Driftless Organics sunflower oil

Oils and Fats: An Overview Without Fear

Photo shows from left to right: Olive, Coconut, Toasted Sesame and Butter.

Look, its time we got over our fear of fats and started accepting them for the healthy, necessary part of our diets that they are. They are as necessary as any other element of food in order to have a nutritious, balanced diet. As a chef, I am able to see the value and deliciousness in all fats. As a realist, I understand that too much of anything can hurt you and that of course, there are some things it would be best not to form a habit around. See, I can appreciate a piece of baguette dipped in extra virgin olive oil AND a glazed donut fried and dripping in who knows what blend of hydrogenated and processed oils.


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Feeding the Family: One-Pot Weeknight Meal to Welcome Spring

I have a few things to confess up front. I don't like quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) much; it tastes bitter to me. I prefer brown rice, though I know quinoa packs a protein punch. Also, I'm not a big fan of kale. I eat it a lot during winter, since I know it's good for me and it has a long growing season in Minnesota. But to me, plain kale smells like a cow. I know these are heresies that could get me kicked out of the local foodie club, but I wanted to be up front about my prejudices since the following recipe managed to kick them to the curb.

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Sunflower Oil and Wisconsin's Driftless Organics

In 2007, Josh Engel of Driftless Organics Farm in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin planted a trial crop of sunflowers. It was a pilot run, so he only gave it a few acres. At the end of the season he harvested the seeds, pressed them, and gave the oil as gifts to friends and local chefs. They clamored for more, so Josh knew his experiment had been a success.

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Tenderloin, Not Turkey: A Less Traditional Holiday Meal

What's your holiday protein of choice? More often than not, turkey is what's for holiday dinner. Even for vegetarians, there's Tofurkey. Don't get me wrong. Turkey is great. It's a lean white meat, easily available locally from sources that raise the birds humanely. One turkey can feed a lot of people. Leftovers are easy to package up and send home, and can be used in many ways beyond the obvious turkey/mashed potato/cranberry sauce sandwich: turkey noodle soup, shredded turkey mango wraps, turkey pot pies, turkey noodle casserole, etc.

Chances are, though, most of you had turkey on Thanksgiving. And for several days after Thanksgiving. So I thought you might be interested in a not-so-traditional, non-turkey holiday feast for a gathering in December. Ham is an easy way to feed a crowd. Pork or beef roasts are nice, too. But when I was growing up, the main dish we were happiest to see on the table was a well-prepared beef tenderloin.

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