Fill Half Your Plate with Fruits and Veggies

You probably were told to eat your veggies growing up, and for good reason! Vegetables and fruits are packed with nutrients and are an excellent source of fibre. Certain groups of fruits and vegetables also offer additional health benefits. For example, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, contain a compound called glucosinolates (glue-co-sin-o-lates), which have been linked with anti-cancer effects[1]. Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots, red peppers, berries and beets contain a compound called carotenoids (car-rotten-oids). This compound is what gives them their bright colour[2], but is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants help to protect your cells from damage and reduce inflammation[3].

Despite the numerous benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, Canadians are not getting enough. Currently only 1 in 3 Canadians eat enough fruit and vegetables[4]. Adults should be consuming a minimum of 4 cups of fruit and vegetables per day, and children a minimum of 3 cups. So how can we increase our fruit and veggie intake? An easy way is to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at meal time. Choose from a variety each day and plan your meals with veggies and fruit first.

Here are 5 delicious ways to help you fill half your plate this June:

  • Grill your veggies! Grilling vegetables is an easy way to add them to your meals and also helps to enhance their natural sweetness. Toss a variety of your favourite veggies with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Put on the grill, turning once until soft and grill marks appear. Click here for a guide on how to grill a variety of vegetables.
  • Repurpose your leftover grilled veggies. Use leftover grilled veggies in sandwiches, like this grilled veggie sandwich, use as toppings for pizza or add to salads.
  • Make a fruit salsa. Fresh fruit salsa is excellent served on its own with tortilla chips or as a topper for fish, chicken or burgers. Try this Peach Salsa from Foodland Ontario.
  • Keep cool with a summer salad. Salads are a great way to beat the heat and provide a delicious meal when you don’t want to turn on the oven. Click here for some summer salad inspiration.
  • Fruit for dessert! The natural sweetness of fruit, especially in the peak of their growing season makes for an excellent dessert. Grilled fruit, like peaches or pineapples, or mixed berries served over frozen yogurt are easy and delicious summer desserts!

[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/crucifeous-vegetables#7

[2] http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0916p12.shtml

[3] http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/082508p50.shtml

[4] https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/food-nutrition/infographic-lets-eat-healthy-canada.html

Compass Group Canada Declares April 27th Stop Food Waste Day

Food waste in Canada is estimated at $31 billion a year with 30 per cent of all produced food ending up wasted and in a landfill.

April 27, 2018, Mississauga, ON – In an effort to inform Canadians about the growing issue of food waste, Compass Group Canada declared April 27th as Stop Food Waste Day in their locations across the country. Compass’ Stop Food Waste Day initiative is also supported by a Proclamation from the City of Toronto declaring April 27th as Stop Food Waste Day in the city.

Compass’ Canadian activities are part of the company’s greater overall global initiative with Stop Food Waste Day being held this Friday in over 30 countries around the world including:

  • Canada
  • US
  • UK
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • India
  • Denmark
  • Slovakia
  • Turkey
  • Brazil

To help mark Stop Food Waste Day, Compass will be raising awareness via social media, educational videos and marketing materials throughout their locations. All materials aim to educate associates as well as customers on how everyone can use food better. Compass will also be hosting a wide variety of events at their locations including chef demonstrations on how to use whole produce in Root to Stem cooking, chef competitions to see who can create the least amount of waste in their recipes and running Grounds for Your Garden initiatives diverting used coffee grounds from the landfill into visitors gardens instead.

“As the largest foodservice company in Canada, Compass Group has a role to play in reducing food waste whether that be through the creation of initiatives such as Stop Food Waste Day, our ongoing food waste reduction programs or the development of our education initiatives, said Saajid Khan, CEO and President of Compass Group Canada. “Compass is also working with some of the most innovative companies in the food waste sector including Winnow, a company with a smart technology solution to enable commercial kitchens to measure and better manage their food waste and Lean Path, a waste-tracking software used at major client sites in the USA.”

Compass country teams will receive ongoing support in their goal to reduce food waste ranging from training and tools targeting reducing food surplus, help in building partnerships to donate excess food to local communities, and marketing materials to raise awareness of ways to save at home.

Compass’ drive to make Stop Food Waste Day global is part of its aim to encourage positive actions in support of combating the rising problem of food waste. Food waste has quickly become a critical issue for the planet, both for the environment and for people:

In Canada

  • $31 billion in food is wasted each year
  • This accounts for Approximately 30% of all food produced in the country
  • Food waste doesn’t just waste food. When you add in the cost of other resources such as fuel, water, labour and land, it is a $100 billion waste
  • 47% of all food wasted in Canada, is in our own homes.

