Quick Meal Ideas From Our 2019 Program Coaches

The 2019 session of the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program begins in September and we cannot wait! We are just buzzing with excitement around here, and so are our dedicated program coaches who are here to help our students achieve their full potential. Our program coaches live in cities across Canada, the US and Europe and we are pleased to introduce them to the world! Today, they’re sharing their favourite quick meal ideas to help you get a healthy dinner on the table in a pinch!

If you’re still thinking about joining us this fall, it’s not too late! Registration closes in September, so hop on over here to find out more.

And, without further ado, enjoy these 17 delicious and quick meal ideas from our 2019 program coaches and learn a few fun facts about them!

17 quick meal ideas from our coaches

Sondi - Culinary Nutrition Tips quick meal ideas Sondi Bruner

City: Vancouver, British Columbia
Year Graduated: 2012
Go-to meal after a long day: Soup! I could live off it – there are many ways to change it up with seasonal ingredients, herbs and spices so I’m never bored. And adding gluten-free noodles are mandatory.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Kombucha – it tastes too boozy and the SCOBY creeps me out. Second place goes to cilantro.
Culinary nutrition focus: Digestive health and allergen-friendly cooking. I aim to help people focus on abundance, not deprivation.


Nicole Benson - Culinary Nutrition TipsNicole Benson

City: Brantford, Ontario
Year Graduated: 2014
Go-to meal after a long day: I always cook different soups and chili in big batches and then freeze the leftovers in mason jars. When I need a quick meal, I will take one out from the freezer and quickly heat it up on the stove. Easy!
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Spirulina. I have tried reducing the amount I use, but no matter what I do I can taste the strong flavour through anything and it just makes me gag. I really do want to love it!
Culinary nutrition focus: Unique food sensitivities in individuals, improving gut health, and balancing hormones.


Culinary Nutrition Tips - Quick meal ideas

Laurent Causse

City: Montreal, Quebec
Year Graduated: 2015
Go-to meal after a long day: I keep my cooking time to a strict minimum. I make myself a mixed salad with lots of veggies (I usually have some already prepped in the fridge), a protein source (some legumes, a mix of nuts and seeds, or smoked salmon), a nice dressing, and some fresh herbs. There you go!
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: I am not completely sold on algae just yet. I have included some sorts in salads or soups sometimes. However, using blue-green algae like spirulina in a smoothie is not particularly enticing to me at all.
Culinary nutrition focus: Digestion/elimination and hormonal balance.


culinary nutrition tipsMelanie Connolly

City: Quakertown, Pennsylvania
Year Graduated: 2013
Go-to meal after a long day: Wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon with sautéed veggies (based on what’s in my CSA or fridge). At the end, add a non-dairy pesto and it goes from plain to gourmet. It’s so quick to prepare, and I stock plenty of frozen salmon and can thaw it within minutes when frozen in smaller single-serve sizes.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: I really love all healthy food, but sometimes raw garlic doesn’t love me. It’s hit or miss. One time I’m fine, the next time it permeates my entire body and feels like it stays with me for days. Fermenting it helps though, as the longer it ages it doesn’t seem to have the same effect. It doesn’t stop me from loving or eating garlic though!
Culinary nutrition focus: Autoimmune conditions


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Culinary Nutrition TipsLyne Desforges

City: Oakville, Ontario
Year Graduated: 2016
Go-to meal after a long day: An omelette. I love that it is quick and easy to do. I can use whatever veggies are in the fridge (i.e. mushrooms, onions, fresh herbs, garlic, spinach, kale, etc.). I often use 2-3 eggs to get more protein and lots of good fats. Served with some kimchi on the side and it’s perfect! Bon appétit!
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Matcha! I know there are so many health benefits but I just can’t take the grassy taste. I keep trying. I read somewhere that after 14 tries, you might start liking a food you disliked previously… not sure about that but will keep trying periodically and will keep you posted!
Culinary nutrition focus: Helping people reduce their intake of sugar and refined carbs. Although I don’t focus on a particular condition or disease, by working on modifying people’s eating habits and finding alternatives to the bad stuff, I end up helping them with a host of issues, including reducing inflammation, balancing blood sugar and hormones, and eliminating some digestive issues.


