Apple Cheesecake Swirl Bread

From the very beginning of Autumn, all kinds of local apples arrive at the Co-op. This sweet bread recipe is another delicious way to enjoy some fall flavors without spending all afternoon in the kitchen. Warm spices and sweet apples come together with a creamy cheesecake filling to ring in the new season. We hope you enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:

2 apples (sweet varieties like honeycrisp or pink lady)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup neutral oil (sunflower or canola work the best)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg

For the cheesecake filling:

8oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Prepare an 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, add your cream cheese, sugar and egg. Mix well with a hand mixer until smooth. Set aside.

Grate your apples, with the peel on, into a large mixing bowl.

Add your sugar, eggs and vanilla to the apples and mix to combine.

Without mixing, add your flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gently fold them together until just combined.

Pour half of your batter into your prepared pan. Next, pour your cheesecake filling into the pan in an even layer. Pour the remaining batter on top.

Stick a butterknife into the batter and gently swirl it around. This will add the “swirl” to your bread. It’s ok if some rises to the top during or after you’ve done this step.

Put your bread in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the bread comes out clean.

Allow it to cool and enjoy!

Ratatouille (Vegan)

There’s no better way to enjoy the fruits of your garden than preparing a delicious dish. Even if you don’t garden, this recipe can be made using local produce you can find in the late summer, and it will taste incredible either way. Ratatouille can be an ambitious dish, so make sure you set aside plenty of time for preparation and cooking time when you make it. It’s perfect for when you want to impress company or prepare something special for yourself. This dish perfectly captures the flavors of late summer with an Italian twist. We hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
2 red slicer tomatoes
1 large yellow squash
1 large zucchini

For the sauce:
2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
3 tomatoes
2 T fresh basil leaves
1 tsp oregano (fresh or dried)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

For the topping:
3 tsp olive oil
2 T fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
⅛ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt

Optional:
1 cup dry white basmati rice

Instructions:
First, find a large and deep pan to use for your ratatouille. If desired, fill the bottom of your pan with one cup basmati rice and set aside.
First, prepare your sauce.
Chop the ends off your bell peppers and cut them in half. Remove the pith and seeds.
Place your bell peppers cut-side down on a large baking sheet. Put your three tomatoes on the baking sheet as well.
Broil the peppers and tomatoes in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until they begin to blister on top.
Once your tomatoes and peppers are done broiling, set them aside to cool.
While they are cooling, you can dice your garlic cloves and chop your onion.
Sauté your onion and garlic in a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Set them aside to cool
When your peppers and tomatoes are mostly cooled, peel the skin off of your tomatoes.
Transfer the tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onion to a large food processor. Add your fresh basil leaves, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano to the food processor as well.
Blend until smooth and transfer your sauce into your baking pan. Set aside.
Next, prepare the topping. Add your garlic cloves to a food processor with your fresh basil leaves, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Prepare the vegetables for your ratatouille. Slice your eggplant, squash, zucchini and tomato into ½ inch thick slices. Set aside.
To assemble your ratatouille, pour the sauce into the pan in an even layer.
Add your vegetables to the pan, slice by slice, alternating between the four vegetables. I recommend putting the vegetables upright, as shown in the photo. Make sure you push them into the sauce as you place them into the pan.
Once you’ve added all the vegetables to the pan, gently pour your topping over them. It will be a runny paste consistency, so doing scoops of it here-and-there will do the trick.
Put it in the oven, covered, for 40 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 10.
Allow it to cool before serving and enjoy!

No-Churn Peach Ice Cream

We can’t think of a better way to enjoy the flavors of summer than cooling off with homemade ice cream with fresh fruit. This recipe requires just a few simple ingredients and a hand mixer, so it’s a perfect set-it-and-forget-it recipe for the heat of August in Virginia. Because this ice cream doesn’t have any extra stabilizers in it, it freezes up quite solidly. You’ll want to leave it out for 5-10 minutes to thaw a bit before serving, after which it will be soft enough to scoop and enjoy a refreshing treat.

Ingredients:

8 ripe peaches
2 cups heavy cream
(1) 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
2 tsp vanilla extract
⅛ tsp of salt

Instructions:

Put your sweetened condensed milk in the refrigerator to chill.

Wash and peel your peaches. Slice them into wedges. Roughly chop them and set them aside.

This is an optional step, but if you have a blender or food processor you can blend half of your chopped peaches. This will give your ice cream base a more powerful peach flavor than just using the chopped peaches. If you decide to blend half your peaches set them aside with your other peaches while you make the whipped cream.

