"Pure Prairie Eating Plan"

Fresh food, practical menus and a healthy lifestyle

About the Book

The Pure Prairie Eating Plan includes four weeks of complete daily menus, including three meals and three snacks. The plan also includes recipes, weekly grocery lists and cooking tips.  The cookbook is a great resource for people wanting a diabetic meal plan or anyone wanting a healthy menu plan.

Buy Your Copy

The Pure Prairie Eating Plan is now available online and at selected retail outlets.

Click here for the list of locations.

Author Book Presentation and Book Signing: – watch this space for future announcements.

 

PPEP supports healthy eating

Translating the recommendations about what we should eat from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide into practice is sometimes difficult. Taking this into account, we developed the Pure Prairie Eating Plan (PPEP).  
PPEP can help you enjoy a well-balanced diet while still giving you access to a variety of delicious foods.

Hot off the Press – the Pure Prairie Eating Plan Fall Newsletter

Hot off the Press – the Pure Prairie Eating Plan Fall Newsletter

November is Diabetes Month.  Many of you will remember that the Pure Prairie eating Plan was developed and tested with people with Type 2 diabetes.  This month we are celebrating our roots and talking about our research across the country.  The newsletter provides more detail on the events we’ll be taking part in…and, of course, has some yummy recipes.  Check it out: http://pureprairie.ca/newsletters/

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“Smoke point’ matters when cooking with oils”

“Smoke point’ matters when cooking with oils”

What is ‘smoke point’ and why should you care?  Leslie Beck recently posted an article on the Health page of the Globe and Mail that explains what happens when oils reach their smoke point.  “Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and smoke. When you cook with oil that’s been heated past its smoke point, you do more than impart a burnt flavour to foods. Beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals found in many unrefined oils are destroyed when the oil is overheated. Overheating also creates harmful free radicals.”  She goes on to explain the factors that affect smoke point and provides a guide to cooking with a wide variety of oils.  With all the interesting oils and fats that are available,  including our Prairie oils such as canola, flax, safflower, sunflower and butter, we thought you might be interested:...

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Harvest Soup with Carrots, Parsnips and Apple

Harvest Soup with Carrots, Parsnips and Apple

Fall on the Prairies brings to mind images of harvest – market stalls and larders brimming with root vegetables, gardens cleaned up and ready to go for next year and pantry selves lined with garden preserves.  We thought that this harvest vegetable soup was the perfect recipe for this time of year and perhaps for Thanksgiving lunch or dinner.  It’s simple to make and can be made ahead, leaving lots of time for outdoor hikes or games.  Serve it with equally simple open faced grilled cheese sandwiches (1 per serving) for a great lunch or simple supper.  Roasting vegetables brings out all the best of the flavour, which is lovely and fresh and sweet at this time of year. Harvest Soup with Carrots, Parsnips and Apple This soup has a sweet, garlicky flavour.  Serves 6.  Serving size about 1 cup (250 mL).   4-5                  parnips, peeled and sliced 1” (2.5 cm) thick                     4-5 2                      medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1” (2.5 cm) thick       2 1                      large onion, diced                                                                    1 2                      medium potatoes, peeled and diced                                    2 1                      apple, peeled and quartered                                                   1 3                      cloves garlic, peeled                                                                3 1 Tbsp.           canola oil                                                                                15 mL 4 c.                  low-sodium vegetable stock                                                 1 L pepper or cayenne pepper to taste   1.  Preheat the oven to 400 oF (200 oC). 2.  Spread the cut up parsnips, carrots and onions on a foil-lined baking tray.  Drizzle with canola oil.  Roast for 20 minutes. 3.  Add the whole garlic cloves and roast until the vegetables are tender, about 20 more minutes. 4.  While the vegetables are roasting, cook the potatoes in a large saucepan over medium heat in the vegetable broth.  Don’t worry if they start to fall apart. 5.  Add the roasted vegetables and cook 20-30 minutes longer, until all the vegetables are very soft.   Cool. 6.  Puree the soup in a blender or food processor, then return to the saucepan to reheat over medium heat.  Add pepper to taste.   For the photo, we used the idea of a “parsnip chip” from Spilling the Beans.  This is how to make them: After peeling a parsnip, use the vegetable peeler to make long strips (about 1 cup or 250 mL).  Heat some canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s very hot but not boiling.  (Or, use a deep fryer or electric wok.)  Working in batches, transfer the parsnip strips to the hot oil with a fork.  Cook until very lightly browned, 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a plate covered with paper towels to drain.  Parsnip chips can be stored in an airtight container, then crisped in the oven for a few minutes when you’re ready to use them.   Nutritional analysis (per serving):  202 kcal, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 35 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 6 g protein 254 mg...