About Compass Group Canada
Compass Group Canada is Canada’s leading foodservice and support services provider with more than 25,000 associates and over 2,000 location. Exceptional foodservices and support services are provided to leading sports and leisure venues, executive dining rooms and cafés, schools, universities, seniors’ residences and hospitals, as well as remote camps and off shore oil rigs.

Compass Group PLC is the world’s leading food service company, which generated annual revenues of £22.6 billion in the year to 30 September 2017. It operates in around 50 countries, employs over 550,000 people and serves over 5.5 billion meals a year. The Company specialises in providing food and a range of support services across the core sectors of Business & Industry, Healthcare & Seniors, Education, Sports & Leisure and Defence, Offshore & Remote, with an established brand portfolio.

For more information visit www.compass-canada.com/stop-food-waste-day/.

Celebrity Chef Corbin launches NEW fall menu for schools across Ontario and Atlantic Canada

The healthy and delicious menu reflects the culinary sophistication of today’s students

Chef Corbin

Oakville, ON – April 26, 2018 – Today, Food Network Celebrity Chef Corbin Tomaszeski is launching the new signature menu items set to appear in schools across Ontario and Atlantic Canada this fall. The new recipes are delicious, nutritious and reflect the culinary sophistication of today’s students.

Chartwells School Dining, food service provider to approximately 300 schools across Ontario and 245 in Atlantic Canada, has partnered with celebrity Chef Corbin since 2014. The partnership allows Chef Corbin to develop signature menu items that reflect students’ tastes and culinary curiosity. Not comfortable to ever stop innovating and striving for perfection, Chef Corbin continues to develop exciting recipes in response to student input and feedback.

“Healthy eating habits start at an early age so we need to get students excited now about nutritious food,” said Chef Corbin Tomaszeski, celebrity chef and cookbook author. “Making sure my healthy recipes are student-approved is the most important factor in developing and improving the school menu.”

The new fall recipes will include:

  • Korean Noodle and Korean Rice Bowls with pulled pork, grilled chicken breast or tofu
  • Buffalo Chicken, Tuna Melt and Cheeseburger Flatbreads

Korean noodle bowl

The new menu items are being put to the test today at St. Ignatius of Loyola Secondary School in Oakville, Ontario. Chef Corbin and Chartwells will be on hand to listen to students’ feedback. Taking what he learns at the taste test, Chef Corbin will adjust his recipes, ensuring that come fall the meals will meet Chartwells’ highest standards, incorporate delicious flavours, and reflect the views of students.

“Our continued partnership with Chef Corbin has brought excitement and enthusiasm to school dining with recipes that are very popular with students and teachers alike,” said Brenda O’Neill, vice president, Chartwells School Dining. “School meals need to energize students and providing nourishing options that also happen to be delicious ensures students eat well and are ready to learn.”

Not only are the recipes student-approved and great-tasting, they all meet the current nutrition requirements of the Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy/Program 150 that sets out nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario.

Since Chartwells first partnered with Chef Corbin, his popular signature recipes offered in schools to date have included:

  • BBQ Pulled Pork Topped Tater Wedges w/Spicy Black Bean Corn Salsa
  • Black Bean & Grilled Chicken Tostada
  • Bocconcini, Beef & Tomato Penne Pasta
  • Savoury Hand Pies such as Chicken & Vegetables and Jerk Beef
  • Indian Rice
  • Kale Caesar Salad
  • Mango cilantro slaw

flatbread on cutting board with k12 children

About Chartwells School Dining
Chartwells School Dining is a member of Compass Group Canada, the country’s leading foodservices and support Services Company with more than 30,000 associates across Canada. From K-12 to university campuses, Chartwells is a diverse group of dedicated food and nutrition specialists serving the academic community. The foods we serve helps fuel the ideas and dreams of future generations. But we do more than feed hungry students. We practice a single-minded commitment to building strong bodies, sharp minds, and establishing the foundation for a long, healthier life. We call this Eat. Learn. Live.

Stop Food Waste Day Waste Warrior Spotlight: Liane Gregory

jliane gregory headshot

Liane Gregory, Manager, Sustainable Sourcing, Foodbuy Canada

1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

I love it. We must bring ideas and solutions into the light, so that everyone can start acting individually. There is massive impact when ideas are converted into combined individual actions.

