Celebrating Homegrown Food in St Paul

I made giant batches of Garlicky Greens & Beans and Firecracker Slaw to hand out to guests at a fun meeting of the Frogtown Gardens neighborhood organization on Jan 26th, at the Rondo Library in St Paul.

Add shredded raw beets to any slaw for a pop of color and sweetness.

About 120 people packed the room to see the launch of its new series of cooking videos “Frogtown Cooks” and hear an exciting announcement regarding its bid to create an urban farm. They also got to watch me wave my favorite cook’s knife around — bought next door at Shuang Hur Asian Grocery for $5 — and toss slaw. Everybody ate up and took home the Slaw recipe on cute little cards.

Basic Beans & Greens can morph into 20 dishes

I picked these 2 dishes because they’re easy, vegan (gluten-free, too) dishes made of very common and inexpensive winter-appropriate vegetables. Both recipes are on my Recipe page (scroll down). The Greens & Beans dish can use any combo of leafy greens and legumes. For that demo, I combined sautéed chopped fresh kale and canned black-eyed peas, and seasoned with dried sage, garlic and onions. I like the texture of freshly sautéed kale. However, if I were going to make a stew or soup, then it’s fine to start with frozen chopped greens, which are softer (and much easier).

Check out a snappy Frogtown Cooks Video Preview! and the entire series of cooking videos at Frogtown’s Youtube channel All the recipes featured in those videos of local cooks is on the Frogtown Gardens Blog. See Twin Cities Daily Planet article to learn more about all the good things this terrific group is doing in St Paul.

Another piece of good news last week on the local food access front: Hamline Midway Launches St Paul’s First Local Food Resource Hub.   Minneapolis already has 3 such hubs.

The work being done around Community Gardens means building community and relationships, sharing and teaching resources, increasing access to healthful food and celebrating all our food traditions — all at the same time. That’s why this movement is so exciting. It offers something concrete for everyone to grab a hold of and much to enjoy for its own sake, while raising the boat of community nutrition and quality of life.

Let’s hear it for local action! Yay, Hamline Midway! Yay, Frogtown!

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