Saskatoon Jelly

Preserve up the bounty of sweet summer saskatoon berries in jars of glistening saskatoon jelly. A special ingredient helps enhance the berries’ natural flavour.

jars of homemade saskatoon jelly

I’m heading off to my parents’ cabin, and before I go I want to to leave you with another saskatoon recipe – in case you’re still dealing with the delicious tail end of your berry harvest.

For years, I made very little jam or jelly, since my mother-in-law supplied us with a veritable treasure chest of jewel-toned jars filled with every fruit or berry that could be jammed or jellied: topaz lemon/marrow to golden apricot to ruby raspberry to deep amethyst-black saskatoon and every gleaming shade of jam or jelly in between.

Now, Granny’s off the farm and enjoying her rest (painting and crafting up a storm), so I’ll have to start jammin’ again. I’m not very musical, so my ‘jamming’ is of the sweet edible variety and involves fruit and sugar.

Our saskatoon harvest has been abundant this year.

we've had a great crop of saskatoons - great for saskatoon jelly

And I’ve been making my kind of music in the kitchen.

The jelly kettle has been bubbling, and I’ve been humming along (as long as there’s nobody within hearing range – the dog doesn’t count).

Saskatoons are such a luscious berry. They’re sweet and nutty, with floral and slightly almond overtones. So hard to describe and incomparable to any other berry out there.

close up of saskatoon berries for saskatoon jelly making

In the system of scientific classification for plants, saskatoons belong to the same botanical order (Rosales) and family (Rosaceae) as roses. Reading that was an ‘aha!‘ moment for me. Of course. That would explain the faint floral flavour. The berries almost look like little purple rosehips and they’re full of seeds, too (though much more juicy than rosehips).

Adding a touch of rosewater to this homemade saskatoon jelly is a magical flavour enhancer, bringing out the sweet best in those wonderful berries – a natural pairing. That subtle hint of rosy flavour takes the jelly from fruity to fantastic.

Don’t be Afraid of Making Jelly

It’s easy!

Just cook up the saskatoon berries with a bit of water.

Dump them into a jelly bag or damp tea towel laid into a colander.

making saskatoon jelly

my mom sewed me a jelly bag out of an old sheer nylon curtain. she serged the edges and it measures about 14 inches square. but you can use an old tea towel or layers of cheesecloth, too

Tie up the bag around a wooden spoon.

Saskatoon Jelly Making

gather up the two sides and tie them over the spoon handle

Leave to drip.

saskatoon jelly - dripping jelly bag

set a bowl on the floor between two chairs and rest the ends of the spoon on the chair seats for an unorthodox but easy way to let your jelly bag drip

And voilà – you’ve got a beautiful clear juice you can now cook up to make your sparkling, wibbly, wobbly saskatoon jelly.

Your morning toast and jelly experience will be a gourmet treat.

Or use the saskatoon jelly to make this amazing creamy, fruity, saskatoon ice cream. (You can’t get that flavour in a store!)

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: Of course you can omit the rosewater and still have a wonderful, simple saskatoon jelly with a full fruit flavour.

Rosewater is made by steeping rose petals in water – pure, simple, edible rose essence. It can be found in import stores and some large supermarkets.

Bottled reconstituted lemon juice is recommended in jelly making since its acidity is standardized – more reliable than using fresh lemon juice, which can vary greatly in acidity levels. A certain amount of acidity is necessary in jelly making to ensure a pH level that will promote jelling and prevent spoilage.

homemade saskatoon jelly tastes great on toast

Saskatoon Jelly

  • 2 kg (4lb, 6oz) saskatoons (14 cups/3½ quarts of berries)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (6 tablespoons/90ml) bottled reconstituted lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater (optional)
  • 7½ cups (1.5kg) sugar
  • 2 pouches liquid pectin (170ml in total)

* The jelly might not set if you double the recipe – make one batch at a time.

Pick over the saskatoons. Rinse them and drain them well. (See an easy saskatoon cleaning technique here.)

Combine the berries and the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the juice by pouring the cooked berries into a jelly bag hanging over a bowl. (Tie the corners together and slip a wooden spoon through, under the knot. Hang the spoon between two chairs. (See photo above.)