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October is Healthy Workplace Month!

October is Healthy Workplace Month!

Here’s a quote we found interesting: “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking” ~ Martha Grogan, cardiologist, Mayo Clinic” * Many of us spend a big ‘chunk’ of our time at work, and while work time isn’t always sitting time, it did make us pause to think about one of the common challenges related to workplace health. Excellence Canada (formerly the National Quality Institute) recognizes that a healthy workplace is not only good for you, it’s good for business. Healthy Workplace Month is their way of supporting and encouraging individuals and businesses to get involved in healthy activities at work. Their website (http://healthyworkplacemonth.ca/en/) has lots of Healthy Activity Ideas as well as suggestions on how to set goals, evaluate workplace health programs and celebrate success. Here’s a sample of what they suggest in terms of getting active at work: start walking teams and challenges in your work place encourage/support walking meetings schedule stretch breaks bring in a personal trainer for a learn at lunch event They also have ideas for encouraging mental health awareness, stress reduction, play at work, volunteerism  and, our favourite :)!, healthy eating!   * (http://www.juststand.org/tabid/674/language/en-US/default.aspx)...

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Friday Night Dinner

Friday Night Dinner

It used to be a standing joke at our house – Friday night would come and someone would say “What should we have for dinner?” and I would say “Black Bean Quesadillas”, which always meant Black Bean Chèvre Quesadillas from Bonnie Stern’s Simply Heart Smart Cooking recipe book.  It was published over 20 years ago now (!) but the recipes are still amongst our favourites.  Even though her website says that it’s out of print, it still seems to be available on Amazon.  She also published a whole book of Friday Night Dinners – check it out on her website.   Black Bean Quesadillas are quick, easy and full of flavour.  We almost always used chèvre but you could substitute whatever cheese you have on hand.  Another option is to use the filling as a salad/side for almost anything (chicken breast, fish, mac and cheese, etc).  Whatever option you choose, it makes a great Friday (or any) night dinner.  Bonnie suggests barbecuing them for extra flavour or making them open faced like a pizza.  They can also be made ahead and reheated, and leftovers are great for lunches.   Black Bean Chèvre Quesadillas adapted from Simply HeartSmart Cooking   Serves 6 – Serving Size: 1 tortilla   Ingredients:   1 cup (250 mL) black beans 1 tomato, chopped and drained 1 sweet red pepper, preferably roasted, peeled and chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced ½ cup (125 mL) cilantro 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh chives or green onions 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh basil 1 ½ cups (375 mL) grated light Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese ½ cup (125 mL) chèvre (soft goat cheese) or feta cheese 6  10 inch (25 cm) flour tortillas   Directions: 1.  Preheat barbecue or  heat oven to 400oF (200oC). 2.  Combine black beans, tomato, red pepper, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, chives, basil, Monterey Jack and chèvre. 3.  Place tortillas on counter in a single layer.  Spread filling evenly over one half of each tortilla. 4.  Fold unfilled half over filled side and press together gently. 5.  Place in a single layer on heated grill on the barbecue or on a baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven.  Bake for 7 – 10 minutes until the filling is heated and the cheese has melted.   Nutritional Analysis (per serving): 340 kcal, 11 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 4 g fibre, 18 g protein.        ...

