Inspiration for Holiday Treats

Our Youth Cooking Class finished up their program a week or two ago and had a blast making a Chocolate Mayonnaise Layer Cake and Blueberry Tarts. After 8 weeks of cooking with veggies the participants planned out their final class and a chocolate layer cake was on their wish list! 

This was no ordinary cake mind you! There was still fruit involved and the icing was not your usual refined icing sugar, sugar crash inducing, artificial die added paste. And most importantly they loved it!

Ready To Decorate

After a number of skill testing activities each participant was allowed to plan different parts of the final meal. Raspberries were chosen as the topper for the cake and strawberries as the centre layer (something tells me there might be a bit of maple syrup in the mix there as well).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPutting the cake together was a fun challenge, not only with the assembly but also with the – not snacking on the berries or icing 😉

Assembly of CakeThe chocolate icing is made from dates, cocoa powder, brown rice syrup and water. It comes out sweet and very chocolaty. You can find the recipe for it here.

Icing the CakeThe fanciest part of the cake decorations was the crushed rose petals sprinkled on top!

Rose Petal DecorationsNext the addition of the raspberries …

Raspberries on CakeThe final shot … Yes we all find the filter effects on our program’s camera too fun to ignore 😉

Final CakeThe Blueberry Tarts were also a big hit with the participants. They got to decorate their own. There were also fruit smoothies and savoury snacks made to order by these amazing youth cooks!

Blueberry Tarts

Some other great holiday treat inspiration:

Recipe of the Day – Brussels Sprouts (YES I went there!)

After seeing this fun post over on Treehugger today and posting about the ever versatile and tasty Cabbage earlier this week … it seemed like a good time to tackle the itty bitty cabbage we all know and love (or will soon!). That’s right the Brussels Sprout. We grow these in the garden because they look so fun (think of a stalk with big green leaves and little tiny cabbages all over it) but alas, our growing conditions are usually a little rough on them. They tend to either be slug eaten or bitter due to the high heat at the Children’s Garden throughout the summer. 

However … if you have a chance to pick these up at your local Farmers Market do try a few of these great recipes (the trick is to roast or sauté them to bring out the best flavours – DO NOT BOIL!).

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Orange Butter Sauce – Can be made vegan

Wine Glazed Brussels Sprouts – A little fancier

Here’s a List of 25 Brussels Sprouts Recipes – There’s Even One FOR CAKE!

So I thought we had enough recipes here and then I found one that calls for shiitake mushroom bacon … It sounds so good I couldn’t help but add it here! Let us know what you think in the comments below 🙂

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Shiitake Mushroom Bacon

Recipe of the Day – Cabbage!

Our Fall Cabbage Salad is a simple take on the age-old question … what can I do with this head of cabbage!? Cabbage is incredibly good for you and pairs well in this recipe with the sweetness of maple syrup along with some tangy apple cider vinegar and cranberries. It’s not only a colourful salad but a tasty one too. It also keeps well in the fridge for at least a week so you can make plenty and serve it with dinner and take the leftovers with you for lunch.

Try the different variations or to mix it up a bit by starting with the plain salad and add seeds or nuts when eating the leftovers. Cabbage, carrots and apples are great storage crops  so this salad is perfect for local/seasonal eating for months to come 🙂

Click on the photo below for a .pdf file of the recipe or click here for a more printer friendly version.

Fall Cabbage Salad

Recipe of the Day – It’ll Keep You Warm!

Today’s recipe of the day is a yummy, hearty soup. Perfect for damp/snowy/cold fall weather! This tasty soup is simple and adaptable. I was surprised how great it was when I had some leftovers from our adult cooking class last week 🙂 Personally I’m not a huge fan of fennel but I couldn’t taste it and was quite surprised to learn there’s an entire bulb in this recipe (plus the pretty frilly leaves).

The original recipe calls for chicken and chicken broth but Maria substituted veggie broth and seitan. You can omit the seitan and have a gluten free vegan soup or add the yummy texture for an even heartier version. Below are links to a few different recipes to make your own seitan (often tastier than what you can find in the store … when you can actually find it!).

Man … now I’m hungry …

Click the photo below for a .pdf version of the recipe or click here for a more printer friendly version.

Italian Tuscan White Bean Stew


Seitan Recipes:

Home Made Seitan – Vegetarian Times

Yummiest Seitan Ever – VegWeb

Home Made Seitan – Veg Kitchen

Recipe of the Day – Great for the Weekend!

Here’s a few great recipes for the weekend … Burgers and Fries, Children’s Garden style! These lentil burgers are really healthy and really tasty. They’re a pretty quick meal to put together and bonus, the burgers can be frozen for fast lunches and dinners throughout the week. We all need more legumes in our diet and this is a great way to pack in the nutritional punch while still appealing to little taste-buds. 

Click the photo below for the full set of recipes or click here for a more printer friendly version.

Burgers And Fries

Recipe of the Day – Two Ways

Here’s a yummy and healthy option for pumpkin lovers! This Pumpkin Pie Square recipe is quick and easy (It can be gluten free too). I’ve added links to two versions of these squares … biggest difference is the frosting. 

Pumpkin Pie Squares with Macadamia-Vanilla Frosting – Forks Over Knives Website

Pumpkin Pie Squares with Candied Ginger – Treehugger Website

With American Thanksgiving coming up both sites also have lists of great Celebratory vegetarian and vegan recipes … very yummy! Check out Treehugger and Forks Over Knives for more.

Recipe of the Day!

We’re starting a fun, new Recipe of the Day post here on the Blog. We have (and find) so many great recipes that we want to share with you that we felt it was about time! We hope this will help you and your family enjoy more fruits and veggies in your everyday meals. 

That said … we’re starting with a cookie recipe 🙂 This recipe comes to us from one of our awesome cooking instructors Maria Solakofski (a.k.a. the Guerilla Gourmet!). She recreated this Scandinavian Gingerbread recipe from a description of a cookie a friend of hers remembered from childhood. After a few tries she managed to get the recipe just right.

One of our returning groups made these tasty treats on Tuesday and really enjoyed them. We even had a few left over for our park staff (it never hurts to keep people fed ;)) and our Park Supervisor Jorge gave them two thumbs up! So without further ado … here is the recipe.

Oops! Just a little further ado – Note we haven’t tried a vegan version yet but if you substitute out the butter with a vegan margarine you’ll most likely achieve the same results. You could even try an apple sauce substitution for for the butter for even healthier cookies. Let us know in the comments section if you do and how well it worked.

Click on the photo below or click here for a slightly more printer friendly version.

Marias Barley Gingerbread