If you don’t have a jelly bag, you can makeshift one by using a clean damp tea towel (it will become stained) or layering 3 to 4 sheets of cheesecloth into a colander. Moisten the cloth, add the berries, gather up the corners, and tie them into a bundle. Leave the fruit to drip for 3 to 4 hours – until you have 3½ cups juice. Do not squeeze the fruit or you’ll have cloudy jelly. If you don’t get quite enough juice, you can top it up with water to make 3½ cups.

Prepare and sterilize canning jars. Run clean jars through the hottest setting in your dishwasher and leave them in there to stay hot until you need them. Set the metal lids into a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring them to a simmer and leave them simmering on low heat, to fish out of the water directly when you seal the jars.

In a large saucepan, combine 3½ cups prepared saskatoon berry juice, lemon juice, rosewater (if using) and sugar. The pot should be no more than half full to allow plenty of room for the boiling jelly. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat.

Stir in the liquid pectin, squeezing all the pectin out of the pouches. Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and skim off any foam floating at the top of the jelly.

Working quickly, pour the jelly into warm, sterilized jam jars to within ¼ inch of the top. Wipe any drips on the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with sterilized lids and seal, screwing jars finger-tight. Let cool undisturbed. You should hear the lids “pop” as they seal and see that the vacuum has sucked the lid down so it doesn’t move when pressed with a finger (but don’t press the lids until the jars are completely cooled.)

If any jars didn’t seal (the lid will still bulge upward slightly and moves when pressed with a finger), store those jars in the refrigerator and use within a few months.

Makes 8 cups (8 half-pint/250ml jars).

Guten Appetit!


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Homemade saskatoon jelly is a delicious way to use up your saskatoon berry bounty.

How about some of these other delicious saskatoon recipes:

Gluten Free Saskatoon Scones

A Method to Easily Clean Saskatoon Berries

How to Freeze Saskatoons

How to Can Saskatoons and Make Saskatoon Preserves

Saskatoon Ice Cream and Saskatoon Jelly

Saskatoon Roll or Saskatoon Cobbler

Saskatoon Slump

‘Prairie Mess’, a Delectable Dessert with Saskatoons and Rhubarb

Saskatoon Juice

Pork Chops with Saskatoon and Green Apple Chutney

Posted in Canning & Preserving, Saskatoons | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gluten Free Saskatoon Scones

If you’re lucky enough to be within arm’s reach of a saskatoon berry bush or two (or you’ve got a stash in the freezer), you can celebrate their short but sweet season with some fantastic baked goods – like these light, flaky, tender saskatoon scones. Put the kettle on!

gluten free saskatoon scones with a dab of butter and a cup of tea

Saskatoon berry picking season is upon us. There’s no hiding those stained fingers and purple lips.

saskatoon stained fingers are worth it for saskatoon scones

Our bushes are heavy with their juicy gifts.

bushes loaded with saskatoons for saskatoon scones

can you find the little critter hiding in the leaves?

Berry picking is my therapy; it’s my medicine and my outlet. Pulling down a leafy branch and methodically plucking off all the dusky purple orbs lulls me into a calmer place, a place where worries flutter away on gentle breezes. I am completely in the here and now; this bush and this moment. All my thoughts are centered on plucking the next perfectly ripening cluster. Hours can slip away before I notice the krick in my neck and the cramp in my arms. My fingers are a deep purple and my mouth gives away the fact that I’ve been stuffing juicy handfuls on the way to the berry bucket.

Growing up, saskatoon picking was a treat, a break from other busy farm chores. It gave us a chance to pack up the pails and a picnic lunch, hop into the old farm truck, and head for the forests and fencelines. Mom always knew where the plumpest berries were hiding.

But so did the bears.

Seed-studded bear droppings and flattened grass wallows where the creatures had been snoozing between berry pig-outs were the signs we watched for. We made sure to make lots of noise so the bears would stay far away. Luckily the closest we ever got was seeing the odd bear ambling lazily off in the distance or running across the road as we drove away.

