RECIPE: Holiday Bean and Vegetable Patty

December 10th, 2015

Holiday Bean Patties

Holiday Bean Patties as a protein-rich meal

Serves:  4-6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 16 minutes with 30 minutes (1 hour to cook beans if using dried)

Ingredients:

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, medium, thinly diced

2 carrots, medium, grated

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small squash, delicata or acorn, etc. peeled and grated

1 medium watermelon radish (or other winter radish), peeled and grated

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup cooked Jacob cattle beans, black beans or kidney beans (canned OR soaked and cooked according to directions)

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp paprika

4 tbsp chopped parsley or 2 tsp dried parsley

1.5 cups rolled oats

All- purpose flour for dusting

Method:

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion and reduce heat to medium and cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

In a bowl, mix together beans, carrots, squash, egg, paprika, parsley and oats and then add to the pan and stir all ingredients well. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Divide the mixture into equal parts and form each into a flattened, round patty.  

***Form into small, bite sized patties to serve at a holiday potluck or as hors  d’oeuvres. Lightly coat each side with flour.

Heat remaining 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add patties and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

For a light meal, top with hummus (see recipe), salsa or tzatziki, or cheese.

For a holiday hors d’oeuvre, serve small patties in a bun with hummus, chutney, salsa or tzatziki or for a holiday dish, serve with a salad and roasted vegetables.

Eat Well, Halifax

By Nicole Marchand, registered dietitian with Eat Well Halifax & Local Source

RECIPE: Latkes Ways

December 10th, 2015

A great way to make use up  some root vegetables in your CSA box or from the market during the wintery months

These little deep fried gems make great appetizers so good ahead and adjust the size to fit your need.

Latkes & sour cream

Celeriac latkes

Ingredients:

4 cups grated celeriac (about 1 small celeriac)

2 cups grated turnip (about ½ turnip)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ flour

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup vegetable oil for frying (try using camelina oil from Hillcreek Family Farm to keep it local!)

Method:

Combine celeriac and turnip in a bowl. Stir in eggs and flour. Season well with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add a heaping ¼ cup of celeriac mixture into oil and press down with a spatula to form about a ¼- to ½-inch thick latke. Repeat with remaining mixture, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Top with your favourite condiment!

Sweet Potato Latkes

Because sweet potatoes do not brown after they are peeled, the latke mixture can be kept for about a day after it is made before the latkes are fried. Note that although sweet potatoes require roughly the same amount of cooking time as regular potatoes, their higher sugar content gives them a tendency to burn more quickly. Keep your eye on them while they brown and lower the heat if necessary.

Makes about 12 latkes (more if you’d like to make appetizer-sized)

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes (1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut into large chunks

1 large yellow onion (1/2 pound), halved

2 large eggs

1/3 cup matzo meal

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

About ¾ cup oil (Camelina oil) for frying

Method:

Using the medium shredding blade of a food processor, shred the potatoes, laying them lengthwise in the feed tube to maximize the length of strands. Grate the onion on top of the sweet potatoes. Pick out any un-grated pieces of onion or sweet potato. Lay a clean dishtowel inside a large bowl and transfer the grated mixture to the towel. Roll the towel lengthwise and wring out as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid and return the shredded mixture to the bowl. Add the eggs, matzo meal, salt and pepper, and mix well.

In a large cast-iron of non-stick skillet, heat about 1/8 inch of oil over high heat. The oil is hot enough when a piece of potato sizzles when added. Form a trial latke with a tablespoon of the mixture. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.

To form the latkes, scoop up about 1/3 cup of the mixture with your hands and loosely pat it into a pancake about 1/2 inch thick, squeezing out any excess liquid. Slip the latke into the hot oil and flatten gently with the back of a spatula. Fry until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes on each side to be sure the centre is fully cooked. If the edges darken very quickly, lower the heat. To prevent excess oil absorption, flip each latke only once. Add oil between batches as needed, making sure the oil heats up again before adding more latkes to the pan. Drain the latkes on paper towels or a clean paper bag. Serve immediately with the condiment of your choice. We like a homemade applesauce and sour cream topping at our house.

Holiday Eats: A Brief History of the Latke

December 10th, 2015

Latkes are golden lightly fired potato pancakes traditionally eaten for Hanukkah (at my house we eat them year round!) They are fried in oil to commemorate the Hanukkah miracles of one day’s oil lasting for eight days, and of the Jewish military victory over the Assyrians.

But why potato pancakes? Any food fried in oil could be equally symbolic. Donuts (sufganiyot) are another traditional Hanukkah food, and are more popular than latkes in Israel. In fact, potato latkes are a relatively recent invention. Potatoes didn’t even exist in Europe until approximately the mid-1500s. So why don’t we have jalapeno poppers or chicken tempura for Hanukkah?

Originally, dairy foods were connected with the festival of lights. This was due to the Book of Judith, which is not part of the official Hanukkah story. According to this book, Judith entertained an Assyrian general with wine and cheese–and when he passed out, she decapitated him with his own sword. This allowed the Jews to mount a successful surprise attack.

Medieval Jews across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East each had their own traditional dishes fried in oil, including chicken and dessert pastries. One of the most popular were Italian pancakes made of ricotta cheese.

As Jews migrated to eastern Europe, vegetable oils were harder to find. They fried with animal fat instead. To maintain kashrut, they could no longer use dairy products. Before potatoes arrived on the continent, latkes were often made with buckwheat.

But in the 1800 and 1900s, potatoes became a staple. Many European cultures have their own version of potato pancakes. And while the fried patties are good year round, they became the perfect way to commemorate Hanukkah.

Source: http://www.jspacenews.com/brief-history-potato-latkes-hanukkah/

Caroline Manuel

What Makes Cruciferous Vegetables Healthy?

December 10th, 2015

Curly Kale

Curly Kale

Cruciferous vegetables are a family of vegetables that are named for their cross-shaped (crucifer) flower petals. Examples of these vegetables are broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnip and radish.

Recently, cruciferous vegetables, rather than vegetables as a group, have drawn a great deal of attention in cancer research because of their potential protective properties. This protection against certain cancers is due to the potent antioxidants they contain (particularly beta carotene and the compound sulforaphane). Cruciferous vegetables also contain a kind of phytochemical known as isothiocyanates, which stimulate our bodies, to break down potential cancer causing agents, known as carcinogens. Cruciferous vegetables are also high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s best to eat these veggies raw or only lightly steamed to retain the phytochemicals that make cruciferous vegetables special in terms of health.

The taste of cruciferous vegetables is frequently described as having a slight bitter taste that research has linked to the phytonutrients. Recent research has also linked the bitter taste in cruciferous vegetables with their high calcium content. This bitter taste may be undesirable to some so a recommendation is to blend cruciferous vegetables with differently flavored foods, such as sweet or salty, so that the cruciferous vegetables retain some of their natural and noticeable bitterness but within a blended-flavor context that makes the dish delicious!

Eat Well, Halifax

By Nicole Marchand, registered dietitian with Eat Well Halifax & Local Source

St. Pierre & Miquelon – Creamy Seafood & Cod History

October 7th, 2015

Scallop in Shels

Scallops topped with bakeapple at the Festival des Produits de La Mer

 

The whole synopsis of the place sounded intriguing. French Newfoundland. The last colony of France in North America. Visiting the EU just over an hour away from Halifax. How could someone turn that down? I was sure the locals must be eating something interesting. A place culturally adamant that they were European had to at least prove it through their menus.
St. Pierre at least had the winding streets, a few cafes, and shops full of imported wine and meats. It had the same vibe as towns in rural Nova Scotia – decades past their boomtown days, but instead of coal and steel industries long given up on by the government, the islands had been hardest hit buy the cod moratorium due to environmental concerns. The main difference was that this is France and instead of a heavy reliance on employment insurance, the French government had placed everyone with some kind of job -tour guides, airport staff, bus drivers, and a fully-staffed police force. Our guide on Miquelon, Anya, who had followed and married a St. Pierre native from France after he finished his studies in Europe, gave us the impression that no one just sat around, but that their survival was highly dependent on subsidized employment.
Jean Claude, our grey haired and bushy moustachioed driver on the much more densely populated island of St. Pierre (a population of 6000 vs. 600 on the geographically larger Miquelon) insisted that the island wasn’t bleeding youth quite like the Maritime provinces of Canada. He spoke of the high percentage of high school graduates who brought back culture and knowledge after completing their education in mainland France. And that jobs were waiting for them when they returned. St. Pierre and Miquelon had spent decades earning this support from the motherland: thousands of seasonal fisherman had brought years of bountiful harvests of cod back to Europe.

IMG_1360

Although Miquelon felt fairly desolate and almost like a place that time had forgotten, life was apparent in the rows and rows of potato plants which lined the backyards of most of the weather-worn wooden homes.  Broken down fishing boats were docked adjacent to flashier ferries, and saltines – cod salting huts – still stood next to empty looking public buildings. A spattering of abandoned projects dotted the landscape surrounding the village: a nearly brand new seniors’ home stood locked and empty, wind turbines lay on their sides, never used.
It just so happened to be the 27th annual Festival des Produits de la Mer (Seafood Festival). One of the biggest days of the year in Miquelon, which on the usual afternoon, was home to a handful of cafes offering solely coffee, baguette and croissants. Tourist agents kept telling us how lucky we were to have planned our trip during the event of the season. It necessitated booking a spot on the typically spacious daily ferry ahead of time, to ensure we’d beat the crowds and be able to attend the festival.
It was part fundraiser for the local soccer club, part celebration of local ocean harvests, with a heaping dose of old-world culinary inspiration melted throughout. 70-90 varieties of dishes were laid out on a plastic orange tablecloth in the school gymnasium, all made from the homes of community members.
A few repeats of obvious crowd favourites included the tart aux molades – cheesy pies with varying levels of flaky, buttery crusts holding a dense casing of dairy surrounding a handful of mussels. There were cod breads and cod balls, crab breads and creamy lobster pâtés. Trout were splayed and garnished with flowers, hardboiled eggs were filled with seafood purees, shredded lemon pepper crab was coated in a crunchy cornmeal coating. There was a number of spam slice shaped gels and mousses were arrayed in a spectrum of pink and white shades. The theme of cream and pulverized seafood accompanied with crusty white bread seemed to really be the highlight of the celebration. White wine sold out early on, and the whole community was there to dance and eat the day away.

 

 

 

IMG_1319

Bakeapples growing in Miquelon

 

Certainly there is a history worth checking out here. The museum on Île aux Marins, the island just inside the harbour of St. Pierre, is full of artwork, artifacts and photographs of the heavily religious fishing glory days of the area.  Informative signage around the small island makes for an easy self-guided day tour. Armed with a few baguettes and some tariff-free cheese, charcuterie and wine from one of the shops in St. Pierre and you’re golden. Come check it out, but don’t expect to uncover too many hidden secrets of local food production other than what is grown in household gardens. Eco-tours and hikes on Miquelon might be more worth your time than spending a day in the village. Take advantage of the opportunity to stock your suitcase full of European specialties and to bring some great pastries and baguettes home on your lap for brunch after the short flight back to Canada. Just don’t let the customs guards get too close.

Submitted by: Megan MacLeod

Introducing Shannon Jones and Bryan Dyck of Broadfork Farm, NS 

October 1st, 2015

Every farmer finds a different path to a career in agriculture. For Shannon Jones, it began with her studies in holistic nutrition, where she decided that the best way she could help people be healthier and more food-conscious was by growing the food herself. Since that decision, she has been volunteering, apprenticing, or working on farms for over ten years- and for the last four and a half years, she and her partner Bryan Dyck have been running their own 15.6 acre operation, Broadfork Farm, in River Hebert, NS.

Shannon Jones Bryan Dyck

Credit: Owen Bridge

Shannon is undoubtedly pleased with their choice to open Broadfork Farm. She loves “how fulfilling and challenging it is intellectually and physically and emotionally and spiritually. I love that I don’t have to always look “presentable” for work (besides the market).” At the farm, Shannon loves “…how quiet it is. I love how it’s located in the middle of the Maritimes provinces. I love our neighbours. And the forest. And the tidal river.”

Shannon’s passion for organic farming extends beyond her own farm, however. She is also a member of Slow Food NS and sits on the Steering Committee for the National New Farmer Coalition and ACORN’s Grow a Farmer Advisory Committee where she provides thought and guidance supporting the future of farmers in Atlantic Canada. Her commitment to the organic sector is admirable and encourages the importance of community engagement–a vital ingredient for any aspiring grower!

She will admit that it can be challenging to work with just her partner (in both life and in business) all day, every-day – however, she adds that working with Bryan also makes her job easier and even more fulfilling as they gain a deeper understanding of each other while they also evolve as farmers. Shannon encourages new farmers to “place value on your professional development. It’s not a waste of money! Conferences (like ACORN’s), farm tours, books, magazines (like Growing for Market) are valuable. I’ve been getting into farm podcasts. I like Farm Marketing Solutions and Permaculture Voices.”

