The Seasoned Franciscan - Cooking Joyfully

Two Basic Salad Dressings

In our after school cooking class in spring 2022, Tamra Dickinson and I shared these recipes with students at Hillside Elementary in La Crosse.  It was fun to watch them wash greens and spin them dry in make-shift kitchen towel salad spinners.  Mason jars of dressing ingredients were shaken with every muscle they had and we all enjoyed a spring kale salad!

Warm Farro Salad with Spring Veggies

A classmate used to create delicious-looking lunch salads from what was found in our college cafeteria!  To her meal of greens, veggies, nuts or seeds and she often added beans, cheese, brown rice or whole grains.  This kind of plate - mostly plant foods – is featured in a recipe for “Warm Farro Salad with Spring Veggies”.

Pacific Rim Salad By Lisa Ahier, chef at SoBo restaurant

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. A very broad term, this recognition encompasses all of the Asian continent and 1000s of Pacific islands.  This week's recipe is for a refreshing Pacific Rim Salad.  Let's learn more about the food and culture of our AANHPI neighbors!

Enjoying Spring Asparagus

Asparagus is a sure sign of spring in the upper Midwest and home gardeners can’t give it away fast enough!   If you or your neighbors aren't swimming in it, look for fresh asparagus at your local farmer's market.  This post is not a recipe so much as a guide to preparing asparagus. 

Meat and Bulgur Sloppy Joe's

“Meat and Bulgur Sloppy Joes” is an easy version of this famous sandwich. The recipe is followed by some facts about bulgur and its Middle Eastern origins and some history of the iconic Sloppy Joe.

Quinoa Atamalada or “Tamale – like" Quinoa

Quinoa (keen' wah) is a grain native to the Americas along with wild rice, amaranth, corn and mesquite. These grains have ancient histories and provide important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant protein. Try quinoa in this "tamale-like" Peruvian recipe for "Quinoa Altamalada."

Japanese Pancakes - Okonomiyaki

Meredeth Hink shares a recipe, saying, it "should be appropriate for this time of year. I have been making these pancakes for my family since I was in high school. They are easy to make and a great way to use up leftover vegetables, especially cabbage/coleslaw mix." Discover Japan's strong values of culture, health and the environment in the way many cities do school lunch.

Maple Amaranth Cornbread

This delicious recipe for Maple Amaranth Cornbread is shared by Meg Paulino who has been part of maple syrup production on Saint Joseph Ridge.The recipe was posted by the Ho-Chunk Nation's Division of Health as a Harvest of the Month. For Indigenous people, both maple syrup and amaranth have many uses and sacred connections to their food sovereignty, culture and spirituality.

Basic Bread Recipe

Christians celebrate 50 days of Easter, giving us time to consciously engage in Resurrection transformation: to be of service, forgive, prayerfully plant seeds, surrender to joy, bake bread. Use this Basic Bread Recipe to bake bread, "transformational food!" Also included: a reflection inspired by baker theologian Peter Reinhart called From Wheat to Eat.

Red Lentil Tacos

Another ethnic meatless recipe, Red Lentil Tacos are spiced with delicious taco seasonings for a healthy alternative to ground meat. It can be whipped up with only a few simple ingredients in just 20 minutes. Read on for more meatless recipes from Earthbeat, the Sisters of Mercy and the Meatless Mondays campaign and their planet health reasons to limit meat consumption.

Canned Fish for Light Meals and Snacks

A partner-in-mission suggested that Seasoned Franciscan feature meatless meals with sardines. So, this post, Canned Fish for Light Meals and Snacks suggests ways to use sardines and other canned fish. They may be a pantry staple for you or a new food to try! Read on for "fishy" facts you might find interesting regarding the environment, health and doing penance.

Enchilada Casserole

An easy meatless Enchilada Casserole with a side of refried beans, offers protein and veggies! This recipe uses convenient, nutritious vegetables frozen at their flavor peak! I discovered veggies and fruits grown locally in my grocer's organic freezer section! Look where you shop!

