Archive | Spring 2012

WARM SPINACH SALAD WITH BALSAMIC REDUCTION

Serving: 2

1 bunch of fresh spinach

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until reduced by half, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until leaves are barely wilted. Add spinach to serving dish, sprinkle with goat cheese and walnuts, and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve warm.

From Julie Kolpin

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EDIBLE NATION: JUST LABEL IT!

Just Label It
by Naomi Starkman

In October, the Just Label It (JLI) campaign filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods, to give consumers the right to know what is in our food. Since then, more than 470 consumer, healthcare, environmental and farming organizations, manufacturers, and retailers have joined the campaign, generating more than 550,000 consumer comments to FDA.

GE food, also known as genetically modified organisms (or GMOs), are foods altered at the molecular level in ways that could not happen naturally. In 1992, the FDA ruled that GE foods do not need independent safety tests or labeling requirements before being introduced because it determined that they were “substantially equivalent” to conventionally produced foods. Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety and lead author of the JLI petition said, “We are asking the FDA to change a decade’s old and out of touch policy.”

Polls show that 93 percent of Americans want the government to label GE foods. Labeling is required in other countries, including the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Brazil, and China.

While nearly 90 percent of corn and 94 … Read More

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desserts

EDIBLE DELIGHTS: Eat Something Beautiful

Eat Something Beautiful
By DR Brown
Photography by Juliene Marie

“You are what you eat, so eat something beautiful.”

Proudly displayed inside the Cordial Cherry workshop and retail store, this inscription serves as a reminder of a special grandma and lessons transferred across generations. Melissa Hartman, Cordial Cherry owner, learned how to make chocolate covered cherries from her Grandma Sheldon, who encouraged Melissa to see the beauty in all things.

As a small child, Melissa would run around Grandma Sheldon’s house at Christmastime and grab a chocolate covered cherry from the counter top in the kitchen. These small bites were the start of a love affair with chocolate that would eventually find Melissa surrounding her own family with chocolate. The cherries are made the traditional way using Grandma Sheldon’s recipe with an artistic flair created by Melissa. Handcrafted and displayed as edible art, these tasty delights are the embodiment of eating beautifully.

Traditionally, chocolate covered cherries were a Christmas season treat. Today, with Melissa’s creative flair and desire for beauty, these treats help celebrate all major holidays, along with special occasions such as weddings, births and graduations.

Melissa’s creations help make each and every day a celebration. She continues to … Read More

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SIRLOIN STEAK IN BEER AND MOLASSES MARINADE

Serving: 6–8

2 (16-ounce) beef sirloin steaks

¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup dark beer

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon freshly grated gingerroot

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon garlic scapes, finely chopped, optional

Use a fork to poke holes all over the surface of the steaks, and place in a large glass baking dish. In a nonmetal bowl, mix together juice, beer, soy sauce, molasses, ginger and garlic. Pour sauce over steaks, and let sit at least 30 minutes.

Lightly oil grill grates and preheat grill to high heat. Remove steaks from marinade and add to grill. Pour marinade into a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for several minutes. Grill steaks for 7 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. During the last few minutes of grilling, baste steaks with boiled marinade.

From Julie Kolpin

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liquid

LIQUID ASSETS: Out of the Garage and into a Brewery

Out of the Garage and into a Brewery
Keg Creek Brewing Company
Story and Photography by Mike Brownlee

A pint of brown ale sits at the bar—just the right amount of foam at the top. The liquid settles nicely in the glass. A good pour. The beer is smooth and pleasant with a hint of hops in the aftertaste. One of the four regular products of Keg Creek Brewing Company, the brown ale is delicious.

“Craft beer is about tasting new and different styles,” says John Bueltel, a co-owner of the Glenwood, Iowa-based brewery. “You have to be willing to experiment.”

“When you get a good taste, with some flavor to it, you drink slower, you savor,” adds Art Renze, one of Bueltel’s partners.

