Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is a traditional bread recipe from Ireland. There are many variations of this delicious recipe from sweet to savory. With a golden brown crust, dense yet crumbly texture and lightly sweetened with raisins, this recipe is sure to be a delightful treat. No kneading or yeast is required, so it can be made on the fly. This recipe can be made with and without raisins, so feel free to omit them from the recipe. Traditional Irish soda breads call for buttermilk, but we’ll show you how to make a buttermilk substitute that can be used whenever it’s called for in a recipe.


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 ¾ cup milk
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups raisins 
  • 2 eggs


1. Gather your ingredients, a medium sized bowl, measuring cups and measuring spoons

2. Preheat oven to 350°F

3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.

4. Mix raisins into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Raisins are more likely to be evenly distributed in bread mix if added before wet ingredient

5. To prepare sour milk mixture

  • Pour 1 ¾ cup milk into a measuring cup
  • Cut lemon in half and squeeze 1/2 of the lemon into the milk
  • Stir the lemon into the milk and let sit for a minute (Note: Its normal for milk to begin to curdle)

6. Melt butter in microwave safe dish for about 20-30 seconds. Make sure not to over cook otherwise it will splatter.

7. Combine sour milk mixture, melted butter, and eggs to dry mixture.  

8. Butter each pan to prevent dough from sticking. Pour ½ batter into each bread pan

9. Bake for 1 hour (60 mins) until the top is golden brown. Test with toothpick or butter knife to see if the center is cooked thoroughly.


  • Can use buttermilk instead of sour milk mixture if desired
  • Can omit raisins, or substitute with cranberries or dried cherries
  • You can skip the egg if you don’t have any, but the texture will be more crumbly. This will also make the dough more dense and will require kneading
  • You can cut back on the sugar for a more savory flavor

Original Recipe was provided by Tina Hanby, The Food Security Assistant at the Human Services Resource Center.

Gỏi Cuốn (salad rolls)

Gỏi Cuốn, or salad rolls, is a dish that is often served as part of an appetizer with many Vietnamese meals. With how simple they are, there are many ways to adjust the recipe to your liking. They’re a great option for any vegetarians, vegans, or meat-eaters alike! 

For me, I’ve always enjoyed my gỏi cuốn with shrimp inside and a side of my uncle’s peanut sauce that we all love. This dish is always one I’ve associated with my family and a sense of home. Since being in college, I don’t always have the time to go home for long periods of time to visit my family. I am a BIG family girl and tend to plan out time to see my parents, brother, my grandparents, and my aunt and uncle whenever I do make it home. Pham family gatherings almost always take place at my maternal grandparents’ house, and it truly is the place I call my home. Since my visits can range anywhere from a few days to a few hours, something simple my grandparents prepare for us to eat is gỏi cuốn! To be honest, in the 22 years I’ve lived, I’ve never quite gotten the hang of how to actually fold the salad rolls. My first attempts always end up with one of the ends being a bite of just folded rice paper. That’s okay though. I know that I can just ask my grandpa to fold it for me and, before I know it, I have three or more in front of me ready to eat.

I hope everyone enjoys making this dish and fills it with whatever is right for them! Thanks for reading <3

-Maija Linh Pham, AYA Women of Color Leadership Liaison

Visit the AYA playlist here to find the collab video:

The recipe today’s healthy beaver bag is based on is located here : This link also includes a sauce recipe to try out if you have the ingredients or can shop for them. Below is the recipe summarized and formatted to match the ingredients in the bag.

Instructions for ingredients as packaged:

Prepare ingredients: Wash lettuce and trim ends, wash mint and cilantro to remove dirt and any discolored leaves, wash (peel if you’d like) and chop carrots into match sticks or thin pieces.

Cook the noodles (either rice vermicelli or mung bean thread noodles). Boil water, add noodles, cook for just a few minutes till noodles are softened and cooked through. Rinse with cold water, and drain well. Set aside.

To assemble rolls, set up a work station with ingredients ready on hand, a clean work surface such as a cutting board, and a large plate with water.

For each roll: Soak the rice paper for about 30 seconds on the plate of water, may need a few seconds longer. The paper should be flexible when removed from the water but not stretchy or floppy (that might mean it was soaked a little too long).

Place the rice paper on the work surface, arrange ingredients, fold up the roll.

Enjoy with peanut sauce

Greek Tzatziki

Greek Tzatziki is a crisp and tangy dip made from plain yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, dill, olive oil and lemon juice. Tzatziki is typically eaten cold with a side of warm pita bread, but can also be served as a dressing for a Greek salad. Creamy and refreshing, this dip is simple to make which gives you more time to go about your day!

