September 30, 2007

Italian Meatballs Recipe

The other day my mother in law called me and asked me to cook an Italian dinner, she was craving Italian style meatballs, much like the ones she used to order when we lived in Boston. So I searched for recipes on the net until I seen one that looked like a winner and they were very easy to make and best of all I already had most of the ingredients. I avoided all the recipes that called for a 3 different meats and stuck with the recipes that called only for the ground beef and it still came out absolutely hearty. My mother-in-laws comment when she finally finished eating, "I never ate so much" , I overate too, so if your watching your weight, beware this dish is too good to resist, once you start, you won't want to stop.

Meatball Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated onion
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage, I used fresh sage from my garden
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Preheat the oven to 400 degree F . Combine all the above ingredients together. Mix well. Shape 1/3 cup of mixture into meatballs. Of course you just need to measure the first meatball and then you know the size of the meatballs you are making. These are giant meatballs and one probably only needs one or two per serving. I ate three and had a hard time breathing afterwards. LOL they were too good.
Place them on a broiler rack and bake them for about 25-30 minutes.

If your going to serve this dish with pasta, it would be good to start about 15 minutes after you put these into the oven.

Meanwhile, we can start making the marinara sauce or use your own favorite sauce but here's the one I used. By the way this recipe makes about 5-6 servings. Since I was cooking for 9 people, I doubled everything except for the salt. I learned not to ever double the salt from previous attempts with other recipes.

Marinara Sauce

1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can of Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer. Once the meatballs are out of the oven, add them to the sauce and simmer for 10 more minutes. Do not cover.

Serve with pasta and and your favorite garlic bread is recommended.

Enjoy ;)

September 23, 2007

Want to know what nutrients are in your foods, meals, or menus?


September is a busy time for me. This is a time of harvest, canning and preserving jellies and bounties from the year's gardening, while the hunting season and fishing runs begin. And let me tell you, I had my first taste of tenderloin moose steaks yesterday and "oooohhhhhhhhh" gawd I missed the taste of wild game. There is nothing like the taste of the wild. Honestly it doesn't just taste better, its also healthier! This is not just my personal opinion but a scientific fact.

There is a web tool on a website I use once in a while its called nutritional . On this site, there are several useful tools for someone who likes to keep track of what they consume and the nutritional information on not just your foods but your entire menu and recipes. They have so many foods in their database, including wild game such as moose. I experimented with a few recipes a while back, I took two exact recipes with only one difference, recipe 1 was made with 100% beef and recipe 2 was made with 100% moose. Once I was done computing these recipes into their database, I had the option to print out a nutritional label that looks like the labels posted on the sides of almost every food product we ever buy which basically tells us the per cent age of all the minerals and vitamins are in the product. So I did this and compared the nutritional values side by side. I was impressed with the health benefits of wild game in comparison with the beef, the moose is leaner, which is why it usually requires a bit of more tenderizing or marinating but it also contains less fat, the fat in the moose also contains more omega fatty acids which are a healthier alternative to the fat in beef. I think I will take a recipe and show you what I mean sometime so you will understand what I am talking about, I can not verbalize it as well as I can just show you.

The more I understand diet and nutritional values, the more awed and inspired I become of our ancestors who had an incredible lifestyle, diet and ways of life that we can not compare with today. We do the best we can with what we have though and many times these cuisines are spectacular. I love to cook and trying new foods.

Speaking of trying new recipes, I will be preserving and I will keep you posted and let you know how these canning projects come along. I have no recipes to share today but I am working on them. I justed wanted to give you a bit of an update and let you know there are more stories and recipes to come in the near future, including stories from Mi'kmaw role models. So stay tuned.

Take care

September 12, 2007

Trout is running, so let's cook it up!

I heard the news today that Atowas'su (trout) is running through our waters of Skye River, so I figured now would be a good time to add a few fish recipes. Trout is a wonderful fish I love to cook. Every so often, I enjoy a simple meal of grilled or pan fried trout with my favorite Luski (Bannock) , and some tapatats, (Potatoes). It always hits the spot. I almost never buy fish at the market and prefer the taste of fresh catch that either my sons or husband usually brings home. For me, quality time is the time and care we take in the preparation of a meal, including the planning, hunting, growing, harvesting, cleaning and cooking the catch. It is often said the most important ingredient in any recipe is Love. A good dish is when you can taste the love. It is true, many times my best dishes were full of Love and enjoyed cooking the dish.

