Archive | Winter 2012

Articles from the winter 2012 issue.

Chocolate Bark

Deep Dark Chocolate Bark

By Victoria Brenneman
Photo By D. Lucas Landis

Be creative with what you add to the chocolate. If you dehydrated strawberries this summer, add those to  the chocolate. Any assortment of dried fruit and nuts would make a lovely gift.

30–45 ounces of fair-trade dark chocolate

1 orange, dehydrated

1-inch knob of ginger

⅛ – ¼ cup English walnuts, broken in medium pieces

Preheat oven to 200°∆F. Slice an orange onto a baking sheet. Bake for 2 hours, turning occasionally so the orange does not brown. Set aside to cool. Melt half of the chocolate in a double broiler. Pour into a new 8- by 11-inch pan. Grate half of the ginger onto the chocolate, making sure to distribute it evenly. Frozen local ginger would be perfect and would grate easily.  Chop and evenly distribute all of the walnuts into the chocolate.  Melt the last of the chocolate in the double broiler. Pour into pan. Grate the last half of the ginger into the chocolate. Arrange the orange slices onto the top of the chocolate. Refrigerate until hard.

Wrap with a bow and attach a small hammer as a gift for the holidays!


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Vegan Applesauce Oatmeal Cake

Courtesy of Kat Barry, owner of Kat’s Hot Cakes.

Applesauce is such an essential in vegan baking, and it’s a local ingredient. If you’ve never made applesauce before, you’re really missing out! It’s super easy and amazingly delicious.

For the applesauce:

1 peck Cortland or other tart baking apples

2 cups local apple cider

Peel the apples. Next, cut the apples away from the core and slice into about 2-inch pieces. Toss the apples into a large stockpot. Cover the apples with about 2 inches of apple cider and bring to a boil. Simmer,  partially covered, for 10–15 minutes, stir with a whisk and voila! You’re done. If you’re not happy with the consistency then you can pulse the applesauce in a food processor until the desired consistency is achieved. Either way, let cool fully before baking the cake.

For the cake:

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 ½ cups rolled oats

1 ½ cups white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

¾ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup milled fl ax seed

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

16 ounces homemade applesauce

4 ounces local apple cider

1 cup grape seed, canola, or coconut oil

1 cup … Read More

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Jam Dots

Jam Dots


Courtesy of edible Finger Lakes, used with permission
Photo by D. Lucas landis

1 cup roasted, unsalted almonds

1 cup whole oats

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or spelt flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup canola oil

½ cup local maple syrup

1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Homemade jam (tested with seedless blackberrypeach from Edge of the Woods Farm in Three Oaks, MI)

Preheat oven to 350° F. and line a cookie tray with unbleached parchment paper.  In a food processor, grind oats and almonds together until powdery. Sift ground oats, almonds, pastry flour and cinnamon  together in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (except preserves) and stir until just combined.

Using clean hands or a spoon, scoop ping-pong size balls of dough, roll them between your palms, place them on tray and flatten slightly.  Stick your thumb (this is a great job for kids) into each ball, creating a crevice.

Fill the crevices with homemade jam. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until the bottoms start to turn golden.

Remove from the oven, let cool 5 minutes before serving. Be careful of the hot jam.

Makes 15–18 cookies.

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Pesto Pizza

By Tara Swartzendruber-Landis

Photo by D. Lucas Landis

For the crust:

1 ½ cups warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons yeast

2 tablespoons oil

4 cups whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons salt

For the pizzas:

Pesto (purchased or homemade)

Grated cheeses: Mozzarella and Parmesan, or any other cheese combination you prefer

Chopped onions, peppers, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, chard or any combination of these

Grilled chicken or cooked Italian sausage, if desired

Combine yeast and water in a small bowl and set aside until yeast begins bubbling. Add oil to yeast mixture. 

Place 3 cups of the flour in a medium-size bowl. Pour yeast mixture over the top. Sprinkle salt over the surface and beat with a whisk (100 strokes).  Add the last cup of flour a bit at a time, folding in each addition.  At this point the dough will no longer be sticky and should be easy to handle.

