Book Review: The Heart-Smart Diabetes Kitchen

At PPEP, we’re always scanning the horizon for healthy recipes that are not only healthy but tasty, easy to prepare and visually appealing.  The Heart Smart Diabetes Kitchen by the American Diabetes Association and CanolaInfo is packed with beautiful and easy and healthy recipes.  While the title says “Diabetes Kitchen”, these recipes are great for anyone who is interested in a healthy diet.

The introduction includes tips on healthy living, information about dietary fats as wells as tips on how to make your meals fresh, fast and flavourful.  The recipe sections include recipes for breakfasts, lunches, appetizers, salads, sides, entrees and desserts.  Each recipe is laid out on a full page with the nutritional analysis at the bottom as well as a fast, fresh or flavourful tip to help you get the most out of the recipe.  Recipes are listed alphabetically as well as by dish type or main ingredient to make them easy to find.

The recipes in the book were developed by Nancy Hughes, who worked with us to develop recipes for PPEP.  Nancy has an amazing ability to create recipes that are first of all flavourful…and also unique but not difficult, beautiful but not time consuming, using  ingredients that fresh, affordable and easy to find.

Here are a couple of my favourites (adapted from The Heart-Smart Diabetes Kitechen: Fresh, Fast, and Flavourful Recipes Made with Canola Oil):

Asian Vegetable Slaw

Yield 6 servings  Serving Size 3/4 cup (190 mL)

“Purple-hued cabbage, brilliant green snow peas, and fire-engine red peppers make this slaw jump with eye appeal.”


2 cups (500 mL) loosely packed shredded red cabbage

3/4 cup (190 mL) fresh (or thawed frozen) snow peas, cut diagonally into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces

1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen edamame, thawed

1/2 cup (125 mL) red onion

1/2 medium red pepper, cut in thin strips, then into 2-inch (5.0 cm) pieces

1/3 cup (83 mL) (1 1/2 ounces/43 gm) slivered almonds, toasted


2 tablespoons (30 mL) reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons (30 mL) cider vinegar

2 tablespoons (30 mL) pourable sugar substitute

1 tablespoon (15 mL) canola oil

1/8 teaspoon (0.5 mL) dried pepper flakes (optional)

1.  Combine salad ingredients in a medium bowl.  Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar, secure lid, and shake vigorously until well blended.

2.  At time of serving, pour vinaigrette over salad ingredients and toss gently, yet thoroughly, to oat completely.

Nutritional analysis: Calories 105, calories from fat 65, total fat 7.0 g, saturated fat 0.6 g, trans fat 0.0 g, cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 195 mg, total carbohydrate 8 g, dietary fibre 3 g, sugars 4 g, protein 4 g.  Exchanges per serving:  1 vegetable, 1.5 fat.



Creamy Beef, Mushrooms, and Noodles

Yield 4 servings  Serving Size 3/4 cup (190 mL) beef mixture + 1/2 cup (125 mL) noodles

“This is a healthier version of beef stroganoff.  Canola mayonnaise adds moisture, creaminess, and flavor to the dish without guilt.”

1 cup (250 mL) dry no-yolk egg noodles

1/4 cup (60 mL) canola mayonnaise

1/4 cup (60 mL) dry sherry (or 1/4 cup (60 mL) water and 1-2 tsp (5-10 mL) balsamic vinegar)

2 teaspoons (10 mL) beef bouillon granules

1 teaspoon (5 mL) Worchestershire sauce

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) coarsely ground black pepper (or to taste)

3 tsp (15 mL) canola oil, divided

3/4 lb (340 gm) sirloin steak, very thinly sliced (easy if the steak is partially frozen)

1 cup thinly sliced onions

1  (8 oz) package (225 gm) sliced mushrooms

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting any salt or fat.

2.  Meanwhile, whisk together canola mayonnaise, sherry, bouillon, Worchestershire sauce, and black pepper in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

3.  Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Tilt skillet to coat bottom lightly.  Cook beef 3 minutes and set aside a separate plate.  Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil, add onions sand cook 5 minutes or until just beginning to richly brown, stirring frequently.  Scrape onions to one side of the pan and add remaining canola oil and mushrooms.  Cook 4 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown on the edges, stirring frequently.  Add beef and any accumulated juices.  Cook 30 seconds or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

4.  Remove from heat and stir in canola mayonnaise mixture until well blended.  Sere drained noodles.  Sprinkle with additional black pepper, if desired.

Nutritional analysis: Calories 320, calories from fat 110, total fat 12.0 g, saturated fat 1.5 g, trans fat 0.1 g, cholesterol 30 mg, sodium 615 mg, total carbohydrate 27 g, dietary fibre 2 g, sugars 4 g, protein 23 g.  Exchanges per serving:  1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat.


These recipes were shared with permission from Canola Info and the American Diabetes Association.  The Heart Smart Diabetes Kitchen is available from a number of sources including Chapters and, prices vary.  For more great healthy recipes visit