Pan Fried Trout


2 large trout
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tbs. grated lemon peel
1/2 cup flour
1 tbs. butter
3 tbs. lemon juice
2 tbs. parsley
Lemon slices/wedges

First of all, rinse trout and wipe with a damp towel. Combine 1/2 cup melted butter, salt, pepper and grated lemon rind. Brush inside of trout with this seasoned butter. Dip both sides of trout into flour and make sure the trout is well floured. Pour remaining seasoned butter into skillet. Add trout and fry on both sides about 8-10 minutes. Remove trout and place on dish. In skillet, melt 1 tbs. butter and add lemon juice. Heat and pour over trout with cut up parsley. Serve with lemon slices. This will make 4-6 servings.

Baked Trout Recipe
4 to 6 trout (approximately 1/2 lb. each)
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt (or to your taste)
2 cloves minced garlic (or to your taste)
1 cup Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc wine
2 Tablespoons Italian parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped green onion
2 Tablespoons dry seasoned bread crumbs
4 Tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Wash and dry trout. Rub the outside of trout with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt.

Arrange the minced garlic in the bottom of a buttered baking dish that is large enough to hold the trout in a single layer.

Place trout in the dish and pour the wine over the top.

Sprinkle with parsley, green onion, and bread crumbs. Spoon the melted butter evenly over the top.

Bake at 400F (200c) degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Photo of the Day - Mi'kmaq guide William Muese with his catch of trout ,Bear River, Nova Scotia

Source: Mi'kmaq Portraits Collection.
Printed on obverse: "Micmac Guide, Bear River, N.S." Note the canvas canoe, the woven wood splint fishing creel, and the big catch of trout. Son of Chief James Meuse, William Meuse and his wife Rosie (1892 ca - 1937), had 10 children: John, Jim, Louis, Joseph, Frank, Oliver, Clarence, Bruce, Marguerite and Olive.

September 9, 2007

Upkweman , Blueberry recipes and storytelling

Today I chose to write about the Upkweman', which is the Blueberry. I wish I started this blog a month ago or sooner but you know its better later than never. The good news is that the market is still rich with fresh blueberries which keep for a week when properly refrigerated. Do not wash until ready to use or they will spoil more quickly, frozen berries are widely available and keep for up to two years.

It is known the world over that the Blueberry is a popular Native American Indians favorite and is legendarily used in many of our own Mi'kmaw traditions. It’s true the blueberry does indeed have a lot of great health benefits. It is full of antioxidants which are great for the immune system, improving vision, heart, lowering cholesterol, fighting free radical damage which is why some call it one of the world’s super foods. Some other benefits include, preventing cancer, preventing urinary tract infections and protecting the brain during aging and improving motor skills. It is often used in several recipes, jams, pies, cereals, desserts, juices, one of my favorites are blueberry jelly and blueberry topped cheesecake. I am still hoping to preserve some blueberry or blackberry Jelly this year. I love homemade preserves.

Did you know that 90% of the World’s supplies of blueberries are grown right here in North America? In our culture is it also used for ceremonial and medicinal purposes as well and utilized as an effective natural dye in our arts and crafts most often on our Splint Ash Baskets, Quill Baskets, and Jewelry and so on. The blueberry can also be found in ancient Mi’kmaq legends, sustaining our people long ago and continues to do so in this day.

In fact a very long Mi’kmaq tradition that has survived for time immemorial right here on Turtle Island, in Indian country this is how we refer to the land known as North America. This long living tradition is the annual blueberry harvest in Maine in which thousands of Mi’kmaq (most of us in fact) have some how been a part of the annual harvest at some point in all our lives. Although its been over a decade since I last picked any blueberries in Maine but my point is we have always been a migrating tribe and continue to be. Each August, it is common to see entire families or carloads of workers get prepared for 1-3 weeks of back laboring work to rake loads and loads of blueberries, travel to the state of Maine, USA so the world can continue to enjoy the delicious taste of wild blueberries. For some that make the journey to Maine, it’s the only work that will be available to them until the next harvesting season. For many though, it’s a matter of keeping tradition alive and gathering with both new and old friends and families, times for work, creating long and lasting friends and play.

“Work is pretty well guaranteed for any Mi’kmaq that can make the trip even though much of the work available has been replaced by technology and machinery, the numbers still range between 800- 1000 Mi’kmaq workers per year. The harvest also includes several Mexicans and youths. But thanks to the Passmaquody Indians, who bought out the Northeast Blueberry Company, the tradition is still alive & will continue on for generations.” they have promised the Mi' kmaq that “as long as they continue to come work for the season, Northeast Blueberry Company will continue to harvest their blueberries by hand.”