Form into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough and cover again, allowing to rise another hour. Divide dough into 6 equal sections. Roll out each piece of dough into a thin … Read More

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Orange and Green Casserole

By Beth Neff
Photo by D. Lucas Landis

1 butternut squash

2 cups chopped greens: chard, kale, spinach, mustard, according to availability and preference

3 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Salt, to taste

Grated nutmeg, to taste

2–4 tablespoons maple syrup

Butter (for greasing casserole dish)

Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Peel and cut into 1-inch chunks. Chop your favorite greens. Add greens and squash to an 8 x 11 buttered casserole dish. Add the cooked bacon, salt and nutmeg. Drizzle with maple syrup. Stir lightly to coat. Bake until orange chunks are tender, about 35–40 minutes.


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Savory Popcorn Two Ways


by Tara Swartzendruber-Landis

Photo by D. Lucas Landis

¼ cup butter

¼  cup olive oil or coconut oil

½ cup popcorn (approximately 12 cups popped)

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

 Melt butter and olive oil together on low heat. Pop the popcorn and divide between two bowls. Add the  curry seasoning to one bowl and the Italian seasoning to the other bowl. Divide the Parmesan cheese and salt between the bowls. Toss and add more salt if desired.

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Kale Salad

Lemony Kale, Pasta and Pistachio Salad


Courtesy of Sara Stewart, founder of Unity Gardens in South Bend
Photo by D. Lucas Landis

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 clove minced garlic

8 ounces dry pasta (penne works well, either gluten-free or regular)

4 cups chopped kale

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup chopped pistachio nuts

Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

For the dressing:

Combine olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic in a jar. Shake well to combine and set aside.

For the pasta salad:

Cook the pasta according to directions, then drain. Pour the pasta into a large bowl and add the chopped kale, Parmesan cheese and pistachio nuts. Pour dressing on top and toss well.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

You may serve the pasta salad right away but it tastes best after letting the dressing infuse the pasta and kale for 10 or more minutes. You can also keep it in the refrigerator and serve it cold the next day.

Makes 4 main dish servings

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Kale Chips


Recipe by Tara Swartzendruber-Landis

Photo by D. Lucas Landis

1 bunch kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt, to taste

½ teaspoon cumin or zatar or pepper

Preheat oven to 300°F. Wash and dry kale. Remove stems and cut the kale into large bite-size pieces. Divide kale into 2 or more bowls (depending upon the number of different seasoning choices). Toss with olive oil, salt and selected seasoning. Arrange in a single layer on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Bake for 10–15 minutes, until the leaves are a dark green and crisp. Take out and test at 10 minutes. If you prefer a crispier chip, put back in the oven for another couple of minutes.

Serve as a snack, with a bowl of soup or crumbled on a bowl of popcorn.

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Food Justice From the ‘Social’ Side

Food Justice from the ‘Social’ Side

By Beth Neff

Photography by Carol Topalian

Sustainability is often described as a “triple bottom line” concept that allows us to assess value not just by economic criteria but by attention to environmental stewardship and social justice as well. A useful visual representation of this idea is that each of these elements is a leg of the stool, and without all three the stool cannot stand. 

A perfect area to explore and apply this model – and one that is often overlooked—is in the crucial relationship we have with the people who produce and handle our food. Not only does the opportunity to consider the direct human impact of our consumerism strengthen the democratic appeal of sustainability principles, some social scientists argue that, without a foundational emphasis on the social systems and human costs that underlie consumptive economic practices, no reliable change is possible.

So, what can we do? How do we put a “face” to the food products we consume? What questions must we ask if we are going to strengthen the social justice leg of the stool so that our relationships are steady and balanced?

Here are some questions you might ask … Read More

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Green Spirit Farms

Green Spirit Farms

A New Kind of Family Farm

By Paula Bartholome

Photography by Richard Hellyer



Rotary gardens permit intensive planting and quicker growing in less space than traditional farming

Ah, the “family farm.” Idyllic. Consider 19th century Michiana: a bit of land with a farmhouse and barn, chickens in the yard, maybe 40 acres of fields planted full and a huge side garden of ruby-red tomatoes, big green peppers, strawberries, raspberries, overrunning zucchini and more. Maybe a cow or two, and a few pigs. Family members knew the land that generations had worked. They were connected to what they grew. They worked hard and called on seasonal help when needed. It was a good, necessary way of life. Green Spirit Farms, founded in 2011 in New Buffalo by father and son Milan and Dan Kluko, is different. Futuristic. This farm grows multiple vegetable crops vertically, year round in a dim reclaimed plastics factory using sustainable, hydroponic technology. There are no pesticides, herbicides or investments in land or equipment to tend it. When fully operational, the Klukos say, it will employ 15–20 people full time and supply fresh produce using technology so current it was featured as the … Read More

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