October.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (350ºF for convection ovens). Wash produce.
  2. Pierce skin of whole eggplant several times on 3 sides with a fork, and place pierced sides up on a foil-lined rimmed pan. Roast until very tender (40 – 55 minutes). Rotate pan(s) after 30 minutes to help ensure even cooking. Cool enough to handle. Cut in half and scoop out flesh with a spoon (discard skins). Reserve half of flesh for recipe.
  3. Place separated garlic cloves (skin intact) on a foil-lined pan. Roast until tender (15 – 20 minutes). Cool then peel. Trim stem end if necessary.
  4. Drain kidney beans. Discard liquid.
  5. Stir tahini well before measuring.
  6. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth, scraping bowl as necessary to ensure all ingredients are fully pureed.
  7. Chill until served. Serve as a dip for whole wheat pitas or vegetables such as Ontario grown bell pepper, carrot or cucumber.
TIP: Piercing the eggplant on only 3 sides helps to contain the natural juices while it cooks. It is normal for the eggplant skin to crinkle towards the end of cooking and as it cools.

Sweet Potato Kidney Bean Hummus
Sweet Potato and Kidney Bean Hummus

Ingredients

  • 390 grams sweet potatoes, whole, raw (approximately 1 to 2, small)
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on*
  • 1 cup kidney beans, canned, chilled*
  • 2 teaspoons tahini/sesame paste, plain
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice, fresh, strained (approximately ½ large lemon)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario. Local sweet potatoes and kidney beans are available year-round. Local garlic is generally available July to February.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (350ºF for convection ovens). Wash produce.
  2. Pierce potato skins on 3 sides with a fork, and place pierced sides up on a foil-lined rimmed pan. Roast until very tender (1 to 1½  hours). Cut in half after roasting, and cool enough to handle. Peel and discard skins.
  3. Meanwhile, place separated garlic cloves (skin intact) on a foil-lined pan. Roast until tender (15-20 minutes). Cool then peel. Trim stem end if necessary.
  4. Drain kidney beans. Discard liquid.
  5. Stir tahini well before measuring.
  6. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth, scraping bowl as necessary to ensure all ingredients are fully pureed.
  7. Serve right away or chill until served. Serve as a filling for whole wheat pitas for a lunch/picnic entree or serve as a nutritious dip for a snack.
TIP: The flesh of the sweet potato should come out of the skin easily if cooked long enough.

Napa Cabbage Sesame Chicken Stir Fry
Napa Cabbage and Sesame Chicken Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken, cooked, diced (360 grams)*
  • 1″ piece ginger root, (1 teaspoon rasped/very finely grated)
  • ⅔ cup carrot, peeled, grated (70 grams)*
  • 1 green onion/scallion stem, trimmed, sliced, green/white separated*
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, trimmed, rasped or finely minced*
  •  2 heaping cups Napa cabbage, trimmed, chopped, green/white separated*
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons light (reduced sodium) soya sauce
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups brown rice, boiled/steamed (⅔ cup dry)

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario. Local chicken is generally available year-round. Local carrot is generally available year-round except June. Local green onion is available June to November. Local garlic is generally available July to February. Local Napa cabbage is generally available August to October.

Instructions

  1. Wash produce.
  2. Peel ginger with a spoon then grate on a rasp/microplane or very finely chop in food processor, reserving 1 teaspoon for stir fry.
  3. In a large saute pan or wok, over medium heat cook ginger, carrot, and white portion of green onion in sesame oil for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Increase heat to high then add garlic and white Napa cabbage and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes or until somewhat tender, stirring frequently.
  5. Whisk together light soya sauce, water and cornstarch then add to pot, stirring frequently until sauce thickens and starts to boil. Add heated chicken and green portions of onion/cabbage then return to a simmer. Serve with brown rice.
TIP: Napa cabbage has a wonderful, mild flavour and is delicious when eaten raw in salads or cooked in a stir fry or soup.