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the kitchen?

  1. Batch cook and freeze in portions (so you’re not actually producing leftovers!).
  2. Grow your own herbs. It’s a great feeling to know you grew it and herbs are usually quite easy to grow! So, it’s a few snips vs that huge clump of cilantro.
  3. Organize your fridge to help you. Don’t lose sight of the protein/produce that can go bad. Keep it easily viewable.

3. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Look in your fridge! Waste often occurs when we aren’t paying attention. “Ooops… that’s gone bad.” won’t happen so much.

4. What is your favourite way to repurpose leftovers?

Incorporating into creative frittatas! It’s Sunday Brunch Surprise. You can amaze yourself with your own creativity.

Stop Food Waste Day Chef Spotlight: Bradley Yip

chef bradley photo
Bradley Yip, Executive Chef, Eurest, Compass Group Canada

1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

Fantastic to see that it is being established as part and parcel of culinary excellence. No longer is it viewed as a separate ideology. If we are cooking food professionally we have an obligation to cook it responsibly and sustainably.

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

When we use clear waste bins on the counter at each station, it forces us to look at what we are throwing away. It can also spark a discussion about what is usable and edible on some vegetables that were previously thrown away.

Batch cooking is another way to ensure that we are not over producing.

3. How about in the home kitchen?

Freezing herbs and tomato paste in cubes is a very good way to preserve and reuse them.

4. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Every small change that is made will start to make a bigger difference. Learning about how to use the entirety of a vegetable will greatly reduce what goes in the bin (or better yet the compost pile).

5. What is your favourite way to repurpose leftovers?

I love creating waste me not salads. Refining leftovers with chops and cuts and experimenting with them tossed in salads. You can get some pretty interesting flavour combinations.

Stop Food Waste Day Waste Warrior Spotlight: Cayla Runka

cayla runka photo

Cayla Runka, Director of Sustainability & Wellness, Business Excellence, Compass Group Canada

1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

I am encouraged that there is such focus on food waste. My family teases me as I use the term ‘don’t be wasteful’ a lot at home. Having grown up in an agriculture community and family, I feel everything we produce is precious and given those who also go without enough to eat, there needs to be massive social change to cut down and reduce the waste. It’s a huge problem and we are each responsible to do our part.

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the kitchen?

I have dedicated ice cube trays in my freezer for food. When I have fresh herbs, I chop them all and they go into a tray and then the freezer. Just pop a few cubes out and fresh flavour is added to anything you want. I also do this with tomato paste, broth and anything else where there is a little left. It’s so easy and convenient and saves money in the long run too. I also keep trimmings like onion peel, carrot tops/peels, fennel tops and herb stems in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer for throwing into the bottom of a roasting pan or stock pot for added flavour.

3. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Meal plan and shop with a list. I know it sounds boring but when you know exactly what you are cooking, you only buy the things you need and know you will use.

4. What is your favourite way to repurpose leftovers?

I’m not sure I ever have to do that…leftovers disappear in my house the next day for lunch! If there are odd bits of ingredients left…it’s either the soup pot or the salad bowl.

Stop Food Waste Day Chef Spotlight: Andre Blanchet

andre blanchet photo
Andre Blanchet, Corporate Executive Chef, Restaurant Associates, Compass Group Canada

1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

It stems to more than just what’s being thrown in the bin inside the kitchen or out of the fridge that needs to be paid attention to. I was a big fan of how Intermache supermarket in France launched an ‘ugly fruits and vegetables’ program a few years back. A lot of people were shocked to learn that if a vegetable/fruit doesn’t meet a standard length, shape, weight or colour it gets tossed before it reaches the store. Intermarche discounted these items by 30% to ensure they were doing their part. Amazing!

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

Watch what is coming back on the plate from the dining room. You would be surprised at how you are over portioning. Sure, we want guests to think that they are getting value for their money, but how often do you hear in your own restaurant that the portions are small? Probably seldom. There’s an amazing Ethiopian restaurant in Toronto I go to called Wazema. It’s so cheap! But every time we order the platter for two, we bring home leftovers for days (great for me). But in doing so, the restaurant is throwing another $0.40 down the drain in extra packaging after the meal as well, when I would have been just as satisfied and happy if I had nothing left on my plate.

