Fall is in full colour and Halloween will soon be here. Costumes and candy are fun, but another special celebration for the same day may have deeper significance for our personal development and the larger aspects of our lives: The Day of the Dead.
The Day of the Dead (or Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday, in which Mexicans celebrate and honour their deceased ancestors and loved ones. It isn’t a day for grieving, but rather is believed to be a time for the souls of the deceased person to visit and celebrate with them. The Day of the Dead was originally celebrated at the beginning of summer, but after the colonization of Mexico by the Spanish, the celebration was changed to align with the catholic celebration of Allhallowtide on November 1. The oldest form of the Day of the Dead is believed to have been first celebrated in 2,500 – 3,000 BC.
The Celebration begins on October 31, when children make a children’s altar to invite the souls of other children to visit. On November 1st, the souls of adults come to visit. Finally, on November 2, the most well known part of the celebration begins, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three day festival is filled with marigolds (the flowers of the dead); muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.
Over the Halloween weekend (Oct 30 – Nov 1) we will pause to remember our deceased loved ones with story telling and feasting. The death of people we love is one of the great wounds of life. With this in mind, The Day of the Dead retreat is a weekend for you to remember, share, celebrate and honour deceased loved ones.
Attend this retreat with someone in mind to honour. Bring photos, mementos, favourite foods and stories to share with others and create an altar. The weekend will include meditation and yoga classes, our ever scrumptious food, and a cozy cabin all within the backdrop of the transition of fall, allowing time to decompress and return home refreshed.
Find the retreat details here for this unique weekend retreat.
½ cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
2 large apples
½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup of oats
¼ cup pecan pieces
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup vegan butter
Preheat oven to 350
- Starting with the crust, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Fold in the remaining ingredients; this will have a texture of cookie dough.
- Press dough into a 9×9 baking dish. Pre-bake crust for 15mins or until edges are golden brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before adding other layers.
- While crust bakes prepare filling by peeling and slicing apples and tossing together with remaining ingredients, set aside.
- To make topping melt the vegan butter. In a separate bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients. Pour over top of dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Add apple mixture on top of the cooled crust, spreading out evenly, making sure to add any accumulated juices.
- Sprinkle topping onto apple mixture, and bake for 20-25mins or until apple layer is bubbly and topping is golden brown.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing and Enjoy!!!
1 onion, cut into 1 in. piece
3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 in. piece ginger, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
3 yams, peeled and chopped into bite-sized cubes
1 sweet red pepper, cut into 1 in. pieces (red or yellow look nice)
2 c. boiling water or broth
1 can whole tomatoes with juice
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed
½ c. unsweetened organic peanut butter
1 bunch kale, chopped (substitute collards or spinach if you want)
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce (optional)
Cilantro (optional garnish)
Fresh whole peanuts (optional garnish)
- In a large pot over medium heat sauté onion, garlic and pepper, with a bit of water. Cover with lid to keep the moisture released from the veggies in the pan. Stir frequently to prevent the veggies from sticking.
- Add spices and sweet peppers. Cook for a couple more minutes, continuing to stir.
- Mix the peanut butter with the boiling water and whisk to dissolve to prevent clumping. Either use a 4 cup glass measuring cup or place it in a mixing bowl so that there is room to stir.
- Add the peanut broth, yams, tomatoes and juice, and beans to the stew pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in corn and kale and cook for about 5 more minutes, until yams and greens are tender. Add water if you want a brothier feel for the soup or let reduce for a thicker stew. Serve over brown rice or quinoa and garnish as you wish.
How to substitute maple syrup for sugar in your baking.
Maple syrup is a staple in our kitchen at Sugar Ridge. It gets used in many of our recipes as a sweetener or flavour and is the ever so important topping for our yummy pancakes! Something you may not be as familiar with is that you can substitute maple syrup for the sugar in your baking.
3/4 cup maple syrup – 3 tbsp liquid = 1 cup granulated sugar
Reducing the liquid is to decrease the wetness of the recipe that the syrup adds. If you are adding milk, water, etc in your recipe, these are good ingredients to reduce.
This substitution will not work for every recipe, as some baking you do not want to add more moistness to it, but it makes for another great way to add some of this sweet, springtime liquid gold to your life.
Thanks to our super-awesome chef, Jen, for her continued kitchen mastery and the baking modification for this post!
2 lb firm tofu (900 g)
1 cup dried shitake mushrooms or 2 cups fresh shitake or oyster mushrooms
1 1/4 cups water
2 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic – pressed
1 ¼ cups olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar (I use balsamic if necessary)
1 ¼ cups red wine
1 ¼ cups soy sauce
- Use a saucepan that will hold all ingredients except the tofu and simmer the mushrooms in the water. If using fresh mushrooms then use very little water to cook them slightly.
