Rhubarb – Queen of the spring garden!

Rhubarb – Queen of the spring garden!

Rhubarb is hardy, full of flavour and it comes up at a time when everyone is longing for fresh garden produce. It used to be that every Prairie garden had a rhubarb patch. As a result, it’s been used in fruit compotes, baked in crisp, cobblers and cakes, made into jam, relish or chutney and served as a beverage.  This week we’ve adapted one of our PPEP recipes “Fresh Raspberry Muffins” to make “Fresh Rhubarb Muffins”.  The sweet topping contrasts really nicely with the tartness of the rhubarb.  The recipe makes 16 muffins, so there’s lots to share with family or friends or to freeze for a quick grab and go snack or lunch.

Fresh Rhubarb Muffins (Serves 16, Serving Size 1 Muffin)


Muffin Topping: Optional

2 Tbsp            all-purpose flour       30 mL

3 Tbsp            brown sugar              45 mL

1 Tbsp            oatmeal                      15 mL

½ tsp            cinnamon                   2 mL

1 Tbsp           orange zest                  15 mL

1 Tbsp            butter                           15 mL



1 cup              all-purpose flour            250 mL

1 cup              whole-wheat flour         250 mL

¾ cups          granulated sugar           175 mL

2 tsp               baking powder                10 mL

¾ tsp              baking soda                      3 mL

¼ tsp              salt                                     1 mL

1                      large egg                            1

1 ¼ cups        raspberry yogurt           310 mL

3 Tbsp            canola oil                          45 mL

1 tsp               vanilla                                5 mL

1 tsp               orange zest                         5 mL

1 cup              fresh rhubarb, diced       250 mL



Muffin topping:

  1. In a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, lemon zest together.  Add butter or margarine and blend with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside.


  1. Preheat oven to 375oF (190oC).  Line 16 muffin cups with paper or silicone liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, canola oil, vanilla and lemon zest.
  4. Stir the egg mixture into the flour until combined.  The batter will appear thick, but resist over-mixing.
  5. Gently fold the fresh rhubarb into the batter
  6. Spoon the muffin batter into prepared muffin cups, filling the paper cup.  Sprinkle the tops with equal amounts of muffin topping.
  7. Bake in the centre of the oven for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick placed in the centre of the muffin comes out clean.


About this recipe:  Substituting rhubarb for raspberries in these muffins gives them an extra tangy burst of flavor – a great way to wake up your taste buds and celebrate spring.

Per serving: 165 kcal, 4.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 28 g carbohydrate, 1.2 g fibre, 3.6 g protein, 138 mg sodium.  Canada’s Food Guide Servings:  0.1 Vegetables and Fruit, 0.7 Grain Products, 0.1  Milk and Alternatives.  Nutritional analysis by PPEP.

From the Farm: The Alberta Farmers’ Market Association Cookbook

From the Farm: The Alberta Farmers’ Market Association Cookbook

Last fall the Alberta Farmers Market Association published a beautiful little cookbook to celebrate their 20th Anniversary as an Association.  Like the Pure Prairie Eating Plan, it highlights foods that are produced on the Prairies.  The recipes were developed by chefs across Alberta and include Breakfasts, Starters, Vegetables, Mains, Desserts and Pantry staples like chicken stock.

The meats in the book range from beef, pork, lamb and chicken to bison, goat and rabbit.  There’s Pan-Seared Alberta Lake Whitefish with Eggplant Relish, Crispy Kennebec Potato Rosti & Cumin Aioli and Pan-Seared Queen Charlotte Halibut with Spring Peas and Morel Risotto.  I loved the cookbook just for the titles of the recipes :)!  There’s lots of imaginative vegetable recipes too, as well as desserts.