Theresa Diulus

City: Seabrook, Texas
Year Graduated: 2014
Go-to meal after a long day: Breakfast for dinner – grain-free pancakes, scrambled eggs with whatever vegetables I have on hand, and seasonal fruit. It comes together quickly and I feel like I’m eating comfort food while getting in great nutrients at the same time.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Seaweed snacks.
Culinary nutrition focus: Blood sugar balance.


culinary nutrition tips

Caitlin Iles

City: Quispamsis, New Brunswick
Year Graduated: 2012
Go-to meal after a long day: If it’s really late and I’m really tired then it’s a green berry smoothie plus one of the proteins I always have prepped in the fridge (chicken or homemade burger generally). If I’ve been on my meal prep game and have a few more minutes to spare, then I’m frying up some onions and garlic and having pho, since I make it nearly every week.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Sprouts. I wish I could love them, but they all taste like a moldy basement to me. Honourable mention goes to spirulina… how can one food be so vile?
Culinary nutrition focus: Female hormone balance, digestive healing, and adrenal support.


Culinary Nutrition TipsSuzy Larsen

City: Kelowna, British Columbia
Year Graduated: Fall 2016
Go-to meal after a long day: The versatile Almond Veggie Burger Bundle from The UnDiet Cookbook by Meghan Telpner! This burger is always such a hit with my 9-year-old daughter and husband. The beauty of this meal is, besides containing a bunch of veggies, that the almonds and flax can be switched with pastured meat. I make this quite a bit changing up the vegetables and protein and no one is the wiser that I’m using the same recipe time and time again.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: There’s really nothing that would not cross my palate if I knew it had a health benefit. If you’re twisting my arm, I’d have to say papaya.
Culinary nutrition focus: Since dealing with sleep issues myself, most of my focus has been on using food to help achieve a better night’s sleep.


Culinary Nutrition TipsLizette Marx

City: Moraga, California
Year Graduated: Fall 2017
Go-to meal after a long day: A hearty chicken vegetable soup made with my bone broth. It is a quick meal that works for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: I don’t have any aversions to most health foods, and I suppose the one I wish I could have once in a while is goji berries. Sadly I am allergic so they are off the list.
Culinary nutrition focus: Digestion, immune health and blood sugar management. I also create meals for people who have sensitivities to foods and have meal programs for pre/postnatal nutrition support – but especially postnatal because that is when a lot of new moms and dads hire me to cook meals for them.


Culinary Nutrition TipsJessica Mitton

City: Moncton, New Brunswick
Year Graduated: 2015
Go-to meal after a long day: Meal prepped homemade turkey patties and sautéed veggies. Warm it up and you have a satisfying and nutritious quick meal!
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Kale chips. I love kale in smoothies, a stir-fry, soups and salads, but I just can’t get down with kale chips.
Culinary nutrition focus: Hormones and digestion.


Quick meal Ideas fro mCNE Coaches Lori Moore

City: Kingsport, Nova Scotia
Year Graduated: 2018
Go-to meal after a long day: A quick meal for me is grilled organic and non-GMO tofu (made locally) with sautéed vegetables or salad. I grill a block of tofu on the weekend to have a couple of slices ready to add to whatever veggies are prepared in the fridge.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Spirulina. I cannot get past the smell. I even stopped using it in my homemade soaps because I can’t get past the smell.
Culinary nutrition focus: Optimal digestion and autoimmune conditions. I also do a lot of meal plans for people who are interested in increasing their consumption of plant-based foods. Since my diet has been plant-strong for decades, I love helping folks introduce new plant-based recipes into their meal plans.


Click here to begin using these tips in the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program.


