Use these recipes from Food Bank volunteers to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

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Taco Salad Skillet

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings:  4


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 
  • ½ lb. ground beef 
  • ½ Tbsp chili powder blend
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper 
  • ⅛ tsp salt 
  • 15oz. can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 2 cups broken tortilla chips 
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce 
  • 1 large tomato 
  • 3 green onions 
  • 8oz. tub sour cream 


  1. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and ground beef. Sauté the beef, breaking it into crumbles as you go, until fully browned. Drain the excess fat if needed.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to the skillet. Drain, but do not rinse, the black beans and then add them to the skillet. Stir until the beef and beans are coated in the spices. Continue to sauté until heated through (3-5 minutes).
  3. Spread the corn kernels and shredded cheese over the beef and bean mixture. Place a lid on the skillet and let the mixture warm through until the cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, dice the tomato, slice the green onions, and shred the lettuce.
  5. Once the cheese is melted, turn off the heat. Top the skillet with the broken tortilla chips, lettuce, tomato, and green onion. Scoop the layered salad into each of four bowls, then add a dollop of sour cream to each serving.

(Recipe from: Budget Bytes)

Lentils and Rice


  • 2 cups (500 mL) broth or water
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried green lentils
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) rice
  • 1 pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 green onion, sliced (optional)


  1. In a large pot, mix lentils and broth/water and bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until almost tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in rice, salt and pepper. Return to boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 17 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork; stir in green onion.

Alternative Methods

  • Prepare red lentils and instant rice to reduce cooking times and mix together after cooking.
  • Add spices like curry, garlic, onion powder, or ginger to taste
  • Mix in green peas, corn, chopped carrots or cooked spinach to get your veggies and create a delicious, balanced meal.

(Recipe from: Lanark County Food Bank)


Spicy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas

Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings:  4 to 6 servings


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Heat the oven to 204°C and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes.

(Recipe from:

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings:  4 patties


  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs


  1. If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
  3. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.
  5. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
  6. If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

(Recipe from: All Recipes)

Weeknight Black Bean Chili

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ lb. ground turkey
  • 3 15oz. cans black beans
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles* 
  • 3 oz. tomato paste (1/2 of a 6oz. can or about ¼ cup) 
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder** 
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)


  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large pot with 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook over medium-low heat just until softened (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add the ground turkey to the pot and continue to sauté until the turkey is cooked through (5-7 minutes). Break the turkey up into small crumbles with your spoon as it cooks.
  3. Add the three cans of beans (undrained), the diced tomatoes (undrained), tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano. Stir everything to combine.
  4. Let the chili simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors blend and help the liquid thicken slightly. Taste the chili and add salt as needed (this will depend on the salt content of your canned goods. I added about ¼ tsp). Serve with your favourite chili toppings.

* If you want a mild chili, you can use plain diced tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes with green chiles.
** This chili powder is a mild, earthy blend of spices, including mild red chiles.

 (Recipe from: Budget Bytes)

Quinoa, Egg & Veggie Breakfast Bites


  • 1 c cooked quinoa
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 c finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 c finely chopped kale
  • 1-2 t coconut oil or olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 24 mini muffin tin with coconut or olive oil (you’ll want to grease them well but not excessively) and set aside.

2. In a medium skillet, heat the coconut (or olive) oil and add the onions. Saute quickly until just fragrant, then add the peppers. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes, until just softened. Remove from heat and add the kale. Stir into the other veggies and allow the kale to wilt just slightly. (Remember, this will finish cooking in the oven, so be sure not to overcook to avoid mushy vegetables.)

3. Combine the veggie mixture and quinoa in a large bowl and mix well. Add the eggs and stir gently to incorporate. Carefully fill the muffin tin with the egg & quinoa mixture and bake for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a rack – or directly into your mouth (they smell so good right out of the oven). Serve a few with a small piece of fruit, or just grab some as your heading out the door, and enjoy!

 (Recipe from: Poor Girl Eats Well)

Spanish Chickpeas and Rice Meal

Serves: 4


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • ½ Tbsp smoked paprika $0.15
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10
  • ½ tsp oregano $0.05
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • Freshly cracked black pepper $0.05
  • 1 yellow onion $0.36
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice $0.33
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes $0.79
  • 1 15oz. can quartered artichoke hearts $2.50
  • 1 19oz. can chickpeas $1.89
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth* $0.18
  • ½ tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley $0.22
  • 1 fresh lemon $0.25


  1. Mince the garlic and add it to a large deep skillet along with the olive oil. Cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until soft and fragrant. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper to the skillet. Stir and sauté the spices in the hot oil for one more minute.
  2. Dice the onion and add it to the skillet. Sauté the onion until it is soft and translucent (about 5 min). Add the rice and sauté for 2 minutes more.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and artichoke hearts, then add them to the skillet along with the can of diced tomatoes (with juices), vegetable broth, and a half teaspoon of salt. Roughly chop the parsley and add it to the skillet, reserving a small amount to sprinkle over the finished dish. Stir all the ingredients in the skillet until evenly combined.
  4. Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the skillet to come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Make sure it's simmering the whole time and adjust the heat up slightly if necessary to keep it simmering.
  5. After simmering for 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 5 minutes without removing the lid. Finally, remove the lid, fluff with a fork and top with the remaining chopped parsley. Cut the lemon into wedges and squeeze the fresh juice over each bowl.