I was particular looking for recipes for asparagus and I wasn’t disappointed.  I tried the Poached Egg over Roasted Asparagus with fresh bread (as suggested).  The recipe (see below) calls for 1 egg per serving, which is great for a small appetite, but I recommend 2 eggs per serving for a heartier appetite.  The other recipe with asparagus was a terrine – ‘Asparagus Green Bean and Apple Cider Ham Terrine with Greens and Radish’ developed by Chef Blair Lebsack at Rge Rd Restaurant in Edmonton- it looks lovely.  I hope someone will test it and let us know how it is.  The cookbook is available on-line at

Poached Egg over Roasted Asparagus, Egg Farmers of Alberta

Serves 4:  Serving Size 1 egg and 5 spears of asparagus


1 bunch (approx 20 spears) asparagus, trimmed

1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

salt and pepper, sparingly

2 tsp (10 mL) white vinegar (to poach the eggs)

4 eggs

1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup (62.5 mL) shredded Parmesan cheese

fresh bread, optional



  1. Preheat oven to 425oF.
  2. Toss asparagus with canola, salt and pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and tender-crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, fill saucepan with about 3 inches of water.  Heat until water simmers gently.  Stir in vinegar.  Break cold egg into small dish or saucer.  Holding dish just above simmering water, gently slip the egg into water.  Repeat with the remaining eggs. Cook in barely simmering water for 3-5 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are cooked to the desired level of doneness.  Remove eggs with slotted spoon.  Drain well on paper towel and keep warm.
  4. Melt butter in small non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add breadcrumbs.  Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  5. Divide asparagus evenly between 4 plates and top with poached egg.  Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
  6. Serve with fresh bread.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving with 1 egg and 1 piece of bread):   304 kcal, 16 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 26 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 16 g protein, 414 mg sodium.


Puffy Cheese Biscuits

Puffy Cheese Biscuits

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a standard comfort meal in our home.  When I want to change things up a bit, just for fun or for company, I go to a recipe I got from an old milk calendar.  The recipe uses ingredients that we often have on hand, it’s flavourful, easy to follow and, like Yorkshire Pudding, these biscuits have a bit of ‘WOW’ power when they come out of the oven.  The recipe makes 10 biscuits or 10 servings and it goes well with tomato soup.   Enjoy!



1 cup  ( 250 mL ) Milk
1/3 cup  ( 80 mL ) cold butter, cut into bits
1/2 tsp  ( 2 mL ) salt
1 tsp  ( 5 mL ) dry mustard
1/4 tsp  ( 1 mL ) black pepper
of cayenne pepper
1 cup  ( 250 mL ) all-purpose flour
4  eggs
1 tbsp  ( 15 mL ) Milk
1 cup  ( 250 mL ) Canadian Swiss or
Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 tbsp  ( 45 mL ) grated Canadian Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp  ( 30 mL ) sesame seeds


Combine milk, butter, salt, mustard, pepper and cayenne in a medium-sized saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; beat in flour all at once and stir until mixture forms a ball of dough. Return to medium heat; cook a few minutes longer scraping mixture along the bottom of pot to dry dough slightly.

Transfer dough to a bowl; cool 5 min. Beat in three eggs, one at a time. Mixture will be slippery. Beat the fourth egg lightly and reserve 2 tbsp (30 mL) egg with 1 tbsp (15 mL) milk. Beat remaining egg into dough. Add both cheeses; combine well.

Butter a cookie sheet; dust lightly with flour; trace out an 8-inch (20 cm) circle. Spoon batter in mounds around the outside edge of circle; mounds should barely touch each other. Brush tops with egg-milk mixture; sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake in a preheated oven at 425 °F (210 °C) for 10 min. Reduce heat to 350 °F (180 °C); continue to bake 45 to 55 min longer or until biscuits are firm and golden. Serve warm.

Nutritional Info

per serving

Energy: 202 Calories
Protein: 9 g
Carbohydrate: 11 g
Fat: 14 g
Fibre: 0.6 g
Sodium: 227 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

Nutrient % DV*
Calcium: 13 % / 146 mg
Selenium: 29 %
Vitamin B12: 26 %
Folate: 17 %
Riboflavin: 16 %

*percentage of daily value

Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids

Cooking with kids can be a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to get them started on a healthy living path (and re-enforce your own healthy eating habits :)!  Eat Right Ontario has a series of tips on their website for kids at different ages, from 2-11 years old.  These tips are designed to build both skills and confidence that will last a lifetime.  They also have 86 kid friendly award winning recipes.  Here’s an example from their website, for more recipes and other helpful tips check out Eat Right Ontario.