3. How about in the home kitchen?

Stop buying bulk! Go to the grocery store more frequently and buy individual items. That 10lb bag of potatoes may seem cheaper down the road, but a month later they shrink, lose half the volume and begin sprouting or becoming mouldy. An untouched 10lb bag of potatoes will quickly become an 8lb bag of potatoes if you leave it for a few weeks. Same with bananas. You aren’t breaking the law if you take that bunch of bananas on the shelf and break off what you need. You need 3 bananas? There’s 6 on the bunch? Break them off!

4. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Read an article on how to store your perishables. You’ll be fascinated! Brown paper bags for mushrooms, clay bowl on the cupboard for fresh garlic, wet paper towel for your herbs. Small changes that lengthen a products life, and gives you the best tasting product.

5. What is your favourite way to repurpose leftovers?

Plan every meal to have a secondary purpose. Mondays spaghetti sauce becomes Tuesday mornings Shakshuka. Tuesday evenings pizza slices becomes Wednesdays croutons for your Caesar salad (yes! Chopped up pizza slices make crazy tasty Caesar salad croutons). Also, food usually develops more flavour a day later. An old chef of mine was brilliant when he said “it shouldn’t be called ‘soup of the day’. It should be called ‘soup of yesterday’ because soup always tastes better the second day.”

Stop Food Waste Day Waste Warrior Spotlight: Jana Vodicka

jana vodicka photo

Jana Vodicka, Manager, Campus Engagement & Sustainability, Business Excellence, Compass Group Canada

1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

Food waste is a highly tangible issue, with social, economic and environmental implications. We all eat, so food waste has each of our names on it. Luckily, we have plenty of power and authority to reduce our contributions. The best part is that it can be as easy as freezing your left overs and giving your future self a break.

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the kitchen?

Making stock from trimmings, peels and any other food parts left over from meal prep is one way to get more mileage out of your food, and keep waste to a minimum. Reduce it, strain out the bits and freeze in small containers to use as seasoning, even a splash to add a pop of flavour to an omelette!

3. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Prevention is the ideal solution, but the downstream impacts are just as important. If you have organic collection services, either at school, work, or at home, even a backyard composter – use it. Most of the waste in garbage by weight is food waste, putting incredible pressure on landfill capacities, waste related taxes, and ecosystems.

4. What is your favourite way to repurpose leftovers?

Making soups or casseroles with leftovers leads to surprising deliciousness. Most of the work is already done so it’s relatively quick to prepare, and the flavours have married to result in one-of-a-kind delicious meals.

March is Nutrition Month!

March is Nutrition Month! This year, our theme for Nutrition Month is Savour the Flavour, which focuses on foods that are nourishing for your body, while putting flavour first! It also celebrates our new menu engineering philosophy that keeps both public health and planetary health top of mind, by placing more plant-based foods at the centre of the plate. Numerous studies have demonstrated that by minimizing our red meat consumption and increasing the amount of plant-based foods on our plates, it reduces our risk for disease. Additionally, this plant-forward way of eating uses more sustainable methods of production and reduces green-house gas emissions, making these foods more viable choices for the earth.

Here are few ways you can celebrate our Savour the Flavour theme this nutrition month:

1. Aim for a half a plate of vegetables or fruits at each meal.
Veggies and fruits are packed with nutrients and deliver plenty of fibre, as a result they have many health promoting benefits. Choosing fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and in season, not only heightens their flavour, but also helps to reduce emissions.

2. Make your grains whole.
Whole grains reduce our risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and assist with weight maintenance. There is also immerging evidence to support their use in improving our gut bacteria. Incorporate more whole grains into your meals by looking for grain products such as pastas, crackers, breads and cereals that list whole grains in the ingredient list. You can also try using other whole grains such as bulgar, quinoa, or farro as an alternative to rice for a side dish.

3. Be a flexitarian!
Many studies have demonstrated the health benefits of minimizing your red meat consumption by substituting for a healthier protein such as beans, lentils, fish or poultry. For example, switching 1 daily portion of red meat for legumes, you can reduce your risk for mortality by 10%. Additionally, these healthier protein alternatives also offer benefits for the earth as they help to lessen your ecological footprint.

4. Experiment with a variety of herbs and spices.
In addition to adding a punch of flavour to your meals, herbs and spices can also offer health benefits. Ginger, for example, has been used to combat nausea but it also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The best way to experiment with herbs and spices is to try a recipe from a different global cuisine. It’s the unique combination of herbs and spices that give many dishes from around the world their signature flavour!

Looking for some inspiration on how you can Savour the Flavour this nutrition month? Check out some of these great recipes.

