Native Cooking


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  • Bison Meatballs

    Updated May 14, 2024

    2 tbsp. cooking fat or oil (some Indigenous chefs prefer duck fat) 1/2 c. diced red onion 2 tbsp. tomato paste 1 c. wild rice 1/2 c. dried cranberries 1 tbsp. steak seasoning 2 lb. raw ground bison salt (optional) Chopped fresh herbs (optional) 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray baking sheet with cooking oil or use aluminum foil on it for a bit more crisp. 2. Cook the wild rice. 3. Heat oil and over medium heat, cook onions until they're soft. 4. Add tomato paste to the onions...

  • Wild Rice Burgers

    Updated Mar 26, 2024

    Want to lighten up those burgers while helping to keep them moist and delicious? If so, definitely give this recipe a shot. Some restaurants use a very similar version to help meat like ground duck stick together while cooking. The wild rice's flavor and texture add a subtle yet unique character. Ingredients 1 pound ground beef 2 cups cooked wild rice 2 cloves minced garlic (optional) 1 tablespoon fresh chopped or dried thyme, oregano, and/or rosemary (optional) Salt and...

  • Wild Salmon with Pumpkin and Mushroom Puree, Crispy Rice, and Sweet Ferns

    Updated Jan 22, 2024

    Cooking Temp375 °F Servings 4 The ingredients that follow are for the crispy topping: .5 cups Cereal, Rice Crisp 1 cup Sweet Fern Leaves (fresh, foraged, rinsed/dried) The ingredients that follow are for the salmon and puree: 1 pound Salmon, Wild (Fillet, Frozen, thawed) 1 can 15.5 oz can Pumpkin (No Salt Added) 1 can 10.5 oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup (Condensed, Reduced Sodium) 3 tablespoons Oil (Vegetable) 4 tablespoons Butter (Salted, cold, divided) Salt (to taste)...

  • Indigenous Cooking

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    Want to make something special for the holidays? We've pulled a recipe from Intertribal Life's former food columnist, Dale Carson, out of our archives. On cold winter days I always think of how hard it must have been for our ancestors who lived in inhospitable lands, how they struggled to keep warm and find food. I dare say they were strong and hearty souls who handled discomfort far better than we do. They taught themselves to make foods with endurance, things like Buffalo...

  • Pumpkin Spice

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Sep 15, 2023

    August is not yet over while I write this, but the light outside is changing. A few leaves are preparing for their fall showing by displaying a few reds and oranges here and there. It always seems too early for these changes to happen, but the changes do warn us that winter is coming and we need time to prepare, both mentally and physically. We have about six months of winter in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where I live. Snow begins falling and sticking in November and tells us...

  • Blueberry and Peach Salsa

    First Nations Development Institute, www.FirstNations.org|Updated Jul 14, 2023

    Blueberries have been and continue to be a major food source for Great Lakes Region Native American communities in the summer; peaches grow especially well in the tribal regions on the eastern side of Lake Michigan. Ingredients 1 cup blueberries 1 cup diced peaches 1-2 cups diced tomatoes 2 minced green onions 1 lime Salt and pepper to taste 1–2 cloves minced garlic (optional) 1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional) Directions Simply mix the ingredients and serve with your f...

  • Pashofa

    Updated May 17, 2023

    Ingredients: 3 pounds pashofa corn 6 gallons water 6 pounds fresh pork Directions: It is best to cook pashofa outdoors in a large pot. Bring water to a brisk boil over a steady fire; add corn and let the fire burn slowly all around the pot. Stir constantly with a large wooden spoon to keep it from scorching. When corn is about half done (not completely soft), add meat cut in 3-inch chunks. Cook until meat is tender and soup is thick. Add no salt while cooking. Cooking time is...