Awesome Mini Mushroom Omelettes



2015 Kids Recipe Challenge winning recipe: 1st place!

Carter, from Kemptville, enjoys making this recipe. This recipe makes 12 muffins, perfect for a family to enjoy for the week. Make these individual omelets to take for breakfast on the run or tuck into a lunch for the kids. Easy to pick up and eat warm or cold.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Makes: 12


1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

1 pkg (227 g) sliced mushrooms

1 onion, diced

1 tsp (5 mL) Italian seasoning

6 slices ham or turkey (about 100 g), chopped

12 eggs

¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and fresh ground pepper

1 cup (250 mL) shredded light old cheddar cheese



  1. In a nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat. Cook mushrooms, onion and italian seasoning for about 10 minutes or until golden. Stir in ham.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, salt and pepper.
  3. Divide mushroom and ham mixture among 12 lightly sprayed muffin tins. Ladle egg mixture into muffin tins. Sprinkle each with some of the cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and knife inserted in centre comes out clean.



  • Try cooking up zucchini or peppers with the mushrooms to change up your omelette flavour.


Per serving (1 muffin): Calories: 138, Protein: 11g, Fat: 9g, Carbohydrate: 3g, Fibre: 1g, Sodium: 288mg

Looking for something slightly different for Easter dinner?

Looking for something slightly different for Easter dinner?

The Canola Council of Canada recently published a recipe collection called “Spice Route:  A Journey of Global Flavors”.  The recipes were developed by Raghavan Iyer, a well known cookbook author and culinary educator.

The following recipe is a sample from that collection.  It’s easy to make, filled with flavour and the cilantro garnish adds a touch of colour that reminds us that spring is just around the corner :)!

Persian Lamb Stew with Dried Apricots

Serves 8  Serving Size:  1 cup


1/4 cup (60mL) coarsely chopped firmly packed fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) coarse kosher or sea salt
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne pepper
1 1/4 lbs (625 g) boneless leg of lamb, fat trimmed off and discarded, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil
4 cups (1 L) finely chopped red onion
1 cup (250 mL) dried apricots
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 Tbsp (15 mL) firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) malt or cider vinegar
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems


  1. In medium bowl, combine mint and all spices; mix well. Add lamb and toss to coat with marinade rub. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes or overnight, to allow meat to absorb flavors.
  2. Preheat wok, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Drizzle canola oil down its sides. As soon as oil forms shimmering pool at bottom, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, stewing onion in its own juices, about 5 minutes. Once liquid evaporates, reduce heat to medium and stir-fry until onion turns honey-brown with deep purple hue, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Add lamb and apricots and raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat sears and starts to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Some canola oil will separate from onion and lamb, and glisten on top of mixture. Apricots will start to soften a bit. Add water and stir once or twice. Once mixture boils, almost instantaneously, reduce heat to medium-low, cover wok and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer lamb, apricots and onion to serving bowl and leave behind some sauce in wok.
  4. Stir brown sugar into wok. Heat from sauce will melt sugar. Pour sauce over lamb and stir in vinegar. Sprinkle cilantro over stew and serve.


Per Serving:  260 kcal, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 22 g carbohydrate 3 g fibre, 19 g protein, 510 mg sodium.

For more recipes from the Spice Route Collection go to 

Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain.

Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain.

February was Heart Month and in our February newsletter we featured recipes with ingredients that had Health Canada’s Heart Health claims. During our search for recipes to feature in our newsletter we turned to Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain and decided that it deserved a full book review. Go Barley is chock full of great recipes – if you’re thinking ‘How many ways can you cook barley?”, the answer is A LOT!  There are breakfasts, appetizers, salads and soups, main dishes, sides, baking, desserts and even a recipe for Barley Water. Most people think of beer and Beef Barley Soup when they think barley, but the authors, Pat Inglis and Linda Whitworth have ventured way outside that box with Wild Rice, Barley, and Fruit Salad, Spinach, Smoked Salmon, and Barley Risotto, Coconut Barley (to serve with grilled shrimp or stir-fried pork), Curried Chicken and Barley, and Yogurt Barley Fruit Scones…just to mention a few of the many imaginative and tasty recipes.  It’s not surprising that Go Barley won a prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

The cookbook has a section called ‘Barley Basics’, that explains the different types of barley, different methods of cooking barley, how to cook with barley flour and how to mill flour at home. Each recipe has nutritional information per serving including calories, protein, carbohydrates, fibre, sugars, fat saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and potassium.