Now we have our own saskatoon berry bushes planted in our yard, and I don’t have to worry about bears any more. Some of the thrill, that flit of danger, is gone, but the joy is still there.

This weekend we had fun times picking berries with friends. We’re starting to make headway on harvesting the crop.

handful of plump berries for saskatoon scones

Loreto and Nicoletta of the lovely blog SugarLoveSpices were here to help pick. As you can see, we had canine and feline helpers, too.

saskatoon scones - picking berries saskatoon scones - raymond picking berries

The sun shone and the berries beckoned.

luscious ripe saskatoons for saskatoon scones

Those luscious purple beauties have found their way into jams and jellies, smoothies, pies, juice, and ice cream.

And they also slipped into these delectable scones.

freshly baked saskatoon scones

Whip up a Batch of Gluten Free Saskatoon Scones

saskatoon scones - loose, crumbly dough

stir together a light and flaky dough

dump out the saskatoon scone dough

load it with saskatoons and dump it onto the counter

saskatoon scones, shaping the dough

pat, pat, pat – shape the dough

saskatoon scones cut in triangles

cut some pretty triangles

saskatoon scones cut and ready for the oven

and into the oven they go

have a saskatoon scone with butter

then slather with butter and enjoy warm

Kitchen Frau Notes: Both fresh or frozen saskatoons work in this recipe, but I actually prefer to use frozen ones, since they are firm and don’t get squished when you work them into the dough, causing occasional purple streaks (which add a rustic look, though).

The glaze with egg and sugar is optional, but it does help the saskatoon scones to brown nicely, since gluten free baked goods often lack that. (The scones in the photos are a bit browner than my usual ones, since I got busy ‘saskatooning’ and kinda forgot them in the oven – still delicious, though.)

saskatoon scones with a cup of afternoon tea  Saskatoon Scones

  • 100 grams brown rice flour (¾ cup)
  • 100 grams millet or sorghum flour (¾ cup)
  • 150 grams sweet rice flour (1 cup)
  • 150 grams potato starch (¾ cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons guar gum or xanthan gum
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup cold salted butter or dairy-free margarine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned premium full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups frozen saskatoons
  • extra sweet rice flour for rolling out the dough
  • Optional – beaten egg and granulated sugar or coarse sanding sugar for topping

Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper or greasing it well.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter or margarine with a pastry blender or two knives until it is the size of marbles.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs, and beat in the coconut milk and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to mix the dough until all the loose flour has been mixed in and it looks like a bowl full of large crumbles. There should still be some largish lumps of butter to be seen.

Add the frozen saskatoons and mix them in lightly, using your hands if needed. The mixture will still be quite crumbly.

Liberally dust the countertop with sweet rice flour. Dump half of the crumbles onto the floured countertop in a pile. Using wet hands, keep pressing the crumbles together into a rough ball, then alternate flattening the top of the ball with using the flattened palms of your hands to push in the sides of the ball until you have a flat disk about 7 inches in diameter. Press in any stray saskatoons as you go. You may need to re-wet your hands during the process.

Cut the disk into 8 wedges with a sharp knife. Using a thin, flexible metal spatula or offset spatula, slide it underneath the wedges and lift them carefully onto the prepared cookie sheet, again pressing in any stray saskatoons as you pick up the wedges.

Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.

Optional: brush the tops of the scones with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar or coarse sanding sugar.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 16 scones.

Guten Appetit!


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Gluten free saskatoon scones long image

How about some of these other delicious saskatoon recipes:

A Method to Easily Clean Saskatoon Berries

How to Freeze Saskatoons

How to Can Saskatoons and Make Saskatoon Preserves

Saskatoon Ice Cream and Saskatoon Jelly

Saskatoon Roll or Saskatoon Cobbler

Saskatoon Slump

‘Prairie Mess’, a Delectable Dessert with Saskatoons and Rhubarb

Saskatoon Juice

Pork Chops with Saskatoon and Green Apple Chutney

Posted in Breads, Biscuits & Other Baking, Saskatoons | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Garlic Scape Pesto – Summer Magic for Garlic Lovers

Garlic Scape Pesto is a magical, flavour-packed green sauce – intensely garlicky and delicious when used raw; gently garlicky and mellow when used warm. You’ll want to hunt down some garlic scapes to make this amazing pesto. (Freezes well, too.) Read on for other ways to use garlic scapes, if you’re lucky enough to get some.

garlic scape pesto piled high in jar

What do you do when the veggie gods grant you a marvelous garlicky gift?

