No-Bake Cheesecake: Vegan, Rhubarb, Cardamom? Oh my!

If you have never tried your hand at raw vegan desserts this is an excellent first step! As long as you have a food processor and room in your freezer this cheesecake is even easier than the traditional recipe!
Kaycie took an old recipe from her vegan catering days and infused the market flavours of the season.

But that’s not all…we’ve collaborated with fellow blogger and sister to our own Eats of Asia owner (Jay Del Corro), Kristina Del Corro. We each took photos for each other’s blogs this week. If you like food, photography or books we highly recommend giving her site a gander.

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You will need:

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Equipment
Food processor
Springform pan
Saucepan (for the compote)

For the Crust
1 cup of Medjool Dates from Cherry Pit or Panorama Orchards (pitted and soaked overnight)
1 cup of shredded raw Coconut from Going Nuts
½ cup of raw Pecans from Going Nuts
1 pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

For the Cheesecake Filling
2 Lemons from Cherry Pit or Panorama Orchards
4 cups of raw Cashews from Going Nuts (soaked overnight)
2 1/2 tbs Vanilla Extract from The Silk Road Spice Merchant
4 Tablespoons of Clover Honey from Beeland (substitute for Maple syrup or agave for true vegan)
¾ cup Coconut oil from The Vitamin Cupboard

For the Rhubarb Compote (this makes 6-8 servings of compote)
2 cups of diced rhubarb from Cherry Pit or Panorama Orchards (3-4 stalks)
2-3 tablespoons of the same Beeland honey
½ Teaspoon of Ground Cardamom from The Silk Road Spice Merchant
1 pinch of the same Pink Himalayan Salt from The Silk Road Spice Merchant
1/3 cup of water


Directions:

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1. Make your compote first. This will give it time to simmer-away while you process the other parts of your cheesecake:
a) Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
b) Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring, until the rhubarb has completely fallen apart. Then to ensure correct consistency cook uncovered until  (about 30 minutes total).
c) Remove from heat to let cool.

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2.  While your compote is simmering you can get started on your crust. In your food processor, combine all the ingredients from the crust list keeping an eye on the texture while you’re grinding everything down. You want to process these items until it looks like a crust. Too much time and it will turn to a paste.

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3. Empty the contents of your food processor in to your springform pan and flatten in to a crust with your hands, spoon, or bottom of a glass.

4.  Now comes the fun part, the cheesecake filling! Combine all your ingredients in the food processor and blend until creamy like cream cheese. Don’t worry if it’s taking a while, this is normal. If the texture is looking chunky add in very small amounts of water while things are running to help the nuts break down better.

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5. Flatten out your cheesecake by gently tapping the pan on the counter.

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6. Dollop your compote on the top of the cheesecake until you have the entire contents of the saucepan emptied. Then, with a butter knife, drag the cutting edge through in a swirling motion to incorporate it in to the cheesecake.

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7. Tap your pan on the counter again to ensure everything is level.

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8. As this is a no-bake cheesecake, you’ll be using freezing as your method to set everything. Freezing this overnight gives it the longest life when serving, but a few hours should be fine if you’re in a pinch.

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9. The only thing left to do now is enjoy your creation! It’s our experience that this cheesecake is a hit on Mother’s Day… just saying.
Whatever your occasion, Bon Appetit!

Around the table… with Beeland

 

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Springtime means the bees wake from their dormancy and get to work pollinating all the lovely flowers, fruits, vegetables and more that we enjoy all year!
Here at the Calgary Farmers’ Market, Beeland is bee-central and our provider of both products and knowledge. I asked Morley, the owner of Beeland, to share some info on his products and what we can do to support the bees this spring.

  1. How did the story start for Beeland?

In 2000, I bought 125 acres of wilderness property in the Columbia Valley region of BC with the intent of retiring. In 2004, I approached a local beekeeper to put 6 bee hives in this spectacular alpine region. That was the beginning of Jubilee Mountain Apiary Ltd, which was named for Jubilee Mountain where the property was located.
In 2006, we purchased the dilapidated Spillimacheen Trading Post, located on the highway between Radium and Golden, and began what has turned out to be a 10-year restoration and renovation project. The old trading post building was re-named Beeland Market, as a retail outlet for our honey.
Today, Beeland Market has grown to include not just honey sales, but has expanded into a complete gourmet store, coffee bar and a new cafe opening in April 2017.
Jubilee Mountain Apiary Ltd. now operates anywhere from 200 to 300 bee colonies, employing 3 full time beekeepers, and an additional staff of 6-8 persons in retail, food production and food service.