If you’re wondering where to get barley, a recent blog on the Go Barley website lists and ranks stores where you can find barley.  They ranked the Bulk Barn as the best source of barley products across Canada, but they also found it at Sobey’s, Save-On, Safeway, Superstore, Walmart, Planet Organic and Co-op as well as several local stores in Calgary.

We had a request for a bison recipe recently, so we decide to feature the Hearty Bison Barley Soup recipe here.  It’s a protein, fibre and flavour packed soup. It is delicious and I’m sure it’s going to become a standard, go-to soup in our home. Leftovers, if there are any, can easily be frozen for a quick meal or lunch for another day.  For more great healthy barley recipes visit

Hearty Bison Barley Soup

Purchase ground bison, either frozen or fresh, and brown it with onion to make this comforting, hearty barley soup.  Once cooked, the barley will continue to thicken the soup, so add water or broth if it gets too thick.  Complete the meal with a salad and crusty bread.

1 lb (500 g) ground bison

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 cup (250 mL) pot or pearl barley

1 can (28 oz [796 mL]) diced tomatoes

2 cans (10 oz [284 mL] each) condensed less-sodium beef broth, undiluted

4 cups (1 L) water

4 carrots, finely chopped

3 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped parsley

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, brown bison, breaking it into chunks as it browns.  Add onion and saute for 5 minutes.  Stir in barley, then add tomatoes, beef broth, water, carrots, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer for 1 hour, adding more water if soup becomes too think.  Remove bay leaf.  Stir in chopped parsley and serve.

Makes 8 servings (1 3/4 cups [425 mL] each).

Nutritional information (per serving):  Calories: 268, Protein: 16 g, Carbohydrates:29g, Fibre: 6 g, Sugars: 5 g, Fat: 10 g,  Saturated Fat: 0.2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 40 mg, Sodium: 310 mg, Potassium: 476 mg.


This recipe was shared with permission from Linda Whitworth, Market Development Manager for Alberta Barley and co-author of Go Barley.  Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain is available in a number of bookstores and on the Go Barley website.



Protein is important for building and maintaining muscles.

Protein is important for building and maintaining muscles.

Most of us know that protein is important for developing and maintaining muscles, but did you know that it’s important to eat your protein throughout the day. This recent article on the More About Milk website explains why it’s important to eat protein throughout the day and gives some great tips and recipes on how to get the right amount of protein spread out throughout your day.  Breakfast can be one of the most challenging times to get enough protein. Check out these protein rich breakfast recipes from a link in the More with Milk article. If you’re interested in tracking your protein intake the BC Dairy Association has a tool that you can use called Check on Protein.




Making Bread from Scratch

Making Bread from Scratch

Taking yeast, flour and water to make delicious homemade bread wasn’t something we tackled in the Pure Prairie Eating Plan, mainly because it’s a bit more complicated and takes longer than the typical recipes we wanted to focus on.  However, if you do have a bit of time, making bread from scratch is a satisfying chore and yields a delicious product.  In this article, we’ll profile two bread recipes, one for “every day” toast and sandwiches, and one a crusty French-style loaf that’s great with stews, pasta dishes or chili.


Whole-Wheat Bread with Honey

(adapted from The Flavours of Canada by Anita Stewart.  Anita recommends borage honey, a prairie specialty.)  Makes 2 large loaves.  Allow about 4 hours.


2 ¾ cup lukewarm water 675 mL

1/3 cup borage honey 75 mL

1 Tbsp active dry yeast 15 mL

3/8 cup canola oil 90 mL

1 Tbsp salt 15 mL

1 cup all-purpose flour 250 mL

6 – 6 ½ whole-wheat flour 1.5 – 1.6 L


1.  Combine water and honey in a large warmed blow, stirring to dissolve the honey.  Sprinkle with yeast and let sit 10 minutes or until foamy.

2.  Whisk in oil, salt and all-purpose flour.  Beat well.

3.  Let rise until puffy, 30-60 minutes.

4.  Stir in enough of the whole-wheat flour to make a soft dough.  Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead in remaining flour.  Continue to knead 2-3 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.  (Total kneading time 10-15 minutes.)

5.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 90 minutes.