You make Garlic Scape Pesto, of course!

garlic scape pesto - bright emerald green

Two days ago a friend dropped off a plastic grocery bag full of fresh garlic scapes she’d just cut in her garden that morning. (Thanks, Ronaye!) I hate to admit such a nerdy thing, but I got giddy with excitement. Do you think maybe I need to lead a little less boring of a life?

Does any kind of food do that to you – make you weak at the knees with anticipation of what you are going to do with it? (Please, please admit that it does and I won’t feel like such a weirdo.) I imagined a bowl full of glistening green pesto, rich and garlicky and ready to slather on pasta, potatoes, or even sandwiches. I thought of grilling some of the wacky-shaped green coils for garnishing all manner of dishes and making them look fancy. I drooled over thoughts of garlic scapes snipped into sautés and hashes, risottos, and stir fries.

garlic scape pesto - a bag full of scapes

Garlic does that to me. I love it in all its forms.

In fact we’re kind of a garlic-loving family. Whenever my relatives get together, it’s not uncommon to find a bowl of peeled garlic cloves on the table at lunch – for guests to help themselves and slice onto their salami sandwiches. Yeah, you probably don’t want to be around us unless you chow down on a clove or two yourself, so you get swallowed into the garlic haze and aren’t fazed by our ‘heavenly perfume’.

What are Garlic Scapes?

Garlic scapes are the flower stalks and buds of hardneck garlic plants, and they are removed in May or June to encourage the garlic bulbs to grow larger, rather than putting their energy into flower production. Lucky for us garlic lovers, since garlic scapes are delicious – they taste just like garlic but in a more herbaceous, grassy way. Garlic scapes are a delight to use, and their alien-looking tendrils are quite beautiful in their own way. (They actually look lovely tucked into flower bouquets, too.)

If you don’t grow your own garlic, or have a garlic-growing friend, you can find garlic scapes at local farmer’s markets in early summer or sometimes you can find them straightened and bundled at Asian import grocery stores, labeled as garlic stems.

garlic scape pesto - 3 beautiful curls

How to Prepare and Store Garlic Scapes

To use them, you snip off the buds and usually just use the stems. If the buds are still soft and tender you can just snip off the long stringy, pointy tips and use the buds too, but if they’re tough, discard the whole flower buds and use only the stems.

Garlic scapes keep for weeks in a loosely closed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. They can even be chopped and frozen for use later – no blanching required. Just stick em in a zip-top freezer bag.

How to Use Garlic Scapes

They are delicious grilled – just toss them with a bit of oil and salt and pepper. (Trim off the stringy tips of the buds first). Place the whole scapes directly on the grill and cook them for 2 or 3 minutes on each side. They’re like garlicky grilled asparagus – they just look way cooler. It’s surprising how mild and sweet the garlic flavour gets once the scapes are grilled.

Garlic Scapes can be used raw or cooked: snip them into any kinds of egg or potato dishes, stir fries, frittatas, stews, salads, soups, or make them into this amazingly delicious pesto.

garlic scape pesto with scapes

Garlic scape pesto is intense and potently garlicky when raw. A smear on a sandwich or burger is heavenly. However as soon as the pesto is subjected to a whiff of heat, the garlic aroma surprisingly mellows to a sweet savoury umami flavour. It’s tamed right into submission. You’ve got two different beasts in one amazing sauce: a roaring garlic-fierce lion or a sweet garlic-whiffed pussy cat.

Toss a few spoonfuls of it with hot steamed new potatoes and it becomes a gentle green blanket for the spuds. Toss a blob of the shiny green pesto with a pot full of drained hot pasta and you will be smacking your lips in mellow garlic rapture. Or stir a small spoonful into a pot of barely cooked green peas for a delicious side dish. Smear the pesto onto a pizza instead of tomato sauce, or brush it on grilled meats, fish, or kebabs. You can use it in marinades, too.

