Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fun Food

My friend Kim and I went to our first cooking class last night. We're lucky to live in Ashland, where our Co-op has all kinds of classes, and where the shelves are filled with local beef, bread, dairy, and produce.

Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms in Virginia, who was featured in "Food, Inc." and in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, was just here, too!

The class Mary Shaw taught was insightful -- and delicious!

Kim and I feasted on carrot/parsley/poppy seed/sunflower salad, tamari almonds,and kale and French lentil salad.

Here are my favorite tips:

* The biggest sellers at the Co-op are consistently Fugi apples, bananas, avocados and almonds.

* The biggest frozen food seller? Blueberries, by far.

* Red wine vinegar is $5.50 a pound by the bottle, $.77 by bulk.

* To get more calcium from nuts, roast them lightly first.

* Lentils are high in fiber, iron, and folates (which regenerate tissue).

* Acid aids calcium availability in greens; Add lemon or vinegar as dressing.

* Federal stimulus money for creating poultry processing plants is available -- and Ashland is snatching it up!

* And my favorite? The best oatmeal raisin cookie recipe ever comes from The Joy of Cooking.


Elana Johnson said...

Sounds like so much fun! Maybe I should take a cooking class.

anjie said...

Uh, so you'll be okay with u-bake pizza Friday night? I'll buy some bulk red wine vinegar to dip it in...

Love these informative tidbits. Reminds me to pay more attention.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Thanks a lot, Jennie. Now I'm hungry for gourmet food. Problem? It's not going to happen! Ha ha. :-)

Jennie Englund said...

Elana, you so SHOULD take a cooking class. Mostly, it just inspired me to cook healthier -- and with bulk!

Anj, Papa Murphy's is our fave. Dave tried to get it today. The bacon/chicken/artichoke/spinach thing is THE BOMB!

And Shannon, let me share a secret recipe that's super healthy, super quick, and amazingly yummy:

Fry up some ground beef, turkey, or pork with fresh garlic and chopped onion. Add a can of diced tomatoes and garbanzo beans. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, and a handful of fresh basil. Simmer a while.

Serve over baked potatoes and top with cheese, sour cream, and salsa.

FABULOUS!!! (Your family will think you a genius and hand over the serious gratitude).

Robin said...

Oh, yummy! Taking a cooking class is on my list of things to do some time, like this decade. You're motivating me!!!

Sharon Mayhew said...

It sounds like you had fun, Jennie. My daughter and I are vegetarians (I do eat fish). What state do you live in? What kind of Co-op are you talking about? I guess I've never heard of one other than where farmers buy supplies.

Jennie Englund said...

I say, DO IT, Robin! You so won't regret it! (Just take a fun friend with you so you can gossip during the slow parts, like seed-frying).

Sharon, I live in lovely Southern Oregon. Where are you?

Across the west are food co-ops: cute little organic markets that try to carry local products. But since, with Ashland's huge artsy-ness and wealth, there are also quite a few farms, we have the farm co-op too. Cute chicks are coming any time.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Jennie--We moved to Iowa (almost Minnesota) about 18 months ago. I'll have to ask around to see if we have anything like your co-ops here. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

That sounds like a fabulous recipe, Jennie - you rock! :-)

And I have an award for you on my Saturday post. :-)

Ken said...

Jennie, please share your special know the one I mean..the one where you start by bowling your fresh-bought co-op chicken across the parking lot.