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  • Sister Clare Josef-Maier

Hearth & Table - October 13, 2022

You know it's Fall when the rich vegetable stews, pumpkin polenta, and cinnamon chocolates come out... thank you, chefs!

We continue to produce tons of food each Thursday to cover both our in-person dining community and all y'all grabbing to go. There's enough for everyone - if you haven't joined us yet, don't be shy!

Black bean & vegetable stew

Serves 6


3 tablespoons oil

2 onions, diced

1⁄2 head garlic, cloves peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained & rinsed

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1-2 lbs. seasonal vegetables (any), cut about bite-sized

1 cup vegetable stock or water (plus more if needed to thin stew)

1 lemon, juice & zest

Salt & pepper to taste


1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Then add the onions.

2. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions are lightly browned and translucent. Then add the garlic.

3. Cook for 3 minutes more and reduce heat to medium. Add the cumin and oregano, and cook 3 minutes more.

4. Add all remaining ingredients except lemon juice & zest, and cook until the vegetables are just done. Season to taste with the lemon juice & zest, salt and pepper.

Pumpkin polenta

Serves 6


6 C water

1 1⁄2 C coarse-ground cornmeal (a.k.a. polenta)

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 lemon, zest & juice

Salt & pepper to taste


1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Using a whisk, slowly stir in the polenta. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low.

2. Using a wooden spoon, stir the polenta frequently (don’t let it stick to the bottom of the pot!) for about 15-20 minutes, or until the polenta is fairly tender. Mix in the pumpkin puree, lemon zest & lemon juice, and season to taste (salt & pepper).

Dark chocolate truffles w/ cinnamon sugar

Makes about 30 truffles, takes about 30 minutes all together of hands-on work plus 3 hours to chill


16 oz good dark chocolate chips

1 1⁄3 C heavy cream

1 t vanilla extract

1⁄2 t kosher salt (or smoked salt, for a twist)

Powdered sugar mixed w/ cinnamon


1. Put the chocolate in a kitchen bowl.

2. Heat the cream over medium heat until it starts to simmer, then pour it over the chocolate slowly. The cream should just barely cover the chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes.

3. Uncover and whisk together the cream and chocolate until smooth, then stir in the vanilla and salt.

4. Transfer to a baking dish and cool to room temperature (about 15 minutes), then cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight.

5. Form the truffles by scooping the chocolate with a melon baller or teaspoon, coat your hands in the powdered sugar & cinnamon mixture and roll them into balls. Toss the truffles in the powdered sugar & cinnamon mixture to coat.

And finally... have you thought about volunteering with us? We operate thanks to fabulous student volunteers (an average of 6-10 per single evening!) who do everything from work with Chef Ryan to prepare the food to setting tables for dining and packaging food up for distribution to helping us clean up at the end of the night.

We especially hope we can welcome student volunteers into our kitchen - Chef Ryan is a phenomenal support for those who are still learning to become comfortable and confident processing their own food for nutritious meals. You are always welcome to eat without expectation of reciprocity. But if you have capacity and desire to be part of the food security ecosystem as a volunteer, email and let us know!

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