Notes: You can substitute Greek plain yogurt for plain yogurt if desired. To prevent your dip from being watered down, soak up extra water from the cucumber with a paper towel before adding to mixture.

Total Time: 10 mins Servings: 4 to 6


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbs dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Utensils Needed:

  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons

Step 1:

Gather ingredients, cutting board and mixing bowl.

Chop cucumber (peeling optional), and garlic.

Step 2:

Add yogurt, chopped cucumber and garlic to medium sized mixing bowl.

Step 3:

Add lemon juice and dill juice to yogurt, cucumber and garlic. Mix ingredients together.

Add olive oil to mixture and stir together.

Step 4:

Put Tzatziki into a serving bowl and enjoy with a side of warm pita bread for fresh vegetables!

Recipe will stay fresh for up to 4 days in the fridge. Olive oil can give a yellowish appearance.

Tzatziki can be used as a dressing for salads, a sauce for chicken and rice bowls or as a delicious dip for fresh vegetables.

eshkeneh –  egg drop soup with turmeric, onion, potato, & lentils

The main flavors of this soup are onion, potato, turmeric, and cilantro. It is easy to customize to your taste and is made many different ways in homes across Iran. This version, featured recently in the New York Times cooking section, adds lentils. Other variations include adding heat in the form of fresh peppers or more pepper flakes, adding tomatoes, poaching eggs in the liquid instead of dropping in ribbons of egg, or serving with rice or flatbread.

Notes: For the healthy beaver bag recipe kit:

Aleppo pepper is about twice as spicy as Jalapeño. Start with with a pinch of Aleppo pepper and increase to your taste.

Turmeric, fenugreek, and lentils and olive oil are measured to the amount you need for the recipe.

Salt and pepper are not included among the ingredients in the bag since these are common items to have around

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion or sweet onion (you have a sweet onion in your recipe kit)
  • 1 large yellow potato
  •  1 pinch Salt (to taste, start with a pinch)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch Aleppo pepper, plus more to taste  (It is hot, add more if you love heat, you can skip if you don’t like heat!)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ cup green or brown lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp, up to 1 TBS salt (preferred salt level varies between people)
  • cilantro, small handful
  • 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves
  • 3 large eggs 


Original Recipe Here:

Read through your recipe twice before beginning.

Prep Ingredients:

  1. Peel and chop onion into small pieces, discarding the papery shell and root end.
  2. Wash potato. Cut off any discolored spots, roots, dirt that won’t come off. Cut the potato into small bite sized pieces.
  3. Look at the dry spices: Turmeric is golden yellow, aleppo pepper is red crushed flakes, fenugreek leaves are dried and greenish
  4. Sort Lentils. Anytime you use lentils you should do this. Dump them on a plate and look to see if there are any small stones or sticks. Throw them away.
  5. Find salt and pepper in your kitchen.
  6. Wash cilantro. Remove any discolored leaves/stems. Chop.
  7. Open tomato paste can and measure 1 TBS. (extra tomato paste should be stored in the refrigerator for use later.

Cooking instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot/pan. Add chopped onion. Cook over medium heat to soften the onion for. It will become golden, it should not turn dark. Cook for 10 minutes stirring sometimes.
  2. Add chopped potato and pinch of salt. Cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add turmeric, pinch Aleppo pepper, black pepper – combine and heat for 30 seconds till the scent of the spices comes out.
  4. Add tomato paste and mix in to coat. Cook for about 1 minute making sure not to let it burn.
  5. Add lentils, stir in to combine. cook 1 minute.
  6. Add 6 cups water and 1 tsp salt. Stir. (Original recipe called for 1 TBS salt, if you like more salt use 1 TBS, if you want to start with 1 tsp and adjust salt at the end you can do that too.) Bring to a boil.
  7. Cover, reduce heat to a low. Cook for 25 minutes till lentils and potatoes are soft.
  8. Add chopped cilantro and dried fenugreek. Stir. Cook 5 minutes.
  9. test salt level and heat level add more salt/aleppo pepper slowly to get it how you like it.
  10. Prep Eggs: Crack 3 eggs into a bowl. Stir till uniform golden color with a chopstick or fork.
  11. Reduce heat of soup to lowish simmer. Slowly pour a ribbon of egg into the soup moving around the pot. Don’t pour all the egg in one place at once. The egg ribbons will set to firm in the hot soup and float. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Then serve. This soup is yummy with bread.

Leftovers should be refrigerated and taste good for up to 3 days.

Alternate suggestion: poach eggs in the soup instead of ribbons. Also very yummy.

The original recipe is available at the following link: I re-wrote the Instructions to adapt for clarity and variation in heat/salt.

