Food Matters: SGT Book Club Continues Tonight

More than anything, I think we can credit columnist and cookbook author Mark Bittman with helping make the local, sustainable, sane, reasonable food movement more popular. Sure, Michael Pollan got there first, but he was arguably ahead of his time in terms of bringing the education, history and underlying issues of our food system to the table. Since then, many real food advocates have followed in his footsteps and have done a bang-up job getting the rest of us on board.

But Bittman, in his easily adaptable, friendly, and simple-to-understand style, has delivered the Minimalist touch to understanding and incorporating these ideas into our everyday lives. This month's Simple, Good and Tasty Book Club pick, Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating, explains, coaches and suggests. 

(For more great reading on the man, the book and the reality, check out "How to Live What Michael Pollan Preaches," a review of Bittman's Food Matters on

And just in case you needed some inspiration to come on out, here are a couple of simple, delish, and -- dare I say -- minimalist recipes to whet your whistle. Particularly if you, like many of us Midwesterners, have a load of freshly picked strawberries and are trying to figure out a way to use them.

C'mon! Join us tonight at Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op’s Selby location from 7 to 9:00 p.m., and at the Harmony Co-op in Bemidji from 6 to 8:00 p.m. See you there!

(Recipes from Mark Bittman's Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating)

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1 pound frozen strawberries or other fruit

1/2 cup yogurt, crème fraîche or silken tofu

1/4 cup sugar, more or less

water, as needed


Put all of the ingredients except the water into a food processor, and process until pureed and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If the fruit doesn't break down completely, gradually add some water through the feed tube, one or two tablespoons at a time, being careful not to overprocess the sorbet into liquid. Serve immediately or freeze. To serve later, just allow 10 to 15 minutes for the sorbet to soften at room temperature.



4 cups of fresh fruit (berries are recommended); trimmed, cored, peeled and sliced as needed

1 Tablespoon of sugar

1/2 cup of brandy, dessert wine, or champagne (optional)

1 cup of almonds; or use pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts

3/4 cup of pitted and packed dried fruit, like dates, raisins, dried cherries, figs or apricots

4 ounces of good quality bittersweet chocolate, melted (optional)


1. Put the fruit in a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, and liquor if you're using it. Toss gently to coat, and refrigerate while you prepare the crust.

2. Put the nuts in a food processor and pulse until ground, being careful not to overprocess. Transfer to a bowl, and then put the dried fruit into the food processor along with a teaspoon or so of water. Pulse until finely chopped and sticky enough to adhere to the nuts (some fruit will require more water than others). Use your hands or a rubber spatula to combine the nuts and fruit in the bowl until they become a "dough." (At this point, you can form the mixture into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate or freeze until until about 30 minutes before you're ready to use it; defrost if necessary and proceed with the recipe).

3. Divide the dough into eight pieces and press into three-inch round disks on wax paper or parchment; they should be about 1/4-inch thick. Brush each disk with the melted chocolate in a thin, even layer if you like, and top with fresh fruit and any accumulated juices. Serve immediately.


Tracy Morgan is a Twin Cities foodie, cookbook hoarder, and owner of all the right kitchen gadgets. Living in downtown St. Paul, she loves to take her green trolley shopping at the Farmer's Market and see how much weight it can handle. When not spotlighting local goodies for Simple Good and Tasty, Tracy runs Segnavia Creative, a business development and marketing firm. She also serves on the board of directors for the Mississippi Market Natural Food Co-op. Her last blog post for Simple, Good and Tasty was