Monday, February 6, 2017

Dad's Veggie Burgers.....lovingly remembered

In our family, our mother was the primary cook. However on weekends, our father would often take over the kitchen to create one of his specialties.
My father, Harry, was a very talented man. He grew up in a small area called Pass Creek, approximately 15 minutes north of Castlegar. His father, Nick, had a Stucco business that he ran with all three sons, Peter, Harry & John. When I was in my late teens, on one of his stucco jobs my father got his hand caught in the blades of the cement mixer and it damaged his hand, crippling his dominant right hand forever. After many months of surgeries and healing he realized that he could not successfully return to the Stucco trade.  Having only a Grade 8 education, he went back to school to get his GED, knowing that without it he would not be able to get a satisfactory job. He had a family of 4 young children and my Mom to support. It was fun watching our father do homework at the kitchen table for a change!
Upon completion of his certificate, he decided to open a restaurant featuring vegetarian Doukhobor food, near the local Doukhobor Museum. Mom was an amazing cook and Dad cooked delicious breakfasts and loved socializing too. So thus Doukhobor Village Restaurant was born. Situated in a small building near the Doukhobor Village Museum just outside of Castlegar across from the Castlegar airport, they began the next stage of their lives. Everyone in the family worked and helped in the restaurant. My sisters, my brother, my aunts and cousins. We baked bread, made borscht,  pyrohi, vareniki nalesniki and Mom's famous fruit and cream pies and much more. Even our boyfriends had their turn waiting on tables! People came from all over Canada and some even flew in just for the borscht ( bought by the gallon and flown out on their planes). They served tour buses full of guests, they had wedding receptions, engagement dinners and many birthday celebrations in their banquet room....those of my sister and I was one of them. Dad was always thinking, creating and keeping things interesting with the food they were serving. This Veggie Burger was one of those creations. A friend of the family Verna recently sent me an email asking if I remember Dad's Veggie Burger as she was craving a taste of his patty. Sadly I did not, but I put the question to my sisters Holly and Wendy. Thankfully Holly remembered...the ingredients at least. So today was the day to create...and recreate Dad's delicious Veggie Burger. I Think Dad would be proud of these, once I tasted the burger I created today the memories came flooding back.

Dad's Veggie Burgers made at the Doukhobor Village Restaurant

Dad's Veggie Burger

The ingredients you will need.

The vegetables are shredded and ready.

Eggs and seasoning are ready.

All the ingredients are mixed together, ready for shaping into patties.

Dad's Veggie Burgers frying in some vegetable oil.

They smell soo good, they look even tastier.

Served up on a bun with your favorite toppings.

Dad's Veggie Burger

1 large carrot, peeled and grated (1 rounded cup)
2 medium beets, peeled and grated (11/2 cups)
12 Mushrooms, grated or chopped fine (21/4 cups)
1 large onion or 11/2 medium onion, chopped fine
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
3 large cloves garlic, minced or grated
11/4 cups flour, whole wheat or white
3 cups kidney beans, mashed
3 eggs, beaten
11/4 cups bread crumbs
1 tsp. seasoning salt 
2 tsp. granulated garlic
11/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated ( optional)
In a large bowl beat eggs, seasoning salt, granulated garlic, salt, pepper
Stir in grated beets,  carrots, Mushrooms, onions, celery, garlic and mashed beans.
Stir in the bread crumbs and flour ( Parmesan Cheese, if using)
Shape into patties ( your choice of size)
Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan, add your patties and cook until nicely browned for approximately 2-5 min per side. Serve in a bun with your favourite dressings and toppings.

'Let Miracles sneak into your life today while your back is turned.
and Joy seep into your being when you are not looking and overtake you.'
Veronica Hay

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Teff Burgers.....delicious, nutritious, vegetarian and gluten free

I am always on the look out for interesting recipes full of protein and when talking with my sister Holly who had just baked a beautiful loaf of bread with leftover flours (Teff, Rye &a whole wheat). The grain Teff caught my interest and thus my research began. I found a recipe for a Teff Burger (Bob's Red Mill) and decided to make a batch. They were very easy to make and simple to cook and oh so delicious and filling. My husband and son ate the burgers in a whole wheat bun adding some home made horseradish mayo and a tomato horseradish sauce, topped with some cheese, lettuce, onions and tomato. I decided to go ' bun-less' and topped my Teff burger with a spoonful of horseradish mayo along with a side of steamed asparagus.....this was dinner last night. Delicious, nutritious and so very filling. I fried a few of the burgers as per recipe instructions and also decided to bake a few to see the difference in texture. My preference were the baked ones as they seemed firmer and the texture I prefer in a burger. Either method was delicious as there were no complaints from the boys! I think the firmness of this Teff burger will even stand up to a BBQ. This is a base and I will continue to experiment with this grain and I hope you do too.


The ingredients you will need.

The Teff is ready to be cooked with the rest of the ingredients.

Great product.

Green onions ready for slicing.

The Teff grains are thickening up nicely.

The Teff grains are cooling in the pan, waiting for the green onions to be added.

Burgers are shaped and ready to be cooked.

Teff patties are browning nicely.

