At the Co-op

  • The Mighty Lentil
  • May 18th, 2015
  • Lentils…the most delicious legume in the world. Well, that may be up for debate, but they certainly are versatile. Here are four recipes from our Thursday night class all about the Mighty Lentil.

    Lentil Loaf

    A delicious alternative to the traditional meat loaf. The glaze is really the best part…

    Lentil and Brown Rice Casserole

    A very quick meal when you’re running low on fresh vegetables.

    Lentil and Spinach Soup

    Now that local spinach is available, this soup is even better than usual.

    Indian Tomato Dhal

    A great introduction to dhal as this is a very simple recipe. Serve it with rice, naan, or roti.

  • Italian Sauces
  • April 17th, 2015
  • Stefanie shared some delightful Italian sauce recipes with us during last night’s class. There are vegan, vegetarian, and meat-friendly recipes included.

    If you are interested in teaching a class at the Co-op, cooking or otherwise, contact Becca – 934.4880 or [email protected]

    Saffron Linguine

    This recipe calls for ham, but that can be skipped for a vegetarian version. It’s simple, but it can be a little fussy. Be sure to follow the steps.

    Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

    Two variations of the same sauce, both vegan friendly. The class overwhelmingly liked the version with olives and sun-dried tomatoes better, but both are delightful.

    DSC_0168Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon, and Bread Crumbs

    Don’t be fooled by the name, this is very easily adaptable to vegetarian or vegan diets by simply omitting the bacon (a few in class tried both and preferred the non-bacon version).

    American-Style Fettuccine Alfredo

    That perfect combination of butter, cream, and cheese. Extremely simple and very cost effective.

  • Seed Matters
  • April 14th, 2015
  • SeedMatters_logoWe usually don’t think about seed when we sit down to eat our cereal in the morning or tuck the kids into their cotton sheets at night, but it all starts with seed. And the seed we sow affects the quality, nutrition, cost and environmental impact of all the food we eat and every fiber we wear.

    During the last several decades of industrial agriculture, seed has been developed to be suited for intensive chemical agriculture. While this has sometimes resulted in higher yields, it has come with very real costs to our environment. Unintended consequences include air and water pollution, increased pesticide use, greater dependence on fossil fuels, degraded soil health, increased exposure to toxins for farm workers and the loss of biological and genetic diversity.

    The success of diverse, regional and resilient food systems requires a different approach to seed – an organic approach.


    Organic Mandan parching corn, originally grown by the Mandan people of North Dakota. (photo credit: Seed Matters)

    Seed Matters

    As a member of National Co+op Grocers (NCG), our co-op has partnered with the Clif Bar Family Foundation Seed Matters initiative to work to improve the viability and availability of organic seed and ensure healthy, nutritious and productive crops. Seed Matters, partnered with NCG co-ops, Organic Valley, Annie’s and Earthbound Farm Organic is making a noticeable difference. Across the country, organic farmers have received training from their programs and are returning to the fields with new skills in seed production and crop improvement. They launched the first ever fellowships in organic plant breeding and funded 13 graduate students, returning public seed research to the public good. And dozens of communities have received support to launch local seed swaps, launch free seed libraries and plant seed saving gardens.

    Learn more – and win a free organic gardening kit

    As food co-op owners, retailers and eaters we all want to protect our ability to choose food raised sustainably…but what can any of us as individuals do? You can begin to help determine the future of food by visiting the Seed Matters website to learn about and engage in seed solutions today.

    As an added incentive, visit the Seed Matters website between March 15and May 15 and you can enter a sweepstakes to win an organic garden kit that includes regionally appropriate organic seed, seed-starting materials, garden tools and seed saving educational materials. The prize also includes 4 hours of consultation with a local garden expert that specializes in edibles, and recipes designed by well-known Farm-to-Table chefs that are based on what you will harvest from the organic seeds provided in the kit. A total of four prizes will be awarded, nation-wide.

