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Ifirst tried buckwheat a few years ago after sitting through a Buckwheat Growers Association meeting where farmers lamented how so few in North America eat what they grow. That’s a pity, I decided, after trying it myself. Buckwheat has all the attributes today’s cooks want; it’s super easy to cook, has a rich, nutty flavour and it’s very healthy. Buckwheat contains loads of dietary fibre, antioxidants and vitamins. If you’re eliminating gluten from your diet, buckwheat is a great grain option since it’s entirely gluten free. Research has also shown buckwheat can help with the management of chronic diseases like diabetes. No wonder previous generations of Manitobans readily consumed buckwheat in soups, as a hot breakfast cereal or stuffed into cabbage rolls!

BORSCHT

Shirley Patton-Penner of Petersfield sent us this recipe with a note that it’s quick to make and does not require meat. This should serve about eight people, so halve this one too for a smaller household. Thanks, Shirley! This looks like a wonderful, filling soup to help get us through this last leg of winter!

1 c. cabbage, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 -3 potatoes, cubed

2 stalks celery, diced

3 carrots, julienned

4 beets, grated

1/4 c. pot barley

8 c. water

Cook all the above ingredients for 30 minutes, no sautéing necessary. Then add the following ingredients:

4 tbsp. chicken soup base

1/8 c. vinegar

1 tbsp. sugar

1 14 oz. can of tomatoes

1 14 oz. can yellow beans

1 14 oz. pork and beans in tomato sauce

Also add dill, salt and pepper to taste

Simmer to develop the taste.

We always love hearing from readers and look forward to receiving more of your recipes for this Recipe Swap. Send us your favourite recipes and we’ll publish them here.

SEND RECIPES OR RECIPE REQUESTS TO:

Manitoba Co-operator Recipe Swap

Box 1794, Carman, Man. R0G 0J0

or e-mail

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Here’s a recipe compliments of the Canadian Special Crops Association’s cookbook Buckwheat – Your Natural Choice.

BISTRO KASHA WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE

This innovative dish features kasha – that is, cooked buckwheat – smothered in tomato sauce, fresh zucchini and a blend of romano and mozzarella cheese.

3 c. cooked kasha*

1 8-oz. (225-ml) can tomato sauce

1 lb. hot Italian sausage

1 c. chopped onions

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 c. thinly sliced zucchini

1/3 c. grated Romano cheese

1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine kasha and tomato sauce, set aside. Crumble sausage and cook in a skillet with onions and Italian seasoning, stirring frequently. Cook until sausage is browned. Drain reserving a tablespoon of drippings. Place sausage mixture in a 2-quart greased casserole dish. Fluff kasha with a fork and spread over the sausage. Sauté zucchini in reserved drippings until almost tender. Arrange over kasha. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and cheese melts.

* Don’t let that sound too foreign to try! Kasha is simply roasted buckwheat and you can find whole (uncooked) buckwheat in small 450 g bags in most grocery stores. Follow these simple directions to prepare buckwheat for use in the above recipe.

2 c. broth, bouillon, consommé or water

1/4 c. butter, margarine or oil

COOKED KASHA

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. buckwheat

Combine liquid, butter and seasonings and heat to boiling. In a separate medium saucepan, stir buckwheat over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until buckwheat is hot and slightly roasted. Reduce heat to low. Pour boiling liquid over buckwheat, cover and simmer 10 to 20 minutes until grains are tender and liquid is absorbed. Then use in above recipe.

GORP COOKIES

Beryl Parrott of Franklin sent us this recipe recently. It looked tasty so I made a batch and can attest that this makes seriously good cookies. I made only about 30 cookies since I halved the ingredients for a smaller household. Thanks very much, Beryl!

1 c. butter

1-1/2 c. honey

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla

3-3/4 c. whole-wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. milk powder

1 c. sunflower seeds

1-1/2 c. peanuts

1-1/2 c. raisins

1-1/2 c. chocolate chips

Cream butter, add honey and cream them together. Beat in eggs, salt and vanilla. Stir together baking powder, milk powder, whole-wheat flour and add it to creamed mixture and blend. Stir in nuts, seeds, raisins and chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes.

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