Almost ready.....smells amazing.

Teff Burger a perfect meal.


  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme ground
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup whole grain Teff

  •  Place sesame oil, Teff, water, thyme, garlic, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once or twice toward the end of the cooking process. Spread cooked Teff in a shallow pan to cool. When cooled, add scallions and form 6 equally portioned patties.
  • Heat a non stick skillet that has been lightly sprayed with non stick vegetable spray, and fry until nicely browned on both sides. Top with cheese; turn heat off and allow cheese to slightly melt. Assemble burgers with lettuce, tomato, and whole wheat buns.
  • NOTE: to bake these burgers - Preheat oven to 400 degrees, light oil each patty and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, flip and bake another 12 minutes adding cheese in the last 2 minutes until it melts.
    TO BE MORE Loving.
    TO BE MORE Thoughtful.
    TO BE MORE Giving.

    TO BE MORE Sensitive.
    TO BE MORE Forgiving.
    TO BE MORE Tolerant.
    TO BE MORE Humble.
    TO BE MORE Patient.
    TO BE MORE Grateful.

  • Monday, January 16, 2017

    Thai Coconut Curry with Vegetables and Tofu

    These cool winter days make me want something warm and hearty for our dinner.
    I came across a recipe for Thai Coconut Curry and adapted it to our tastes and made it vegetarian. I decided this would work very nicely with some tofu and coconut milk that I had in my pantry. We had some leftover broccoli and cauliflower stalks, already steamed that would work very well in this dish.
    The best part was you put everything into a slow cooker and forget about it for several hours! Served with some Basmati rice makes a perfect meal. While this dish cooks the house smelled so amazing. You can make this dish with lots of 'heat' or just as much as your family can tolerate. Very adaptable...

    Thai Coconut Curry with Vegetables and Tofu

    Steamed broccoli and cauliflower

    All the ingredients are added to the crockpot and are ready for cooking.

    Onions and red and orange peppers sautéed and waiting to be added.

    A few carrots added in.

    Vegetarian Mushroom Oyster Sauce

    Thai Coconut Curry smells and looks amazing.


    1(14 oz.) can full fat coconut milk
    1/4 cup peanut butter
    2 Tablespoons red curry paste
    2 Tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce (teriyaki sauce works)
    3 Tablespoons lime juice
    2 Tablespoons brown sugar
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup vegetable broth
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1-3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
    1cup cauliflower and broccoli
    1/2 cup carrots, shaved or diced
    1 potato, diced
    1 block Tofu, cubed

    Grease crockpot or Dutch oven.
    Whisk together sauce ingredients: coconut milk, peanut butter, red curry paste, vegetarian oyster sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, vegetable broth, ground ginger and crushed red pepper flakes directly in the crockpot.
    Place tofu on top.
    Spoon sauce of the tofu, so it is fully submerged.
    Stir in the broccoli, cauliflower, potato and carrots.
    Cook in crockpot on LOW for 4 hours
    In a sauté pan, cook the red peppers and onions until caramelized, set aside. Add to the crockpot at the last 1/2 hour or stir in at the end.
    Top with chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts and sliced green onions.
    Serve over basmati rice.

    'The amazing thing about love and attention and encouragement and grace and success and joy
    is that these things are infinite. We get a new supply every sing morning
    -so we can give it away all day'

    Tuesday, December 20, 2016

    Giving and Receiving

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays from my house to yours. I has been a busy few weeks with menu planning, baking Christmas sweets and preparing a few dishes for our Christmas dinner.
    One of my favorite things to bake is my Santa Bread. Below are my grand nieces Sadie (left) and Cora (right) who are excited to sample their very own Santa Bread that I sent them in the mail.
    Wishing all my family and friends a very Merry Christmas, may you be surrounded by Love, laughter and enjoy many hugs and good food. Let us all pray for Peace and Good Health in 2017

    Sadie and Cora with their Santa Bread

    Friday, November 25, 2016

    Creamy Mushroom Barley Soup

    Mushrooms are still growing here on the Sunshine Coast. I was very fortunate to pick enough Shaggy Manes while on my daily walk to make a nice pot of soup. My Mother made the most amazing Mushroom Soup and today  I made this soup in her memory. So fragrant, silky and creamy. No waste as the cooking liquid is strained and saved as mushroom stock to make this amazing soup.

    Creamy Mushroom Barley Soup

    Shaggy Mane mushrooms picked along my walk.

