March 2010

Recipes Inspired by "The Compassionate Carnivore"

This month's book club selection, The Compassionate Carnivore, by Catherine Friend, chronicles the author's journey to better understand and appreciate the face on her plate. Here's a short excerpt from Indie Bound, describing the book:

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April Local Food Event at Common Roots

Common Roots Cafe in Minneapolis has made a big impression in a short time. A business committed to knowing its farmers and connecting with the larger community, Common Roots had a big 2009, starting a community garden, creating 8 new full-time living wage jobs, and making 88% of its purchases from local, organic, or fair-trade sources.

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Were the Good Old Days of School Lunch Really That Good?

Last week, while going through a box of old things my father saved before he died, my younger brother found this old school lunch menu. It's from Valley Stream Union Free District Thirteen in NY (my family spent several years at Howell Road Elementary School in that district), and it's dated 1976. My dad was a pretty sentimental guy, so I'm not terribly surprised that he saved a menu from when we were kids.

I find the menu fascinating, and not just because there are still union free school districts in this country. I've been thinking a lot about what was on the menu back in 1976 in the context of the some of the comments you've posted related to our article "An Open Letter to Our Children: We're Sorry About School Lunch." For example, Ginger wrote:

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Gale Woods Farm Encourages Visitors to Play with Their Food

The sheep were looking quite sheepish.

Last Saturday was Shearing Day Gale Woods Farm and though the animals in question were none too pleased, the children watching intently were delighted as the shearer wielded his clippers with gentle efficiency while piles of wool gathered at his feet. Later, the young visitors moved from the barn to the activity room, where staff and volunteers demonstrated how wool that just a short time before adorned the sheep was spun into yarn and woven into fabric. As parents and kids practiced "carding" (brushing the wool fibers) and made felted crafts to take home, others enjoyed a delicious sampling of farm-grown lamb, served on warm pita and topped with tomatoes and a refreshing yogurt sauce.

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School Lunch Challenge: Win Free Organic Milk for a Year and Other Cool Prizes

SGT is currently holding a school lunch challenge. Enter and you can win big prizes like lunchboxes and free organic milk for a year. Get the details here.

Please read the article that started it all, "An Open Letter to Our Children: We're Sorry About School Lunch" (and a host of interesting comments) too.

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Recipe for Spring Egg Salad With a Twist

Bacon and eggs are my kind of salad. This simple, hearty, bistro toss up is perfect for Easter lunch or brunch. It makes a lively light spring dinner, too (but you’ll need lots of good crusty bread and perhaps some Shepherd’s Way Frisago as well). The sunny presentation is stunningly simple as frying bacon and poaching eggs. The fun is in poking the yolk and making a joyful mess of it all.

Though frisee is the classic green, I prefer peppery watercress (and with luck we may have some clinging to the edges of those burbling streams very soon). Toss in field greens or baby spinach if you like, a little sorrel and arugula as well. Some recipes call for lardoons, the fancy name for thick cut bacon bits (I prefer the thinner rashers, cooked crisp.) That said, the bacon makes this meal. Find the best from any of these local sources, and pick up some heritage pork, too.

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How to Eat Simple, Good, Gluten-Free, and Tasty

For a fortunate few, eating gluten-free is simply a choice. For others it's a difficult lifestyle change once they've been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, which can ranging from a mild sensitivity to full-blown celiac disease.

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Cedar Summit Creamery is About More Than Glass Bottles

There is a steady wet drizzle and a thick coat of fog covering the road as I drive southwest from Minneapolis to Cedar Summit Creamery just outside of New Prague. It is, in other words, the perfect, sloppy, late-winter day to visit a farm.

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Red Lentil Soup Provides Something to Chew On

For an Argentine and self-professed meat lover, I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to actually figure out how to eat and feed my family less meat. It's not easy, because to me, comfort food is a good steak. The first thing my mom cooked for me after I had my first baby was a big salad and steak. I'm an animal-protein girl, and nothing gives me the Popeye arms like a succulent piece of meat. But even though there are cultural and maybe even physiological reasons for me to love meat as much as I do, I know that it is better for my health, my wallet, and the environment to try to eat less of it.

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School Lunch Contest: Eat Lunch With Your Kids, Send Us the Pictures, Win Prizes!

Last week's school lunch post, our "Open Letter to Our Children," was a direct response to the sixth graders at Minneapolis' Sanford Middle School who I'd met with the month before. Their question was simple and heartbreaking: if our communities love us, why do they knowingly feed us this junk?

The response to this post was fantastic. Many of you provided explanations, made suggestions, and shared your own views, and we at SGT were reminded once again of how much we love this community. For example, Laura wrote:

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