Eastern Health Launches Steamplicity® in St. John’s

A New Food Delivery Model to Enhance the Patient Experience

March 1, 2018 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health, in partnership with Morrison Healthcare – a member of Compass Group Canada – today announced the launch of Steamplicity®, a new food delivery service model for acute care hospitals in St. John’s. Steamplicity® is being introduced in a phased-approach beginning with St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital on March 7, 2018, followed by the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre on March 21st; the Waterford Hospital on April 4th and the Health Sciences Centre and Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre on April 11th of this year.

Steamplicity® represents an innovative change in Eastern Health’s food delivery model,” said David Diamond, President and CEO of Eastern Health. “Guided by a commitment to excellence in health care, Steamplicity® is about providing our patients with higher quality, balanced and nutritious meals.”

With a patient satisfaction rating of over 90 per cent at hospital facilities across Canada, Steamplicity® offers patients a restaurant-style menu with a choice of entrée, appetizer, dessert and beverage for each meal. Prior to mealtime, a food service associate visits each patient to take their order and the trays are assembled based on individual requests in pantry areas on patient units. Food is cooked under steam pressure, using an innovative valve control system and the natural moisture in a meal’s ingredients.

chef showcases steamplicity meals

The system will cost approximately $630,000 annually for ongoing costs such as lease payments and software licenses. In return, Steamplicity® will eliminate waste in the system and enhance the overall quality of service provided to patients, clients and residents, saving the organization an estimated $2 million annually on food service costs. The total capital cost to implement Steamplicity® at Eastern Health amounted to $5.5 million.

“Since implementing Steamplicity®, we’ve seen a 20 percent average increase in patient satisfaction at our partner hospitals,” said Maarten Galesloot, President of Healthcare and Senior Services, Compass Group Canada. “We’re thrilled to offer our guests a nutritious and flavourful dining experience that supports the healing process and exceeds expectations. Steamplicity® is currently available in over 20 hospitals across Canada and we’re excited to expand the offering.”

Steamplicity® uses a unique technology that cooks fresh food under steam pressure to perfection in minutes, locking in all the flavour and nutrients. The unique technology lies in the packaging system and valve control that release steam during cooking and are key components in consistently delivering high quality meals.

Introducing Steamplicity® to St. John’s hospitals is consistent with the priority area of Quality and Safety as part of Eastern Health’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan – Lighting the Way: Navigating Together.

Each year, Eastern Health’s Food Services Department collects information from patients who are in hospital about the quality of food that they are receiving.

“Through Steamplicity®, we are taking steps to further enhance client-centred care and improve the overall patient experience by offering nutritious, tasty food, along with personal care and attention – all of which are critical to a patient’s journey to recovery,” added Mr. Diamond. “As a regular practice, we are committed to continue seeking feedback for future improvement from our patients, clients and residents.”

Steamplicity®, originally developed in the United Kingdom in 2005 for the foodservice sector, was introduced to Canada by Morrison Healthcare in 2009. It was successfully launched at North York General Hospital and there are currently 22 hospital sites across Canada who are using the Steamplicity® food service delivery model, including Hamilton Health Sciences, Lakeridge Health, Toronto Grace General Hospital and Vancouver Island Health Authority to name a few.

For more information about Steamplicity® currently offered at St. John’s hospitals, please click on Going to Hospital at www.easternhealth.ca/OurServices.

About Eastern Health
Eastern Health is the largest, integrated health authority in Newfoundland and Labrador employing approximately 13,000 dedicated employees, over 700 medical staff, and is supported by more than 2,000 volunteers, including members of numerous auxiliaries and fundraising foundations. With an annual budget of approximately $1.45 billion, the authority offers the full continuum of health and community services including public health, long-term care, community services, hospital care and unique provincial programs and services. Serving a population of over 300,000, Eastern Health’s geographic boundaries extend from St. John’s west to Port Blandford including all communities on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas.

About Morrison Healthcare
Morrison Healthcare, a member of Compass Group Canada, is dedicated to providing hospital culinary programs that allow clients to focus on their core competency: patient care. Serving some of the largest and most prominent hospitals and health systems across the country, Morrison has earned distinction as a leader in today’s marketplace by continually preparing food that creates taste memories and pleases all senses of our customers. We’ve transformed the way we believe patients, staff and visitors should look at food and nutrition services. It’s no longer just about nutrition and sustenance. At Morrison, it’s about a culinary experience that rivals any casual dining restaurant in your market, while providing nourishing, delicious meals bursting with flavours and nutrition.