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Roasted Vegetable Penne Bake

Roasted Vegetable Penne Bake

With the bounty of fall vegetables available in gardens and markets at this time of year, we thought we’d serve up a recipe that takes full advantage of the best of fall flavours.  Roasted Vegetable Penne Bake is one of our favourites from the Pure Prairie Eating Plan.  It can be made ahead and served with barbecued chicken for quick weeknight dinner and leftovers, if there are any :), are great for lunches the next day. Roasted Vegetable Penne Bake Serves 6 Ingredients: 2 large zucchinis, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces 1 small onion, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces 1/2 lb (225 g) medium fresh mushrooms, halved 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) Italian seasoning 2 cups (500 mL) uncooked penne pasta 14 oz (398 mL) crushed tomatoes, undrained 2 oz (60 g) shredded provolone cheese 3/4 cup (175 mL) frozen peas, thawed 1/4 cup (60 mL) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 3 Tbsp (45 mL) grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter or margarine 1 Tbsp (15 mL)grated Parmesan cheese   Directions: 1. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms, onion, oil and Italian seasoning; toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on an ungreased 15-inch (38 x 25 cm) baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 425°F (220 °C) for 20-25 minutes or until tender. 2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, provolone cheese, peas, mozzarella cheese, . cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. 3. Transfer to a greased 11 x 7 inch (28 x 43 cm) baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese; dot with butter. Cover and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes. Uncover; bake for another 10-15 minutes or until bubbly. 4. Cut into six squares and garnish with fresh herbs, if available. About This Recipe: Get your veggies in a delicious way with this vegetable bake! There are also three types of cheeses in this recipe. Need I say more? Per Serving: 317 kcal, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 33 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre, 13 g protein Serve with a 3 oz serving of grilled chicken and add: Per Serving: 199 kcal, 13 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g fibre, 20 g...

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Grilled Pork Ribs with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Grilled Pork Ribs with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Like making homemade salad dressing, barbecue sauce can be made in minutes and is limited only by your creativity and taste.   This recipe is modified from Ly’s Grilled Fire Ribs in The Chez Piggy Cookbook.  Chez Piggy (www.chezpiggy.com) is a restaurant in Kingston, Ontario where Cathy once stopped for lunch while driving across Canada with her family.  The lunch was so good, she bought the cookbook and the ribs are definitely top of the list for great recipes.  We’ve modified the sauce to reduce the sugar.   Grilled Pork Ribs with Homemade Barbecue Sauce Serves 4.   450 g (1/2 lb) of pork baby back ribs, per person, cut in serving sized pieces 125 ml (1/2 cup) water Juice of half a lemon (about 15 ml (1 Tbsp))   Heat the oven to 325 F.  Add the lemon juice to the water.  Put the ribs on a broiler pan and baste the top with the lemon-water.  Bake about 2 hours, basting with lemon-water every 30 minutes or so.  This will soften and tenderize the ribs.   When the ribs are almost done, you can make the barbecue sauce.   125 ml (1/2 cup) ketchup 30 ml (2 Tbsp) apple cider vinegar or beer 15 ml (1 Tbsp) molasses 15 ml (1 Tbsp) oyster sauce or low-sodium soy sauce 7 ml (1 ½ tsp) Worchestershire sauce 15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger 15 ml (1 Tbsp) minced garlic 1 fresh Thai chili pepper or 7 ml (1 ½ tsp) chili powder or 2 ml (1/2 tsp) red pepper flakes (adjust the heat to taste)   Mix all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce together in a microwave safe container such as a pyrex measuring cup.  Microwave 30 seconds, 3 times, stirring in between.  Makes about 175 ml (3/4 cup).  Can be stored in the fridge for at least two weeks.   Brush the ribs with sauce.  Return to the oven for 20 minutes. Nutritional Analysis (per serving):  Ribs: 242 kcal, 18 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 0.3 g carbohydrate, 0 g fibre, 18.5 g protein, 87 mg sodium.  Canada Food Guide Servings: 1 Meat and Alternatives.  Sauce: 60 kcal, 0.2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 15 g carbohydrates, 1 g fibre, 1 g protein, 498 mg sodium.  Canada Food Guide Servings:  0.5 Vegetables and Fruit. Handy Tip:  When you buy fresh ginger, cut it in different sized chunks, put it in a ziplock bag and freeze it.  When you need it, take a chunk equal to the amount you need and let it sit on the counter for about 5 minutes.  It won’t dry out in storage and will be a snap to grate into your favourite recipe.  Try adding it to a fruit or green smoothie for extra...

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