Digging In with Registered Dietitian, Erin MacGregor

Erin: Hi, I’m Erin MacGregor and I am part of the howtoeat.ca food and nutrition communications team. I’m a registered dietitian, a home economist and a mom to a budding foodie.

Jenn: Who’s the most fascinating person you’ve ever cooked for?

Erin: The most fascinating person I’ve ever cooked or prepared food for is for sure, 100%, my daughter, who’s now two and a half. But even when I started feeding her as an infant, I’ve never watched someone eat so intently in my life before. 

She could eat an entire head of broccoli one day, and say I hate it the next day. It really is, truly, a fascinating thing to watch and I could watch her at every meal. Which to some people, would seem so boring, but it’s so fascinating to me being such a food lover and then, of course, she’s my own daughter, right?


Q: I’m going to ask you a different version of this question. If you were not a Registered Dietitian or a PHEc (Professional Home Economist). What would you do for a living?

Erin: Alright, if I wasn’t a dietitian, if I wasn’t a home economist, I would probably still have food incorporated into my career in some way. I don’t know if I’d become a chef, because that chef life, I hear, is super hard.

I’d want to cook in some way and give back in some way. Food is totally my love language. I know that when I’m cooking and preparing and talking about food it comes from a real place of passions. And so it would have to be involved in my career in some way.

Jenn: What do you eat out, at a restaurants, when you’re out, that you don’t typically or don’t eat at home?

Erin: So, when I eat out I always try to order something that I wouldn’t be able to prepare for myself at home – I think that’s the beauty of eating out. It’s getting to rely on these super talented artists and chefs who do this for a living.

I would say I don’t cook a ton of seafood at home. I prepare fish, simply, but I would say things like shellfish and lobster and shrimp, and seasonal things. That’s the type of thing that I would take advantage of when I’m going out.  Something fancy, something that I wouldn’t be able to easily access at home and if it’s seasonal, all the better.

Jenn: Everybody knows that home cook or professional chef, you always have to have a great knife. So, beyond the knife, what is one kitchen tool that you think every home kitchen can’t live without?

Erin: A tool that I cannot live without at home is my non-stick frying pan. I love a good knife, mine is actually a cheap one from Canadian Tire! I just keep it sharp, that’s the ticket. But my non-stick frying pan allows me to cook a really really simple meal in a matter of minutes, without a lot of clean-up, without having to make a really complicated recipe.

Jenn: Why do you choose to use canola oil in your kitchen as one of your ingredients?

Erin: I love using canola oil in my kitchen, and I have for many, many years and the more I learn about it, the more I love it because there are so many benefits to using it in the kitchen. As a dietitian, I love the fact that it is heart-healthy and there’s lots of omega-3’s.  As a home cook, an experience home cook, I love that it has a high smoke point, that it’s a really neutral flavoured oil. I use it for everything from frying, pan-frying to roasting, to using it for salad dressings.

And most importantly, I love that it’s a Canadian-grown product and that I’m supporting my local Canadian producers and using it at home.

Jenn: What did you have for dinner last night?

Erin: I had, oh, I had this delicious sheet pan dinner. It had tofu and peanuts and roasted bok choy, in canola oil!   And some salmon cakes on the side- it was kind of a mix-mash of some things.

Jenn: What did you want to be when you were growing up? A young child.

Erin: When I was a youngin’, I aspired to be a palaeontologist. *laughs*  I don’t think you knew this about me, but I was really, really into dinosaurs for a long time – like well into my teenage years, and even in university I took a few anthropology classes to perhaps go that route before I went in completely different directions and eventually became a dietitian. I still love dinosaurs.

Jenn: On behalf of canola farmers we want to thank you for choosing canola oil and including it in your kitchen. Is there any message or anything you’d like to share back with the farmers?

Erin:  Oh my goodness! I would love to share so many things with Canadian farmers. Over the past several years, the more I’ve gotten to learn about our growers and producers, the more respect I have for them, the more inspired I am by them to share their message about how safe and wonderful and abundant our food system is here in Canada. And I just want to scream it from the rooftops for them. And so I thank them for just continuing to produce such great quality food for us to eat. 

In Celebration of National Cookbook Month

We want to share the love of Canadian Cookbook authors. Enter below for a chance to win one of 5 Canadian cookbook packages. Be sure to check us out on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to see which amazing cookbook author we are featuring this week!

Draw dates are at midnight as follows:

Monday, Oct 15, 2018 – Mairlyn Smith’s The Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook

Thursday, Oct 18th, 2018 – Matt Basile & Kyla Zanardi’s Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life

Monday, Oct 22nd, 2018 – Claire Tansey’s Uncomplicated

Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 – Matt Dean Pettit’s The Great Shellfish Cookbook and Ned Bell’s Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast

Monday, Oct 29th, 2018 – Emily Richards’ Per la famiglia and The Best of Bridge: Weekday Suppers

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