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©2011 Shanna Lea (formerly Shanna Ohmes)
Native Americans all across the North America, gathered and hunted fresh foods. These foods were prepared into simple meals and main courses were wild game, fish and fowl. Many tribes used nuts, seeds and roots to add flavor and texture to their recipes. For added sweetness, they used natural sugars, fruits and berries. Meals were simple and varied throughout the seasons. Try some of these simple and delicious recipes for your meals.
These recipes are taken from Spirit of the Harvest North American Indian Cooking by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs.
Native American Indian Recipes
Black or White Bean Cakes
1 ¼ cups dried pea beans or black beans
1 ½ cups cornmeal
¾ cups milk or water
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
2-3 tablespoons bacon drippings
Place dried beans in a bowl with water to cover and soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cook 1 ½ hours over medium heat until tender. Drain and set aside.
Combine cornmeal, milk, eggs and sea salt in a bowl. Stir in beans and green onions.
Make 2-3 inch patties from the mixture and fry on a large skillet in the bacon drippings 1-2 minutes each side, until gold brown. Serve hot or cold.
1 29 ounce can pumpkin
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and ground pepper
1-3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
¼ – ½ teaspoon ground dried spicebush berries or allspice
3-4 cups chicken or beef broth
Garnish: thinly sliced green onion tops, chopped hazelnuts, roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Place pumpkin, sea salt, pepper, syrup and spicebush berry in a large saucepan. Stir in just enough broth to make the soup a thick or thin consistency as desired. Simmer 5 minutes over medium heat. Serve with garnish ingredients in pumpkin or squash shells.
4 ears fresh sweet corn
3-4 cups fresh or 2 10-ounce packages frozen lima beans
1 ½ cups water
¼ cup butter
Sea salt and ground pepper
1 1/3 cups sliced green onions
1 green and 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
Cut the corn cobs into 1 ½ inch lengths, and place in a large saucepan with beans, water, butter, salt and pepper to taste.
Place a lid on the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in green onions and peppers. Continue to simmer 6-10 minutes. Beans should be tender and peppers tender-crisp. Remove cover and cook an additional 3-4 minutes on high heat until liquid is reduced to ½ cup.
Buffalo Medicine Sausage
1 ½ pounds ground buffalo or lean beef
Sea salt and pepper to taste
3 yards natural sausage casings
2 tablespoons rendered fat
8 ounces fresh sage
Mix the sea salt and pepper thoroughly into the meat. Carefully stuff it into the sausage casings, do not puncture the casings, and tie into 5 inch lengths.
In a 375°F oven, roast the sausages for 15 minutes, OR, fry in a skillet in the fat until cooked thoroughly.
On a sheet of aluminum foil, place half the fresh sage. Place sausages on top of the sage, then cover the sausages with the remaining sage. Wrap the sausages and sage tightly in the foil. Let the sausage will cool in the sage for 1 ½ – 2 hours.
Fried Deer Liver
1 ½ pounds deer liver or beef liver, sliced ¼ – 1/3 inch thick
6 green onions, chopped
6 sage leaves, minced
¼ cup minced salt pork
Combine green onions, sage and salt pork in a mixing bowl. Using a large wooden spoon or fork, work the mixture until it forms a paste. Coat the liver in the paste and fry in the bacon drippings until cooked to taste.