• Scenes from the first class in the Sitka Kitch’s Cooking From Scratch series — Beans 101


kitch_logo_mainThe first of four classes in the Sitka Kitch‘s Cooking From Scratch lesson series — Beans 101 — was held on Monday, Oct. 19, at the Sitka Kitch, and the students learned a variety of ways to cook beans and lentils, including making white bean banana bread, hummus, refried beans, and a couple of types of bean or lentil soup.

The class series is coordinated by Lisa Sadleir-Hart, a registered dietitian and certified health educator. She will teach three of the four classes, with Bridget Kauffman teaching the other. All classes will take place at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen (link opens Facebook page) located at the First Presbyterian Church, 505 Sawmill Creek Road. The future classes include:

  • Basic whole-grain bread (link opens registration page), 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, taught by Lisa Sadleir-Hart — Learn how to bake whole-grain bread using the Tassajara bread technique. Students should bring two bread pans to the class so they can take home loaves of proofed bread ready to bake.
  • Gluten-free holiday baking, 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16, taught by Bridget Kauffman — Learn how to bake a variety of holiday treats that are gluten-free.
  • Making yogurt from low-fat powdered milk, 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, taught by Lisa Sadleir-Hart — Learn how to make your own yogurt at home.

The Cooking from Scratch series goal is to teach basic cooking skills using high-quality ingredients, and to help Sitkans take back their kitchens and reduce their food budgets. Interested individuals can register at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on the event title to register, and pay when you attend the class).

Each class is $20, plus a food cost that will be split between all the students in the class. People should pre-register by 8 a.m. on the Saturday before the scheduled class. We need at least six people registered so we can guarantee the class will happen. If you register and can’t make it, please contact Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985 to let her know.

Here is a slideshow of several photos from the first class in the series, Beans 101.

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• Sitka Kitch to offer ‘Cooking From Scratch’ series of classes


kitch_logo_mainEver wanted to learn how to cook more and better food for less money?
Join us for a Cooking from Scratch series of cooking classes at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, which is located in the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road).
The series will kick off with Beans 101 taught by Lisa Sadleir-Hart, MPH, RDN, CHES, who loves the versatility of legumes at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19.
“Beans are a terrific source of low cost protein plus loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber,” Sadleir-Hart said. “Using them regularly not only helps you control your food budget but also improves your health.”
The second Sitka Kitch Cooking from Scratch class is at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, and will focus on basic whole-grain breads (registration link) using the Tassajara bread technique. It also will be taught by Lisa Sadleir-Hart.
The third Cooking from Scratch class will focus on gluten-free holiday baking and will be taught at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16, by Bridget Kauffman, an extraordinary gluten-free baker in Sitka.
The final class in the fall series will focus on how to make yogurt using nonfat dried milk. It will be offered at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, and it will be taught by Lisa Sadleir-Hart.
The Cooking from Scratch series goal is to teach basic cooking skills using high-quality ingredients, and to help Sitkans take back their kitchens and reduce their food budgets. Interested individuals can register at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on the event title to register, and pay when you attend the class). We need at least six students registered for each class to guarantee they happen.
Class size is limited so register early. The cost is $20 per class, plus a food fee that will be divided among registered participants. For more information about the class series, call Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985.

• Two new books from UAF Cooperative Extension Service encourage kids to eat more veggies

FNH-00540KaleRecipes_Page_01 FNH-00557AKkidsVeggieCookbook_Page_01So you’ve got a nice garden but your kids don’t want to eat their veggies? What is a parent to do? Two new books by Sarah Lewis of the Juneau District Office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service can help get your kids eating their veggies. And they’re available for free downloads.

Sarah is the Family and Community Development Agent for Southeast Alaska, she travels throughout the region giving cooking and canning classes. She will be back in Sitka in mid-July to test pressure canner gauges and teach several classes yet to be determined.

“Sitka’s 4-H Cloverbuds Club helped me refine a few of the recipes after we had a wonderful time in the kitchen together last year,” Sarah said. “Talk about some fun publications to do research for.” (Note: contact the Sitka Conservation Society for more information about Sitka 4-H clubs.)

The first book is Time for a Kale-abration! Introducing the wonders of kale to Alaskan kids. The free 12-page booklet is all about a garden plant that grows well in Sitka, but one some people have trouble eating. The book features information about the varieties of kale, nutritional info, and several kid-friendly recipes from main courses to desserts.

The second book is The Alaska Kids’ Healthy Harvest Cookbook: Alaska kids grow, cook, eat and love vegetables. This free 12-page booklet lists several common vegetables found in Alaska gardens (kale, carrots, peas, zucchini and potatoes) and provides a variety of recipes using these veggies. It also includes recipes for venison stew and salmon chowder (both heavy with Alaska veggies).

