Everyone knows that March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, but did you know that this year it’s also Dietitians Day? Every year, the third Wednesday in March shines a spotlight on dietitians and the work that we do to help promote healthy eating in Canada.
Dietitians are regulated health professionals who go through comprehensive training both in university and in the workplace. The term “dietitian” is often used synonymously with “nutritionist,” but in fact they’re not always the same thing. “Dietitian” is a protected title across Canada, meaning that only people who have completed standardized education and training can use it. However, in many provinces there are no restrictions on who can call themselves a “nutritionist.”
So what do dietitians do? In the words of Dietitians of Canada, dietitians “unlock the power of food.” Whether working in healthcare, research, food service, government, non-profit settings or elsewhere, dietitians help translate the science of nutrition into practical advice, recommendations and policies that work for individuals.
Contrary to what you might hear, healthy eating is not one-size-fits-all. A dietitian can work with you to find a style of healthy eating that works for you, taking into account your culture, taste, preferences and values as well as your unique nutritional needs. For example, if you’re interested in including more local or seasonal foods into your diet, a dietitian can provide advice and resources to help you locate, prepare and enjoy them.
One ingredient currently in season in my home province of Ontario is sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a great starchy root vegetable that can be used in lots of different dishes. Like most vegetables and fruits, they’re good sources of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. However, when it comes to fruits and vegetables, the most important thing is to eat a variety of the ones you like, so if you like sweet potatoes, you might enjoy this tasty and hearty chowder recipe!
You can substitute or add in other vegetables you may have on hand, and for a budget-friendly option, you can go for canned salmon instead of fresh – either will work just fine.
Fun fact: sweet potatoes were first eaten over 5,000 years ago, and the leaves of the plant are edible, too!
Sweet Potato and Salmon Chowder
Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 finely chopped onion
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1.5 cups diced sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cups diced carrots
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 450g fresh or canned salmon, chopped or shredded into bite-size pieces
- 3/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add sweet potatoes, carrot, broth, and dill
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pot
- Simmer for 20 minutes
- Add the salmon
- If using fresh salmon: simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the salmon is firm and opaque
- Add the milk and cheddar cheese and stir until all the ingredients are well mixed
- Serve and enjoy!
Sweet Potato Farms in Canada
Note: these farms are used as examples only and do not constitute a professional endorsement of their products over another
Some of Our Other In-Season Recipes
Farmwork to Feed Canada (F2FC) est une initiative nationale bénévole à but non lucratif menée par des professionnels de la communication, des étudiants et des jeunes diplômés en communication canadiens. F2FC collabore avec des agriculteurs et des entreprises agroalimentaires dans le cadre des défis liés à la pandémie de COVID-19 pour l'approvisionnement et la sécurité alimentaires du Canada, afin d'engager les Canadiens, bénévolement, avec des histoires convaincantes sur leur système alimentaire et de renforcer le soutien aux agriculteurs et aux producteurs alimentaires du Canada, ainsi qu'à leurs travailleurs qualifiés essentiels.