Last summer, friends and home brewers Bueltel, Renze, Randy Romens and Grant Hebel left the garage to open Keg Creek.

“I’ll never forget that first day, never forget that date,” Romens says of their September 22 opening. “I thought it would get easier after that.”

Sitting at a table at their tasting room, Bueltel and Renze laugh at the thought. Business for the brewery has grown exponentially during the year after inception. The friends hold regular … Read More

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greens

Green Thumb for Hire

By Mike Watkins
Photography by Squeaky Green Organics

Imagine it: a beautiful cedar-plank raised-bed garden filled with gorgeous organic vegetables right there in your yard.

Many of us want to see that vision come true, but for various reasons can’t or won’t find the means to make it a reality. But it’s that kind of desire that is fertilizing a growing national trend known as “rent-a-farmer,” and part of why Bryan Kliewer created Squeaky Green Organics.

Squeaky Green customer Bob Cole admits to having a bit of a black thumb. He planted a selection of veggies in a small backyard garden plot in the spring of 2010, and despite his efforts to fertilize and nurture the plants, they didn’t make it. Then he met Bryan Kliewer.  “Bryan is incredibly easy to work with and has made it possible for me to grow great-tasting vegetables in my yard when I couldn’t do it on my own,” said Cole, who now has three cedar beds Kliewer built, planted and maintains for him each year.

“He told me that I had some bad soil for growing, so he created the right environment for me to grow my own vegetables each year.  They grew … Read More

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CREAMY SCRAMBLED EGGS

Serving: 2

3 eggs, pastured fresh or frozen (If using frozen eggs, thaw in refrigerator for

24 hours before preparing recipe. )

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

Chopped fresh herbs, optional

Melt butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk eggs and cream in a small bowl until yolks are completely incorporated with the whites. Pour eggs into saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until eggs are of desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and stir in fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

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EGGS

IN THE KITCHEN: THE EGG

The Egg
Understanding That Toughest and Most Fragile of Foods
By Summer Miller
Photography by Carole Topalian

Free range. Cage free. Pastured.

While these phrases are seen wherever eggs are sold, their meanings remain open to interpretation. In 1990, Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act to regulate and implement universal standards for organic production and labeling. However, descriptors such as “free range” and “cage free” rarely live up to what their meanings imply. Pastured—a term you won’t likely see on a grocery store egg carton—is the key to finding eggs in season from chickens that roam freely.

Yes, Eggs Have a Season

In addition to their foraging instincts chickens are photosensitive, which means they need light to lay. The more light the more eggs. As summer inches minute by minute closer to its solstice and its longest day, chickens produce more and more eggs. Once sunlight tips the scales and starts working toward more darkness than daylight, chickens lay fewer eggs.

“Right now I’m drowning in eggs,” said Lucy Cameron of Thistles & Clover Farm. “I can’t figure out how to get rid of them. It works out topsy-turvy. People start wanting eggs and get used to buying them … Read More

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CULTIVATORS: Table Grace Café

Table Grace Café
Offers a Slice of Hope
By Emily Brocker, Photography by Sarah Kay Bryan

Whether you’re down on your luck, between jobs or just on lunch break from one of Omaha’s many downtown businesses, you are welcome to eat a healthy, freshly made lunch at Table Grace Café. There are no prices in evidence.  Instead, this nonprofit café displays a donation box on the counter where patrons order. If you have no money in your pocket, you can pay for your meal by volunteering at the café. But Table Grace is about more than welcoming all to a good meal. “It’s about building community and getting the word out about hunger,” said founder Matt Weber.

Table Grace Café’s mission is “to foster a healthy community by offering great food prepared and served in a graceful manner to anyone who walks through the door.” The commitment to great food is no accident. Owner and Chef Weber received his training at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. He has a true commitment to serving healthy, fresh and nutrient-dense food to all who dine at Table Grace. The menu features gourmet soup, salad and … Read More

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