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Posts about Healthy eating

Dinner for 2,000 in St. Paul

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: September 15, 2014 - 1:18 PM
Locally grown produce was featured at a meal for 2,000 in St. Paul. Photos by Richard Tsong-Taatarii/ Star Tribune

Locally grown produce was featured at a meal for 2,000 in St. Paul. Photos by Richard Tsong-Taatarii/ Star Tribune

The dinner table was the gathering place Sunday on Victoria Street in St. Paul. A half-mile dinner table, at that, which ran down the middle of the street between University and Minnehaha avenues as part of a project called "Create: The Community Meal."

The meal was intended to be both a piece of art -- "a big piece of social sculpture," as artist and organizer Seitu Jones described it -- and a reminder that mealtime should be about healthy food, with an emphasis on local fare.

"Everyone has a story written in proteins and carbohydrates and culture and family traditions," said Jones, who was inspired to create this "artwork" after watching people walk by his St. Paul studio in Frogtown with bags of groceries from the local convenience store. "At the heart of the project, it's really about food access, food justice and healthy eating," Jones told staff writer Rick Nelson in an interview.

A majority of the food came from within 50 miles of the Twin Cities, and the event itself brought farmers to the table to meet with those who ate their food.

 

Eric Avery and Martha Kaemmer await the bell to signal the start of the event.

Eric Avery and Martha Kaemmer await the bell to signal the start of the event.

A parade of hosts brought out the food to the guests.

A parade of hosts brought out the food to the guests.

 

 

 

Rick Nelson interviewed Seitu Jones in advance about the event. Jones spoke with photographer Richard Tsong-Taatarii in this video.

 

 

 

Recipes: Re-creating the Create meal at home

Posted by: Rick Nelson Updated: September 3, 2014 - 3:15 PM

For those who won't be among the 2,000 sitting down to dinner on St. Paul's Victoria Street on Sept. 14 for Create: The Community Meal (read the story here), consider re-creating the meal at home with these recipes, adapted from the chefs behind the event.

HONEY-GINGER-SOY CHICKEN

Serves 4.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. Adapted from SunnySide Cafe chef/owner James Baker for Create: The Community Meal.

1 tbsp. paprika

1 chicken, cut into pieces

1/4 c. low-salt soy sauce

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger

1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning

1/4 c. honey

Directions

Rinse chicken in water and pat dry, using paper towels. Rub paprika on chicken. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, ginger, pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Arrange chicken in a non-metallic baking dish (using one that just fits the chicken), pour marinade over chicken, cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375. Remove cover from chicken and bake 40 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, brush with honey and bake an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer baking dish to a wire rack to cool chicken for five minutes, and serve.

FOSOLIA

Serves 8 to 10.

Note: Adapted from Shegitu Kebede, co-owner Flamingo Restaurant in St. Paul. “The Flamingo Restaurant only serves this dish when green beans are in season,” writes Seitu Jones of Create: The Community Meal. “The green beans in the Fosolia for Create: The Community Meal will come from the Hmong American Farmers Association.”

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

2 1/2 lbs. green beans, halved and ends trimmed

1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and julienned

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, slowly saute onions until caramelized. Add green beans, carrots, green pepper, red pepper, jalapeno and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have slightly softened. Season with salt and pepper, transfer vegetables to a platter and serve.

Waste not: Repurpose bananas into terrific bread

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: April 27, 2014 - 11:34 AM
Photo by Richard Sennott

Photo by Richard Sennott

The VEAP building (Volunteers Enlisted in Assisting People) in Bloomington, which houses the largest food shelf in Minnesota (and offers many social services), has a new commercial kitchen, and with it a new effort to make good use of surplus fruits and vegetables. Their first project was to repurpose bananas into banana bread. They tinkered with a recipe to make it more healthful (whole wheat flour, less sugar, more bananas, less fat). See it below. Have to say it tastes mighty good.

For more about the program, go to the story.

