Saturday, 10 March 2012

Healthier Choices from the President!

Choosing the healthier option is easier than ever with the President's Blue Menu selections!

About Blue Menu®

For many Canadians, making healthier choices is something they'd like to do, but it seems like a lot of work. So we've made it easier. How? Blue Menu products won't sacrifice great taste in the pursuit of healthier choices. We make eating less fat, less sodium, more fibre, and more Omega-3s plus other nutritional benefits, delicious. With President's Choice Blue Menu products, healthier choices are within reach.

History of Blue Menu®

In 1991, Loblaw Companies Ltd. introduced a line of products called Too Good To Be True aimed at Canadians looking for healthier options. By 2005, the brand was improved and relaunched under the name Blue Menu. The initial 80 products were low in fat, sugar, and calories, and high in fibre, and had easier nutrition messaging. Within the first year there were a total of 200 products. Today the brand includes 400+ products, each of which have been developed with, and tested by, a registered dietician.

Look for these

We've made it simple for you to see exactly what's different about each Blue Menu product by introducing these easy to understand green arrows that let you know what elements have been added or reduced. Each product has at least one primary benefit: lower fat; lower calories; less sugar; less sodium; more fibre, omega-3, soy protein, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, plant sterols, probiotics, and/or prebiotics. The benefits are easy to identify – just look for the bright blue banner on the front of every package.

I tried out a few new Blue Menu options, you'll want to too!

 PC Blue Menu Pad Thai Cooking Sauce
35% less fat and 40% less sodium than PC Pad Thai Cooking Sauce

A mild and sweet sauce, this will be a hit for the whole family - even the kids. Put some hot sauce on the table for those who like it spicy.

Preparation Instructions (from the bottle)
1. Heat 1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 lb shrimp or chicken, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Stir-fry for 4 minutes.
2. Add 1 thinly sliced carrot and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat; add ½ jar sauce and simmer for 7 minutes. Stir in 1 cup (250 ml) snow peas and cook for 3 minutes longer or until tender-crisp.
3. Stir in a 225g pkg of PC Thai Rice Stick Noodles, soaked and drained, and 2 cups (500 ml) bean sprouts. Heat 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until hot.
4. Serve sprinkled with cilantro and chopped peanuts. 
PC Blue Menu Tangerine Guava Pink Peppercorn Dressing 
Sigh, doesn't this just scream summer to you? Natural ingredients and a source of Omega-3 too. Bring it!

Still craving Omega-3s?

PC Blue Menu Omega-3 Almond Vanilla Granola
A multigrain blend made with whole grain oats, whole grain wheat, flax, Salba seeds, roasted almonds and a hint of vanilla flavour.
I was actually worried before I tried this - I generally make my own granola and don't care for flavoured anything - the the vanilla is a mild undertone and there are tons of almonds! Just like I would have made it myself. Crunchy and delicious. 

PC Organics Quinoa 
(I tried the Golden and Black PC Organics Quinoa, not shown)
Quinoa is a tasty and nutritious alternative to grains like rice and couscous. Serve as a side dish, or add to salads, soups, or stir-fries.

Quinoa cooks up quick and easy, much like rice but even quicker. It has huge health benefits and is great hot or cold.

I sliced two zucchini very thin with my mandoline, minced 1 shallot and 1 clove garlic and marinated these veggies in the juice and zest of 1 lemon and a glug of olive oil for about 20 minutes. I tossed it all with the cooked and cooled quinoa, threw in 2 chopped celery ribs for crunch, a handful of cooked chickpeas, and a handful of crumbled feta and seasoned to taste with some kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and a little more lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Delicious. Fresh herbs like parsley or dill would also be perfect in this salad.

For a little something sweet - PC Berry Blend Little Penguin Bites
These are peanut-free, are made of concentrated fruit purées, juices, and contain no added sugar. My daughter (22) scooped them up and absolutely loved them. Perfect for the lunch box or on-the-go snack.

We had fun exploring just a few of the Blue Menu options from PC. To learn more about the Blue Menu program and products, click here.