Integrative Health Work for Life
Reaching Dreams, Living Life Vibrantly, Embracing Healing
Two Delicious Years Guest-Cheffing at the Beacon Hill Friends House
The Beacon Hill Friends House (BHFH) is a non-profit Quaker-hosted residential CoOpperative within two historical conjoined mansions that sit at the top of Boston's historical Beacon Hill. Some confuse Quakers with Puritans; but, nothing could be less true about the Quakers.
A politically open-minded organization, BHFH was established upon the principles of community, simplicity, peace, diversity, and tolerance. No resident or guest is excluded from the fun at BHFH based upon race, nationality, creed, gender, or religious affiliations, so long as those key values are upheld. BHFH residents hold a variety of political beliefs and world-views; residential admittance is selective and is typically comprised of international scholars, post-docs, students, and activists. BHFH provides many maturing souls the opportunity to create, learn and grow.
Naturally, pleasing 20+ residents and guests can be challenging. Every individual has a different perception of healthy, sustainable and natural (as well as unique dietary wants and needs). The community commitment to ethics made this experience special.
Guest-Chef Angeline's Meditarranean Festivities
Opportunities to serve and volunteer at BHFH are in abundance. When able, I was given the opportunity to lead workshops in areas such as mind-body healing modalities, relaxation and stress management; but, by far one of the most rewarding experiences was "guest cheffing" for 20+ (residents and guests). We had the luxury of a commercial kitchen and an enormous gas stove that made for a special experience; surrounded by assistants, being the "Guest Chef" was a creative time for community community building!
Making Vegan & Vegetarian Italian Options Work
Serving a wide array of dietary needs? Eggplant pizzas can accommodate many dietary needs (vegan, vegetarian, omnivores, diabetics, low-carbers, etc.) and are both tasty and pleasing to the eye. Here, I began by making a vegan tomato sauce. In a heavy pan, sauté over low heat fresh veggies in extra virgin olive oil to taste (minced onions, garlic, mushrooms, herbs, etc). Add fresh or cut tomatoes to your pot and simmer. After 2 hours (less if you are in a hurry), add tomato paste until desired thickness is obtained. In light of sauce that must not leak through pizza-shaped eggplant, make sauce thick!
Continuing with Eggplant Pizzas
Soak pizza-shaped slices of eggplant in lemon water to remove any bitterness from the eggplant and then pat dry (step may be skipped if short on time).
Spread sauce evenly on top of eggplant slices and place on cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or oiled). Decorate with toppings according to taste and dietary needs, including herbs, olives, cheese, etc. and bake at 375 degrees F until cooked through. When ready to serve, place under broiler quickly until pizzas are browned.
Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers
Prepare quinoa according to boxed directions and cool.
In a separate pan, stir-fry onions, garlic and spices in olive oil using a large frying pan. For tasty variations, you may also add ground hamburger, turkey burger, or vegan sausage. Salt and pepper to taste.
Fold finished quinoa into sautéed spices/vegetables/burger and set aside.
Prepare bell peppers by cutting tops off (see above); scoop out seeds and stems from bell peppers.
Stuff hollow peppers and pepper tops with filling. Top with cheese for variation (vegan, Mozzarella or a Parmesan/Romano).
Bake at 375 degrees F in broth/olive oil. Broil to brown, just before serving. Serve with tomato sauce on the side.