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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Twelve Bags for Soup? Recipe: Thai coconut soup.

Anyone who knows me or read my article challenging consumers to be more conscious about packaging knows that I am always trying to use less and less. I suppose until I see more people hauling around coffee mugs and saying no to unnecessary bags, I will always be encouraging more thoughtfulness. I was thinking along these lines the other day as Kadin (my 6 year old son) and I were riding the bus and had to stop at the grocery store. 


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Fall Foraging: A Return To Our Roots

Header photo: Burdock by Shastared

The day might have made a magnificent postcard. Spring was staining trees with subtle hints of summer. A stream was carrying on an animated conversation with raindrops. Rocks were locked in a shining dual with water. Some humans, armed with buckets, boots, and plastic suits, stumbled toward the stream. They worked in silence, selecting tender sections of watercress. Then one of them spoke: "This is beautiful. It looks like a rain forest." I shot a surprised glance at the speaker. Blood sucking insects and relentless rain had clouded my beauty sensors. But the world in which we waded was indeed exquisite.

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Its Not Easy Being Green: Reflections On A Summer Of Yard Work

Over the past few years, my family and I have integrated various “green” practices into our home life. We eat more home-grown vegetables, have joined various community shares agriculture  programs (CSAs) and co-ops and have faithfully visited our local farmers’ markets.  “Going green” also means being considerate about the amount of waste generated by our family and about being good stewards to the land by monitoring our usage of various chemicals.

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Commercial Composting--What Is It?

Thanks to the resurgence in gardening and food in general, most of us know about compost. Many of us have even taken a shot at a backyard compost bin or even a vermicomposter. Now, Minneapolis is taking composting to the next level--commercial composting. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, perhaps you have seen signs promoting composting at restaurants and farmers markets. The Birchwood Cafe, Mill City Farmers Market, Bryant Lake Bowl, Bread and Pickle, and Anodyne are just some of the folks taking the initiative to compost everything from paper products to food waste.

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Wiping the Mess

Mo-pin-a (n.)  Italian slang for a dish cloth or napkin used at the dinner table .  

My first generation Italian mother grew up in Cleveland’s Little Italy during the World War II era. My mother often describes her childhood years as a struggle to get ahead. Each family member worked formidable jobs in order to put food on the table and to buy the items necessary in order to keep the household thriving. I’m quite sure “disposable” was not a word ever used during these times. The stories that are most pervasive and memorable are those of love born out of that shared struggle. The family came together and helped one another out in times of need. My mom recounts a story about how she didn’t have her own bed and bedroom until she was 18 years old because her aunt and uncle and three kids lived in her parents’ dining room.

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Stop the Waste Challenge: Easy Ideas for Everyone

There are 2.85 million people in the twin cities, 5.3 million in all of Minnesota, and over 300 million in the U.S. Each of these folks consumes probably, on average, 2 purchased beverages a day. Simple math tells us that we are throwing out 6 million (twin cities), 10 million (MN), and 600 million (US) containers a day. The website sustainability is sexy quotes information stating that Americans use 16-23 billion coffee cups per year. Just coffee cups! 

This is not a staged photo.This is not a staged photo.

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Gardening the Community: Lessons From Youth Leaders

That food justice organization in Six Corners--those kids who grow gardens where nothing but weeds and garbage stood before--they’re good neighbors to have, especially when you live in a nationally recognized food desert.

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Minnesota's Living Green Expo Features Local Foods and Chefs

Minnesota's Living Green Expo, taking place this weekend, May 7 and 8, celebrates ways to live and eat while supporting the sustainability and health of our planet. According to the email I received from the Living Green Expo:

The Living Green Expo is quickly becoming the place for Minnesotans to learn more about healthy and local foods. By eating locally grown products, we often get fresher, better tasting food, and we help stimulate economic development in our state. A sampling of Living Green Expo Local Food offerings include (more information follows):

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The Switch to a Cleaner Dirty Dozen

As the mother of two small children (age 2 ½ and 6 months), I try my best to make healthy eating choices every day. I make my own baby food (lots easier than it sounds and very cost-effective), use as little pre-packaged/processed foods to make meals as I can, and avoid sugar and junk food whenever possible. That being said, I will admit that I used to roll my eyes at the word organic. I looked at the prices and didn’t really understand why I was paying sometimes more than twice the price for the “same” foods.

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