 (Recipe from: Budget Bytes)

Corn and Black Bean Pizza

Serves: 8


  • 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
  • 1 can no-salt-added black beans (15 oz.)
  • 1 can no-salt-added corn (15 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Prepare your ingredients: drain and rinse black beans and corn, and drain tomatoes. If using whole, canned tomatoes, chop the tomatoes and drain juices again after chopping.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  3. Mix black beans, corn, and tomatoes together in a medium bowl, set aside.
  4. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, water and olive oil together in a bowl and stir until fully mixed.
  5. Using your hands, knead until the dough is in the shape of a ball, about 5 minutes.
  6. Place onto baking sheet and press out to cover entire sheet. For a crispier crust, spread as thin as possible.
  7. Bake for 5 minutes or until dough is no longer sticky. Remove baking sheet from oven.
  8. Spread barbeque sauce evenly over crust.
  9. Spread bean-corn-tomato mixture on top of sauce.
  10. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top.
  11. Put pizza in oven and bake another 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges of crust are lightly browned. 

 (Recipe from: Capital Area Food Bank)

Tasty Tomato Macaroni


  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • 1 can tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 3 chopped celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • pepper (to taste)


  1. Turn on stove to high heat. Half fill a medium saucepan with water and boil. Add macaroni. Cook about 10 minutes, starting from the time the water boils again, stirring several times. Drain and set aside.
  2. While macaroni is cooking, turn on another burner on the stove to medium-high heat. Put tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, oregano, parsley and garlic powder into a large saucepan. Cook and stir until mixture boils.
  3. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 20 minutes. Stir mixture several times while cooking.
  4. Add cooked macaroni and kidney beans (don’t forget to drain and rinse beans!) to tomato mixture. Add pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.

    For this recipe (and all recipes!) feel free to use what you have! Any vegetables will work, experiment and see what tastes you will get!

(Recipe from: Trenton Foodbank)

Green Bean and Chick Pea Salad

Serves: 6


  • 1lb of fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp of vinegar
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper


  1. Turn on stove to high heat. Half fill a large pot with water and heat to boiling. Add green beans and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Put green beans, chickpeas and onion in a large bowl.
  3. Mix oil, vinegar, basil and garlic powder in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the green bean mixture. Mix well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, stir gently.

(Recipe from: Trenton Foodbank)

   Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serving Size: 9

What you’ll need:

  • 6 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 can (8 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided


  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Add butter and Parmesan cheese; toss to coat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomato sauce, green pepper and tomatoes.
  3. In a blender, cover and process the ricotta cheese until pureed. Add to the spaghetti sauce mixture.
  4. Stir in the mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, oregano and 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.
  5. Add the spaghetti; toss to coat.
  6. Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Cover; bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until heated through.

(Recipe from: Taste of Home)

   Sun-dried Tomato & Bacon Chicken

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 chicken breasts

What you’ll need:

  • 2 slices (1/2 ounce) bacon
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato sauce
  • 4 (1 pound) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese


  1. Cook bacon in a large pan until crisp and drain on paper towel.
  2. Add chicken to a large pan and brown on each side for about 2 minutes on regular heat.
  3. Pour sun-dried tomato sauce over chicken and sprinkle with basil.
  4. Continue to cook chicken for 8 minutes or until done.
  5. Remove chicken; place on serving dish and keep warm. 
  6. Save remaining sauce in the pan and add the chopped tomatoes to the pan cooking it until heated thoroughly. Stir in the bacon.
  7. Pour tomato mixture onto chicken and top with parmesan cheese


“If you have time marinate your chicken breasts for 4-6 hours in the sun dried tomato sauce. This allows flavours to infuse the chicken even more."

(Recipe from: Tablespoon

   Mexican Pork Corn & Kidney Bean Chili

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4-6

What you’ll need:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ lb pork tenderloin (cut in ½ cubes)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ¼ ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt and pepper to your taste


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet
  2. Add pork, celery, green pepper
  3. Cook for 5 minutes. Ensure brown on all sides.
  4. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin.
  5. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(Recipe from: Food)

   Mexican Kidney Bean Salad

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: Nil

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp salad oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  1. After opening the can of kidney beans, drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Cut up one tomato, one onion and one spring onion.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients in a serving bowl.
  4. To make the dressing, mix 3 tablespoons of salad oil with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a separate bowl.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to the dressing and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add the dressing to the salad and mix.

(Recipe from:

Kraft Dinner Tuna Casserole

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pkg (227 g) Kraft Dinner Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1 (10 oz/284 mL) can each: cream of mushroom and drained tuna
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp. Miracle Whip Original Spread


  1. Prepare pasta as directed on package
  2. Stir in soup, tuna, peas, and Miracle Whip. Spoon into a baking dish.
  3. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes