Adventure at Red Hill HPL

This morning our team took a trip to the local library, the Red Hill Hamilton Public Library, to put on a food demonstration for some kids that attended. Libraries are essential institutions in our community, and they house immense amounts of knowledge and opportunity accessible to all. Along with the books and computers that are on offer there, libraries also provide programs like the one we led. We are incredibly thankful for libraries, for their support of people. Today we worked with kids to put together a delicious salsa salad complete with tomatoes, celery, beans, corn, peppers, avocado, lime juice, oil, and onion. It was a delicious meal that can be used as a snack or a meal. This particular meal fits in the vegetable category of the food recommendation plate that we also went over with the kids. All in all it was a wonderful morning of learning and fun!


First fruit: cherry picking

We are so fortunate. What a joy it is to pick our sour cherry crop right in the urban city.

There is an abundance of cherries this year due to the long wet winter and the sudden extreme heat. We so enjoyed picking the crop while in dappled shade in this extreme heat.

The crop, while plentiful, was divided between Neighbour to Neighbour and the Indigenous Native Women’s shelter. We give thanks for this bounty and were sure to leave enough for our local birds to enjoy.

Outreach update

What an exciting day we had cooking at Liberty for Youth. What a grand way to get into the swing just after our marvelous Canada Day celebrations. We visited and cooked our way through the evening making blueberry bran muffins for dessert and then stir-fried chicken and fresh veges. This we served with ramian noodles and we taste tested everything. We give thanks for a great day.

Cucumber Coleslaw Raisin Boats

1 large cucumber
8 oz raisins
3 oz shredded carrots
3 oz shredded cabbage or lettuce
3 tsp olive oil
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 oz red finely chopped onion
Shaved or grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cut cucumber into 2 lengths. Using a spoon hallow out cucumber to create a boat reserving flesh.
2. In a bowl mix cucumber flesh pieces, cabbage or lettuce, raisins, chopped onion, oil and mayonnaise. Set aside.
3. Fill boats, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top, cut into bite sized pieces and plate. Serves 8. Enjoy!

Vegetable Rice Wraps

Stuffed Rice Wrappers

Half cup sliced red pepper
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
Quarter cup sliced mushrooms
Half cup julienned carrots
Half cup shredded cabbage, savoy, winter savory, red
Quarter tsp minced ginger
Quarter tsp rice vinegar
Half cup cooked rice vermicelli noodles
One package rice paper wrappers

1.Combine pepper, cilantro, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, ginger and vinegar in a large bowl. Mix together and set aside.
2.Cook noodles until they are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes and cut into short strips.
3.Add cooked noodles to vegetable mixture and combine together.
4.Fill a large bowl with hot water. Dip rice  wrappers one at a time into the water for about two (2) seconds each and fill  with 2 large spoonfuls of noodle vegetable mixture. Roll into rolls.
5.Place rolls on cutting board to dry before slicing into desired size for serving.
6.Slice rolls into smaller pieces and place on serving tray. Serve with a dipping sauce such as sweet and sour or Thai sweet chili. Enjoy!




Stuffed Zucchini Boats

3 small zucchini cut length wise
3 Tbsp Italian dressing
1 cup red peppers diced
1 small red onion
1 and one half cup cooked long grain brown rice
1 and one half cups fresh parsley rough chopped
1 quarter cup grated cheese cheese of your choice like  Mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar
1 cup sausage meat or ground meat of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 350F  (175C)
2. Trim stems from zucchini, slice lengthwise. Scoop seeds and put in a bowl.
3. Saute sausage, red peppers, zucchini seeds,  onions until cooked then add cooked rice and Italian dressing.
4. Stuff zucchini with cooked mixture using a slotted spoon and place in a baking pan.
5. Pour any left over pan drippings over zucchini, cover with foil and bake.
6. Bake until cooked about 15 minutes, remove foil added grated cheese of your choice return to oven until cheese melted  and slightly golden about 5 minutes.
7. Garnish with parsley and serve. Great as an appetizer or as a main dish with rice.

Zucchini boats




Potatoes Parsnip Spinach casserole with roasted mushrooms


4 large starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
Salt to taste
1 small peeled onion
1 box frozen chopped organic spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons butter
About 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
Paprika to taste

Ingredients for roasted mushrooms – 2 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms – when you bring them home, wipe with moistened kitchen towel, stem and slice them, portobellos should be grilled and then sliced. Buttons may be halved, shiitakes, oyster or other mushrooms may be coarsely chopped.

8 to 10 cloves garlic, crushed
Several sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon

DIRECTIONS – Put the potatoes and parsnips in large pot and cover with salted water, bring vegetable to a boil over medium heat 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and return vegetable to hot pot. Grate 3 to 4 tablespoons of onion, then add the spinach, butter, half of the milk and all of the cream. Season with salt, pepper, freshly grated nutmeg to taste. Mash mixture together, taste and adjust seasonings.  Add extra splash of milk if the potatoes are too tight.  Cool to room temperature, then stir in the beaten eggs and transfer mixture to a casserole.  Cover with cheese, sprinkle with paprika. Cool and chill for a make-ahead meal. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the casserole on a baking sheet and put  in the lower third of the oven, bake until hot and golden about 35 to 40 minutes.

Toss the mushrooms with garlic, thyme and olive oil in a medium baking dish. Roast until dark and tender in 400 degree oven about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the mushrooms alongside the casserole. RECIPE COURTESY OF RACHAEL RAY