Hmong Egg Rolls

Egg rolls are a celebration food! When the Hmong Community Center has an egg roll sale in La Crosse there is often a line out the door! Yee Xiong, virtual worker at St. Rose Convent, used to make this recipe on special occasions at the Villa to entice Sisters and staff to the Terrace for an event! She will tell you that they are served at important family occasions in Hmong culture. Needless to say, they are made with love and care!

Easy Vegetable Frittata

Frittata is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner and a great way to use whatever veggies you have on hand or leftover pasta. It’s easier than quiche, but may take practice to get it set how you like it! What meatless dishes come to you from your food heritage? We’ll be sharing some this Lent!

Bran "Penitential" Biscuits

Saint Rose Convent Nurse Zona Kern writes, “Over the years many sisters have mentioned that "penitential biscuits" were being served to them on occasion. (Apparently, it used to be on Good Friday.) This year one of the sisters brought a biscuit to the nurses to try and it was very good. The recipe is attributed to Sister Marcella Marie Dreikosen.

Monastery Lentil Soup from "Diet for a Small Planet"

With Lent approaching, this recipe from Jean Feeney for "Monastery Lentil Soup" uses a versatile plant protein and great pantry staple.  She got it from "Diet for a Small Planet" by Francis Moore Lappe published over 50 years ago.  Make it for Lent.  Meet another author named Marion Nestle who writes about how to vote with our fork and our votes to help our small and warmer planet today!

Red Rice for African American History Month

Rice is a nutritious pantry staple. It provides nearly 80% of the nutrients for 50% of the world’s population. Make some Red Rice, also called Gullah, Savannah or Mulatto Rice which was a staple for West Africans. Enslaved people brought it to the low country of Georgia and the Carolinas. Red Rice tells a story of African American culture as we celebrate African American History Month.

Tuna and Noodles Hot Dish

Tuna and noodles hot dish, aka casserole, is part of the upper, Midwest's unique food story. This recipe is similar to the one from a Campbell’s soup label. Is the quick supper that many of us grew up on! It’s a quick “from the pantry” meal that appeals to all ages. Maybe it’s the potato chip crust! We called Mrs. DeCur's version “Toodles and Nuna,” a slip of the tongue that stuck! What’s your favorite “hot dish” memory?

Quick Chicken Pot Pie

While here is another "pie" recipe, this one from The Seasoned Mom is pantry friendly, quick and satisfying. It relies on staples like canned soup, frozen veggies and baking mix rather than “from scratch” ingredients, with several easy options for the chicken. Read on for a list of pantry staples that both chefs and nutritionists recommend!

Salmon Pie

Enjoy a great recipe for Salmon Pie from affiliate Sandra Hoeser! Canned fish like salmon can be an important pantry staple. Salmon is found all over the northern oceans including Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Ireland, Scandinavia and Lake Superior.

"Cooking Joyfully" from the Pantry

With holiday feasts behind us, what can keep us “Cooking Joyfully” at this time of year? A mindful PANTRY (cupboards, fridge, freezer) can be a tool to foster Cooking Joyfully. If you're privileged to have a stocked pantry as I am, let's shop in it and cook from it with that in mind. It may lead us to live more simply and be more generous.

Chocolate Almond Spice Cookies

Try this gluten-free Chocolate Almond Spice Cookie recipe from Switzerland. It was shared by Wis-Corp intern Lisa Broulette while setting up Luminaria for the Advent hike at St. Joseph Ridge. Food traditions of any culture get conversations started!

Pepperkaker Cookies

“This recipe is one which I have made the last few years for Christmas” said Director of Affiliation Michael Krueger. “It is a Norwegian gingerbread recipe but with a spicier taste to it due to the freshly ground cloves and pepper.

Spritz Cookies

My father-in-law was a baker and inherited a treasured wooden Spritz cookie press from one of his employers. Spritz are a Christmas favorite in lots of households and it takes practice (and cookie press or pastry bag skills) to make them! Try them for yourself during the 12 days of Christmas. They make great Epiphany gifts!

