Lifestyle & Parenting

List, Shop and Chop: Tips for Healthy Meal Prep With Celeb Chef Trevor Bird

January 31, 2018

A healthy diet. It’s something most of us strive for but when faced with busy work and family schedules, the added time and effort has us reaching for the takeout menu more often than we’d like to admit. But does it really require THAT much more time and aren’t the benefits worth it? Acclaimed chef Trevor Bird thinks we should give it another shot, and is sharing his top tips for keeping things nutritious in an active household (spoiler alert: read on to find our why Real Canadian Superstore is his fave one-stop-shop). —Rachel Johnston

trevor bird

Tell us a little about yourself and your experience in the culinary industry.

I’m a 34-year-old father, husband, chef, business owner and health advocate. I have cooked all over Canada from Montreal to Tofino and have worked in every food establishment imaginable, from corporate to small family restaurants. I got my jumpstart when I was on Top Chef Canada in 2012 as a finalist and have two Vancouver restaurants, Fable and Fable Diner.

What are some of your values and beliefs around food?

Let the farmers and the seasons drive your meals and menus. Cook with what’s available at the peak of the season and use as much local produce as possible. Eat whole, fresh foods.

When it comes to fresh produce, what are the most important items to consistently keep on hand?

For fresh produce I love going to Real Canadian Superstore as you can get a wide selection of local seasonal produce in one place for great prices. When in store, pick what not only looks good, but smells good. Though sometimes, if the produce is not perfectly shaped, it doesn’t mean it’s not delicious! It usually means it was grown more naturally than the "perfect" food you see. Real Canadian Superstore actually has a line of no name® Naturally Imperfect™ produce just for this reason. We always have a ton of vegetables and fruit because it means that no matter what you have on hand, you can create a quick meal.


As a busy dad, what tips can you provide for quick and healthy meal prep?

It’s all about planning ahead! First, write your menu for the week or for the next three to four days. I suggest doing the prep on Sunday and Wednesday nights, for one hour each. List all the ingredients you’ll need. I head to Real Canadian Superstore as I can get everything in one shop. Prep everything. Cut it, cook it and store in matching containers to maximize space in your fridge. I’m a big fan of my mason jar salads right now. You can fill them with anything and make lunches for several days in one go. Give it a try—you’ll always have a healthy lunch at your fingertips!

It can be tricky to create healthy meals that appeal to both children and adults. What’s your solution?

My son only likes very plain food so before I add any intense spice like chili powder or curry, I remove the protein or vegetable so it’s plain. I’ll then let him experiment by trying my food to see if he likes it. If he does, then I know for next time. My wife and I don’t want to make our meals boring just for him!


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