Culinary Nutrition TipsJessica Pecush

City: Calgary, Alberta
Year Graduated: 2015
Go-to meal after a long day: My Kelp Noodle Bowl w/ Ginger Dressing, as it is nutrient-dense, colourful and packed with flavour! It is easy to put together and may also be completely prepped in advance. It’s a combination of grilled chicken, kelp noodles, carrot, scallions, cilantro, sesame seeds and ginger root and a tamari-based dressing.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Sardines – although they pack a nutritional punch, I just can’t wrap my head around consuming them!
Culinary nutrition focus: Digestive health (including autoimmunity). I support adults experiencing digestion-based symptoms and inflammation via whole foods and from-scratch culinary techniques, to help them reclaim their digestive health and get back to the life of their dreams.


Quick meal Ideas from CNE Coaches Valerie Piccitto

City: Keswick, Ontario
Year Graduated: 2014
Go-to meal after a long day: Quinoa or chickpea pasta (ultimate comfort food) with a dairy-free pesto and broccolini topped off with extra hemp hearts and nutritional yeast – SOOO good!
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Zucchini noodles! I’ve tried (and tried) but nope. Instead, I prefer spaghetti squash or butternut squash noodles.
Culinary nutrition focus: Women’s hormones, specifically PMS, PCOS, thyroid imbalances and weight loss as well as digestion. I’m super passionate about gut health!


Mieke Postulart-Vier

City: Leusden, Netherlands
Year Graduated: 2014
Go-to meal after a long day: A one-pot dish with ground beef, sweet potato cubes and shredded cabbage. I spice it up with smoked paprika powder and cumin. So easy, satisfying and delicious!
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Spirulina. Even mixed into smoothies it tastes too fishy.
Culinary nutrition focus: Family nutrition and helping parents get wholesome meals on the table in a quick, easy and delicious way.


quick meal ideas from program coaches

Veronica Qubrossi

City: Kitchener, Ontario
Year Graduated: 2014
Go-to meal after a long day: I usually default to a simple stir-fry that consists of aromatic vegetables (onions, celery, and carrots), with some sort of leafy green and an animal protein. I feel best on a relatively high-fat diet, so I include a decent amount of healthy fats like tallow and olive oil in my stir-fries.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: I wish I could consume bee pollen, but I’m highly allergic to bees and bee products! I also can’t stand kombucha…there are 100 other probiotic foods I’d rather eat instead!
Culinary nutrition focus: In private practice, I work with a few different populations, all of which I am (or have been) a part of. My focuses include: pre-conception, prenatal, postnatal and pediatric nutrition, hormone balance, autoimmune thyroid conditions, and brain and spinal cord injuries.


quick meal ideas from program coachesWendy Rose

City: Tilbury, Ontario
Year Graduated: 2014
Go-to meal after a long day: I make a bowl of whatever healthy options I can find and can put together quickly – protein, vegetables, healthy fat, and a fermented food of some sort like kimchi or sauerkraut. My go-to combination is sautéed greens in avocado oil seasoned with pink salt, fresh ground black pepper and turmeric, with hard-boiled eggs, steamed sweet potatoes, broccoli, snap peas, sweet peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes, with a side of kimchi. I find this so satisfying, and it tastes delicious! Plus, everyone in my family can easily customize it to their liking which makes mealtime easier since we all eat so differently.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: Salmon. I have a lot of food allergies and can’t eat meat or poultry, but I can eat fish and seafood. I wish I liked salmon – it would make my life so much easier! I used to hate mushrooms, grapefruit, and onions and now I enjoy them…so I’m hoping someday I’ll enjoy salmon!
Culinary nutrition focus: Digestion, as that is where I have the most issues with my own health.  Brain health, inflammation, children’s nutrition, and allergy-friendly cooking are always on my mind as a parent/caregiver. What you eat matters, and there’s no reason why you can’t eat healthy foods that taste good too!


Culinary Nutrition Tips

Melissa Torio

City: Toronto, Ontario
Year Graduated: 2016
Go-to meal after a long day: Whatever is in the fridge that was meal prepped for the week.
Health food I’ve tried to love but can’t: This one almost had me stumped. Come to think of it, I am honestly not a fan of beets, but will still eat it from time to time though.
Culinary nutrition focus: Fermentation and gut health.


Culinary Nutrition Expert Program Coaches - Quick Meal Ideas

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