"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.

Salsa Time

Salsa Time

At this time of year, when the tomatoes are ripe, both Rhonda and Cathy get out their much-spattered recipe cards for their favorite salsa.  By preserving it now, there’s always fresh-tasting salsa on board for eating with taco chips but also to serve as a side for chicken, fish or South American-style beef cuts.  While salsa is pretty easy to make and preserve by canning, it’s also great eaten fresh, with or without cooking.  Another great thing about salsa is the recipe can be varied to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, and fruit like peaches is also a great base.   This recipe originally came from our friend Lori-Ann on Prince Edward Island but has evolved over the years.  The big amount on the left makes about 7 half-litre jars of preserved salsa.  The small amount on the right could serve a few friends enjoying drinks on the patio.  Use Roma tomatoes for a thicker salsa.   2.5 L                Roma tomatoes, fully ripe, diced                 500 ml 500 mL           Green peppers, diced                                   100 ml 250 mL           Hot banana peppers, diced (or to taste)    50 ml 500 mL           Yellow onion, diced                                       100 ml 500 mL           Zucchini or golden beets, grated                 100 ml 250 mL           Kernel corn                                                    50 ml 4 cloves          Garlic, minced                                                1 clove 15 mL             Ground cumin                                               3 ml 1                      7.5-oz can tomato paste                               — 250 mL           White vinegar                                                — 15 mL             Salt                                                                  3 ml To taste          Cayenne pepper                                           To taste 250 mL           Chopped cilantro                                          25 ml   For preserving:  Mix all the ingredients together in a large Dutch oven or saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness is reached.  In the meantime, prepare jars, lids and rings by washing and then sterilizing in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Spoon hot salsa into hot jars leaving 1 cm head space, clean sealing edge, cover with lids and rings, tightening gently.  Process in the boiling water bath for 20 minutes.  Remove and let cool completely.  Make sure all the lids have sealed before storing.  (If a jar doesn’t seal, put it in the fridge and use first.)   For serving right away:  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Enjoy!   Note:  The vinegar is needed to acidify the preserved salsa so that it will safely block the growth of bacterial spores that release toxins.  Vinegar isn’t needed in the fresh recipe but if you’d like a little more zest, try adding 30 ml of apple cider vinegar.   Tips on home canning:  http://www.bernardin.ca/pages/low_acid_foods_introduction_/72.php...

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The Best Protein You Can Eat, According to Nutritionists

The Best Protein You Can Eat, According to Nutritionists

“Protein is the key to keeping cravings at bay, building lean muscle and dropping those last few pounds. But according to a new review published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, it’s not just how much protein you eat that’s important: It’s where you get your protein that also matters.”  This is the opening statement to a recent article in the Huffington Post. The article goes on to explain that protein is made up of an assortment of amino acids, and each source of protein differs in the amino acid mix.  Some amino acids are ‘essential’, in other words, we can only get them from food so it’s important that we get enough of these particular amino acids.  Most plant-based proteins don’t have all the essential amino acids so it’s important to either combine them with other plant-based sources or to get your protein from animal sources, which are the most complete source of essential amino acids.  It also explains that each food ‘packages’ protein along with other important key nutrients such as vitamin B12 and iron. Eat a variety of protein rich foods to take advantage of their full value. The article lists some of the healthiest sources of protein – eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, whole grains, fish, legumes, Greek yogurt, nuts and leafy greens – and describes their particular benefits.  Click here for the complete article, which also has links to the scientific article.  You may also be interested in this post with high protein breakfast ideas.  It has simple, easy, fresh and tasty ideas....

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Quick and Easy Peach Frozen Yogurt

Quick and Easy Peach Frozen Yogurt

Sweet juicy BC peaches are making their way into the stores these days.  They are delicious just as they are, but for an equally healthy and yummy treat, try peach frozen yogurt or frozen yogurt popsicles.  They could be made with any fresh seasonal fruit.  Freezing the fruit first before blending it with yogurt speeds up the process and makes the end product a bit creamier. We tried frozen strawberry popsicles – they were a hit – as well as frozen peach yogurt.  The frozen peach yogurt was a bit soft.  Letting it freeze overnight probably would have made it a bit firmer, but it disappeared before we had a chance to test that out :)!     Frozen Peach Yogurt adapted from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/instant_peach_frozen_yogurt.html Makes: 4 servings, 3/4 cup (188 mL) each Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes INGREDIENTS 4 cups  (1 L) coarsely chopped frozen peaches (about 16 ounces) 3 Tbsp (45 mL) honey 1/2 cup (125 mL) plain Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice PREPARATION Place peaches in a blender or food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Combine yogurt, honey and lemon juice in a measuring cup; with the machine on, gradually pour the mixture through the feed tube. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides once or twice. Serve immediately or pour into a container or popsicle trays and freeze overnight. NUTRITION Per serving: 145 calories, 1 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 30 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 3 g protein, 24 mg sodium.  Canada Food Guide Servings 1.7 Vegetables & Fruits, 0.2 Milk & Milk Alternatives.          ...

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Zucchini, anyone?

Zucchini, anyone?