Kolaczki Cookies

When asked about a favorite Polish holiday cookie, Viterbo Chaplain Father Conrad Targonski, OFM described his Mother's Kolaczki (Koe lach' kee, in some Polish circles!). Poles claim it, but so do Slovaks, Croatians, Czechs, Scandinavians and others. Discover the Polish version and other ethnic variations of this celebration recipe.

Christmas Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe was passed on by Bonnie Sacis to Sister Antona Schedlo. “The cookies just melt in your mouth”, says Sister Antona! Sounds like a sweet treat recipe for any time of year.

Mexican Wedding Cakes for our Lady of Guadalupe

In Mexico and for folks connected with cultures south of the U.S. border, Dec. 12th is a favorite Marian feast day. In honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, look up her amazing story! Bake Mexican Wedding Cakes, also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Snowball Cookies! A good thing by any name is loved by all!

Food and Memories

Food is a memorable and meaningful part of our lives, in particular at the holidays. Favorite dishes can link us to a much bigger story of our ancestors, culture and values. During December and possibly into 2023, The Seasoned Franciscan invites you to: send in a favorite Christmas cookie or other celebration recipe.

Italian Biscotti

In many Italian families, biscotti are a Christmas celebration cookie. I love making this traditional recipe to remember my loved ones. But as our family grows, we have literally made room for contributions of other Christmas cookies that join the Christmas table. What cookies bring you memories?

Wild Rice Soup

Discover the taste and heartiness of wild rice in a recipe for "Wild Rice Soup". Learn how this sacred food has been a ceremony, social interaction, security and medicine for the body and soul of many tribal people around the Great Lakes for generations.

Uncooked Cranberry Relish

Cranberries or Mashkiigimin in Ojibwe have been used by American Indians for many purposes. The berry has immense medicinal properties and was sometimes used to dye cloth. Check out this old-fashioned Uncooked Cranberry Relish Recipe and consider your favorite uses of the cranberry.

Native American Corn Hominy Soup

Try this simple Native American Corn Hominy Soup and give thanks. Corn is a sacred food and bringing it from seed to table is a sacred process. Learn more about Sister Corn and her place in the whole community.

Native American Heritage Month

National Native American Heritage Month in November invites us to explore the heritage, culture and experience of Indigenous peoples both historically and in American life today. This month The Seasoned Franciscan will include recipes for foods sacred to Native Americans.

Pumpkin Soup

This fall recipe for "Pumpkin Soup" offers pumpkin food ways facts. Find out how scholars use food like squash and pumpkin to trace history and culture from Central to North American, Europe and back to American tables. Even China and India produce and export pumpkin. Once again, stories connect us across the globe!

Fall Apple Salad and "Picking Your Own"

In September and October, local Apples featured in the "Fall Apple Salad" Recipe are at their peak in most of North America. For those of us who are not farmers, there are lots of markets for "pick your own" and bagged apples. This post includes a link to help you find a pick-your-own farm for apples and much more near where you live!  Read on for tips for to freezing fresh apples!

Three Sisters Harvest Bowls

Three Sisters' Harvest Bowl recipe uses what Native peoples consider their siblings: squash, beans, and corn. Native languages do not use the pronoun "it" when referring to the natural world. Trees and all plants, animals, rocks and water are "he" or "she." Read about the importance of food plants as family. Look for celebration of Indigenous People's Day this week in your area.

Mashed Butternut Squash

Original Local refers to the foodways of Native peoples, indigenous to the Americas who called the western hemisphere long before European settlers arrived. The next few recipes will feature native foods such as this easy recipe for Butternut Squash, one of the Three Sisters in their cuisine and a fall favorite to many!

Pasta Fresca

Summer abundance. It pours forth richly and wonderfully in oh so many ways. Including tomatoes!  Making quick and easy meals gives us more time to enjoy summer abundance. Pasta Fresca is one of Margaret Bluske's family favorite quick and easy recipes, made all the more delicious by the fact that it is strictly for this time of year, when the tomatoes are vine-ripened and the basil is fresh.