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  1. What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Calgary Farmers’ Market family?

Our role at the market is more than selling honey and bee products; we are very much filling an educational role to the public on the reality of bee life. Most people are concerned with the life and survival of bees and their role in our lives, particularly as pollinators.
I try and explain the fragile nature of our environment and how it sustains bee life, and as a result of that, human life. Beeland, in its very important physical location at the Calgary Farmers’ Market, has become a critical educator to the public in this very important area of apiary agriculture.

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  1. What’s your favorite item that you produce? Why?

Our honey changes year to year depending on the climate. The most unique honey that is produced is definitely Snowberry Honey from one alpine location. The Snowberry plant grows exclusively in the Rocky Mountain area and has a tiny pink flower that blossoms in late June. This tiny flower is very high in nectar, however its blossom coincides with a wet June climate. Because of this, the bees are not able to gather the nectar each year. The production of this honey is very small, and is sold out instantly when we are able to present it in September.

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  1. Do you have a go-to recipe that highlights your product?

Beeland market uses honey in our line of Beeland sauces. This product line now ranges from BBQ sauces, Honey Hot Sauces, and other food products produced with honey.

  1. Words of Wisdom you live by:
Bees are one of the few creatures that sustain the lives of human beings, they take nothing away from the universal creation. They are in perfect harmony with nature and life of the world. Human beings should be able to learn from them and live our lives in the same perfect peace and harmony that bees do.

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  1. What’s your favorite thing to eat in the market that’s not from your booth?

Margarita’s cheese perogies, drizzled with butter and Beeland honey. It’s a special delicacy!

  1. What are three quick tips about bees that you want to share with market guests?

1. Bees sustain life.
2. Do not spray dandelions, as dandelions are the first flowers in this climate that produce both pollen and nectar. This is the first food for the bees in the spring and it is critical for their survival. Eliminate all spraying of herbicides and insecticides. We must re-educate our minds that this flower is not a weed, but is part of a natural system that sustains life.
3. Lately, bee keeping has become a trendy hobby for urban-dwellers. We, as human beings must understand that bees are delicate living beings, and any aspiring beekeeper MUST ensure proper education and internship with a seasoned beekeeper prior to embarking on becoming one.

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Simple Asparagus Soup

It’s that wonderful time of year when fresh, local produce really starts rolling in at the market! One of the most anticipated seasonal ingredients making an appearance right now is Edgar Farms‘ asparagus (available at Innisfail Growers).

Unlike many Alberta grown veggies, asparagus is a perennial plant (meaning that it lives for many years, so does not need to be replanted in the spring). Asparagus can be harvested for only a few short weeks each spring, and picking is always completed by the end of June. This allows the plant to store up nutrients to make it through the winter.  Edgar Farms has created an innovative way to harvest asparagus efficiently. See them in action in this video.

Asparagus can be enjoyed in many ways and while often viewed as a great side or compliment to a meal, asparagus is the star of the show in this simple soup recipe.

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Market Sourced Ingredients

Serves 6

Simple Asparagus Soup

2 bundles of asparagus from Innisfail Growers

1 medium onion from The Cherry Pit

3 cloves of garlic from The Cherry Pit

6 cups of chicken (or veggie) stock from The Stock and Sauce Co.

Butter or olive oil

Salt and pepper

Optional garnishes:

Parmesan cheese from Fresh DELIcious

OR

Fresh mint from Terra Farms

OR

Fresh lemon & dill

Ingredients

Roughly chop your onions, garlic and asparagus. No need to get fancy since it will all be going into the blender eventually.

Heat up the butter or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the asparagus and chicken (or veggie) stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until asparagus is cooked. When all ingredients are soft, remove from the stove and puree in a blender (making sure to allow steam to escape through the lid).  When the desired texture has been achieved, pour back into a clean pot and heat through. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Simple as that!