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that is a prolific producer AND an adaptable ingredient suitable for everything from appetizers to desserts.  Chances are, if you haven’t got some in your garden then someone you know has some in theirs!  Recipes that include zucchini are just as abundant as the zucchini itself.  The Pure Prairie Eating Plan book has 14 recipes with zucchini in them including salads, soups, breakfast muffins and casseroles.  In addition, there are lots of great recipes available on line – here’s a site that claims to have “29 of most delicious things you can do to zucchini” , and they do look delicious! Here’s one of our favourites adapted from that site.  Savour the sweetness of the corn complimented by the spicy jalapeño and lime.  Serve as a salsa or a side dish.  In the photo we paired it with a basic guacamole (Easy Guacamole pg 154, PPEP) and a simple chicken stir fry with lime, garlic, pepper flakes, red onion and red and yellow peppers (adapted from Three-Way Chicken Kabobs, pg 130 PPEP).  Leftovers are great for lunches.   Zucchini and Corn Serves 4 – Serving Size 1 cup Ingredients:   3 1/2 cups (875 mL) zucchini, cubed 1 cup (250 mL) fresh (approx 2 cobs), canned or frozen sweet corn 1/4 cup (63 mL)  red pepper, finely chopped 1 medium jalapeno pepper, finely chopped 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil Juice of 1 small lime Salt and pepper to taste   Directions: 1.  If you’re using fresh corn:   Husk and prep the sweet corn.  Boil in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain and cool so that it’s cool enough to cut from the cob.  Cut the corn from the cob and set aside. 2.  In a large frying pan, heat the canola oil over medium to high heat.  Add the zucchini and toast for 3-4 minutes.  Add red and jalapeño peppers, toast for another 2 minutes.  Add the corn and salt to taste (1/4 tsp).  Remove from heat and add lime juice.  Nutritional Analysis (Per Serving):  86 kcal, 3 g fat, o.3 g saturated fat, 15 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fibre, 3 g protein, 298 mg...

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Fresh Sweet Corn!

Fresh Sweet Corn!

There’s nothing better or easier to prepare than fresh sweet corn…and now is the time that fresh corn is available in abundance on the prairies.  We usually boil it in a nice big pot of water for 5-8 minutes until it has reached the desired ‘doneness’, dust it with a bit of butter and sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste.  Leftover corn can be added to salads or salsas.  If you’re looking for something a little different for your next BBQ, try this Mexican style corn recipe.   Serve with Pulse Canada’s  Black Bean Burgers (with or without the buns).       Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn) http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/elote Ingredients Vegetable oil, for brushing 1 teaspoon chile powder ½ teaspoon cayenne powder 8 ears of corn, husked ¼ cup mayonnaise or unsalted butter ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese, Parmesan, or ricotta salata 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges   Preparation Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high. Brush grill grate with oil. Combine chile powder and cayenne in a small bowl. Grill corn, turning occasionally with tongs, until cooked through and lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Remove from grill and immediately brush each ear with 1½ tsp. mayonnaise. Sprinkle each with 1 Tbsp. cheese and a pinch of chile powder mixture. Squeeze 1 lime wedge over each ear and serve. Nutritional analysis (per cob): 160 kcal, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 18 g carbohydrates, 2 g fibre, 6 g protein.  Canada’s Food Guide Servings:  1.1 Vegetables & Fruit, 0.3 Milk and...

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Experiencing the Mediterranean Diet firsthand, part 3!

Experiencing the Mediterranean Diet firsthand, part 3!

People are interested in the Mediterranean Diet pattern because of studies dating to the 1950’s that countries around the Mediterranean (Italy but also Spain, Greece, France) had lower levels of heart disease than European countries with different dietary patterns.  More recent research has upheld the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for preventing not only heart disease but also diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, even dementias like Alzheimer’s Disease.  Why this is true is not known for sure, and everyone has a favourite theory but what is probably true is that it’s not just one food but rather the whole pattern of foods, along with other aspects of lifestyle such as physical activity, the social aspects of eating and so on. The Mediterreanean diet pyramid shows the types of foods included in the traditional diet pattern, underpinned by physical activity and social interactions. Plant-based foods are grouped together and the recommendation is that some of these foods be eaten at every meal.  This is different from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, which separates Vegetables and Fruits from Grains, but similar in that both recommend the most amount of food servings come from plant-based foods.  Another difference is that the legumes (dried peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas) are included here, whereas in Canada’s Food Guide they are placed in Meat and Alternatives because of their high protein content.  Next up the pyramid comes fish and seafood, which makes total sense when you live next to the Mediterranean Sea (and perhaps next to the Atlantic, Pacific or Arctic Oceans in Canada) but not so much sense in Saskatchewan!  This is followed by poultry, eggs and dairy (mainly cheese and yogurt), recommended daily to weekly.  The top of the pyramid has meats and sweets, which are recommended “less often”, implying less than once per week.  Fluid intake centres on drinking water, with wine in moderation.   One of the recipes we saw demonstrated for us was a delicious, creamy soup base, which we had eaten previously with white beans, possibly cannellini beans.  The amount of each ingredient is an approximation – have fun trying your own versions. Creamy Soup Base with Beans a la Guiseppe  Heat 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 mL) olive oil in a large saucepan. Add one coarsely chopped yellow onion and sauté until translucent but not browned. Pour in about 4 cups (1 litre) of water. Add 2 cubed white potatoes, half a dozen fully ripe cherry tomatoes cut in half and a stalk of celery, chopped. Salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the potatoes disintegrate. At this point, add 1 cup (250 ml) cooked cannellini beans or, as Guiseppe says, whatever you like in your soup – some smoked provolone cheese, ham, fresh spinach or Swiss chard, grated carrots – the great thing about this soup base is that it’s infinitely flexible.  If you like a really smooth soup, put the base in the blender or food processor for a few seconds before returning to the pot and adding the other ingredients. Additional water can be added as needed to achieve the desired...

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Hot off the press! PPEP Summer Newsletter

Hot off the press! PPEP Summer Newsletter

Barbecuing is a favourite summer pastime – our summer newsletter tackles the question “Is BBQing healthy?” and features a simple Planked Salmon BBQ menu with fresh potatoes, veggies and dip and Rhubarb-Bumbleberry Pie.  We also identify some opportunities to participate in nutrition research for those of you in the Edmonton area.

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