In the last few years I have been reading alot of news about the annual blueberry harvest in Maine. This year the AP ran a story on it and includes some recipes from a mi'kmaw woman from N.B.

I have copied and Pasted the article including the recipes. I know it's sort of cheating but I wanted to preserve this article before the link goes dead such as many of my bookmarks in the past.


Recipes for the blueberry harvest

Indian bread is the tortilla of American Indians of the Northeast. The dense, chewy bread tastes like a cross between a dumpling and a muffin and is eaten with everything. It is especially good dunked in molasses or accompanying baked beans.

This recipe was provided by Margaret Ann Milliea, a 52-year-old Micmac from Elsipogtog, New Brunswick, who travels every year to Maine to participate in the annual blueberry harvest.

At the end of the harvest, Sara Simon, another Micmac and wife of one of the crew leaders for Northeastern Blueberry Company, bakes a blueberry cake for the drivers of the trucks who deliver the berries to the processors. The drivers often work through the night trying to clear the fields of filled blueberry bins before the harvesters resume their work at dawn.

Indian Bread

(Start to finish 45 minutes)

Vegetable oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 F. Liberally oil a 9x9-inch baking pan.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix. Add the water and mix well. The dough should resemble a very thick pancake batter. Transfer the dough to the baking dish and spread evenly.

Bake 30 minutes, or until the bread is firm. Increase heat to 450 F and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Served warm or cooled.

Makes 9 servings.

Blueberry Cake

(Start to finish 1 hour)

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup margarine

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 cup blueberries, lightly dusted with flour

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9x12-inch cake pan.

In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream the sugar and margarine. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and mix well. Add the flour and milk mixture to the sugar and butter and mix by hand. Fold in the blueberries.

Transfer the batter to the cake pan. Tap lightly on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 servings.

Warm Blueberry Brie

(Start to finish 40 minutes)

2/3 cup fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons sugar

10 sheets phyllo dough

8-ounce wheel of Brie

Olive or canola oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a small bowl, combine the blueberries, lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar. Toss to combine and coat evenly. Set aside.

Arrange the phyllo sheets in a stack on a baking sheet. Place the wheel of Brie in the center. Carefully spoon the blueberry mixture over the cheese, mounding it on top.

Fold the edges of the top sheet of phyllo dough up and over the cheese and blueberries, closing it loosely at the top. Spray it lightly with cooking spray, then repeat with remaining sheets.

Bake the Brie for 25 minutes, or until phyllo is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Now here I found a recipe for Blueberry Peach Crisp from the Canadian Diabetes Associates website under the aboriginal section titled- First Nations Healthy choices recipes series.

Blueberry Peach Crisp

4 medium peaches, peeled & sliced
375 ml (1½ cups) blueberries or Saskatoon berries, fresh or frozen
15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
30 ml (2 tbsp) flour or cornstarch
5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon

125 ml (½ cup) oatmeal
75 ml ( 1/3 cup) flour
2.5 ml (½ tsp) cinnamon
60 ml (¼ cup) margarine, non-hydrogenated
30 ml (2 tbsp) brown sugar
75 ml ( 1/3 cup) low-calorie sweetener with sucralose e.g. Splenda®


In large bowl, combine peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl, combine flour (or cornstarch) and cinnamon. Mix into peach and blueberry mixture. Pour into 2 L (8 inch) square baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, blend together topping ingredients until crumbly. Spoon over filling.

Bake at 190° C (375° F) for 30 minutes or until bubbling.

Oh yeah, I would appreciate if you can cast your vote for the poll at the bottom of the page. Please and thank you in advance.

September 8, 2007

Welcome to my very first post on Mi'kmaw recipes


First of all, I'd like to thank you for visiting my blog. I hope to share some recipes I have gathered over the last few years. I was hoping to publish some of these recipes but things have not worked out that way for different reasons. I would still like to share a large collection of recipes that I have gathered from the Native community, mainly Mi'kmaq. I would like to get some feedback on what types of recipes you would most likely to use or enjoy. I will try and list at least one recipe every day or every other day. My first recipe will be something all Mi'kmaw people have enjoyed for a long time and that is the 4 cents cake. This contribution is from Mi'kmaq culinary expert and professional guide, Elder Gilbert Sewell of Pabineau First Nation, NB. I would like to thank Gilbert for his contributions to the Mi'kmaq Heritage Cookbook project.