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are an easy breakfast and a great on the go meal. They are good for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, making them a great tool when meal preping before the next busy week begins. 

The reusable jar and lid that comes with the bag are meant to be washed and reused over and over as a tool in your kitchen. It can be used for storing leftovers, making a yogurt parfait, or pickling things (check out our Pickled Carrots and Daikon beaver bag). You can reheat leftover food in the jar in the microwave, however, do not microwave metal or plastic lid. 

*Contents in the bag are more than the 1 serving size recipe below. Please measure out ingredients.

1 serving


  • ⅓ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon/ 1 of the peanut butter to go cups
  • ½ cup almond/oat milk for thick consistency
    • OR ⅔ cup almond/oat milk for light consistency
  • ½ cup frozen fruits
  • Half diced banana (add more if you wish)
  • 1 packet of honey 


  1. In provided jar add the oats, cinnamon, chia seeds, and peanut butter

2. Pour in a splash of milk to wet the mixture.

3. Mix with a spoon so peanut butter is mixed with the oats.

4. Pour in rest of milk and stir to combine

5. After everything is mixed set frozen fruits on top of the mixture

6. Put lid on and set in fridge overnight

7. The next morning open up the jar and add honey and banana

8. It’s now ready to be enjoyed. Oats can be eaten chilled, or heated in the microwave.

You can make a few jars or bowls or cups of overnight oats at once. Eat within 4 days of assembling the oats.

Interested in trying other combinations? This site has a lot of creative ideas:

Sushi Bowl

This California Roll-inspired dish is a great way to get the yummy taste of sushi without the tools and time needed to make rolls. This recipe is also easy to customize with other ingredients like green onions, sesame seeds, and avocado!

Servings: 3 servings


  • 1 ¼ cup sushi rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 8 oz imitation crab
  • 1 packet roasted seaweed (seasame flavor)
  • 4 packets mayonnaise (Equivalent to 4 Tbsp)
  • 3 packets sriracha (Equivalent to 3 tsp)
  • 3 packets soy sauce (optional)


  1. Rinse rice with cold water until water runs clear
  2. Add rice and water to medium saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. While rice is cooking, prep the carrot and cucumber. 

Cut ends of cucumber. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise. Cut each half into quarters and dice

Cut end off carrot and peel. Cut carrot into 3 pieces. Cut each piece into slices lengthwise, then cut each slice into matchsticks. Dice the matchsticks.

  1.  Make the sriracha-mayo. Add 4 packets of mayonnaise to bowl, then add 1-3 sriracha packets depending on spice tolerance. Mix together.
  2. Assemble bowl: Add rice to the bottom of the bowl, add desired amount of imitation crab, carrots, and cucumber. Top with sriracha-mayo and soy sauce. Serve with seaweed. 

Omelet for 1


For the omelet

2 eggs

1 TBS Water

Pinch of Salt

1 TBS butter

For Filling

Scallion (Green Onion)

Serrano Pepper

Instructions for a browned butter folded omelet.

  1. Prepare veggies for filling and topping. Cut up the veggies and cook in a teaspoon of butter, water, or oil.

More detailed instructions:

Serrano Pepper: Wash Pepper. Cut off the stem on top and the tip if bruised or dirty. For the most heat from the peppers include pepper seeds, if less heat is what you would like remove the white part with the seeds from the peppers. Dice peppers small to cook. Save slices to add to the top at the end. Scallion: Wash the scallion. Rinse out inside the long dark green part at the top incase there is dirt inside. Trim the root off and throw away, if the tip of the dark green part is bruised or in poor shape trim a small amount and throw it away. The white and green parts can be eaten. Chop the white and light green part to cook. Chop the dark green part and save it to put on top at the end. (Note: An Omelet can be filled with any vegetables you like! Cut up

Heat a pan on the stove on medium, add 1 tsp of butter, add veggies, cook till softened, set aside till the omelet is ready to be filled.

2. Mix the eggs.

Crack two eggs into the bowl , add 1 Tablespoon water, and a pinch salt. Mix it with a fork or chopstick till mixed to uniform yellow color.

3. Cook the eggs and add filling.

To get an omelet that is browned. Almost like scrambled eggs but with a filling. Use these instructions:

Heat a non-stick pan on medium-low. Add butter. Butter should melt quickly and brown just a little, but not smoke or burn. (If the pan is too hot, the butter will immediately sizzle and maybe burn, if it does that you may need to start over and clean the pan. ) Add the egg mixture all at once and it will begin to form curds and set quickly, move the egg around with the spatula, allowing it to set into a circle.

Add the vegetables and cheese once the egg is mostly set. fold each side over the fillings into thirds. Slide onto a plate. Top with green onions and serrano peppers.