    Sow a better future with organic seed –


    Seed Matters Graduate Fellow Claire Luby, University of Wisconsin – Madison, is breeding colored carrots with increased nutrient density. (photo credit: Seed Matters)


  • Paleo Grainless Goods
  • April 2nd, 2015
  • Stacie Hassing, RD, LD, taught us the basics of a Paleo diet during class last week. She shared a number of delicious recipes, along with really great information on nourishing your body. You can visit Stacie’s Facebook page for more of her information.

    If you are interested in teaching a class at the Co-op, cooking or otherwise, contact Becca – 934.4880 or [email protected]

    Paleo Lifestyle 101

    What is a paleo diet? Stacie explains it, including examples of foods to eat and those to avoid.

    Blueberry Lemon Mint Muffins

    Perfect for breakfast on the go. Make a big batch and throw them in the freezer. This is a gluten-free recipe, too!

    DSC_0236Sweet Potato Hash

    Delicious on their own, or with an egg on top. These are easily adaptable to both vegetarians and meat-lovers.



    Turkey Apple Sausage Patties

    Breakfast for dinner? With these sausage patties, you just might think about it.

  • Make-it-Yourself Mixes
  • March 25th, 2015
  • Mason jars are all the rage these days. Fill yours up with Make it Yourself Mixes from Jenn and Denise’s class for a gift or yourself. Some of these are great for long-term storage while others are better suited for quick use. Most ingredients are available in the bulk aisle.

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  • Brunch and Breakfast Ideas
  • March 9th, 2015
  • Brunch, that crazy meal that qualifies as both breakfast and lunch. The creator of brunch was clearly a genius. Medea gave us some great ideas for brunch in her class last week – perfect for family gatherings or just a weekend treat.

    If you are interested in teaching a class at the Co-op, cooking or otherwise, contact Becca – 934.4880 or [email protected]

    IMG_0045French Toast Casserole

    Make it the night before, or right before baking. Fruity and delicious – consider smothering it with local maple syrup for added greatness.


    Easy Egg Casserole

    It’s called “easy” for a reason. A different take on the classic egg bake – easily adapted for vegetarian and omnivore eaters alike.

    Spring Trifle

    If you’re going for the looks and style award, go for the trifle. It looks as good as it tastes – experiment with your favorite fruits or cakes.

    Ambrosia Salad

    A refreshing side dish to either of the above casseroles. Use your favorite fruits and don’t skimp on the coconut.  Another great side dish is Sugared Orange Slices – Slice Oranges or Blood Oranges, sprinkle with sugar, refrigerate overnight. It pairs especially well with the Easy Egg Bake.

  • March Campaign
  • March 4th, 2015
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    The St. Peter Food Co-op is once again participating in the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign – raising food and funds for the St. Peter Area Food Shelf.  The Co-op is in a unique position, partnering both with community and business partners here in St. Peter and Co-ops throughout the state. Through these partnerships, the St. Peter Area Food Shelf benefits directly by receiving thousands of pounds of food/dollars to stock its shelves and, through the cooperative spirit, Minnesota Food Co-ops are repeatedly among the top contributors to the Campaign state-wide, falling in just behind some of Minnesota’s largest corporations.

    March is an especially important time to donate because all food and money given earn the St. Peter Area Food Shelf credits that can be used for purchasing food from Second Harvest throughout the entire year – the more we donate now, the more credits the Food Shelf receives to meet demand year round.

    The Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign is a unique event that unites Minnesota businesses, faith communities, schools, and civic groups for one month to focus on the issues of hunger and raise cash and food donations for nearly 300 food shelves throughout the state. All of the donations gathered in St. Peter, whether non-perishable food items or cash, go directly to the St. Peter Area Food Shelf, making this a prime opportunity to “give where you live.”

    In 2014, the St. Peter Food Co-op and partnering businesses and organizations contributed over 11,280 pounds/dollars to the St. Peter Area Food Shelf during the annual March Campaign.  With the addition of local churches, scout troops, and area schools, the Food Shelf received much needed donations. Through our partnerships with other Minnesota Food Co-ops, we collectively raised 107,660 pounds/dollars in our respective communities, making us the 4th top giver in the state.