Tomato Upside Down Cornbread

At this time of year, tomatoes couldn't be more gorgeous! This Tomato Upside Down Cornbread celebrates them. One of the healing secrets of food is that when we slow down, we can more intensely appreciate the beauty of all that our Mother earth produces! Use all your senses to take in the beautiful color and shape, fragrance, feel and intricacy of the fruits of creation!

Sister Eulalia's Cornbread

Many of us did not know Sister Eulalia, yet her cornbread is remembered long after she passed from our midst! When we make something with love, the gift and the love it embodies is present. Honor her as you enjoy her cornbread recipe and whet your appetite for some tidbits about corn.

Easy Homemade Salsa and How to Can It

An easy recipe for Homemade Salsa from Vicki Lopez-Kaley and her friend Karen Imholte is great with chips, as a base for chili with beans, or in Mexican dishes. Learn how to can it to put “summer in a jar”!

The Season of Creation

September 1st through October 4th is the Season of Creation. Find out how this Season introduced by Pope Francis can help us reflect, learn and act in a deeper partnership with our brothers and sisters of the human and non-human world! Check out the information and opportunities to honor Creation.

Easy Corn, Beans and Salsa Main Dish

With a few pantry and freezer staples, a supper of Corn, Beans and Salsa can be quick and tasty. The time to blanch and freeze fresh sweet corn is now. Read our story about how to freeze corn at its sweetest and to blanch other seasonal veggies for peak flavor through the year!

Switchel - Refreshing Summertime Drink

Meg Paulino got this recipe from an herb farm in Seattle many years ago and it is her favorite summertime drink!

Summer Squash Casserole

Summer’s bounty includes Summer Squash and onions.  Here’s an easy Summer Squash Casserole with roots in the southern U.S. Read on to meet southern chef Vivian Howard, her "Old School Squash and Onions" recipe and stories.

I'm Passing the Baton!

Hello again, Iggy here, in what will be my last update on The Seasoned Franciscan. But worry not! The recipe swap will go on with Vicki Lopez-Kaley taking the lead as of Monday.

Sister Sarah's Unbelievable 3-ingredient Vegan Chocolate Pie

This recipe was submitted by Sister Eileen McKenzie, who says: "Sr. Sarah Hennessey introduced me to this amazingly delicious and unbelievably simple chocolate pie recipe. Enjoy!"

Iggy's Tortellini

Ready for a nice, simple evening meal? Try my spin on making tortellini! This meal is a favorite in my household, and it comes together quickly and easily.

Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice

Looking for ways to use cauliflower this season?  "Ricing" it is a versatile way that you might not have thought of before!

Double Zucchini Recipes!

I missed posting on Wednesday, so I'm doubling up on recipes again! Today's focus is zucchini in a tribute to that over-abundant yet delicious plant that's coming into season right now.

Lentils Mexicanas

We haven't done a lot of main dishes yet, so here's one with an ethnic flair!  Lentils Mexicana can be a very versatile dish in both the way it's made and the way it's eaten.

Seed to Skin Squash Sage Pasta

I'm really looking forward to fall and an end to summer's heat this year, so I wanted to post a fall recipe a little early.  I think this one is intriguing since I'm used to eating squash seeds (I love roasted pumpkin seeds in the fall) but I've never thought to eat the skins.

What Does "Food Scraps" Even Mean?

I got an interesting question the other day about what “food scraps” means, so I thought I’d try to clear it up with a short post.

Broccoli Stem Stir-Fry

This morning in the FSPA garden, someone was dared to eat a piece of broccoli straight off of the plant.  Imagine his surprise when we told him to also try the stem!

Peach Cobbler

Every time summer comes around, I start craving peach cobbler. I know the peaches are ripening and perfectly juicy, and just waiting to be baked up and served with ice cream.

Welcome to the Seasoned Franciscan!

Welcome to the Seasoned Franciscan! I'm Iggy Bauer, and I live by the motto, "Life's too short to eat cr**py food." Read on for details about this new webpage and what its themes mean to me.

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