In a large bowl, add your heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Whip your heavy cream to stiff peaks, but be careful not to whip it too long and curdle it. You should stop right after the cream has doubled in size and has become stiff in the bowl.

Add your chilled sweetened condensed milk. Gently stir in a “figure 8” motion to keep from flattening the air out of your whipped cream.

Once the sweetened condensed milk is incorporated, add your chopped peaches and blended peaches if you chose to do that step.

Gently incorporate the peaches by stirring in a “figure 8” motion.

Transfer into a freezer-safe container that can hold up to 6 cups volume and cover with the container’s lid or plastic wrap. If you don’t have a container that will hold that volume, you can easily transfer it into 2 different containers. I recommend using 2 loaf pans and covering them with plastic wrap. You can always send the extra container off with someone else to share.

Put your ice cream in the freezer to set overnight or at least for 8 hours.

Allow the ice cream to thaw for about 5-10 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Summer Quick-Pickles

If your garden is overflowing with cucumbers, quick-pickling is a great way to preserve them. Using rice vinegar in place of white vinegar gives these pickles a unique flavor, along with classic pickling spices dill and garlic. These will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge, and are a delightfully crunchy and tangy topping on Asian dishes, salads and even in sandwiches.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups rice vinegar
3 cloves garlic (3 T if using pre-minced)
8 small cucumbers (or 3 large, depending on what variety you’re growing in your garden)
1 generous bunch fresh dill

Instructions:

Mince your garlic. Set aside.

Wash your cucumbers and peel or cut off any bad spots on your cucumbers. You can choose to completely remove the peel from your cucumbers if you prefer, but it is not necessary.

Slice your cucumbers to about ¼ of an inch in thickness.

In a large dish with an airtight lid, put half of your sliced cucumbers. Lay about half of your minced garlic and dill on top of the layer of cucumbers. Repeat this with the other half.

Pour your rice vinegar on top and put the lid on your dish.
Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Sweet & Spicy Summer Rolls (Vegan)

These vegan summer rolls are the perfect snack when you’re craving something fresh and flavorful. Packed with filling veggies and a balance of sweet and spicy, you’re bound to make these rolls all summer long. We hope you enjoy this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 firm ripe mango
1 large carrot
½ medium cucumber
1 medium yellow bell pepper
4 oz firm tofu
¼ cup basil leaves
¼ cup cilantro leaves
6 rice paper wrappers
¼ cup neutral oil (or more if needed)
3 T water
3 T cornstarch
1 T sambal oelek
1 T soy sauce
1 T maple syrup

For the dipping sauce:

1 T sambal oelek
1 T soy sauce
1 T maple syrup

Instructions:

Prepare your vegetables. Peel your carrot and cucumber. Cut the top and bottom off your bell pepper, remove the seeds and pith.

Cut your carrot, cucumber and bell pepper into matchstick-size strips and set aside.

Cut your mango in half and separate the pit from the fruit. Remove the fruit from the peel. Cut the mango fruit into thin wedges and set aside.
Roughly chop your basil and cilantro. Set aside.

Drain your tofu and cut off 4 ounces from your block of tofu. This is about ⅕ of a block, for reference.

Cut your tofu into 1-inch strips. Set aside.

In a large skillet, add your oil and set to medium-high heat. You can test if the oil is hot enough to fry the tofu by flicking a little water into the pan. If it sizzles and bubbles, you’re ready to start frying.

In a small bowl, add your water and cornstarch. Stir well until combined.

Dip each piece of tofu in the cornstarch mixture and let the excess drip off. Carefully place them in the skillet and fry until golden, flipping them over occasionally to make sure each piece fries evenly. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your skillet.

As your tofu strips finish frying, transfer them to a small bowl.

Once all the tofu is done, add your sambal oelek, soy sauce and maple syrup to the tofu and toss gently to coat it evenly. Set aside.

Get all your ingredients close by to begin making your summer rolls. I recommend having a space to fold your rolls, like a cutting board, and a separate plate to set them on once they’re done.

Take a large dinner plate and fill it with warm water. Dip your rice paper into the warm water for about 5 seconds, until every part has touched the water.

Quickly lay the rice paper down on the cutting board and assemble your roll. Put your cilantro and basil on the rice paper, towards the bottom but not on the edge. Stack your carrots, cucumbers, peppers and tofu on top of the herbs.

Fold the bottom edge of the rice paper over your filling. Fold in the two sides, then roll towards the top edge of the rice paper until it is sealed. Make sure to move quickly, or the rice paper will become too sticky and difficult to fold. Set the roll on your plate and repeat until you are finished.

In a small dish, make your dipping sauce.

Add your sambal oelek, maple syrup and soy sauce. Stir to combine.

Serve your summer rolls with your dipping sauce and enjoy!

 

No-Bake Pineapple Tart (Vegan)

This chilled tropical dessert is sweet and tangy and perfect for summer. Best of all, this tart has a no-bake crust, so your kitchen can stay cool while you work. We hope you enjoy this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 5.4oz can of coconut cream
1 ½ cup pineapple (canned or fresh)
¼ cup sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the crust:

1 ½ cup almond flour
⅓ cup brown sugar
⅛ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup vegan butter

Optional decoration:

Cut pineapple wedges

 

Instructions:

Add your almond flour, brown sugar and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.

Melt your vegan butter. Add your vanilla extract and melted vegan butter to your dry ingredients, mixing until a loose dough forms.

Transfer your dough to an 8-inch pie dish or tart pan. Press the dough into the pan and up the sides until it’s firm and spread evenly around the pan. Set it in the fridge while you assemble the filling.

Blend your pineapple until it’s smooth. Set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, add your can of coconut cream. Stir until the coconut cream is smooth and is at a low boil.
Add your blended pineapple, vanilla extract, sugar and cornstarch to the coconut cream. Stir constantly for 15 minutes, until most of the cornstarch has dissolved and the mixture is thick.

Pour your pineapple filling through a sieve or a fine strainer and into another bowl. This will remove the pineapple fibers or any undissolved cornstarch and make your tart filling smooth.

Gently pour your pineapple filling into your tart crust, spreading evenly.

Put the tart in the fridge to set, covered, for at least 8 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Bibimbap

Food is an important part of our culture and individual identities. It is something wonderful that can remind us of home and bring us together in unexpected places. For Asian-Pacific Heritage Month this June, we’d like to highlight one of the many dishes in Asian-Pacific cuisine for you to make in your own kitchen. Bibimbap is a Korean dish consisting of rice with meat, vegetables, and sometimes an egg on top. I first encountered this dish at one of my favorite restaurants in Downtown Harrisonburg in my late teens, and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since. Eating bibimbap for the first time felt as though someone was reaching across the table to me, opening up my kitchen to new perspectives.

While I love this recipe, it is not a perfect recreation of a traditional Bibimbap. There are many other vegetables and sauces typically served with it that you may not have access to at your local grocery stores. For that reason, I decided to keep it simple, but I recommend you do some research on the dish if you’d like to try a more authentic version.

Ingredients:

2 cups dry white rice (I recommend short grain)
1 lb. strip steak or ribeye steak
¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium works in this recipe)
2 T sesame oil (and more for frying)
1 T honey
1 T minced garlic
1 egg
1 carrot
1 cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
Sesame seeds

 

Instructions:

Cut your steak into ½ inch strips.

In a medium bowl, add your soy sauce, honey, garlic, sesame oil, and steak strips. Stir to combine and cover in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare your vegetable toppings. Wash all your vegetables and after you’ve prepared them, set them into a large bowl as you go.

Peel your carrots. I recommend using the vegetable peeler to get the carrots into thin strips as shown in the photo, as they cook faster. Finely slice your cucumbers. Cut your green and red pepper into strips. Set them aside while you continue to prepare your dish.

Prepare your rice. If you’re using a rice cooker, you will still want to wash your rice but you can disregard the cooking instructions.
Rinse your rice in cold water until the water runs mostly clear. This usually takes about 3 to 4 rinses.

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add your rice and reduce to medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes. Keep it covered and stir occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.

Lower the heat and cook it for another 10 minutes, covered, until the rice is cooked through. Fluff the rice with a spoon to help release some steam. Keep it covered until you’re ready to serve.

While your rice is cooking, you can cook your steak strips.

Pour your steak strips into a skillet, with the marinade, and cook on medium heat until it’s cooked all the way through. Cover to keep it warm while you prepare your vegetables.

In a large pan, add enough sesame oil to coat the bottom of the pan. On low heat, add all your veggies. Stir to combine with the oil and cook on medium heat until they begin to break down and the cucumbers become translucent. Cover to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve.

In a small pan, fry an egg in a thin layer of sesame oil until the white is set and the yolk is cooked to your liking.

Assemble your bowl by adding rice as the base and topping it with the steak strips, vegetables and egg. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and even add your favorite hot sauce if you like it spicy. Enjoy!

Lavender Simple Syrup

Making syrups in your favorite flavors might sound complicated, but with this recipe you’ll find it can be easy and simple. Lavender isn’t a flavor you’ll find on the menu of every coffee shop or cocktail bar, but it gives your favorite beverage a unique and delicious flavor. Try adding this simple syrup to your iced drinks and enjoy its earthy, floral flavor.

Ingredients

1 cup water
3 ½ T. lavender buds
2 cups sugar

Instructions

In a medium pot, bring your water to a rolling boil.

Add your lavender buds and sugar to the pot.

Reduce to low medium-low heat and stir in the sugar until it has dissolved.

Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes uncovered.

Remove the syrup from heat and allow it to steep for an hour, uncovered.
Using a fine strainer or sieve, separate the lavender buds from the syrup.

Put the syrup in a mason jar or container with a strong-sealing lid and refrigerate.

The lavender simple syrup will keep for 1-2 months if well sealed.

 

Serving Suggestions:

Add 1-2 T of syrup to your iced or hot coffee and stir to combine.

Drizzle it over waffles or pancakes.

Use it in sugar glazes for baked goods.

Add it to fresh lemonade.

Use as a one-to-one replacement for simple syrup in your favorite cocktails.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffins

Strawberry and rhubarb are natural culinary companions. Sweet and tangy flavors create a delicious harmony that often reminds us of early summer. We hope you enjoy these muffins as much as we do and that they inspire you to create your own summer treats.

Ingredients:

2 cups diced strawberries
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup granulated sugar
8 T unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs (room temperature)
½ cup milk (whole milk recommended)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking soda

For the streusel topping:

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
4 T unsalted butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400℉.

Line 3 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set them aside.

Wash your rhubarb and cut off the fibrous ends. Depending on the size of your rhubarb, you may want to slice it in half longways before chopping it. Chop the rhubarb into ½ inch thick chunks and set aside in a small bowl.

Wash and dice your strawberries. I recommend dicing the strawberries into pieces slightly smaller than the rhubarb. Put your strawberries in the bowl with the rhubarb.

Add 1 T of granulated sugar to the strawberries and rhubarb. Stir to combine and set the mixture aside.

In a large bowl, add your flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk lightly to combine and set aside.

In a separate bowl, add your melted butter and sugar. Whisk until most of the sugar has dissolved in the butter.

Add your vanilla extract, eggs, and milk to the butter mixture. Whisk until combined.

Using a cheesecloth or a sieve, drain some of the excess moisture from your strawberries and rhubarb. They don’t have to be completely dry before going into the batter, so don’t worry about getting all the moisture out.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Add your drained strawberries and rhubarb to the batter and stir to combine.

Using a spoon, pour the batter into your prepared muffin tins. Fill each one until there’s about ¼ an inch of space left in the cupcake liner. This usually makes a little under 18 muffins.

Set your muffins aside and make your streusel topping.

In a small bowl, add your flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.

Cut your butter into small pieces and add to the mixture. Squash the butter into the mixture until it’s completely combined and resembles the texture of damp sand.
Sprinkle the streusel in an even layer on top of each muffin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they’ve begun to brown on top and a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow them to cool and enjoy!

 

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This bright and flavorful soup is perfect for when you’re craving something refreshing, but the chill of early spring hasn’t quite worn off. Flavorful, savory, and nutritious, this soup will be your latest obsession. We hope you enjoy this recipe.

Ingredients:

2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
½ medium yellow onion, diced
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
2 T all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped kale
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 ½ lb. chicken breast or tenderloin
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
2 lemons, juiced
2 T chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

Peel and finely chop your carrots, dice your onions, and finely chop your celery.

Mince your garlic and set it aside if you are not using pre-minced garlic.

Chop your kale and parsley and set it aside.
In a large soup pot, add your butter and olive oil on medium heat.

Add your carrots, onions and celery to the soup pot and cook them for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add your garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

While stirring, add your all-purpose flour in and cook for another minute.

Pour in your chicken broth and stir until the flour has dissolved.

Add your Italian seasoning, kale and chicken to the soup base and stir.

Cover it with a lid and reduce it to medium-low heat. Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

While your chicken is cooking, you can juice your lemons and set the juice aside.

Remove your chicken from the pot and shred or cut it into smaller pieces as desired.

Put your chicken back into the pot and stir in your uncooked orzo pasta.

Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

When your orzo is done cooking, stir in your parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Serve and enjoy!