Stir a spoonful of garlic scape pesto into scrambled eggs, or dollop it on top. Stir it into hot cooked rice or swirl it into cream soups for artistic effect and a fantastic flavour boost. Stir a few spoonfuls of pesto into a homemade vinaigrette to make a delicious salad dressing.

Stir it into equal parts sour cream and mayonnaise for a green garlic dip. Drain a can of cannellini beans and toss them with a spoonful of garlic scape pesto plus some additional oil, vinegar, salt and pepper for a great summer salad.

Use garlic scape pesto wherever you’d use regular pesto. Plus, it freezes well, so you can enjoy it when the depths of winter return to us (pretend I never said that).

* * * * *

main ingredients for garlic scape pesto

Kitchen Frau Notes: Parsley helps negate the effects of garlic on our breath, so I’m hoping it helps do the same thing in this pesto. Maybe there won’t be dragon breath on the day after eating it! Let me know if it works for you, in the comments below.

Don’t forget that the intense garlic flavour of the raw pesto is totally transformed into mellow garlic delight as soon as it’s exposed to a little bit of heat – even when stirred into hot dishes.

So this pesto is like two different dishes in one: an awesome garlic-powered showstopper when raw and a gentle garlic-infused flavour booster when heated.

Jar of garlic scape pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 1 cup (140gms/5oz.) chopped, trimmed garlic scapes
  • 1 cup firmly packed parsley (90gms), leaves and stems
  • ¼ cup (35gms) pine nuts or pistachios
  • ¼ cup (35gms) grated Parmesan cheese
  • zest and juice of half an organic lemon (~ 1½ teaspoons zest + 1½ tablespoons juice)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup (120ml) olive oil

Lightly toast the pine nuts or pistachios in a small heavy skillet over medium heat til golden in spots – about 3 to 4 minutes.

In a the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic scapes, parsley (stems and leaves), toasted nuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper.

Process until everything is blitzed up. Leaving the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, and keep processing until a smooth chunky sauce is achieved.

Scrape the lovely green pesto into a jar. Seal and refrigerate. Will keep for a week or two in the fridge.

*Garlic Scape Pesto freezes very well. Seal it in small jars or freezer containers and freeze for up to 6 months. Or you can freeze it in ice cube trays, then pop the frozen cubes into a zip-top bag and freeze.

Makes 1½ cups.

Guten Appetit!


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Garlic Scape Pesto - intensely flavourful and delicious. Tips for using garlic scapes and many ways to use the pesto.

You might also like:

Garlic Lentil Soup

Chimichurri Sauce

Romesco Sauce

Summer Herb Vinaigrette and Zucchini Salad

Posted in Canning & Preserving, Condiments & Sauces | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Cooking with Kids: Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes are the answer for a delicious meatless meal that will satisfy the whole family. Kids love ’em. Plop the flavourful lentil filling onto buns, top with cheese, and enjoy this fantastically-flavoured, fun, messy meal.

lentil sloppy joes with on a toasted bun, with cheese

Cooking with Meredith

Kids (and grown-ups) love meals that are flavourful, comforting, and maybe a little messy to eat. Sloppy Joes fit the bill. What differentiates a Sloppy Joe filling from a regular thick meat sauce is that it’s slightly sweet ‘n sour. And what differentiates these Sloppy Joes from the regular ones is that they’re made with lentils. Delicious, fiber-rich, nutrient-rich, fun-to-eat lentils. Hearty and filling. Loaded with tangy-sweet flavour. A great way to sneak in a meatless meal more often.

eating lentil sloppy joes - fun and messy

Kids will be asking for them again and again.

Meredith and I had fun cooking these up. She loved chopping the veggies and measuring the spices.

