March 2012

Breaking Bread, Building Thriving Communities

In unity- Our Community Kitchen attendees gather to share good food and ideas

 With a mission of “providing access to healthy food for all by cooking and eating together,” Our Community Kitchen

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Meatless Mondays (or Wednesdays or Saturdays). Recipe: Quinoa potato croquettes

Recently, I had lunch out with a friend and in the course of our conversation I mentioned that I was trying a new recipe that week: quinoa-potato croquettes (from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone). “That sounds good,” my friend said. “Will you have that with some baked chicken or something?” No, I explained, it was one of our meatless meals. “But it’s not Monday,” my friend pointed out. 


I explained that Meatless Mondays don’t usually work for us – Monday is slow cooker day, due to work and school schedules. However, we try to have at least two or three meatless meals a week; just not on set days. 


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Soupapalooza! Week Four With a Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs

Who would have imagined, during the first act of Soupapalooza back in February, that the fourth act would come during a stretch of 70 degree weather and popping tulips? Never mind the weather, according to the calendar, it's still soup season. For week four of Soupapalooza, I bring you a light Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs. 

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The Latin Tongue: El Taquito

It was bound to happen. Restaurants come and go, especially those that start on a shoestring budget. Going into this adventure to uncover the hidden Latin gems in the Twin Cities, we knew that we would have some strikeouts, run down some dead ends and find ourselves looking for that which could not be found. This past week, we had wanted to check out a place we had heard some good things about. The Border Cafe in West St. Paul was to be our destination...or so we thought. Upon arriving at the address on South Robert street, something was a bit off. First of all, The place was called Three Amigos. Secondly, it was closed and obviously undergoing a bit of a change. We have vowed to go back and will give you more details when we do.


The End.


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SGT March Book Club: American Wasteland

Everytime I think about the SGT book club, one thing that amazes me is that there is always more to read. You would think that every issue about food might one day be used up, but so complicated is our relationship to food, there is a never ending stream of interesting and useful reading within our grasp. So is this month's pick, American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half Its Food (and what we can do about it) by Jonathan Bloom. 


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Living With Wild Things: Part 3, Grain Ferments

This is part-three in a three-part series about fermentation. Part-one contains information related to the nutritional value of fermented foods. It also touches upon the role that fermentation might play in personal, societal, and ecological renewal. It concludes with recipes for fermented vegetables. Part-two deals with dairy products and their non-dairy counterparts. This section is devoted to fermented grain products.


"Wow, that pink blob is moving. You are not going to eat it, are you?" I glanced at the dosa batter which was bright pink because it contained red lentils. It was creeping dangerously close to the top of the container. "Oh yes," I replied. 


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The Latin Tongue: Las Teresitas

Usually, we are armed with nothing but an address and the hope that the next Latin eatery is in fact, real. It is easy for your imagination to get the best of you when you are constantly entering new and strange places, as if you might enter into a doorway never to dimensions, new worlds, a salsa bar? 


Driving down 34th Avenue south in Minneapolis, there are absolutely no signs that there will be anything but more and more houses. There is certainly no "business district" around and as we neared 62 and saw the telltale signs of the airport, we thought this would be our first wild goose chase. But then, a gas station appeared like a beacon of hope and as our bellies rumbled in anticipation, we saw a modest sign, wedged between the laundromat and gas station: Las Teresitas. We had arrived. 


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Get to Know Pulses. Recipe: Trail Mix

Vegetarian. Gluten Free. Heart Healthy. Often overlooked as an inexpensive source of protein and fiber, pulses can play an important part in your daily menu. Not familiar with the term? You may recognize them under their more common names: peas, lentils and chickpeas. Pulses are from the family Leguminosae, or legumes, which gets its name from the characteristic pod that protects the seed while it is forming. These tiny nuggets of nutrition have been grown around the world for thousands of years. There is even a non-profit organization, the Northern Pulse Growers Association, based in North Dakota and dedicated to the promotion and awareness of their nutritional benefits. Who knew? 


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An Adopted Korean Makes Her First Batch of Lefse

I, like the other 10,000 Korean adoptees in Minnesota, have suffered from mild identity confusion. As Kim Jackson, author of HERE: A Visual History of Adopted Koreans in Minnesota states, there is at least one of us for every lake.

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The Latin Tongue: Catalina's

I wanted to avoid rankings and ratings in this challenge to eat and talk about Latin foods. It seems grossly unfair to give our taste buds credence over anyone else's. It also seemed a bit pretentious to claim that we were in any way experts. We are certainly not. The people from Mexico, Ecuador and Honduras who serve us their heart's labors...these are the experts. With that said, I have a hard time not gushing over our latest find, wanting to give it some sort of top-of-the-list, upper class status. Catalina's was just that good to us. 


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