6.  Punch down and let rise again for 15 minutes.

7.  Punch down and cut in half, shaping each half into a loaf.

8.  Place in well-greased 9”x5” (2 L) loaf pans.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.

9.  Bake in a preheated 350 oF (180 oC) oven 30-35 minutes or until richly golden brown.

10.  Remove bread from pans while hot and cool on a wire rack 15-20 minutes before slicing.


Nutritional information (per slice, based on 20 slices per loaf, including crusts):

110 kcal, 3 g fat, 0.3 g saturated fat,  18 g carbohydrate, 2 g fibre, 3 g protein, 178 mg sodium.  Canada’s Food Guide servings: 1 Grain Products.


Pain Ordinaire

(adapted from The Chez Piggy Cookbook.  Chez Piggy is a restaurant and bakery in Kingston, Ontario.)  Makes 2 baguette-style loaves.  This recipe is made over 3 days.  Sea salt is recommended; if you use table salt, cut back to 2 tsp.  Likewise, hard white flour for bread will yield a loaf more like authentic French baguette but regular all-purpose flour can be substituted*.  In this version, whole-wheat flour is substituted for half of the white flour.


Day 1 – Starter

1 Tbsp active dry yeast 15 mL

2 cups warm water 500 mL

2 cups unbleached hard white flour* 500 mL


1.  Into a 2L bowl, stir yeast into water until dissolved.

2.  Gradually add flour, stirring until well mixed.

3.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Day 2 – Dough

1 Tbsp active dry yeast 15 mL

1 cup warm water 250 mL

starter from Day 1

pinch ascorbic acid crystals OR

¼ tsp (1 mL) lemon juice

2 cups unbleached hard white flour* 500 mL

2-3 cups whole-wheat flour 500-750 mL

1 Tbsp sea salt 15 mL


1.  In a large bowl, stir yeast into water.  Add starter and ascorbic acid or lemon juice.

2.  Add white and whole-wheat flour 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, up to 4 cups (1 L).  Reserve 1 cup (250 mL) flour for kneading the dough.

3.  Blend with a hand mixer on low speed until you have a rough dough.  Scrape out onto a well-floured work surface.

4.  Sprinkle salt over top and knead, gradually incorporating up to 1 cup (250 mL) more flour.  The kneaded dough should be silky and satiny but slightly sticky.  Resist adding too much flour.

5.  Place in a large oiled bowl.  Cover, and refrigerate overnight.


Day 3 – Finished Loaf

1.  Remove dough from the refrigerator and punch down.  Divide dough in two.

2.  Either shape by hand into free-form loaves or place in loaf pans.

3.  Let rise at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours, until almost double in size.  When the loaves are about three-quarters risen, slash tops of loaves with a razor blade or sharp knife.

4.  Preheat oven to 450 oF (230 oC).

5.  Just before you put the bred into the oven, place a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack.  Bake loaves for 10 minutes.

6.  Reduce heat to 375 oF (190 oC) and remove pan of water.  Continue to bake for 30-35 minutes.


Helpful tips:

*Ideally, you want to begin baking the loaves before they have doubled in size, otherwise they will fall when they come into contact with the heat.

*Check loaves throughout the baking process, and if they get too dark on top, cover loosely with aluminum foil.  If you are baking the bread in loaf pans, turn the loaves out onto the oven rack, bottoms up or on sides, for the last 10 minutes to brown up bottom and sides.


Nutritional information (per 2 slices, based on 30 slices per loaf, including crusts):

98 kcal, 1 g fat, 0.2 g saturated fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 1.4 g fibre, 4 g protein, 237 mg sodium.  Canada’s Food Guide servings: 1 Grain Products.

How about lamb for dinner tonight?

How about lamb for dinner tonight?

Lamb is such a treat to prepare and eat that I wonder why I don’t cook it more often.  It is a good source of protein, iron and zinc as well as vitamin B12 and niacin. It can be a little higher in fat than other red meats, however the fat tends to be around the muscle and easy to trim away.  Prairie lamb is mild flavoured, juicy and tender.  According to Stats Canada, there are over 1 million sheep and lambs on farms across the country.  Sheep Canada’s on-line magazine often publishes a producer profile in their quarterly magazine if you’d like to see the ‘face’ of Canadian sheep and lamb production.

I’ve posted one of my favourite lamb recipes below.  It’s a modification of the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe from Pure Prairie Eating Plan.