BANANA BREAD

Makes 1 loaf.
Note: For the best flavor, use bananas that have lots of brown specks on the skin and that are slightly soft. Mash bananas with a table fork, potato masher or wire whisk; it’s fine to have small lumps remaining. A large, lengthwise crack in the thin, tender top crust of a quick bread is normal. From the kitchen of VEAP (Volunteers Enlisted in Assisting People) in Bloomington.

• 2 eggs
• 1/2 c. sugar (packed brown or granulated)
• 1/4 c. vegetable oil
• 1/4 c. fat-free or low-fat milk
• 2 tsp. vanilla
• 1 1/2 c. mashed very ripe bananas (5 to 6 medium) (see Note)
• 1 c. all-purpose flour
• 1 c. whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon


Directions

Move oven rack to low position so that top of pan will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with shortening or spray with cooking spray.


In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, milk and vanilla with wire whisk or spoon until smooth. Stir in mashed bananas until smooth. Stir in flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon with spoon or rubber scraper just until moistened. Pour into pan.


Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Cool 10 minutes. With a knife, loosen sides of loaf from pan and remove from pan. Place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Electricity out? Keep your food safe

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: June 24, 2013 - 4:10 PM

 

 

 
Is your refrigerator running? If so, better go catch it.

That was a joke from the 1930s as kids crank-called on the telephone. ("Do you have Prince Albert in a can? Better let him out," was another.)

It's not so funny if your electricity is off -- and so is your refrigerator.

When that's the case, you don’t have a lot of time before the food in your refrigerator could go bad — only 4 hours for many foods. The temperature to keep in mind is 40 degrees. Anything perishable — such as raw meat, cooked foods or soft cheeses — that’s been warmer than that temperature for more than 2 hours should be discarded, according to federal food safety guidelines. Fresh produce generally can be saved, though prewashed packaged greens should be discarded. Anything that’s been in contact with raw meat juices should be discarded. Do not gauge the safety of food by its taste or smell.

The key is to keep your refrigerator closed — don’t dip in there for a glass of milk because each time you open the door you cause the refrigerator to warm up faster. For a list of safety guidelines for specific foods, see www.foodsafety.gov.

Freezers, especially full ones, will stay cold for a longer period: full ones, 48 hours; half full, 24 hours. If frozen foods are thawed or partially thawed, they can be refrozen if there are still ice crystals in the food or if the food was at 40 degrees or below for less than 2 hours. Depending on the food, its quality may be affected by refreezing, though it will be safe to eat. Check the freezer temperature once the electricity comes back on to assure that it did not go above 40 degrees.

As with the refrigerator, if food has become thawed and has been held at a temperature warmer than 40 degrees for more than 2 hours, it should be discarded. For a list of safety guidelines for specific foods in the freezer, see www.foodsafety.gov.

Dry ice or block ice can help maintain cold temperatures during extended periods. According to foodsafety.gov, 50 pounds of dry ice should keep an 18-cubic-feet freezer that's full of food cold for two days.

Michael Pollan in town Thursday

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: April 30, 2013 - 10:16 AM

 

Photo by Ken Light

Photo by Ken Light

 

The procratinator's dilemma: Barely time left to get your tickets to hear Michael Pollan when he speaks Thursday evening, May 2 at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park.

The best-selling author, whose works are on the shelves of those following food issues, will talk about his new book,"Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation," as part of the synagogue's "Inspiring Minds" series. Pollan is the author of "Food Rules," "The Omnivore's Dilemma," "In Defense of Food," and other writings that have become must-reads in the food world. You can read my interview with him in the Taste print edition on Thursday and online Wednesday afternoon at www.startribune.com/taste.

 

Tickets for the event are as follows:

--  $500 for a VIP ticket, which includes a private reception (appetizers by Heidi and Stewart Woodman, chef/owners of Heidi's and Birdhouse) and a photo opportunity with Pollan, plus reserved seating and a copy of his new book.

-- $180 for reserved seating and a copy of the book.

-- $60 for a general admission ticket.

-- $25 for a senior (65 or older) or student general admission.

The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the synagogue, 5224 W. 26th St., St. Louis Park. For tickets or more information, see www.besyn.org/pollan or call 952-873-7300. There will be no ticket sales at the door.

 

 

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