We served our Lentil Sloppy Joes on buns with a side of carrot curl salad.

lentil sloppy joes with a side of carrot salad

You can pile the filling onto a bun, top with shredded cheese, and eat the whole thing like a drippy hamburger, leaning over your plate and using lots of napkins – Meredith’s choice. Or you can pile the dressing onto both halves of the bun and eat it in a civilized manner with knife and fork – my choice.

open faced lentil sloppy joes

(Though I must admit, Meredith’s way is much more fun!)

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: You can use any kind of lentils for this, but big green lentils and brown lentils work best because they get softer when cooked and cook apart a bit more, so they make a nice sloppy joe texture. If you need to use green Puy lentils or black lentils, cook them a bit longer, until they start to get somewhat mushy.

*If you can’t find gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, use 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon of gluten-free soy sauce instead.

To make these Lentil Sloppy Joes vegan, use the substitution above for the Worcestershire sauce and use vegan buns and a vegan cheese substitute, or omit the cheese on top.

We used gluten free O’Dough’s hamburger buns, but you could also serve the Lentil Sloppy Joes with crackers to dip in, or on top of rice or short pasta.


lentil sloppy joes on a bun

Lentil Sloppy Joes

  • 1½ cups big green lentils
  • 4½ cups water
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 onions
  • 1 red or green bell pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can (156ml/5.5oz) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free if necessary, see Notes, above*)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

to serve:

  • 6 buns (gluten-free if necessary), like hamburger buns, or Kaiser rolls
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • crushed red chili flakes (if anyone wants added spice)

Combine the lentils and water in a saucepan. Stick the two whole cloves into one of the peeled garlic cloves. Add this and the bay leaves to the lentils. Bring the lentils and water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with the lid, and simmer the lentils for 30 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, peel and dice the onions. Mince the remaining two cloves of garlic, or push them through a garlic press. Cut the green or red bell pepper into thin strips, then cut the strips crosswise into small cubes, and mince the celery finely or cut it into small cubes.

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then the garlic, onions, bell pepper, and celery. Sauté, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are all softened. Set aside.

When the lentils are finished cooking, fish out the bay leaves and the garlic clove with the cloves stuck in it. If the cloves have slipped out of the garlic, try to find them, but if you can’t – don’t worry too much about it. You don’t need to drain the lentils.

Add the sautéed vegetables to the lentils, and add the tomato paste and the rest of the ingredients (except the buns and cheese).

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered and stirring often, until the Sloppy Joe mixture is thick like porridge.

Cut the buns in half and toast them. Serve the filling on top of the buns, either open-face onto both halves of the buns, or piled onto one bun. Top with shredded cheese. Sprinkle with a pinch of red chili flakes if you’d like it spicier. Add the top half of the bun if you’ll be eating the Lentil Sloppy Joes out of hand, or leave them open if eating with a knife and fork.

Serves 6.

*Note: This filling reheats well (so you can make it ahead) and it also freezes well (so you could make a double batch and stash one in the freezer for busy days). You might need to add an extra splash of water when reheating, to loosen the mixture up if it’s too thick.

Guten Appetit!

For more fun cooking projects to make with kids, see the ‘Cooking With Kids’ series here.

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Lentil Sloppy Joes - deliciously savoury, fun and messy to eat, and a great meatless option. A good cooking-with-kids project.

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Number One Chili (Super Easy Chili Recipe)

Pasta and Sausage Skillet Supper

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If you like my recipes, follow me on InstagramPinterestTwitter, and Facebook. You’d make my day!

Posted in Beans & Legumes, Cooking with Kids, One-Dish Meals | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Fresh Veggie Chow Chow

This isn’t any ordinary chow chow – it’s Veggie Chow! A tangy mix of crunchy, pickled fresh veggies that you can spoon into salads to add colour and zing, or pile onto a burger, or stir into eggs. Add it to any dish that needs a pick-me-up. With a jar of Veggie Chow in your fridge you’ll have a secret ingredient  to make meals sing (and give you time to play outside).

jar of veggie chow chow keeps in fridge for weeks

Oh, I’m loving the heat and the lazy, crazy summer days. They’ve arrived suddenly and with a vengeance. One minute it was still cold and rainy, and now it’s suddenly hot, hot, hot.

