Breakfast smoothies a hit at Cooper High School

Students at Cooper High School were given a new option on the breakfast menu last week, and if the first few days are any indication, smoothies have hit the spot. The fruit and yogurt smoothies were first served on March 4, when 100 of the beverages sold out in the first eight minutes of serving. During breakfast on March 6, 175 smoothies sold out in less than 10 minutes.”This week is National School Breakfast Week, and it was our goal to serve the smoothies for the first time this week,” said Child Nutrition Program Assistant Michelle Sagedahl. “Cooper has worked hard to get the program up and running. Child Nutrition works hard to offer choices that are popular with students and that coincide with current trends. A wide variety of options were already being offered daily for breakfast, but smoothies offer one more choice for students.”The school is able to provide the smoothies due to a partnership with the Action for Healthy Kids, a national nonprofit that fights childhood obesity, undernourishment and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places. Continue Reading

Shopping farmer’s markets with SNAP benefits gains steam

Fresh fruits and vegetables grown right here in Minnesota are a staple of farmer’s markets, so allowing low-income consumers to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program vouchers to purchase fresh, healthy foods at the markets makes sense, according to Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth).Anderson sponsors HF352, which would appropriate $2 million in the next biennium to create the “Healthy eating, here at home” grant program. Nonprofit organizations could apply for grants to work with Minnesota-based farmer’s markets to provide $10 vouchers to SNAP participants who use their electronic benefits transfer card to make healthy purchases.The bill was laid over by the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee Wednesday for possible omnibus bill inclusion. SF316, a companion sponsored by Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Mpls), is scheduled for a March 18 hearing by the Senate Finance Committee.Grocery stores could also accept vouchers for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables if a federal waiver is obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.“This is something I strongly support,” said Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), chair of the House Agriculture Finance Committee.Pilot programs have proved successful and now it’s time to expand the program statewide, said Colleen Moriarity, executive director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota. The program could help up to 495,000 SNAP participants, Moriarity said.Shopping at farmer’s markets is a great way to socially engage in the community while supporting local agriculture, she added.[See originl piece here:] Continue Reading

Becoming a Lao Restauranteur: Eric Virakhone Panya

When I first moved to Fort Worth, Texas in July 2013, I was told that there was vibrant Lao community nearby. In fact, according to the U.S. Census, there are about 10,000 Laotian Americans in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex alone. Out of that 10,000, about 3,000 reside in the Fort Worth Area. I was excited; perhaps adjusting to life in Texas wouldn’t be too hard with a Lao community nearby and most of all, Lao comfort food readily available right around the corner.A quick Yelp! search led me to Sikhay Restaurant in Northeast Fort Worth. Continue Reading

Eating the Traditional Asian-American Diet is Healthy!

[See original article here:]Asian Americans who grew up in the U.S. have been influenced over their lifetime of how to eat healthy. The American diet is shown in a food pyramid that doesn’t really represent or incorporate foods from other cultures. Many people choose to mix in both diet and switch other things. But did you know that many Asian cultures actually have a healthy diet too? Here’s an example of what many Asian foods consist of.So what are the main differences between the two diets?1. One difference between Western and Eastern diet is at the bottom of the pyramid. Continue Reading

Laomerican Cuisine: Laopherd’s Pie

[You can read the original post here:] Recently, Little Laos on the Prairie’s Bryan Thao Worra coaxed acclaimed Northside blogger and community builder Jeff Skrenes into being the guinea pig for a new addition to Lao American cuisine with a concept he referred to as Laopherd’s Pie. Ever a good sport, Jeff Skrenes took him up on it and shared his after-action report with us. You can read the original at North by Northside: A recent Facebook conversation with my favorite former Minnesotan,Bryan Thao Worra, centered around cultural comfort foods and culinary fusion.  As more and more Southeast Asians (and other immigrants) locate in Minnesota, they will bring their comfort foods with them–laab meat, papaya salad, sticky rice, etc.  Here in the midwest, we’ve already got plenty of our own comfort foods, such as shepherd’s pie, the infamous hot dish, and various jello and fruit conglomerations.So we began to ask ourselves, what would happen if some of these Scandinavian and Southeast Asian foods were to be combined in some unholy culinary syncretism? Continue Reading

Are upscale Native American inspired foods the next food trend? North Coast Nosh brings in hundreds who think it is.

If fry bread tacos are the only Native American food you’ve heard about, you may be in for a surprise. A new movement, to take traditional and native ingredients – pre-colonization ingredients like potatoes, corn, dandelion, fish and buffalo – and move them upscale is taking root in Minnesota. The North Coast Nosh, held at the Minnesota History Center on Feb. 19th, featured more than 20 regional food businesses, with food samples and chances to learn about the new take on an ancient style of food. Many Native American operations were represented, but all focused on traditionally inspired high quality local ingredients and healthy cooking. Chef Sean Sherman, owner of Sioux Chef catering, a featured host at North Coast Nosh, was handing out samples of a mixed bean stew with maple braised turkey legs, wild rice and micro amaranth greens. Sherman has been on a mission to educate people on cooking and eating haute native dishes since 2011, giving talks and holding pop-up restaurant events. At the most recent, held at the Astor, he served elegant versions of rabbit, duck, squash, and smoked whitefish, using all local ingredients. “I’ve been working in fine dining for years, so building composed plates is something I do,” he said. Continue Reading

IGGERS DIGEST | Katar River: flavors and aromas of Ethiopia

It’s easy to miss the Katar River restaurant, hidden away in a little industrial strip behind the Lake & Hiawatha shopping center in south Minneapolis. And even if you saw the big sign outside, you probably wouldn’t know that this is specifically an Ethiopian restaurant, and a very good one. The basic menu is pretty much the same as most of the other Ethiopian restaurants in town – you get a big platter draped with thin sheets of spongy pancake-like injera bread, topped with your choice of one or more meat or vegetable dishes. Most entrees are in the $10.95-$12.95 range, and easily big enough for two. The meats are mostly stews of lamb, beef or chicken, ranging from mild to spicy, while the vegetable options include slow-cooked preparations of cabbage, carrots, lentils, split peas, beets, green beans and collard greens. Continue Reading

SUPPERTIME | Fika’s secret culinary weapon

Suppertime is a blog in comics form, exploring local restaurants, bars and other food establishments in and around the Twin Cities. I eat, I talk, I draw. This last week we went to Fika, a swell lunch spot in general but a they have a certain course that could steal your heart away. Continue Reading

TC Weekend | Artability Art Show & Sale, Food Day, Metamorphosoup Puppet Extravaganza & more

Our stretch of lovely fall weather continues this weekend with highs in the 60s and plenty of sunshine! This weekend’s events offer opportunities to get out and enjoy the season with puppetry and art, local Food Day fun, film, crafts and more.Looking for seasonal fun this weekend? Check below:Halloween happenings: Creeps, crawls, candy and more: Halloween highlights in the Twin CitiesNon-Halloween fall fun: Pumpkins, caramel and more; Twin Cities fall fun Also, we’re gearing up for the holiday season! If you know of great holiday/seasonal events, use our calendar to upload the event, or send an email to to spread the word! Twin Cities Film Fest, October 23- 25The fifth annual Twin Cities Film Fest is wrapping up with a bang. This weekend’s offerings include: Fantasia Film Fest hit “Time Lapse,” from director Bradley King, “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, and Lynn Shelton’s comedy “Laggies” starring Keira Knightly and Chloe Grace Moretz, to name a few. Continue Reading