To make an omelet that is soft and yellow cook it this way…

Heat a non-stick skill to a LOW temperature. Add the butter. The butter will melt slowly and will look clear not brown. Pour in the egg mixture all at once. Do not stir the egg. As the egg begins to set, lift the edge with the spatula and tip the pan slightly to let the liquid egg under to set. Repeat this to let all the egg set, the surface will appear slightly soft.

Add the vegetables and cheese once the egg is mostly set. fold each side over the fillings into thirds. Let the cheese and fillings sit in the pan in the omelet for a minute to allow the cheese to melt and the egg to finish setting. Slide onto a plate. Add the vegetables and cheese once the egg is mostly set. fold each side over the fillings into thirds. Slide onto a plate. Top with green onions and serrano peppers.

More information on Serrano Peppers!

Cinnamon Apple Topping for pancakes

This recipe combines sweet and tart apples to bring both flavors and different textures.


  • 1 Pink Lady Apple or any sweet apple
  • 1 Green Apple or a tart apple
  • cinnamon to taste 1-2 tsp
  • optional: pinch of salt
  • 1/4 or more of water
  • 1-2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • butter 1 tablespoons


Wash and cut apples into bite sized pieces.

Add apples, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, water, to a pan.

Turn to medium heat to get the mixture to start steaming and add lid.

Cook 5-8 minutes till apples are softened. You might need to add a couple more tablespoons of water to keep it from burning.

Turn heat down, add syrup and butter. Stir it in to coat the apples. Cook 1-2 more minutes.

Serve over pancakes or oatmeal, or eat the apples on their own. Store in the refrigerator.

Inspired by:

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients: 1 sweet potato, 1-2 TBS of Olive Oil, Pinch of Salt, 1 clove of garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Locate equipment: cutting board, knife, and baking pan.
  3. Wash the sweet potato and dry it.

2. Cut off any roots or small spots you don’t want to eat.

3. Cut sweet potato in half the long way.

4. Placing the flat side on the cutting board, cut into long slabs and then cut into fries.

5. Mince one clove of garlic.

6. Toss the cut sweet potatoes with the olive oil and garlic and a pinch of salt.

7. Spread the fries on a baking sheet, you can use a piece of parchment or a silat for easier clean up if you have some.

8. Bake fries about 10 minutes, flip and bake till nicely brown but not blackened. About 10 more minutes, time may be longer if fries are thick.

9. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.


Baked Sweet Potato


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Wash sweet potato
  3. Cut off any spots you don’t want to eat.
  4. Poke the sweet potato with a fork in a few places just a little
  5. Optional: Rub outside with a little bit of oil and salt.
  6. Bake on a baking sheet or oven safe pan for about 45 mins – 1 hour and 15 minutes depending on size of potato
  7. it is done when poked with a fork it is soft.
  8. To Serve: Break open the side with a fork. Be careful! there may be a lot of steam. Add a dollop of yogurt or sour cream or butter. You can add sugar or any savory spices you’d like.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 12oz can black beans – drained and rinsed

1 can corn – drained

1 can Rotel, Tomatoes and Green Chilies, or Diced tomatoes

⅕ bunch cilantro – chopped

2 limes – halved and juiced 

1 shallot – finely chopped

1 jalapeño – deseeded and minced 

1 t salt to taste (not included)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 avocado


  1. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Drain corn, let sit to drain thoroughly.
  3. If using Rotel/tomatoes and green chilies open and drain a bit. If using diced tomatoes canned, drain thoroughly.
  4. Firmly roll limes across a cutting board to make the next step easier.
  5. Cut lime lengthwise and juice over a small bowl, making sure to remove seeds. Add to a medium size mixing bowl.
  6. Cut avocado in half lengthwise. Scoop out halves onto the cutting board, dice and add to the bowl. 
  7. Peel and mince garlic, add to bowl
  8. Peel and finely dice shallot, add to bowl
  9. Chop cilantro, set a pinch aside and add the rest to the bowl
  10. Cut jalapeño lengthwise, remove seeds and white membrane. Finely dice and add to the bowl. Rinse cutting board and knife, then wash hands to prevent a spicy eye. 
  11.  Add drained ingredients and salt, and fold in carefully to avoid mashing the avocado. Garnish with remaining pinch of cilantro. Best served chilled. Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Avocado will change color over time. It is prettiest the first day.

Serve with tortilla chips


  • Most recipes call for half a red onion but we opted for shallots because of their milder flavor and more practical size. 
  • White corn could be used in this recipe for its sweetness but any variety works just as well
  • Optional: diced bell pepper, diced fresh mango, cotija cheese, pinto beans