broccoli ginger beef

Let’s be real: all families fall into food ruts, because feeding multiple generations with varying taste preferences is challenging. However you’re doing it, kudos to you for keeping your people fed! Looking for inspiration? Trying new recipes from around the world is a great way to introduce fresh flavours, textures and spice levels into your regular rotation.

Canada is a diverse country and what’s familiar to one family may be new to another—perhaps this list is all new to you, or maybe you’ll be reminded of some old favourites. Either way, we promise that these recipes are easy, delicious and fast, so you can get dinner on the table in an under an hour—and in most cases, much less.

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Mexican and Latin American-Inspired Recipes

fish tacos with cabbage slaw

Ready in: 25 minutes

  • Change up your typical tacos! This fish version uses frozen cod, a mild-tasting fish that pairs well with the acidic cabbage slaw.
  • Make extra cabbage slaw for a healthy lunch side dish—the flavours meld well overnight, and will taste even better the next day.

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chicken fajitas

Ready in: 25 minutes

  • A bit of prep work slicing and chopping will help you get restaurant-quality fajitas on the table in less than 30 minutes.
  • Don’t forget the family-favourite toppings like salsa, sour cream, guacamole, refried beans, shredded cheese and more.
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BUDGET WATCH
Buy value packs of chicken when they’re on sale and store in the freezer for future use.

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fiesta burger

Ready in: 20 minutes

  • Bell peppers, Tex-Mex cheese and salsa take this burger from Oh Canada to olé!
  • You can BBQ the burgers or grill them in the pan indoors to enjoy their warm flavours year-round.
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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Health Canada recommends cooking burgers to an internal temperature of 160°F for safe eating.[1]

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Avocado & Corn Salad

Ready in: 15 minutes

  • Bursting with fresh and flavourful ingredients, this summer salad recipe wins big at barbecues and potlucks.
  • No cooking makes this the perfect side dish for when it’s too hot to turn on the oven.
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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Corn is a good source of fibre whether you eat it fresh from the cob, frozen or canned.[2]

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sirloin steak quesadillas

Ready in: 10 minutes

  • Yes, you read that right! These crispy, cheesy quesadillas are ready in 10 minutes thanks to pre-cooked sirloin tips, shredded cheese and a hot pan.
  • Make these as spicy as you like with hot salsa or sauce (or both!). Or remove the jalapenos if the heat level is too high.
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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Swap whole wheat in place of white tortillas to increase the fibre content of this recipe.

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Chinese and East Asian-Inspired Recipes

orange chicken stir fry

Ready in: 25 minutes

  • Orange juice, ginger and chicken stock amp up the flavour of this simple stir fry and sauce that also tastes great the next day.
  • The whole dish cooks in one non-stick skillet for quick clean-up (yes, please!).

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broccoli ginger beef

Ready in: 25 minutes

  • Slices of striploin get a flavour boost from ginger, brown sugar and sesame oil in this fast version of a takeout favourite.
  • Serve over rice or noodles to round out the dish or to change things up when you eat the leftovers for lunch.
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TIME-SAVING TIP
Prep your sauce, broccoli and steak before you start cooking. Everything cooks fast over medium-high, so this guarantees nothing gets forgotten (or overcooked!).

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chilled tofu with sesame sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

  • Too hot to cook? Chilled tofu drizzled with a punchy ginger and sesame sauce is a refreshing side dish or main with no cooking required.
  • This dish is vegetarian and vegan, making it perfect for meatless meal nights.
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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Canada’s food guide recommends eating more protein foods that come from plants,[3] and tofu—which is also a source of iron, calcium and essential amino acids[4]—fits the bill.

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Thai basil chicken, pad krapow gai

Ready in: 20 minutes

  • Red pepper flakes and chili pepper bring just the right amount of heat to this dish made with mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and basil.
  • The basil is added at the end to give this classic dish, known as pad krapow gai, a fresh kick. It’s also to preserve the flavour—heating basil can deplete its flavourful oils.

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Indian and South Asian-Inspired Recipes

instant pot butter chicken with naan and rice

Ready in: 30 minutes

  • This quick-cooking butter chicken is packed with aromatic spices, garlic and ginger, plus tomatoes and cream.
  • Serve with basmati rice or naan bread to soak up all the tasty sauce—you won’t want to waste a drop!

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egg bhurji with toast

Ready in: 20 minutes

  • A popular Indian street food, this dish ramps up the flavour of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, onion, ginger, garlic and spices.
  • Traditionally served on a hot buttered roll, you can also try it with chapatis, toast or over rice (it’s gluten-free!).

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palak paneer

Ready in: 22 minutes

  • Popular for its creaminess and fragrant spices, palak paneer is a vegetarian cheese and curry dish you can serve as a side or main.
  • The paneer cheese is cubed so it melts slightly into the warm spinach mixture while still retaining a firm bite.

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chicken biryani

Ready in: 45 minutes

  • Biryani is an Indian dish of basmati rice, spices and meat, and is traditionally cooked in layers to help the rice absorb all the flavours.
  • Storing leftovers in the fridge is another way to let the flavours meld—consider doubling the recipe so you have enough for a next-day lunch.
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TIME-SAVING TIP
Stock up on ready-made biryani spice mix so you’re set to make this dish whenever you crave it.

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curried red lentil spinach soup

Ready in: 45 minutes

  • This hearty soup will warm you from the inside out thanks to garlic, ginger, curry and cumin.
  • This soup freezes well—make a big batch, pour cooled soup into freezer-safe bags and store in the freezer.
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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Lentils are highly nutritious, packed with B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of protein.[5]

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Greek, Italian and Mediterranean-Inspired Recipes

grilled rib steak with chickpea salad

Ready in: 15 minutes

  • Take your steak to the Greek side and serve it with a salad of chickpeas, tomato, onion, balsamic vinegar and basil.
  • A meat thermometer can help you cook your steak perfectly every time. Medium-rare should reach an internal temperature of 145°F[6] while medium is 160°F. A well-done steak is 170°F, any higher and it’s overcooked.
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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are high in fibre and a good source of protein.[7] And if you save the liquid from canned chickpeas—called aquafaba—you can bake with it. It’s found in vegan desserts and used a substitute for eggs.

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Greek Kebab

Ready in: 45 minutes

  • Pork tenderloin marinated in Greek flavours like oregano, garlic, thyme and lemon will satisfy a souvlaki craving any night of the week.
  • Serve with warmed pita and tzatziki, rice or a fresh Greek salad. Encourage kids to pick veggies to add to their skewer.

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Greek grilled chicken leg with potato salad

Ready in: 1 hour

  • This classic Greek marinade smells like summer: yogurt, lemon, garlic and oregano.
  • You can marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours for maximum flavour, but it will still come out delicious and juicy after only 30 minutes.

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Italian bread salad, panzanella with roasted vegetables

Ready in: 30 minutes

  • Barbecued veggies add smoky flavour to this version of Italian panzanella salad; we use eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and red onion.
  • The goat cheese melts beautifully, coating the salad with its creamy, tangy taste.

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chicken caprese

Ready in: 22 minutes

  • Who doesn’t love melty, cheesy chicken piled high with warm tomatoes and fresh basil? This easy recipe is sure to please even picky eaters.
  • Serve with pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, a salad, even a crusty loaf of Italian bread— this chicken works with all your favourite sides.

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