  • Pemmican

    Updated Mar 20, 2023

    Some sources say that the name stemmed from the Cree Nation, but this energy-filled food has historically been used by many Indigenous people at home and while out on journeys. Ingredients: • 4 cups lean meat • 3 cups dried fruit (apricots, raisins, blueberries, cherries, dates, or whatever is available). • 2 cups rendered fat* • Unsalted nuts • Dash of honey • Optional: dried kale, salt. Instructions: 1. Heat oven to 180 degrees. 2. Spread whatever meat you chose (deer, beef...

  • Herbed Bannock Bread

    Updated Jan 27, 2023

    1 cup whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, sage and thyme 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 tablespoon lard Water Mix flour, baking powder, salt and herbs together, then add onion. Cut the lard into this mixture and blend well. Now add just enough water to form a stiff dough. Make patties about a half to three-quarters of an inch thick and place in a preheated, greased frying pan. Cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes or less...

  • Grape Dumplings

    Updated Nov 28, 2022

    Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 egg 1 1/4 cups water 1 Tablespoon cornstarch 64 ounces grape juice Sugar to taste Directions: Place flour in a heap on tabletop. Make a well in center of flour and crack an egg into center. Using a fork, begin mixing the egg into the flour and add water as you go. Form the dough into a ball and roll out very thin. Cut into 1-inch squares. In a large pot place grape juice and sugar to taste. Bring to a rolling boil. Drop dumplings into...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Feb 2, 2021

    Apple-Cranberry Salsa This "salsa" is very Woodland/East Coast and is delicious served with roast pork, duck , pheasant, or even chicken. 2 large, sweet apples (Macintosh or Granny Smith), cored and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries 6 tablespoons lime juice 4 tablespoons olive oil 4 tablespoons honey 2 cups onion, chopped 1 ½ cups bell pepper (red, yellow and/or green) 2/3 cup fresh cilantro 2 cloves garlic, minced 1–2 small cans chopped j...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Dec 8, 2020

    This Abenaki food writer Dale Carson's recipe from her New Native American Cooking (Random House, 1996). The majority of the food words in the book are in the Wampanoag language. The Wampanoag are often referred to as the "Thanksgiving Indians." The "good to eat" squash here is the yummy and readily available butternut. 1 medium onion 2 tbsp. butter 1 large butternut squash, seeded, roasted and scrapped from skin 2 cups or more chicken stock 1 cup sweet apple cider (my note:...

  • NATIVE COOKING

    Dale Carson|Updated Oct 14, 2020

    Brown Wusswaquatomineug (Walnut) Bread Walnuts, both black walnuts and butternuts, were prized by the Narragansetts in the Northeast for their oils. While growing, the black walnut is covered with a green pulp that turns black soon after it drops off the tree. The black pulp is used as a dye for plant fabrics and leather. The nuts themselves are valuable foodstuffs. 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour 1 3/4 cups white flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs, slightly...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Aug 6, 2020

    Dear Friends and maybe a few relatives, this year is so different and not much fun being locked indoors since March in a self-quarantine. Hope things are easier for you. I'm sure we all love summer and summer foods so I think it might be good to share some ideas from my "neck of the woods'" to yours. Berries are "in" just about everywhere to make fruit salads sparkle. Blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, chunky watermelon make a delicious happy salad-a little on the sweet...

  • Early Summer Delights

    Dale Carson|Updated Jun 15, 2020

    Here's a nice early summer treat for you to enjoy! Wild Mushroom Appetizer 3 cups sliced assorted wild mushrooms (morels, cepes, oyster or imported varieties) Fresh lemon juice Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Bread sliced into ovals 1/2-inch thick 1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are soft but not soggy, about 5 minutes. 2. Sprinkle the mushrooms with lemon juice as they saute. (Lemon juice helps set the...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Apr 9, 2020

    Dear Friends, Now that the craziness of the holidays is behind us we can take a big breath and consider what lies ahead-a great year I hope. Every year at this time I peruse cookbooks and magazines for ideas and hope to come up with something new and interesting to make. Sometimes a new combination of an old dish is the right thing. If you think of pastas, flour tortillas or split baguettes as a canvas, half the work is done. I like to have some cooked pasta (elbows,...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Apr 8, 2020

