In this third of four recipes, we get to the sweet stuff: dessert! As part of Joanne’s role as community meal prepper last week, she wanted to prepare items that reflected the diversity of food values and choices within the community. Being a self-described “meatatarian”, she is somewhat unaccustomed to preparing non-omnivore meals but she wanted to be respectful of her friends’ personal values and dietary requirements. The series is meant to showcase the respect and love we can show one another, simply by caring about what people can, and choose to eat in community.
Joanne says: I couldn’t ignore our friends with gluten allergies. I haven’t eaten very much gluten-free baking, but these brownies have a deep, rich chocolate taste. They are not only good gluten-free brownies; they are just plain old great brownies.
Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter
1 tbsp gluten-free unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch/Flour (couldn’t find it so I used rice flour)
6 oz gluten-free semisweet baking chocolate
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup mixed nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil 8 inch pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler, stirring until smooth. Stir in sugar and then stir in eggs one at a time.
Using a food processor, puree beans until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well (in the food processor) Add flour and mix until no longer grainy.
Stir in 1/2 cup nuts into batter and transfer to pan. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top.
Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean but brownies are still slightly fudgy in the center – about 45 minutes.
This is the second in a four part series of cohousing recipes. As part of Joanne’s role as community meal prepper last week, she wanted to prepare items that reflected the diversity of food values and choices within the community. Being a self-described “meatatarian”, she is somewhat unaccustomed to preparing non-omnivore meals but she wanted to be respectful of her friends’ personal values and dietary requirements. The series is meant to showcase the respect and love we can show one another, simply by caring about what people can, and choose to eat in community.
Joanne says: Our cohousing group also includes a vegan family. I’m 99% sure this salad is vegan and 100% sure it is delicious. It is pretty good the second day too. Not sure about day 3; it’s never lasted that long. This is from the Wealth of Health website.
Vegan Mexican Bean Salad
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed (no-salt added)
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) whole-kernel corn, drained (no-salt added)
1 large mango, peeled and diced
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp each ground cumin and chili powder
1/2 tsp celery seeds
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
Whisk together dressing ingredients and mix into salad.
This is the first in a four part series of cohousing recipes. As part of Joanne’s role as community meal prepper last week, she wanted to prepare items that reflected the diversity of food values and choices within the community. Being a self-described “meatatarian”, she is somewhat unaccustomed to preparing non-omnivore meals but she wanted to be respectful of her friends’ personal values and dietary requirements. The series is meant to showcase the respect and love we can show one another, simply by caring about what people can, and choose to eat in community.
Joanne says: With a little searching and a lot of luck I found a great vegetarian taco recipe. It is super easy to make. My husband said it reminds him of Mexico. Thank you Taste of Home. I don’t think I’m ready to be a full time vegetarian, but I no longer twitch at the thought of a meal without meat. 🙂
Veggie Taco Filling
8 taco shells
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup julienned sweet red pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup salsa
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
Heat taco shells according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the cabbage, onion and red pepper in oil for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with sugar.
Stir in the beans, salsa, chilies, chili powder, garlic and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through. Spoon into taco shells. Garnish with cheese and avocado. Yield: 4 servings.
As practice for living together in Prairie Spruce Commons, three families cook supper for everyone else once a month. Last week, it was my turn to help cook the community meal before our monthly meeting.
First, it’s important I let you in on a secret: I was born and raised on a farm, a cattle farm. I knew from a young age where the meat came from on our table, and not to make pets out of the cattle in the pen. There was meat, potatoes and gravy for dinner and supper every day. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free were not a words our family was familiar with.
Since I’ve been married and had a son, I’ve rebelled against my strict meat-and-potato upbringing. What did my mother know? Some days, we have meat and pasta. Other days we have meat and rice. Occasionally we even have meat and bread. In retrospect, my mother must have known something: my husband and son actually cheer when I make a roast with potatoes and gravy.
So back to the community meal… When we joined the cohousing community, I knew some of our members were vegetarians and vegans. Some members are opting to follow a gluten-free diet. Being an omnivore verging on a meatatarian, these diet considerations are a bit out of my comfort zone. But I wanted to make an effort to show respect for their choices and dietary requirements. The next four blog posts are the recipes I choose to follow in my attempt to accommodate my friends and neighbours in community. I hope you’ll enjoy these recipes as much as we did.
With Halloween only a few days away, I thought I’d share this yummy Halloween delicacy!