Tartiflette Recipe: a Classic Take on Cheesy Potatoes

October 1st, 2015

Tartiflette is a French dish originating from the Savoie and Haute Savoie region of France. The name derives from the Savoyard word for potatoes, tartifles, a term also used in Provençal. The Savoyards first heard of tartiflette when it began to appear on the menus of restaurants in the ski stations, but some have even suggested that cheese makers created the recipe to sell more of their product. Whatever the case, a tartiflette’s success is heavily dependent on the quality of cheese used.

new-potatoes

Serves 8

3 lbs new boiling potatoes, skin on

1 large onion, peeled & sliced

8 oz. thick bacon lardons (Oultons’s)

1 ½ cups white wine (L’Acadie Blanc)

¾ cup crème fraiche (stir together ½ sour cream and ½ heavy whipping cream, cover and let sit overnight a room temp)

2 rounds COLD ChampFleury Quebec cheese (cut in half and then slice horizontally to get 8 half moons of cheese)

3 tbsp Butter

1 peeled crushed garlic clove

Boil potatoes in salted water until slightly undercooked. Cool, peel and slice into ¼ inch thick slices and reserve. Sauté  bacon until brown; pour off fat leaving 3 TBSP; add onions  and cook slowly for about 10 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil and srape up any brown bits; reduce to 1 cup liquid and reserve mixture.

Butter a large casserole (cast iron),  rub with a crushed garlic clove and put in a layer of potatoes. Spoon ½ of the bacon mixture and ½ of the crème fraiche over the top and repeat with the remaining potatoes, bacon and crème. Place cheese slices over the top RIND SIDE UP and bake uncovered in a 400F oven for about 40 minutes until brown and bubbling.

Serve with a green salad.

Submitted by: Peter Jackson

Homestyle Blueberry Yogurt Cake Recipe

October 1st, 2015

During the years of the IncrEdible Picnics when Slow Food NS was a participant, some of us home-cooks made this cake from the Select Nova Scotia recipe collection and gave tastes to the hungry hordes. It is really good! And it is possible to make with mainly good, clean, and fair ingredients. You can make this cake long after the summer season using frozen blueberries.

Bunch_of_blueberries,_one_unripe

Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Ingredients

1 ½ cups (375ml) white sugar

2/3 cup (150ml) vegetable oil

1 egg


1 cup (250ml) plain, unsweetened yogurt – not fat-free

1 tsp (5ml) vanilla


2 ½ cups (625ml) flour (we use 2 c. wheat + ½ c. red fife wheat)


1 tsp (5ml) baking soda


1 tsp (5ml) salt

1 1 /2 cups (375ml) wild blueberries, fresh or frozen

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a bundt pan and set aside.

Whisk sugar, oil and egg together in a large bowl. Stir in yogurt and vanilla. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into the wet mixture and mix, just until flour is combined. Stir in blueberries, just until blended. Too much mixing at this point will make the cake tough and purple!

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 40 minutes OR until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs attached. If cake is not cooked fully, return to oven for 8 – 10 minutes and check again. Each oven is different and may affect cooking time. Continue returning cake to oven for 8 – 10 minutes and checking until skewer comes out with moist crumbs attached. Tooth picks can be used for checking as well.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. If cake sticks, run a knife around inner and outer edge of pan.

Submitted by Sheila Stevenson

ACORN’s Give A Toonie, Grow A Farmer Campaign – Sept 19-27, 2015!

September 5th, 2015

Support the next generation of organic farmers in Atlantic Canada!
As part of Organic Week 2015, several retailers and restaurants are participating in ACORN’s Give A Toonie, Grow A Farmer campaign throughout the Atlantic provinces to support the future development and sustainability of ACORN’s Grow A Farmer Initiative,

From September 19-27, 2015, you can support the Grow A Farmer initiative by contributing $2 (or more!) at the following locations in Nova Scotia:

  • En Vie Halifax
  • Just Us! Coffee
  • Local Source Market
  • Organic Earth Market
  • Pete’s
  • Wild Caraway
  • World Tea House

All proceeds support ACORN’s efforts in training the next generation of organic producers, through farmer mentor match-making services, event coordination and resource development.

For more information, please visit www.growafarmer.ca

Have you joined the #EATTHINKVOTE Campaign?
Be part of the solution for a better food system in Canada!

Food Secure Canada and partners have launched a campaign for a national food policy for Canada, titled the EatThinkVote Campaign!
There are four pillars to this campaign:

  • Healthy School Food Programs – that all kids in Canadian schools have access to healthy food every day;
  • Support for New Farmers – from increased access to capital to land, that new farmers find the support they need to thrive and contribute to stronger, more diversified sustainable food supply in Canada;
  • Zero Hunger in Canada – that the right to food is a reality for the 4 million Canadians that do not have food security;
  • Affordable Food in the North – that good food is accessible and affordable in Canada’s remote and northern communities.
    There are many ways to get involved and show your support, so please consider doing so! You can sign the petition (the goal is 10 000 signatures and right now, we have about 2000), donate to Food Secure Canada, and/or host an event in your community and invite your local MP to generate discussion about one our fundamental human needs: FOOD! And particularly, why affordable local organic food should be accessible for all in this country.

Click here for full details and please help to spread the word! #EatThinkVote