Soupapalooza! Week Two with a Hearty (and Heartwarming) Minestrone

One of my earliest food memories is of eating soup with my dad. Both of my parents were medical residents and although I don't remember feeling juggled, I know that caring for me with two punishing call schedules was an elaborate dance. It must have been on those bleary-eyed nights when my mom was on call, that my dad would pull out the Campbell's Alphabet Soup. He would serve it in one big bowl and float big chunks of Meunster cheese in it which would melt into long gooey strings. Together we would eat, our heads touching, our spoons crossing - giggling, looking for letters and trying to get that cheese. 

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Paneer and Other Magic Tricks You Can Do in North Dakota*

I’ve learned that when you have to go around a room and introduce yourself by name and an interesting fact about yourself, it helps to be able to say, very casually, “I make paneer.” If you go on to explain that paneer is an Indian cheese, and you make it to use in some of your favorite curries, you will quickly see the room divide into two camps. One camp thinks you are crazy. The other wants to come to dinner.

In summer of 2008, at our neighborhood farmers' market, a man was beginning a cooking demonstration to promote his new cookbook, and the scent of sautéing garlic, ginger, and onion filled the air. My daughter, Cora, then two-years-old, was done with the market, having exhausted the thrill of buying her own carrot and tasting the cabbage leaves. We left, but I noted the book’s title.

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Brussels Sprouts: Tiny Yet Mighty

You say brussels sprouts, I say Brussels sprouts, she says brussel sprouts. What’s in a name? That which we call a rose…a rose cabbage, that is. This is what the Germans call these baby brassicas (“rosenkohl” = rose cabbage) that may be the funkiest and prettiest vegetable you’ll ever see growing. A tall, single leaf-topped stalk supports 20 to 40 buds crammed together like peas with no pod.

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This Week's CSA: A Boxful of Brassica

Arugala and parmesan

I was talking with someone at a party last week about how to manage the weekly load of vegetables from the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box. His approach is to identify the vegetables he likes the least, and eat them first.

"Otherwise," he intoned, “there's no hope for them."

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This Week's CSA Box: Satisfying Salads, Hold the Lettuce

On Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, a common complaint about eating healthfully was that people didn't want to eat “rabbit food” all the time. But, as Oliver demonstrated on the series, there's more to eating well than munching on lettuce and carrots. So with the ingredients from this week's CSA (community supported agriculture) box, I will showcase salads made without lettuce.

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The 10 Best Foods You Probably Aren't Eating... But Should: Here's One through Five

The most e-mailed story on the New York Times website last week was The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating. It’s a list of the most healthful foods that we should, but probably don't, regularly eat.

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Learning to Love Kohlrabi

kohlrabi When the most recent batch of local produce came from our Harmony Valley CSA last week, my kids wanted their pictures taken with each new vegetable. My daughter's colorful dress seemed like the perfect backdrop for this beautiful purple kohlrabi, which we ate over the weekend. To my less-than-expertly-trained palate, kohlrabi - which I'd never eaten before - tastes very much like cabbage.

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What to Do With Your CSA Bounty

My friend Doug sent me a great article from Slate the other day, written by Catherine Price.

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Choosing a CSA

CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) provide opportunities for people to eat locally, the get the kinds of foods you would normally find at local farmers markets, and to take part in the agricultural process. Most CSAs require some sort of ongoing commitment, such as a monthly fee in exchange for a weekly box of locally grown vegetables. Depending on where you live, the weekly box may include a wide assortment of mostly-root vegetables (kale, cabbage, squash, turnips in Minnesota, for example) or of anything else grown on a particular farm, in a particular climate. Many CSAs encourage their members to work at the farm for a day or more, to better understand the farming process and to get closer to local, sustainable food. Some require it. When I tell friends that I recently joined the Harmony Valley Farm CSA, they often start asking questions. Why did I join it? Am I concerned about the cost?

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Minneapolis Sustainable Food Initiative

minneapolis-sustainable The move towards sustainable food has not been lost on the city of Minneapolis. The City of Minneapolis Sustainable Food Initiative website lists these benefits associated with eating local, sustainable food:

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