My friend Barb and I often get together before Halloween to make Crispy Witches’ Fingers.During our traditional visit, we take great delight in sharing stories of people’s extraordinary reactions when the Fingers have been served to family and friends.Reactions have ranged from roars of laugher, to screams of horror! Give them a try, if you are brave enough!
Prairie Spruce Commons – Crispy Witches Fingers
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¾ cup whole blanched almonds
1 tube Red decorator gel (aka blood for fingers)
In one bowl beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla.In a second bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.Beat the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture.Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough so it is similar in width and length of medium sized pointer fingers.Place on greased baking sheets.Pinch the dough slightly together ¼ and ¾ up the finger.At the ½ way point of the finger, press lightly with a small three pronged fork, to form the middle knuckle.At the top of the fingers, use one whole almond to press slight nail indentations into the dough.
Bake cookies at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.
Decorate the fingers after they have cooled.Squeeze the red decorator gel about the size of a medium round garden pea at the end of the finger where you will be inserting the “nail”.Before the decorator gel dries, lay one whole blanched almond onto the nail indentation and red gel, then gently press into the gel.Allow time for the red gel to set, before moving the fingers or putting into a container to store.
Fall is officially here! Frost was predicted a few days ago, so my husband picked all the remaining tomatoes. It was quite a crop with lots of Beefsteak Sweet Cherry and Roma tomatoes. My favorite was a heritage tomato that was shaped like a pear, an inch long, and a beautiful shade of gold. It looked amazing mixed in with the other tomatoes.
One of my favorite ways to use garden tomatoes is pico de gallo, a fresh salsa. This recipe from Flavors Magazine reminds me of Cozumel, Mexico. There is a tiny restaurant there, far, far away from the cruise ship docks, that has the most amazing fresh salsa and pastors. Pastors are pork that is cooked on a vertical spit, seasoned with chilies and pineapple. It is sliced thin and served on small tortillas. Amazing stuff with a little pico de gallo on the side!
Praire Spruce Commons Pico de Gallo
2 large ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp. Onions, finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, rough chopped
1 jalapeno, stemmed and finely chopped
1 tsp. Oregano
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp. Honey
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients; season with salt to taste. Mix well and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
I’m looking forward to the tomato and cilantro harvest from the Prairie Spruce Commons planters on our deck and roof terraces, as well as the large community garden in our courtyard. I’m also looking forward to our next trip to Mexico! Travelling will be so much more carefree knowing my home will be looked after while I am gone.
Our Creating Community: Let’s Get Ready to Crumble event on Tuesday evening was a resounding hit. Our friends and guests sampled 4 delicious crumbles and the Haskap Berry Crumble created by Laurie Gillies took first place. Laurie credits the win to her mom, Vickie Gillies, “who makes the best crumbles, crisps and cobblers ever”.We’ve posted the winning recipe below.
If you are like many of the taste testers, the Haskap berry may be new to you. While Haskaps are well known in Russia and Japan, they are quite new to Canada. They LOVE our prairie climate. The University of Saskatchewan have bred a hybrid of the Russian and Japanese plants that are very hardy in Saskatchewan.
It only seems appropriate that the Haskap Berry Crumble was the winner. Like cohousing, it is new to Saskatchewan and proving to be healthy, hardy, and delicious. You can go online to Haskap Canada at haskap.ca to find out where you can find them and how to purchase seedlings and grow your own. In Regina, Laurie and Jim carry the berries at Nature’s Best. Laurie’s brother-in-law and sister-in-law grow Haskap on their farm, Heavenly Blue Honeysuckle Orchards near Birch Hills, just south of Prince Albert.
Here is Laurie’s Winning Recipe
Haskap Berry Crumble
8 cups of Haskap berries (drained, see below)
1/2 cup sugar
teaspoon of lemon juice
2 TB cornstarch
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger
8 TB butter
Heat oven to 350. Mix up the filling. Adjust ingredients to your taste. Put in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Mix up the topping and crumble it over the filling.Bake about half an hour.
Haskaps are one of the world’s SuperFruits and this one is super juicy! So drain the Haskap berries before you add them to the recipe. I set them in a strainer over a bowl and weighted it down for a few hours. I took one and a half litres of juice out of my berries before I baked and they still had amazing flavor and nutrition. Drink the juice, or freeze it into ice cubes to add to smoothies, homemade ice cream treats, or your glass of water. Yum!