July 2012

Farm to Fork, a CSA Series: If Not for the Grace of Good Vinaigrette.

This is part 4 of a summer long series about our CSA boxes and what we do with them. Recipes for a white wine vinaigrette and crab and lentil salad follow.


This was the week where failing in the kitchen was the prevailing theme. Normally, nine out of ten times, I hit home runs. Of course, some meals are more compelling than others, but usually the worst are still edible. This week, I was in a slump. I wanted nothing to do with my last couple of dishes.  


Leaden vegetable fritters and gag-inducing spaghetti carbonara that I tried to lovingly scent with lemon zest and Serrano chili were on the menu. The foul food ate up most of my week’s CSA vegetables. Beans, snap peas, spring onions, golden cauliflower, and kale: they all perished and the remaining scraps went straight into the vegetable stock bag in my freezer.  

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Support Grow a Farmer, Build Long-lasting Structural Change

Grow a Farmer/ Main Street Project agripreneur program

It’s clear that we Americans need to select more healthy, natural and whole foods from the grocery shelves. What’s not always so clear are the ways in which we “vote with our dollars” in order to positively influence food policy and invest in the farmers who provide the good food. The farmers of the past, who have traditionally been older men from rural America, are now retiring and making room for two types of modern day farmers: big agriculture giants or young farmers. Many of our young farmers are turning out to be women and/or minorities. My question is: How do we support our small farmers, thereby, voting with our dollars.

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SGT July Book Club: Turn Here Sweet Corn

Its July and yes, we all know its been hot. Minnesotans are notoriously aware of the current state of things, especially when they are not in the realm of perfect, sunny and 70. It is appropriate then, that for July, our book clubs have been reading a book by local author Atina Diffley, who is well connected to the weather extremes that effect our lives and our food. However, she might have a bit of a different perspective:


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Turning Over a New Leaf for Asian Flavors

From salads and seasonings to wrappers and garnishes, there are as many kinds and uses of leaves in cookery as there are – what else? – leaves on a tree. And that’s just the tree in your own backyard, so to speak. For every familiar bay leaf or sprig of mint used on one side of the globe, there’s an equally common counterpart on the other.

Abundant in markets and often found in home gardens throughout Asia, the following three cooking leaves are used in a variety of recipes ranging from drinks to desserts. In the West, they are most likely available at Asian grocers either frozen or as extracts, although they are increasingly being offered fresh as well. For a different flavor in your next recipe, consider adding these aromatic leaves to your pantry.

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The Latin Tongue: Marissa's Deli

We started this Latin eating series for many reasons, but one of them was the idea that we would solve the many mysteries that lie within those places you so often drive by but never stop to investigate. For me, I've always wondered about the large building on the corner of Nicollet and 28th that has so many interesting sign, names and dimensions. Most folks might notice the Marissa's Panaderia sign on 28th. Some might notice the names El Mariachi or El Nuevo Mariachi. Whatever is going on there, I surely had no clue and as often as I am in the neighborhood, be it by bike, bus or auto, it is high time to settle it.


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Farm to Fork, a CSA Series: Taking the Easy Way Out...Broccoli, Cheese and Quick Pickles

This is part 3 of a summer long series about our CSA boxes and what we do with them. Recipes for Broccoli Cheese Soup and Instructions for Quick Pickles follow.

Suddenly I hated broccoli.  


I used to boast that I’ve liked every vegetable I have ever tasted. But when I kept pulling bunches of broccoli from the depths of my CSA box, I found myself filled with dread.  


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The Spice Odyssey: Cumin

Cumin adds quite the punch to  food, both exotic and everyday. Come along with this edition of the Spice Odyssey which includes some details about cumin as well as a couple of flavorful Pakistani recipes.
Description and Use

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American Meat: A Film Focused on the Small Farm



Sometimes a film just needs to be seen. It is hard to imagine more important issues that those that involve our food system and amazingly, we have been blessed in this country with all kinds of eye-opening food films and documentaries, from Food Inc. and King Corn to Super Size Me. Now we can add American Meat to the list. 

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Eating to Love: The Pause That Refreshes

*The information and opinions contained herein are for educational and entertainment purposes only. They are not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical and health advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.

This is part 2 of a series about changing your relationship with food. Part 1 was Eating to Love: The Challenge to Eat Responsibly.

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The Latin Tongue: Taqueria Hidalgo

Comfort is a curious thing. It can make you lazy, it can leave you stuck in a rut. It can even make you want to begin questioning something that you once previously loved and were passionate about. It may be too much to say that we are getting comfortable in our Latin eating adventures, but we do have moments where we start to think that we know what we are doing…a dangerous place to be for sure. A trip into the suburbs to visit a total unknown eatery should do the trick and set us straight.


It begins with the word Taqueria. For some reason we have found that any Latin eatery with this word in the title usually means the following things: small, unique, regional, very Mexican and very good. Now, the mere mention of the word can make me hungry.


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