4 Cents cake - Lusgnign
By Gilbert Sewell - Professional Guide and Culinary Expert


Baking Powder (Preferably a new can)
Corn Oil


Place 3 cups of flour in a bowl . Add three tablespoons of baking powder. Add a small salt packet, and one sugar packet. Pour in 3 cups of cold spring water. Make sure the dough is nice and heavy. Before you mix, place corn oil in an electric frying pan at 150 to 170 degrees. You must place dough in a sizzling pan. Spread with a spoon until flat. Cook for 7 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 10 minutes. Make sure it does not burn. Add corn oil when you turn over. Trust me, this is the way we cook Lusgnign in Pabineau. Enjoy

Note from Eva: If you would like to learn more about Gilbert, there is a nice documentary on the internet that is easily viewed about traditional medicinal plants. I enjoyed it very much. Much of the documentary is spoken in Mi'kmaq which I really loved to hear but narrated in English by the film maker. Click here. If you can't watch the video, I have copied and pasted the transcript of the video below. Enjoy : ) I would also like to write a bit more about Gilbert in the near future as one of our featured role models, he was kind enough to share four recipes with us and I would like to release those to you, one recipe at a time. By the way, his Pabineau Luski is pretty good, and highly recommended so enjoy. : )

Transcript of Video


Native Canadian medicine is the science of relationships.


Gilbert Sewell begins his day by greeting the sun


Gilbert collects medicinal plants from around his home in Pabineau, New Brunswick.

He will use this muskrat root to treat sore throats and chest colds.

For Gilbert, how a plant is gathered is as important as the plant itself. Gilbert thanks the land for the medicine by offering tobacco.


Tobacco is a sacred currency that reinforces the relationship between the patient, the healer, medicines and the land.

Because part of a healer's responsibility is to keep the land healthy too.


Labrador tea is used for upset stomachs.


Red willow bark contains compounds similar to aspirin.

Close by is wintergreen, a heart medicine.


For us the woods is like our pharmacy. We don't have to run down to the store every time we have an ailment. It doesn't cost you anything. All you have to know is where to pick it. And if you don't know where to pick it go to an elder. Give him some tobacco and say, look, could you help me and show me the ways of the Mi'kmaq people.


Each plant is prepared and preserved in its own way.

Some processes take weeks.


Raymond is looking for his father-in-law's help to quit smoking.


Gilbert uses ceremonies to focus Raymond's commitment to healing.


Worldwide, the natural health business is booming.


In response, Health Canada is revamping its regulations for natural health products. It carried out extensive consultations with aboriginal communities. At first this initiative met some resistance.


Super: Phil Waddington, Health Canada

Many of the people that are within the Aboriginal community are concerned that we are actually going to be taking the information from them. And that is not what we will be doing. It is only if somebody brings that information and says "I want to take this product and move it to the mass market," that we'd be looking at having our regulations apply.


Products based on Native medicines are already beginning to show up in the mass market.


Super: Rick Stewart, Lakota Herbal Products

The world wide market is in the billons, and billons, and billons of dollars.

They want to be a part of the herbal game. They look at everybody making all this money and they say "Hey, ya know, a lot of this is our knowledge." Like echinacea is the number one selling herb in the world today. Right? And yet they have no piece of it.


Health Canada's new regulations focus on labelling. They recognize the patient's right to decide what they are taking. And to know what evidence shows that a product is safe and actually works.


The standards of evidence that would be applied, would be proportional to the degree of risk associated with the product. So for example if a product was going to treat colds and flu's, then basing that on traditional literature, most people are comfortable with that. If you're going to treat something a bit more life threatening or is more serious in its outcome, then you would have to have more evidence to be able to support it.


But Native medicine may present other challenges. It's an integrated practice. And the effectiveness of a particular remedy has as much to do with the healer and the patient as with active ingredients.


Super: Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell, executive director, Centre for Nation Building

I can't see the white race going that far or having that kind of patience. And that's why they say "Can we bottle this? Can we put this in pill form?" Probably not.


What they've said is that you can't take a product out of the practise of medicine and make it a traditional cure. The interaction that goes on between the healer and the person that comes to that healer for help, the presentation of the medicine, the way that it is gathered. It is a very spiritual medium in which to two work together. And to take that and sterilize it and put it in a bottle and sit it on the shelf. One thing that we have heard very regularly, from within the community, is that you can't really do that.