    Rabbit, known as Mahtigwessin the Micmac language, is one of the small game that has been a staple of the Native diet. In rural areas, even today, beaver, ground hog, squirrel, raccoon and porcupine are hunted for food. They-along with their game bird cousins: wild turkey, pheasant, duck, quail, goose and others-still provide tasty dining. Many of these are available in commercial form at your market or butcher. Rabbit is one type of game now raised domestically. This is a...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Apr 7, 2020

    Maple sap is dripping from a tree as the days turn warm and the nights are still freezing. When collected, sap is boiled down into syrup and is bottled at various stages of reduction as it darkens. Forty gallons of sap has to boil down to 1 gallon to give us the rich sweet syrup we pour on our pancakes! If you ever wondered why it's so expensive, that's why. Maple syrup is a key ingredient in great baked beans. Sorry Boston, but this was our dish first! Native baked beans are...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Nov 4, 2019

    Brown Wusswaquatomineug (Walnut) Bread Walnuts, both black walnuts and butternuts, were prized by the Narragansetts in the Northeast for their oils. While growing, the black walnut is covered with a green pulp that turns black soon after it drops off the tree. The black pulp is used as a dye for plant fabrics and leather. The nuts themselves are valuable foodstuffs. 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour 1 3/4 cups white flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs, slightly...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Aug 20, 2019

    Dear Friends, When visiting friends, I usually like to bring along a bean or other type of salad. It can be made the day before you need it and dressed with a simple vinaigrette and put in the fridge overnight until you're ready to go. You can also bring the dressing separately to travel. A hearty salad, crusty bread, refreshing drink, and chunk of cheese is a more than decent meal. I don't know why I like to give you salad recipes in the summer, but it just seems so...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Jun 3, 2019

    May and June are the most beautiful months of the year. May always makes me think of my mother because her birthday is in May and so is Mother's Day. Then there is Cinco de Mayo and all that Mexican food to prepare and eat. May brings flowers everywhere and happy faces. June is major strawberry time. School's out for summer and lots of romances begin and start to flourish. Graduations, parties, visits and the best party of all: pow wow! For these events and others we usually...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Apr 5, 2019

    Dear Alnobak (friends), I am sitting in front of my computer screen and watching the snow fall out the window just behind it. It is so beautiful but only because it is the first accumulation we have seen since last year. There is so much to be thankful for in winter/spring. The word "balmy" has been used some, yet I hardly think it is. A few days over 40 degrees did make it seem that way when it was sunny. Now, my taste in food can go either way, light and airy or thick and...

  • Cranberries-An Original Native American Treat!

    Updated Feb 1, 2019

    As Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, "There is no new thing under the sun." But nature's most simple edibles can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways. Take the cranberry, for example. This small, bouncy, perky berry, which grows in areas know as "bogs" on short evergreen perennial shrubs, tastes tart when eaten raw. But cooking cranberries mellows their taste, especially when they're mixed with a natural sweetener. Hence, cranberries taste delicious in pastries or as glazes on meats-think...

  • Native Cooking

    Dale Carson|Updated Nov 24, 2018

    Dear Friends Nidobak, Seasons are changing again, they keep doing that! I have to say that fall is my favorite. Spring gives us the pink, yellow, white and purple lovely flowers, but fall's blaze is red, orange, deeper yellows and is more intense than spring. Such variety that I don't know how nature keeps it straight! The colorful produce starts with corn in many colors, we have red tomatoes, squash in all shades of yellow and orange, greens and even purples. Growing seasons...

  • Picnic Weather!

    Updated Sep 10, 2018

    Lately I have been asking people, "What is the most memorable picnic you have ever had?" Most people remember where and when right away and what they ate. Others just sputter, "Don't know." I don't remember all of them I've enjoyed, but I usually remember whom I was with and what we had to eat. The first memory was with a boy who had red hair. We went to a local park overlooking the water, and we ate leaning on the handlebars of our bikes-we enjoyed peanut butter and jelly...

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