- Toast the oregano in a small dry pan. Do not use any oil. It will be toasted when you can smell it but don’t burn it.
- Add the oregano and all other ingredients except the tofu to the mushrooms and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes.
- While the marinade is boiling: cut the tofu into small rectangles or cubes and arrange in a deep casserole dish. Avoid layering the tofu so that when the marinade is poured on it can reach all the pieces of tofu.
- Pour the boiling marinade over the tofu and jiggle it around so that the marinade gets in between the pieces. Cover and let this stand for several hours or overnight. Do not refrigerate because the oil may congeal.
- Serve the tofu and mushrooms and set the marinade aside for future use – it also makes a great salad dressing.
1 pkg. ladyfinger biscuits
3/4 c. freshly brewed coffee, cooled
3 tbsp. sugar
Mix coffee and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
Vegan Mascarpone Filling
1 3/4 c. raw cashews (no need to soak)
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. non-dairy milk
In a blender, combine cashews, maple syrup, coconut oil, salt, vanilla and milk. Blend thoroughly until smooth and silky.
Divide mixture in half into two small bowls.
Vanilla Cream & Coffee Cream
1/4 c. non-dairy milk
1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/3 c. freshly brewed coffee, cooled
Vanilla Cream Filling
Use first half of mixture, thoroughly whisking in extra 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Set aside.
Coffee Cream Filling
Blend second half of the vegan mascarpone mixture with coffee.
- Dip ladyfingers in soaking syrup for just a second or two and place into the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish.
- Top with a layer of Vanilla Cream and dust with cocoa. At this point, freeze for 10 minutes.
- Once out of the freezer, top with a layer of Coffee Cream. Freeze for 10 minutes.
- Repeat process once more – soaked biscuits, Vanilla Cream and Coffee Cream – freezing cream layers for 10 minutes before continuing.
- Once complete, dust the tops with cocoa powder and leave in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours to firm up before eating.
1 medium nappa cabbage
1/3 cup pink Himalayan sea salt, NOT iodized
1 tsp arrowroot flour
3-5 garlic cloves
3-5 red finger chilies, chopped
1 small cooking onion, chopped
½ cup peeled & chopped daikon radish
¼ cup Korean coarse red pepper powder
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt, NOT iodized
3-5 green onions, halved lengthwise & cut into 1-inch pieces
- Remove leaves from cabbage. Cut in half lengthwise; cut into bite-sized squares. Spread 1/3
of the cabbage in a large bowl; sprinkle w/ 2 T water then 1-2 T sea salt. Repeat layers 2 times.
- Cover & let stand, turning every 30-40 minutes, for about 2 hours. Drain.
- Fill the bowl w/ cold water; rinse & drain the cabbage 2-3 times. It should be salty, but not
inedible. Drain in a large strainer while preparing the spice mixture.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine arrowroot flour with 1/3 cup water. Bring to boil
over high heat; continue boiling, stirring constantly, for 20-30 seconds. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, blitz together arrowroot mixture, garlic, ginger, chilies, radish, onion, salt,
red pepper powder & tamari until smooth.
- Press cabbage to ensure most of the liquid has drained. Combine cabbage, spice mixture &
green onions; mix thoroughly.
- Transfer to large air right jar, pressing down firmly with the back of a wooden spoon to
remove air pockets; leave roughly 5cm (2″) head space.
- Loosely seal and place on a tray/plate to catch any overflow. Let stand at room temperature
for 24-72 hours or to the desired flavour.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Thanks to Mike Murdoch for this awesome recipe!
1 cup of nuts (I prefer almond)
3 tbsp flax or chia seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup dried fruit (dates, cranberries, apricots)
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor and blend into a paste. Roll into truffle sized balls, and then roll in coconut, cacao powder, icing sugar or simply eat them as they are.
2. This recipe is packed with goodness for your body. It can be altered to suit any taste and be completely raw or use toasted nuts and coconut for a different flavour. Every different fruit makes it a different flavour too and you can do without the cacao if you prefer.
One small beet, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks (one scant cup of beet cubes)
15 oz. can garbanzo beans (drain and reserve ½ cup of the liquid)
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ cup raw tahini
1 tablespoon oil (sunflower, olive, or safflower)
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
½ teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Spray a small pan with oil, and place the beet cubes on the pan. Spray lightly with oil and bake until very tender (this will take at least 20 – 30 minutes).
2. Place the roasted beet cubes in a blender or food processor and add the remaining ingredients (including the ½ cup of reserved bean liquid). Blend until the mixture is totally smooth and looks like pink perfection. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week. Serve with crackers or tortilla crisps.