The peonies are in full glorious bloom in the sun:

veggie chow chow - pink peonies, 2017

Hostas are thriving in the shade,

veggie chow chow - hostas

and the garden is growing like a . . . weed (pardon the pun).

veggie chow chow - spring garden

veggie chow chow - spring garden with mailbox

When it gets this hot and I’m melting in my kitchen, even with the fans going full blast, I like my cooking to be simple and effortless. I’m so glad I made a big jar of this veggie chow chow weeks ago, and now I can scoop out a few spoonfuls to add to any old lazy dish and make it look like I took some time in the kitchen when really I didn’t. A colleague at work (thanks, Dana :) ) told me about the idea for this – she’d seen it on a cooking show on TV – basically diced fresh veggies preserved in vinegar. I loved the idea and had to play around with it. I made my batch well over six weeks ago and it’s almost gone, but still fresh, crunchy, and tasty. So I’m guessing it will last at least a couple months in the fridge. Isn’t that a treat for a lazy cook?

veggie chow chow close-up

It’s best to chose vegetables that will stay crunchy and not lose their colour. I found the combination of onions, celery, carrots, peppers, and corn to be the best, but you could try with any veggies you like. Next time I’m going to add a few spoonfuls of mustard seeds or celery seeds. I think they’d add nice crunch and little pops of flavour. A few cloves of minced garlic might be delicious in there, too.

Once you’ve got a jar of Veggie Chow in your fridge, you can let your creativity run free. A spoonful stirred into dishes will add bright spots of colour and little tangy bursts of pickled crunchiness. Plus, it’ll save you time cleaning and chopping veggies when you just need a few. Do the work ahead so you can spend more time playing.

Ways to Use Veggie Chow

Add a few spoonfuls to a simple salad of lettuce, cucumbers, and avocado.

Or even just dress up plain chopped lettuce.

green salad with veggie chow chow

Here I’ve stirred a few spoonfuls into an edamame and quinoa salad:

edamame and quinoa salad with veggie chow chow

I’ve plopped some over poached eggs for a light and flavourful breakfast:

poached eggs with veggie chow chow

We’ve topped our burgers with the colourful mix:

burger with veggie chow chow

Stir some into scrambled eggs, pasta salads, layered saladstuna salad, salmon salad, egg salad, lentil stews, or casseroles, or tuck it into quesadillas, sandwiches, wraps, or pita pockets. Add a bit to salad rolls, or try garnishing soups with a spoonful of bright crunchy colour. Use it on top of hamburgers, spoon it into hot dogs, or sprinkle on pizza. Stick some into a grilled cheese sandwich or under the cheese on a tuna melt. Mix a handful of veggie chow chow into raw ground beef when you make hamburger patties or meatloaf. Mix equal parts mayonnaise and yogurt, then stir in a few spoonfuls of Veggie Chow and a handful of fresh or dried herbs for a light and tasty dip for veggies.

You can see how versatile this Veggie Chow is, and how handy it’ll be to have a jar of it in the fridge this summer. Pack it for camping or for at the cottage, too.

You’ll look like a kitchen wizard when you can quickly stir up tasty meals.

It’ll be your secret summer ingredient – pickled bits of fairy dust to add zip to your meals.

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: You can make any amount of Veggie Chow – just use the ratio of 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of oil for each cup of diced vegetables.

bowl of bright veggie chow chow

Veggie Chow Chow

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen & defrosted corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 10 tablespoons (150ml) white vinegar (½ cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 5 teaspoons oil

Combine all the chopped vegetables and put them into a large jar or bowl with a lid. Add the vinegar and oil. Shake to combine.

Refrigerate, stirring or shaking several times during the first day. Use after 24 hours.

Will keep in the fridge for  6 to 8 weeks, or more.

Strain out a few spoonfuls to add to any dishes for extra flavour, crunch, and colour.

Makes 5 cups (1.2l).

Guten Appetit!


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With a jar of tangy fresh Veggie Chow in the fridge, you can dress up all kinds of dishes with extra flavour and colour

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Posted in Canning & Preserving, Condiments & Sauces, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments