Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kenyan Irio

This Operation Rice Bowl recipe for Kenyan Irio, an appetizing vegetable dish, was highlighted in the March 18 issue of The Visitor. Give it a try during Lent and you’ll likely be preparing it during other times of the year, as well.

That issue of the paper also featured a CRS worker involved with education for marginalized children in Kenya. And, two central Minnesota sisters related their experience with penpals in the Kenyan Diocese of Homa Bay. CJK

Kenyan Irio
(Operation Rice Bowl)

Photo courtesy of Operation Rice Bowl
6 white potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
1 cup watercress,* chopped
1 cup peas, cooked
1 cup corn, cooked
2 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cube the potatoes and place in a large pot. Cover them with water and cook until tender. Drain the water and mash the potatoes. Stir in watercress, peas, corn and butter. Mix until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

*Other fresh leafy greens can be substituted for watercress.

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

A note from Carol:  This is really tasty! Ole and I truly enjoyed it and plan to make it again soon. We substituted fresh spinach as *watercress is not readily available in Minnesota in the winter months.

I also have a confession to make — and this may help others who are running late, as I was the day we sampled this recipe — I purchased refrigerated mashed potatoes and heated them in the microwave, as directed on the package, spooned them into a serving dish and mixed in the fresh, chopped spinach.

I microwaved frozen peas only to the point of being hot, but not overcooked. They were still refreshingly bright green. (It seems that often companies who sell frozen vegetables suggest too long of a cooking time and that, if followed, the veggies are way too overcooked — for my taste, anyway.) I also heated canned corn, separately, in the microwave and combined both with the potatoes. With an added “tad” of butter and some salt and pepper, it was yummy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kenyan Nyoyo

Perhaps you tried one of Operation Rice Bowl’s Haitian recipes featured on FFF during the last couple of weeks. These recipes, and others shared during Lent this year, provide an opportunity to connect with the poor throughout the world and take steps to share your resources with them.

Operation Rice Bowl, a Lenten program sponsored by Catholic Relief Services, helps to ensure that CRS can provide assistance to those in need in more than 100 countries. CRS uses 75 percent of the gifts received to fund vital programs around the world — the other 25 percent of the donations remain in the diocese where they were collected to support local hunger and poverty alleviation efforts.

CRS and its partners work with the poorest farm families and communities, as well as with laborers, the landless, communities suffering from HIV and AIDS and victims of manmade and natural disasters worldwide. The agency works in many remote areas with harsh climates and fragile, degraded ecosystems.

Kenya is another of ORB’s featured countries this year. This easy-to-make Kenyan dish is not only colorful but is also flavorful, healthy and filling. If you don’t eat black-eyed peas often, this is a recipe where they blend in nicely with other delicious ingredients. CJK

Kenyan Nyoyo
(Operation Rice Bowl)

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped*
1 tsp. paprika
2 large tomatoes, sliced*
1 can black-eyed peas
2 cups corn, cooked*
Salt and pepper to taste

Rice, cooked

Sauté onion in oil until browned. Add pepper and sauté for two to three minutes. Add paprika and tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain black-eyed peas and combine with corn. Add to onion mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add water if necessary. Serve hot over rice. 

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

A note from Carol: When I prepared this dish, I used a 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes instead of the fresh ones. I added all the juice with the tomatoes so the mixture didn’t need extra water for cooking. In fact, I bypassed the first 5 minutes of simmering called for in the recipe and added the paprika, tomatoes, black-eyed peas and canned corn to the onion mixture all at once — it took about 15 minutes of simmering before it was ready to serve. Although the recipe calls for a red bell pepper, a green one would work equally well and you could also choose to add a clove or two of garlic when sautéing the onion and pepper.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Irish Blessing

“May God grant you always …

A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

A prayer for Japan

May God be with the people of Japan who are suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.  May God bring the blessings of strength, security and consolation to those mourning great losses — family and friends, homes and communities. We pray that all who are affected may experience courage and peace amidst anguish and disaster. And, our prayers are also with individuals who bring hope and aid in this time of despair.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Haitian Riz National

Here’s the recipe for Haiti’s Riz National (Creole for “national rice”) in case you missed it in the March 4 edition of The Visitor. CJK

Riz National
(Operation Rice Bowl)

Photo courtesy of Operation Rice Bowl
2 tbsp. oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup rice, uncooked*
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Fry onion, garlic and green pepper in oil until tender. Combine and mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add the onion mixture and stir well.

Grease a medium-sized casserole dish. Pour mixture into casserole. Cover and bake at 350°F until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender — about an hour. Stir before serving.

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

*A note from Carol: This recipe is prepared with white rice (not minute or converted varieties). If using brown rice, a longer cooking time will be required.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Haitian Rice and Red Beans

This recipe is an alternate version of the Riz National that I mentioned yesterday. Preparing it provides an opportunity to remember the people of Haiti and their struggle to rebuild their lives, one year after the earthquake that destroyed so much of their country. CJK

Haitian Rice and Red Beans
(Operation Rice Bowl)

3 tbsp. oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3 green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. salt
1 cup rice*
2 cups cooked or canned kidney beans
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth*
1 cup water
1/2 can cream of celery soup

In a large saucepan, heat oil and add parsley, green onions, garlic, thyme and salt. When these ingredients are heated, add the rice. Brown the mixture slightly for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans, broth, water and soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir and serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings

*A note from Carol: This recipe is prepared with white rice (not minute or converted varieties). If using brown rice, a longer cooking time will be required. One cup water or juice from the kidney beans may be substituted for vegetable broth.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Haitian Hot Potato and Broccoli Vinaigrette

Did you see the Haitian recipe for Riz National in the March 4 edition of The Visitor? It’s a recipe from Operation Rice Bowl — a Lenten program sponsored by Catholic Relief Services that helps parishes, schools and families learn more about its work around the world and the people it serves. Participants are urged to put the money they save from eating simple, meatless meals into a symbolic “rice bowl” to be donated to CRS.

Last year, Catholics raised more than $8 million through Operation Rice Bowl. Seventy-five percent of the collected funds are used to fund hunger and poverty projects in 40 countries; the remaining 25 percent stays in the U.S. to support food pantries and soup kitchens here.

One of ORB’s featured countries this year is Haiti. This recipe for Haitian Hot Potato and Broccoli Vinaigrette is another simple meal to consider as you keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers. CJK

Haitian Hot Potato 
and Broccoli Vinaigrette
(Operation Rice Bowl)

Photo by Sue Schulzetenberg
1 lb. small red new potatoes, unpeeled 
1 lb. broccoli florets
1/3 cup oil*
1 clove garlic, minced
5 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 green onions, finely chopped*
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil unpeeled potatoes until tender (about 15 to 20 minutes). Drain and cube potatoes, leaving skin on. Set aside and keep warm. *Steam broccoli until tender. Cut into small pieces, set aside and keep warm.

In a pot, combine oil, garlic, cider vinegar, dry mustard, paprika, green onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until garlic and onions are soft. Toss potatoes and broccoli together and pour the vinaigrette over them, stirring gently to mix. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings

A note from Carol: This dish is delicious! It reminds my husband and me of hot German potato salad without the bacon. It’s refreshingly tart with a unique blend of spices. While the recipe calls for it to be eaten hot, it was equally good the next day served cold.

*Cooking tips: I prepared the broccoli in the microwave to save time. Next time I make this recipe, I would use only 1/4 cup oil (instead of 1/3 cup, as called for) when preparing the vinaigrette — it would make the dish a little lighter. Also, while it may deviate from the authenticity of the recipe, I would not cook the green onions in the vinaigrette but would leave them fresh and sprinkle them over the dish prior to serving.

Photo courtesy of Tiffany Nelson

Tiffany (Marshall) Nelson, who grew up in the Diocese of St. Cloud, recently returned from a mission trip to Haiti where she volunteered with the group Healing Haiti. The group delivered free water in Cite Soleil and spent time with children in orphanages in or surrounding Port-au-Prince. She shares this picture of a farmer’s market in Titanyen.

Operation Rice Bowl Prayer

We lift our prayers to you, God of love, on behalf of our brothers and sisters in need. As we learn about their struggles, our almsgiving comes to their aid; our fasting unites us in their hunger. You call us to be disciples for all nations. Bless us this Lenten season. Amen.