You can enjoy the soup right away or add a simple garnish for some extra flavour. Choose a garnish that you enjoy like mint, lemon and dill, or Parmesan cheese.

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My personal favourite was the lemon and dill variation. Just add a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice and a sprig of dill for an energizing twist. Try the mint if you’re looking for something a little different and refreshing, and you can never go wrong with Parmesan cheese! This soup is super versatile and with slight variations can meet the needs and tastes of everyone in your family.

Don’t forget; local asparagus is only available until the end of June! Enjoy this easy meal before the asparagus is gone. Come down to the Calgary Farmers’ Market to pick up your ingredients today!

BBQ Season Has Arrived!

May long weekend is upon us, the sun is shining, tulips are poking through the felt-like-forever-frozen earth, seeds are going in the garden, and barbecues are being fired up. It’s Spring! It always feels like an eternity that we wait to shed our winter coats and get outside. And when it finally happens, we go hog wild. The Spring and Summer are so fleeting here in Calgary that we take every sunny opportunity to enjoy the beautiful produce and fresh fish, local meat, and poultry that the market has to offer.

Silver Sage Beef is a full service shop with a complete range of cuts available and an on-site butcher to meet customers’ custom requests. The cattle are raised naturally on wholesome prairie grass on the 100-year old Zentner family farm located south of Cypress Hills; free of all artificial hormones and antibiotics, you can be assured that the dry-aged beef is flavorful, tender, and knock-your-socks-off yummy…. perfect for BBQ season! Even we can’t resist firing up the barbecue or building the first campfire of the year, we bring you a simple, Albertan favorite: BBQ Burgers. And because the greenhouses are offering such beautiful produce these days, we’re going to pair it with a fresh and easy side salad with a homemade BBQ sauce vinaigrette.

Burger Ingredients

Market-Sourced Ingredients

Serves 6

6 Fresh-Made Beef Patties from Silver Sage Beef

6 Buns from Yum Bakery

Seasoned Pepper Blend from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

1 jar of Dill Pickles from MacFarlane’s

1 head of Butter Lettuce, 1 bag of Tomatoes (your choice of variety), mini cucumbers from Gull Valley Greenhouses

BBQ Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/4 cup BBQ Sauce from Big D’s (mild or spicy depending on your preference)

The juice of 2 Lemons (and zest from 1) from Souto Farms

1 tablespoon Nixon Honey from Innisfail Growers

1/4 cup Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

*This is where you can get creative! You like cheese on your burgers? Sure! Grab some cheese from Fresh DELIcious or Sylvan Star Cheese. Add bacon! Spragg’s Meat Shop have some killer delicious pork goodies.

Want to add more veggies to your salad? Why not?! Radishes, peppers, green beans, fresh herbs… if you like it, throw it in there. Good food is best when it isn’t too complicated; don’t overthink it. If you like it, use it. We guarantee you can find just what you’re craving in one stop at the market.

Dressing Collage

We’re big fans of homemade vinaigrette’s because they’re dead simple and delicious. Start by cutting all of the veggies up and tossing in a bowl with a bit of salt and pepper and set aside.  In a mason jar, add all of the vinaigrette ingredients and give it a good shake.  Pour about half onto the cut veggies and toss.  Let people build their own salad by serving veggies with lettuce family-style.

Burger Collage

The Silver Sage burgers are perfectly seasoned but we added a little pepper blend to kick it up a notch. These burgers are juicy, flavourful, and are in a league of their own. It would be a crying shame to slather BBQ sauce on them… Don’t you dare. We’re giving you a delicious homemade salad dressing to appease all you saucy burger lovers out there. Trust us.

Preheat a grill or cast-iron grill pan to high. Brush the burger with a little olive oil and season with the Silk Road pepper blend. Grill until slightly charred, turning once (10 minutes for medium-rare). Now, we’re going out on a limb and telling you to ignore what your mother taught you: do NOT squish the burger with a spatula! Let it be. If you want, add cheese for the last 2 minutes of grilling, close the lid to let it melt. You can also place the buns on the grill for 1 minute to toast if you’d like.  Place the burgers onto the toasted buns, gather around a full table with family and friends, and enjoy!

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