    Shaggy Manes cleaned, sliced and blanched

    Mushroom stock after blanching/cooking the shaggy manes
    strained and ready to use.

    onions, celery and garlic are sautéed

    potatoes diced and waiting to be added

    Flour is baked to a nice light golden brown

    Brown flour slurry will thicken the soup

    All ingredients have been added and the soup is ready to serve.
     Creamy Mushroom Barley Soup served with cheese toast
    (we had leftover 'fondue cheese' - perfect for cheese toasts)


    1 Tbsp. butter
     1 Tbsp. oil
    1 small onion, diced
    8 cups broth ( from blanching Shaggy manes) or water
    1 tsp. granulated garlic (or 1 clove garlic, minced)
    1/3 cup barley
    1 potato, small dice
    1/3 cup heavy cream
    1/4 cup browned flour*(see below)
    1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar ( or to taste)
    1-2 tsp. granulated garlic
    4-6 brown mushrooms diced
    Salt and pepper to taste

    In a large pot add oil and butter, heat until melted then add onion and chopped mushrooms. Sauté until onion is translucent. Add stock/water and bring to a boil. Stir in barley, granulated garlic ( if using fresh garlic add to the onions and sauté. Simmer for 15 minutes then add diced potato, cream and browned flour slurry. Simmer another 10 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and stir In white wine vinegar to taste. 
    *Browned flour
    Put 1 cup flour on a baking sheet, place in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Stir once after 10 minutes.
    (When adding to soup, stew or sauce, mix with water, milk or broth and then add)
    This will thicken the soup and give it a beautiful roasted flavour.

    "Though we all have the fear & the seeds of anger within us, we must learn not to water those seeds and instead nourish our positive qualities--those of compassion, understanding, and loving kindness."
    ~ Thich Nhat Hahn

    Tuesday, November 15, 2016

    Dutch Apple Pie Bites

    'An apple a day keeps the Doctor away'
    I love apples. They are so juicy, crispy, sweet and so good for you. I grew up on a hobby farm, my Father planted many different varieties of fruit, apples were prolific in the garden.
    My Mother would make apple pies, applesauce, dried apples and fruit leather for us to enjoy throughout the fall and winter and always enough to share with family and friends.
    Today I cooked with apples that were grown by my cousin Walter and his wife Vera who live beside the farm where we grew up. Thank you to Walter and Vera for sharing your beautiful apples, thank you to my sister Wendy for picking them up and for my sister Holly for bringing them all the way from Ootischenia to Gibsons. The apples are a 'common delicious' sweet and juicy. Today I made these Dutch Apple Pie Bites. Perfect for tea/coffee with family or friends.
    They freeze well and will be great to serve for any festive holiday too.


    Apples diced and cooked

    Streusel topping is ready

    Pie dough is rolled, cut and fitted into muffin tins

    Apple filling is added

    Streusel topping added before baking.

    Dutch Apple Pie Bites right out of the oven

    Perfect for tea, coffee or a light snack

    Serve with Greek Yogurt, whipped cream or ice cream


    1batch of double crust pie dough (add cinnamon )
    5 small  apples, peeled, cored, and diced finely
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    2/3 cups old fashioned oats
    pinch of salt
    3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (14 tablespoons total) butter, melted

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the wells of a standard size muffin tin with nonstick spray. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and cut out circles about 2 inches in diameter. Gather and re-roll unused dough and cut additional circles. I used the rim of a small plastic cup.. Place the circles in the bottom of each muffin well.
    • Add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and cornstarch to a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 5-10 minutes until the apples have softened slightly and the juices begin to thicken. Remove from heat.
    • Add about one tablespoon of the apple filling on top of each circle of pie dough.
    • In a medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oats, and salt. Add melted butter and mix until well incorporated.
    • Add a heaping tablespoon of the streusel topping to each muffin well, and gently pat it down over the apples.
    • Bake for 17-19 minutes. **Allow the apple pie cookies to cool in the muffin tin for at least 10-15 minutes before removing. Cool on a wire rack.
    • "Though we all have the fear & the seeds of anger within us, we must learn not to water those seeds and instead nourish our positive qualities--those of compassion, understanding, and loving kindness."
      ~ Thich Nhat Hahn

    Sunday, November 6, 2016

    Pumpkin Cobbler

    Pumpkin a beautiful vegetable to grow, so many different varieties too. If you are a fan of pumpkin pie but not a fan of making a pie crust, this is the recipe for you. Simple to put together, makes a generous amount and so very delicious! My son Rick loves pumpkin pie, my daughter Anastasia as well but she is not a fan of pie crust, this dessert is perfect for her and my son says it is just as good as pumpkin pie! Today I used butternut squash but any pumpkin will do.


    Butter is in the pan ready to melt in the preheating oven

    Pumpkin mixture

    Batter ingredients are mixed together

    Butter is melted, batter is added on top

    The pumpkin mixture is spooned over the batter

    Pumpkin Cobbler is baked and sampled

     Served with some cream or whipped cream


    Filling: 2 eggs, beaten
    1 cup evaporated milk
    3 cups cooked mashed pumpkin or butternut squash
    3/4 cup white sugar
    ½ cup dark brown sugar
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    ¼ teaspoon ginger
    ¼ teaspoon cloves
    ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    ½ teaspoon salt

    ½ cup butter
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup white sugar
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350 F
    In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk and pumpkin; add the rest of the filling ingredients,
    mix well and set aside.
    Prepare the crust:
    Melt the butter in a 9x11-inch baking pan.
    In another bowl, mix the remaining crust ingredients until just combined
    and pour into baking pan on top of the melted butter.

    Spoon or slowly pour the filling evenly over the crust batter in the pan.
    Do not stir. 

    Bake 1 hour.   Serves 8-10
     "Always keep the magic of 'belief ' alive in your heart."💖