Senior Connections Senior Connections Oct. 2018 | Page 13

GARDEN from Pg 5 6 ounces of shitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped, about 3 cups 1/3 cup chopped celery 1⁄2 cup quick cooking barley or use precooked rice 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed 1 clove garlic, minced 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1⁄2 cup water 1/3 cup dry white wine 2 cups chopped fresh spinach 1⁄4 cried cranberries 1⁄4 cup roasted and salted sunflower kernels 3⁄4 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese, divided Salt and ground pepper Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a 15x10x1-inch pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp and seeds. If necessary, cut a small slice off round sides of squash halves so they will stay upright in the pan. Place squash, cut side down, in prepared pan, cover loosely with foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and turn squash cut side down on pan. While squash is baking, heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, celery and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occa- sionally. Add barley, thyme, garlic and salt. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the water and wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10-12 min- utes or until barley is just tender, stirring once after about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in spinach, cranberries, sunflower kernels and 1⁄2 cup of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide stuffing among squash halves. Top with re- maining cheese. Return to oven and bake for 10 min- ute or until heated through. Healthy Bean Soup with Kale This bean soup if full of all kinds of vegetables and will warm you on chilly evenings. Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 garlic cloves, minced 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 4 cups raw kale, chopped, take out any hard stems 4 cups chicken broth or 4 cups vegetable broth, di- vided 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, undrained 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning Salt and pepper 1 cup chopped parsley Shredded parmesan cheese Directions In a large pot heat olive oil. Add garlic and onion, saute until soft and the onion is transparent. Wash the kale, leaving small droplets of water. Sau- te, stirring, until wilted and a lovely dark green color, around 15 minutes Add 3 cups of the broth, reserving 1 cup, 2 cups of the beans, reserving 1 cup, all of the carrots, tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes. In a blender or food processor, mix the reserved beans and broth until smooth. Stir in the soup to thicken it nicely. Simmer 15 more minutes. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with chopped parsley and shredded parmesan. Serve with some crusty bread to soak up the end of the bowl. Nanaimo Bars If you have never heard of nanaimo bars, it is time to try them. It is a dessert item that originates in Can- ada and named after the west coast city of Nanaimo. British Columbia. It is made of a wafer crumb base layer topped by a layer of custard butter icing that is covered by a layer of melted chocolate made from chocolate squares. There are many varieties and this recipe is one with fall flavors. Ingredients: Crust: 1⁄2 cup butter 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1⁄4 cup sugar 1 egg 1 1⁄4 cup graham crackers 1 cup shredded coconut 1⁄4 cup finely chopped pecans Filling: 1⁄4 cup butter 1 box pumpkin spice pudding mix (3.4 ounce or make your own—recipe follows) 1⁄4 cup milk 1 1⁄4 cups powdered sugar Topping: 4-5 ounces of chocolate or 3⁄4 cup of chocolate chips 1 tablespoon butter Mix crust by melting but ter in a saucepan over low heat. Add cocoa and sugar, quickly stir to combine. Add egg before mixture becomes too hot, mix well. Continue cooking and stirring another minute or so �������� ���������� ���� � ��������� Medicare Questions? If you are turning 65, becoming eligible for Medicare... 763-241-7900 Senior Connections HJ.COM to let mixture thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in cracker crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9x9 pan, let it chill while you make the filling. Filling: soften butter, combine with the pudding, milk and powder sugar. Beat until smooth, spread evenly over crust layer. If using homemade pudding, you do not have to add the milk or powdered sugar, just spread it over the crust. Topping: Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each. Pour over the other layers, smooth with a knife. Let the bars chill for at least one hour before cut- ting into squares. Keep chilled in refrigerator. Homemade Pumpkin pie Filling Ingredients 1-1/2 cups cold milk 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1 package of 3⁄4 ounce instant vanilla pudding mix 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 cup canned pumpkin In a bowl, combine milk, 1⁄2 cup cream, pudding mix and pie spice. Whisk until thickened and smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin. Spoon over pre- pared crust as in recipe above. Send your garden or houseplant questions to [email protected] Follow me on facebook at Cooking in the Country with Chris. Part D Questions? �� ��� ��� ������� �� �� �������� �������� ��� �������� �� �� ��� ���� ��������� �� ���� ������� �������� ���� �� � ����� ����� ������� North Central Insurance ��������� �� ���� ��� is ���� here for you. ��� ������� ����� Licensed Agent ���� �������� ����� Ben Bauman, ������������ ������������ ������������������������� Senior or if you have questions on your current coverage give us a call! Connections September 2018 13