Chicken, Cucumber Green Bell Pepper Salad
Chicken, Cucumber and Green Bell Pepper Salad

Ingredients

  • 5⅓ tablespoons yogurt, plain, 3.2%*
  • 1⅓ tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½  teaspoon dill weed, dry
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • A pinch of garlic powder
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked, diced (240 grams)*
  • ½ green bell pepper, large, trimmed, medium diced*
  • ¼ English cucumber, trimmed, medium diced or thinly sliced*
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario. Local chicken, yogurt and greenhouse English cucumbers are generally available year-round. Peeled local field cucumber. which can be substituted for English cucumber, is generally available June to October. Local greenhouse green bell pepper is generally available March to November; local field bell peppers can be substituted and are generally available July to October.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (325ºF for convection ovens). Wash produce.
  2. Stir yogurt, mayonnaise, dill weed, onion powder, and garlic powder together until well incorporated (Do not use a blender or food processor to combine ranch-style dressing or it will liquefy and become too runny). Cover and chill, preferably for at least 1 hour to allow flavours to develop.
  3. Combine ranch-style yogurt dressing, chicken and vegetables (if chicken is hot, cool slightly before combining). Serve as sandwich filling on whole grain bread, pita, or tortilla or enjoy as is. For a fun alternative, serve chicken and vegetable sticks as separate components and use ranch-style dressing as a dip.
TIP: Local carrots and celery also taste delicious in this dish in addition to, or in place of, cucumber or bell pepper.

Zucchini Tomato Cheese Bake
Zucchini and Tomato Cheese Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, small, halved lengthwise, skin on*
  • 1 tomato, large, trimmed, finely chopped or pureed*
  • 1½ medium zucchini
  • ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese, 18% M.F., grated (38 grams)*
  • ⅓ cup cheddar cheese, medium, grated (38 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon canola oil

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario. Local mozzarella cheese and onion are generally available year-round. Local fresh tomatoes are generally available March to November, and canned local tomato is generally available year-round. Local zucchini is generally available July to October.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (350ºF for convection ovens). Wash produce.
  2. Place onion halves cut side down on foil lined sheet pan. Roast until soft and caramelized (30 – 40 minutes). Cool enough to handle then peel and trim stem ends.
  3. Puree tomato and roasted onion in a food processor or blender.
  4. Trim zucchini and slice thinly into coins.
  5. Evenly coat a small baking pan with canola oil and arrange zucchini evenly in pans ½” – 1″ deep. Top evenly with tomato sauce. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until zucchini is somewhat tender (if using a convection oven or if zucchini appears to be drying out, cover with aluminum foil while baking).
  6. Sprinkle evenly with cheeses then continue baking until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, approximately 10 additional minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes then serve.
TIP: Local yellow zucchini, crookneck squash and pattypan squash also taste delicious in addition to, or in place of, zucchini in this dish.

Sweet Potato Bell Pepper Baked "Home Fries"
Sweet Potato and Bell Pepper Baked “Home Fries”

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of sweet potatoes, whole, raw (approximately 2-3 each small)*
  • ½ green bell pepper, medium, trimmed, seeded*
  • ½ yellow onion, small, peeled
  • 2¼ teaspoons canola oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

*Look for these ingredients grown in Ontario. Local sweet potatoes and onions are generally available year-round. Local greenhouse bell pepper is generally available March to November, and local field bell pepper is generally available July to October.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (350ºF for convection ovens). Wash produce.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes into 1″ pieces (skin intact), trimming tips if necessary.
  3. Cut bell pepper into ½” pieces.
  4. Cut onion into ½” – ¾” pieces.
  5. Toss sweet potato, bell pepper, and onion together in a very large bowl(s) with canola oil, ensuring that all vegetables are coated evenly. Arrange evenly in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet then sprinkle evenly with salt. Bake until potatoes are fork tender (30 minutes), rotating pan if necessary to ensure even cooking. Serve warm.
TIP: For a colourful variation, try red bell pepper or red onion.

The development of these local food recipes was made possible with financial support from the Greenbelt Fund.