1 cup (250 ml) cooked black beans

1 cup (250 ml) cooked green lentils

1 cup (250 ml) cooked chickpeas

1½ cup (375 ml) cooked pearl barley

2 cups (500 ml) baby arugula or spinach

1½ cups (375 ml) diced red bell pepper (approx. 1 whole pepper)

½ cup (125 ml) dried cranberries, chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml) finely sliced green onion (approx. 1 whole onion)



¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) whole grain mustard

salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup


Garnish (optional)

1/4 cup (60 ml) toasted sunflower seeds


Toss prepared pulses, barley, arugula, pepper, cranberries and onion together in a large bowl.

Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl until fully combined.

Toss the prepared vinaigrette with the salad. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Garnish with toasted sunflower seeds and enjoy!


For a delightful video on how to prepare this dish go to

It's the year of Pulses

Give them a try in a fresh summer salad

By: Chris Standring
Postmedia Content Works

This Great Canadian Salad salad uses three types of pulses. If you add some mozzarella or havarti cheese you’ll have all four food groups in one bowl.

Try pulses in the Great Canadian Salad, created just for International Year of Pulses. Not only does this healthy salad incorporate three types of pulses, but it uses canola oil in the dressing.


“You could add grated or diced mozzarella or havarti cheese and then you would have all four food groups (vegetables/fruit, grains, dairy and meat or meat alternatives) in one bowl,” says McLennan.

“This is the best time of year to buy fresh, locally produced foods,” says Lee Finell, a registered dietitian and nutritional educator with Alberta Dairy. And including dairy products helps balance your family’s diet, with 15 essential, bone-building nutrients.


“It’s the most common source of calcium in the Canadian diet,” Finell says.


“I love to pair grilled veggies with fresh, local feta cheese. Tiras Dairies make an excellent feta.”


The Camrose dairy farm won the top prize last year in the brine-ripened category at the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.


“Or try grilled fruit topped with yogurt for dessert. Yogurt is an excellent ingredient in salad dressings or marinades and a key ingredient in smoothies,” Finell says.

Below is an easy-to-make classic ranch dressing with buttermilk. You can use it on salads or as a dip. 


All the dishes cited here call for Alberta-produced canola oil.


“We have 23,000 farmers in Alberta growing canola, so choosing to cook with canola supports Alberta farms,” says Simone Demers-Collins, with Alberta Canola.


“It’s a healthy oil that combines well with other flavours because it’s light and mild-flavoured.”


For more recipe inspiration, go to or


The Great Canadian Salad 

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing & Chopped Salad

Summertime and the eating is easy, light and fresh.


How better to savour Alberta’s long evenings than to move dinner out onto the patio? Fresh air and fresh, local food make dining al fresco elegant and irresistible.  


What could be more enticing than garden-fresh greens topped with a creamy, fresh-made ranch dressing? Or how about wedges of Alberta’s own mozzarella or bocconcini cheese between slices of garden-picked tomatoes and basil, drizzled with light-tasting canola oil. Follow with a satisfying serving of Alberta-grown black beans and chickpeas in a toothsome salad, with the tang of local creamy feta or havarti cheese, and your summer supper is nutritionally complete.


Dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas are part of a family of foods called pulses, which are high in protein and fibre and low in fat. A relative newcomer to Alberta’s food industry, pulses are forecast to be the sixth-largest commodity in Canada this year, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.


They can be used in everything from dips and smoothies to main dishes — and even desserts.


The United Nations has officially declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, so it’s a great time to add this healthy superfood to your repertoire.


“Pulses have nutritional benefits in diets for heart disease, diabetes and weight management,” says registered dietitian Debra McLennan, food and nutrition coordinator for Alberta Pulse.


“Recent research shows eating 1/2 to 3/4 cup (125 to 180 ml) of pulses daily lowers LDL-cholesterol — the "bad" cholesterol — as well as total cholesterol levels that can contribute to overall heart health.” 


Pulses are gluten-free and can also help with weight management by making you feel full and satisfied.


“Research is starting to show that meals containing pulses can increase satiety compared to meals that do not contain pulses,” says McLennan.

Chris Standring is a writer for Postmedia Content Works, a custom content studio that creates, deploys and measures programs for brands.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk

1/3 cup (75 ml) plain 2 per cent yogurt

¼ cup (125 ml) low-fat mayonnaise

1 tbsp (15 ml) apple cider vinegar

2 green onions (finely chopped)

1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh dill (chopped)

1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard

½ tsp (2 ml) salt

¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly ground pepper


Chopped Salad

8 cups (2 L) Romaine hearts (chopped)

1 cup (250 ml) halved cherry tomatoes

1 cup (250 ml) cucumber (chopped)

1 cup (250 ml) canned black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 cup (250 ml) Canadian cheddar cheese (cubed) 


Whisk buttermilk with yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, onions, dill, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss Romaine with tomatoes, cucumber, black beans and cheese. Toss with 2/3 cup (150 ml) dressing. Store remaining dressing refrigerated for up to three days.

Wedges of Alberta mozzarella cheese between slices of garden-picked tomatoes and basil, drizzled with light-tasting canola oil, is perfect for summer dining. Courtesy Edmonton Journal