For more great lamb recipes and meal ideas go to  Sungold Specialty Meats, located in Innisfail, is the largest federally inspected lamb processor in Canada.  Sungold and other smaller processors make Canadian lamb available across the Prairies. 

Lamb Tikka Masala

Serves 4 – Serving Size 1 1/4 cups (310 mL)


2/3 cup (150 mL) dry brown rice

12 oz (350 g) lamb sirloin, fat trimmed

2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced onions

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) curry powder

1 tso (5 mL) ground cumin

1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper

1 can (14.5 oz /429 mL) low sodium canned stewed tomatoes

1 can (16 oz/500g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen green peas

1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh chopped cilantro

2 tsp (10 mL) fresh grated ginger

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/2 cup (125 mL) fat-free plain Greek yogurt

1 medium lime, cut in 4 wedges


1.  Cook brown rice in 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) of water in a pot on the stove.  Bring rice and water to a boil uncovered, and then place lid on the pot and reduce heat to let the rice simmer for approximately 20 minutes and let rice sit for another 10-15 minutes or until cooked.

2.  Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook lamb until lightly browned.  Set lamb aside on a separate plate.

3.  Heat remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil, cook onions for 5 minutes or until they begin to brown.  Add curry, cumin and cayenne.  Cook for 15 seconds or until fragrant, stirring constantly .  Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, lamb, any accumulated juices and sugar.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until the onions are tender.  Remove from the heat.

4.  Stir in the peas, 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the cilantro, ginger and salt.  Serve topped with Greek yogurt, remaining cilantro and lime wedges.


Nutritional Analysis per serving (  544 kcal, 15 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 72 g carbohydrates, 10 g fibre, 32 g protein.


It’s Squash Season!

It’s Squash Season!

This time of year the stores and markets are bursting with beautiful, colourful winter squash.  There are a number of different types, the most common are acorn and butternut squash.  Butternut squash are especially high in Vitamins A & C.  They store well because of their think hard shells, but don’t wait to include them in your diet.   The easiest way to prepare them is to roast them, season lightly with salt, pepper and a bit of butter.  Here’s a recipe that takes you one step further by making roasted butternut squash into a lovely winter soup!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 

Serves 4-5.  Serving size Approximately 2 cups (500 mL)

3 cups (750 mL) butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1/2 medium onion, peeled

1/2 large parsnip, peeled and cut in half

1/2 head garlic

1Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil, divided

1/2 large Granny Smith apple, cored

3 cups (750 mL) chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium)

1/2 tsp (2 mL) fennel seed (optional)

3/8 tsp (1.5 mL) Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) nutmeg

1 tsp (5 mL) Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning

1 bay leaf

1 cup (250 mL) low-fat Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp (30 mL) 1% milk

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) cornstarch

2 Tbsp (30 mL) parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste



1.  Preheat oven to 350oF (175oC).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

2.  In a large bowl toss squash, onion and parsnip in 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) of the canola oil and place on the baking sheet.

3.  Slice the top off the head of garlic and brush with canola oil.  Wrap garlic in foil and set on the baking sheet with the vegetable.

4.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes until the vegetable are fork tender.  While vegetables are roasting, lightly brush apple with remaining 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) canola oil and add to the pan for the last 15 minutes of roasting.   Remove baking sheet from the oven.  Set garlic aside.

5.  In a medium pot on low heat, add broth, fennel seed, Italian seasoning, cinnamon, nutmeg and Mrs. Dash.  Stir well.  Squeeze garlic cloves out of their skin into a food processor or large blender.  In batches, add roasted vegetables and apples, adding just enough broth to blend until smooth.  Transfer pureed soup to a large pot.  Repeat until all the vegetables, apple and broth are pureed.  Add bay leaf and bring to a gentle simmer for 10-15 minutes and reduce to low heat.

6.  In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup (175 mL) of Greek yogurt, milk and cornstarch.  Stir well to blend thoroughly.  Slowly add about 1 cup (250 mL) of soup to the yogurt mixture, stirring well.  Return the mixture to the soup pot and stir, add salt and pepper to taste and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.

7.  Mix parsley with remaining yogurt and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Ladle soup into a bowl and garnish with a dollop of the yogurt mixture.


Nutritional Analysis:  Per serving:  223 kcal, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 37 g carbohydrate, 8 g fibre, 11 g protein.