5 Wholesome, Family-Approved Meals

Whole grains are key for a well-rounded diet—but brown bread isn’t the only way to get your fill. Try these easy meal ideas that the entire family will love.

Image Credit: Abbey Sharp
Photo Credit: Abbey Sharp

Refined flour may be a common ingredient in many recipes, but whole grain foods are a healthier choice. Why? Because they include all parts of the grain. That’s why Canada’s food guide recommends you enjoy a variety of whole grains, such as: quinoa, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, whole oats or oatmeal, whole grain brown or wild rice.

Whole grain oats add more than flavour to a meal. They’re also a source of energy, are low in saturated and trans fats and contain fibre.

Want to add more whole grains into your family meals? We have five family-approved ideas (and two special recipes by cookbook author and Quaker® Canada spokesperson Abbey Sharp) that will quickly become family favourites.

1. Tofu nuggets

Chicken nuggets are a staple in many busy households, but for another wholesome alternative, try Abbey Sharp’s tofu nuggets. They feature tofu—a plant-based protein—and Quaker® Quick Oats, which are made with 100 percent Canadian whole grain oats. Oats are a great ingredient to add to some of your favourite classic meals for an interesting (and yummy) twist! Paired with a dip of your choice, these delicious bites are sure to become a staple in your weekly meal rotation. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the full recipe!

2. Burgers, sandwiches and meatloaf

Ground beef, chicken or turkey burger recipes often call for breadcrumbs. To add more whole grains to your meal, use whole-wheat crumbs or oats—like in these chicken parmesan sandwiches, which swap out a portion of chicken for mushrooms (if you’re trying to cut down on meat consumption!), and have a crispy rolled oat crust. By adding oats, you are including a versatile whole grain that also provides energy! When it comes to sides, use whole-wheat pasta or brown rice instead of their white counterparts.

3. Cornbread Oatmeal

Ideal as a savoury brunch item or a summery side dish, Abbey Sharp’s cornbread oatmeal made with Quaker® Gluten-Free Quick Oats is a new rendition of an old favourite. Plus, this recipe can easily transform to meet other dietary needs with a couple quick substitutions. While most cornbreads are made with just flour and cornmeal, oats add amazing texture to the mix. “I like the versatility of oats and how they can be incorporated into delicious make-ahead meals, like this cornbread,” says Sharp. “There are so many unique oat-based recipes to explore that go beyond your standard bowl of delicious oatmeal!” Scroll to the bottom of the page for Abbey’s full recipe!

4. Parfaits

Instead of cereal, start the morning off with a parfait that layers fruit, Greek yogurt and puffed brown rice or overnight oats. Aside from being totally yummy, the oats provide you and your family with a change in your morning routine. Bonus: If you opt for overnight oats, you can make the parfaits the night before so they’re all ready to go when you wake up in the morning.

5. Oat bites

With just six ingredients, Raspberry Oat Bites are an easy, delicious snack for people on the move. This tasty recipe features Quaker® Large Flake Oats for plenty of texture and goodness, plus raspberries and dates for natural sweetness. Since oats are a source of fibre, adding them to your diet can help get your digestive tract on the move too. These oat bites are definitely a wholesome snack for your family (or maybe you?) that you can feel good about choosing!

Since 1902, the Quaker® brand has combined science, passion and expertise to help Canadians from coast to coast harness the wholesome goodness of oats. For more versatile oat-based meal, snack and treat ideas, visit quakeroats.ca.

Tofu nuggets

Photo Credit: Abbey Sharp
Photo Credit: Abbey Sharp

Serves 4


  • 1 pack extra firm tofu
  • Oil in an atomizer for spraying

Wet batter

  • 1 ½ cups soy milk
  • 6 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • 2 cups Quaker® Quick Oats
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Fleur de sel on top


  1. Break the tofu pieces into rough nugget size (about an inch each), place them on a baking sheet lined with a kitchen towel. Top with another towel, and press down with heavy items. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425° and place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients for the batter. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the oats, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, pepper and salt.
  5. Remove the baking sheet and grease with olive oil.
  6. Dunk the tofu piece into the wet batter, then the dry oats, and transfer to the preheated baking sheet. Continue with the remaining tofu, then spray the tofu pieces with oil lightly.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, then flip the tofu and spray again with oil.
  8. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes more, until browned and crispy. Immediately sprinkle generously with fleur de sel.
  9. Serve with your favourite sauce for dipping.

Cornbread Oatmeal

Photo Credit: Abbey Sharp
Photo Credit: Abbey Sharp


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup Quaker® Gluten-Free Quick Oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (made by pulverizing quick oats in food processor)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp melted butter (or vegan butter, if preferred)
  • 398mL can creamed corn
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sour cream (vegan sour cream, if preferred)
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 ½ cups frozen or canned sweet corn
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (vegan cheese, if preferred)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, oats, oat flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add in the melted butter, creamed corn, sour cream, maple, onions, whole corn kernels and 1 cup of the cheese. Mix until well incorporated.
  4. Spread into the baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 55-60 minutes or until the cheese is melted, and the edges are golden brown. Serve warm for a moist and soft bread or allow to cool completely if you want to cut it into more uniform pieces.

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