According to the UAF Cooperative Extension Service, “Research shows that helping kids have fun with vegies, even ones they say ‘eeewww’ to, increases the chance they’ll try and like then as they get older. For this reason, our very own Sarah Lewis, Family and Community Development Agent for Southeast Alaska, has written two publications to introduce veggies (especially Alaska Grown ones!) to kids. Time for a Kale-abration and Alaska Kids’ Healthy Harvest Cookbook offer simple and tasty recipes that can be cooked with or by kids, with a menu for a kale-themed party or a harvest festival. Sarah has held local food parties and festivals with 4-H kids and Girl Scouts throughout Southeast Alaska, and now you can hold some with your kids, class, or youth group.”

• Kathy Hope Erickson’s salmon/potato patties win top honors in Fish To Schools recipe contest

Members of the panel of judges sample one of the recipes in the Fish To Schools Recipe Contest at the Sitka Seafood Festival on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, at the Sheldon Jackson Campus/Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

Members of the panel of judges sample one of the recipes in the Fish To Schools Recipe Contest at the Sitka Seafood Festival on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, at the Sheldon Jackson Campus/Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

Recipe Contest FinalKathy Hope Erickson claimed top honors in the Fish To Schools recipe contest during the Sitka Seafood Festival, and two younger chefs tied for second place.

Kathy submitted a recipe for salmon and potato patties, which she served with a special chili ketchup, and won a gift certificate to Ludvig’s Bistro for her efforts. Tying for second place were Zoe Trafton, age 8, with her recipe for salmon mac and cheese, and Ava Newell (with her father Mike), age 8, with her recipe for coconut pecan rockfish with a blueberry dipping sauce. Zoe and Ava both won t-shirts. A panel of nine judges, including a couple of students, rated the recipes.

In all, eight local chefs submitted recipes for the contest, which was hosted by the Sitka Conservation Society, which coordinates the Sitka Fish To Schools Program to put more healthy local seafood into school lunches. The other recipes included sesame-veggie salmon cakes with tangy apple slaw by Beth Short-Rhoads and her daughter Kat Rhoads, age 6; salmon pinwheels from Judi Ozment; healthy salmon fish fingers from Anna Bisaro; baked salmon with dill from Matt Jones; and salmon-veggie wraps from Charles Bingham.

The purpose of the contest was to collect kid-friendly fish entree recipes that can be made for school lunches as part of the Fish to Schools program. The dishes should be healthy and easy to make (no special appliances). Baking the fish is preferred over frying, and recipes should be low in sodium and fat. The top seafood dishes will be used in school lunches at the Sitka School District, the state-run Mount Edgecumbe High School, and the private SEER School.

The top three recipes are posted below, and all eight recipes can be found in the attachment. For more information about the recipe contest and the Sitka Fish To Schools Program, click this link or call Sophie Nethercut or Tracy Gagnon of the Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509.

• 2014 Fish To Schools Recipe Contest Submissions (attachment includes all eight recipes)

School Lunch Salmon Patties With Chili Ketchup (Makes 12)

Winning Recipe submitted by Kathy Hope Erickson, Sitka

  • KathyHopeErickson1 pint jar salmon
  • 2 cups cooked potatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salad herbs – dried
  • 12 Ritz crackers

Mix all, form into patties, fry in heated vegetable oil, or alternatively, spray with cooking spray and bake in 400-degree oven.

Chili Ketchup

For dipping fish patties: Combine 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 4 1/2 teaspoon onion, and 3/4 cup ketchup.


Coconut Pecan Rockfish With Blueberry Dipping Sauce

2nd place: Submitted by Mike and Ava Newell (age 8), Sitka

  • MikeAndAvaNewel1 lb. rockfish fillets
  • 1 T coconut milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 C pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 C shredded coconut
  • 2 T plain breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place rockfish on baking sheet. Pour coconut milk over fish. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Combine pecans, coconut, and bread crumbs in a bowl. Press coconut mixture onto top of fish fillets. Bake for 15-20 minutes, just until fish is opaque throughout

Blueberry Dipping Sauce

  • 1 C wild blueberries, rinsed
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/4 C coconut milk
  • 1/2 T cornstarch
  • salt

Place blueberries and water in small saucepan. Simmer until berries burst. Strain berries through fine mesh sieve into small bowl. Add coconut milk to bowl. Pour sauce back into saucepan. Mix cornstarch with a little bit of cold water until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to sauce. Stir and heat until boiling. Continue to boil until desired thickness. Serve with rockfish


Salmon Mac ‘n Cheese
2nd place: Submitted by Zoe Trafton (age 8), Sitka

  • ZoeTrafton1 cup cooked salmon, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar and jack recommended)
  • 2 cups shell pasta
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • ½ cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ cup Alfredo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Boil shells in medium pot. Sauté onions and mushrooms for three minutes. Add salmon to mushrooms and onions. Drain water and add pasta. Add cheese. Add Alfredo sauce and hot sauce. Mix carefully. Add spices and serve.

• Sitka Seafood Festival seeks local recipes for fundraising cookbook

Do you have a favorite seafood recipe? A recipe you are willing to share? One that you would like to see published in a cookbook?

We want it!

The inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival will be Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6-7, 2010. It will be a celebration focusing on Alaska’s wild seafood through entertainment, education and culinary delights.

As a fundraiser for the festival, we are putting together a local cookbook. The focus will be on seafood recipes, however, we want a well-rounded cookbook with recipes for appetizers, beverages, soups, salads, vegetables, main dishes, breads and rolls, desserts and miscellaneous dishes.

Please e-mail your recipes to sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com or mail them to Linda Olson at 230 Observatory Street, Sitka, Alaska, 99835 by Monday, May 24th. Please put your name on the recipe and include your contact information.

Thank you.

For more information about the festival, check out our website at http://sitkaseafoodfestival.org/ and our page on Facebook.

• Sonja Koukel of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service writes about discovering treasures from the CES catalog

Dr. Sonja Koukel, PhD, of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service

Dr. Sonja Koukel, PhD, of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service

Discover Treasures from the UAF Cooperative Extension Service

By Dr. Sonja Koukel, PhD
Health, Home & Family Development Program
UAF Cooperative Extension Service, Juneau Office


When was the last time you visited the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service (UAF CES) website? Perhaps it’s been awhile, or perhaps you’ve never taken the time to surf the site and take stock of all the treasures available in hard copy, electronic media, and on the Internet.

Every year the CES Communications Department provides a “Publications & Media” catalog listing research-based publications in the major program areas: Agriculture & Horticulture; Community Resource & Economic Development; Energy Education & Housing; and Health, Home & Family Development. Some publications are free and may be downloaded from the website. Those with a small fee can be ordered using the online form (http://www.uaf.edu/ces/pubs/), calling the toll-free number (1-877-520-5211), or contacting the local district office.

Let’s take a look at the treasure trove of information available through the Health, Home & Family Development (HHFD) program. For instance, there are a number of publications listed in the “Food, Nutrition and Health” category. Here, you will find information on storing vegetables and fruits, freezing vegetables, making fruit leather, making jerky, facts on botulism, and a variety of recipes including sourdough, rhubarb, zucchini, and wild berries. Several vegetable fact sheets provide nutrition and health guidelines (such as vitamin, mineral, and fiber content), harvesting, storage, and preparation with sample recipes included. Selected vegetables include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, squash, herbs, and chard. Bonus — all these fact sheets are free!

In my view, the most exciting new developments are the educational modules made possible through a USDA grant. Titled, “Preserving Alaska’s Bounty,” the web-based modules and DVDs were created and developed as a team effort involving HHFD faculty, program assistants, and the communications staff. The series focuses on home preservation of Alaska Native foods. Client feedback on the media, gathered from an online satisfaction survey, has been very positive.

The primary purpose for developing the modules was to provide research-based information for rural communities and areas that do not have extension faculty members on-site. The web modules are developed in a sequential manner so that each step is clearly defined and explained. There are hyperlinks within the modules that link the user to additional information. Topics are grouped into three main categories: Canning Basics, Canning Products & Methods (i.e., canning fish, meat, jams/jellies), and Meat Products & Methods (i.e., sausage, jerky). These modules are free. Locate them at (http://www.uaf.edu/ces/preservingalaskasbounty/index.html)

For those who learn best by watching demonstrations, the DVDs bring the extension experts into your home. Health, Home & Family Development program area faculty from all seven Alaska districts serve as the educators. To date, seven DVDs have been released on the following topics: Canning Basics, Canning Meat and Fish in Jars, Canning Meat and Fish in Cans, Pickling, Drying Foods, Sausage and Jerky, and the just-released, Jams and Jellies. More titles will be available in the very near future, these include: Root Cellars, Fireweed, Processing Reindeer (game meats), and Harvesting Alaska Seaweeds. The DVDs are available at a nominal fee of $5.

The Alaska Native foods preservation series is the culmination of a five-year process. It is a topic that figures into all the HHFD program areas: nutrition, food budgeting, eating locally, and energy conservation. Recently, the CES HHFD team received recognition for their work, “A Multimedia Approach to Preserving Alaska’s Bounty,” from the National Extension Honorary Society of Epsilon Sigma Phi.

In the new year, take a moment to visit the UAF Cooperative Extension Service website and discover all the treasures that await you. Contact: sdkoukel@alaska.edu or 907-796-6221.

Julie Cascio of UAF Cooperative Extension Service's Health, Home and Family Development program in the Palmer/Mat-Su district demonstrates how to dry apples

Julie Cascio of UAF Cooperative Extension Service's Health, Home and Family Development program in the Palmer/Mat-Su district demonstrates how to dry apples

• First Alaskans magazine highlights healthy berries

Screenshot of First Alaskans magazine article on healthy berries

Screenshot of First Alaskans magazine article on healthy berries

The August/September 2009 issue of First Alaskans magazine — a statewide magazine of Native business, culture and lifestyle — features an article called “Health Numbers of Berries: Antitoxidant calculations show which ones are best.” This article isn’t posted on the First Alaskans magazine Web site, so a scanned black-and-white PDF version is available by clicking here. The article also includes a recipe for Blueberry Buckle.

For more information about healthy berries, the Far North Science news service, written and edited by Doug O’Harra, about news, research and natural acts from Alaska, released a 2007 story called “Alaska Blueberries: Brain Food” (click here to see the article as published in The Alaska Report). The article includes a link to a 2006 report on extremely high antitoxidant rates in a variety of Alaska berries by University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Patricia Holloway

• Local foods articles in Capital City Weekly and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

This week’s issue of Capital City Weekly, a free weekly newspaper distributed throughout Southeast Alaska, included four local food-related stories. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, a daily paper in Fairbanks, also has had a couple of local food-oriented stories the past couple of days. Here are some links to the articles.

Click here to read a Capital City Weekly article on a new community garden being built behind the Glory Hole homeless shelter in downtown Juneau.

Click here to read a Capital City Weekly article on the Montessori Borealis Adolescent Program’s vegetable garden project in Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley.

Click here to read a story about a couple of upcoming University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service classes this weekend in Juneau about how to market specialty food products (geared toward people selling at farmers markets).

Click here to read a Capital City Weekly article on home canning of crab and geoducks by Sonja Koukel of the Juneau office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service.

Click here to read a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story from Wednesday’s paper from Roxie Rodgers Dinstel of the Fairbanks office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service about how fireweed (which grows wild in Sitka) can add a subtle flavor to different meals.

Click here to read a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story from Tuesday’s paper about how Fairbanks students are turning their schoolyards into blooming gardens as part of the EATING (Engaging Alaska Teens IN Gardening) program run by the Calypso Farm and Ecology Center. Click here to read more about the EATING program on the Calypso Farm site.

• This week’s e-newsletter (Aug. 2)

Here is this week’s Sitka Local Foods Newsletter courtesy of Linda Wilson. Don’t forget, you can sign up for the e-newsletter by typing your e-mail address in the box on the left side of the page.

Click here to read this week’s Sitka Local Foods Network e-newsletter.

• A broccoli pesto/dip recipe from Sitka’s Keith Nyitray

Broccoli pesto/dip made by Sitka resident Keith Nyitray

Broccoli pesto/dip made by Sitka resident Keith Nyitray

A broccoli pesto/dip recipe from Sitka resident Keith Nyitray

What a wonderful year for gardening! If your garden is anything like mine this year, you probably ended up with an overabundance of broccoli. You’ve sold or given your broccoli away, gorged on steamed broccoli, made broccoli quiche, broccoli rarebit, cream of broccoli soup, and maybe even blanched and frozen some for the winter. And STILL the plants keep producing, especially those side florets!

Well, here’s a variation of pesto that stores well and can easily be transformed into a great dip for other fresh vegetables from your garden. The best thing about this “recipe” is that amounts aren’t written in stone. Feel free to play around with it. Personally I like to toast my pine nuts and double the amount of garlic!

Broccoli Pesto/Dip

3 cups broccoli florets
1/3 cup olive oil (or more as needed)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts (walnuts also work)
1/4 cup fresh parsley (optional)
2 or 3 large cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon salt (sea salt if you have it)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
splash of lemon juice

Steam the broccoli in a medium saucepan until bright green and just slightly tender, drain and immediately rinse in cold water. (You can also cook the florets in a skillet with a pinch of salt, olive oil, and a little bit of water to retain the maximum amount of nutrients. Do not rinse.)

Place the broccoli, half the olive oil, and the rest of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée. While blending, drizzle in as much olive oil as is needed to reach a smooth, almost creamy, consistency. (Note: if you’ve got a small blender like mine, this can be done in two batches and mixed together by hand in a separate bowl.)

Once blended, toss it with cooked fettuccine noodles as you would a regular basil pesto. It will store in a refrigerator for weeks and almost indefinitely in a freezer.

To convert this into a hearty vegetable dip, just blend in a little sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise or yogurt to taste.

Broccoli growing in the garden

Broccoli growing in the garden