    The St. Peter Food Co-op is proud to take part in the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign.  Though the Co-op makes regular donations to the St. Peter Area Food Shelf, we are excited to harness the power of our community and lead the drive to “give where you live” to make the impact even greater.

    Community members can make donations throughout the month of March at the following locations:

    Arts Center of Saint Peter
    Benedictine Living Community
    Central Square Apartments
    Dranttel Sales and Service Inc.
    First National Bank of Minnesota
    Good Samaritan Offices
    Good Samaritan Society Heritage Meadows
    HomeTown Bank St. Peter
    Jarraff Industries
    Mayo Clinic Health System St. Peter
    McDonald’s Nicollet County Bank
    Nutter Clothing Company
    River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic
    River Rock Coffee
    Scandian Grove Lutheran
    Select Communications
    SouthPoint Federal Credit Union
    St. Peter Community CenterMarchFoodShareLogoGreen
    St. Peter Library
    The Fair Emporium
    Wells Federal Bank
    Area churches

  • Crockpot Creations
  • March 4th, 2015
  • As winter holds on and rears its head one last time (hopefully this is the last time…), practice the art of crockpot cooking. Stefanie Hailperin has some delightful recipes that make the house smell good all day long.

    If you are interested in teaching a class at the Co-op, cooking or otherwise, contact Becca – 934.4880 or [email protected]

    Lentil and Smoky Eggplant Stew

    A great stew for vegetarians (or vegans) and meat-lovers alike. The lentils provide a great filling and the smoky eggplant leads to a distinctive and delicious flavor. Oh, and it’s really (really) easy.

    Lamb and Apricot Tagine with Almond Couscous

    With year-round availability of local, grass-fed lamb, courtesy of Shepherd’s Song Farm, this is a great option for chilly weather.

    Korean Beef Short Rib Stew

    Mushrooms and beef are meant to be together. This recipe offers a nice twist to a more traditional beef stew.

  • Julienne? Fricassee? Roux?
  • February 20th, 2015
  • Last night was all about cooking basics – what those funny terms in recipes mean, various techniques, and the importance of the “just try it” attitude.

    If you are interested in teaching a class at the Co-op, cooking or otherwise, contact Becca – 934.4880 or [email protected]

    The World’s Easiest Vinaigrette

    Really, it’s that easy. This dressing will last for weeks in your fridge and there is an array of variations for experimentation. A great way to add some excitement to your salads.

    Goat Cheese Souffle

    Souffle isn’t as scary as it sounds. And if it falls flat? Then call it a frittata! The taste won’t disappoint. But, some tips to prevent a fallen souffle: keep the oven door closed (changes in oven temperature will cause even the most finely crafted souffle to fall) and you want your egg whites to have a lot of air in them, carefully fold them into the bechamel sauce so they hold that air (less air = less puff).


    Mirin-Baked Pears

    A light and delicious dessert  or as a side for smoked meat or poultry dishes. This is also delicious using apples instead of pears. IMG_0019IMG_0014

  • How-to: Grind-Your-Own Nut Butter
  • February 17th, 2015
  •  Jenn, our bulk buyer here at the Co-op, took some time to show off our nut grinders (almond and peanut) and explains how to use them.

     peanut butter snap shot

    Why grind-your-own?

    - Freshness: you can’t get a fresher nut butter
    - No additives, just peanuts or almonds
    - Add-your-own mix-ins: honey, salt, raisins, cinnamon…
    - Portion control: take as much or as little as you like
    - Delightfully delicious

  • Healthy, Hearty Soups
  • February 13th, 2015
  • Warren Friesen is one of the Co-op’s resident bakers. Last night he stepped out of his typical realm and dove into the land of soups. Healthy hearty soups, to be exact.

    Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Bisque

    This is a recipe in and of itself, or it can be a great base to build upon.

    Tuscan Bean Soup

    This soup is a great way to work those vegetables into your daily diet. It can easily made with our without meat and the beans make it a full meal either way.

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  • Seasonal Produce: Citrus
  • February 6th, 2015
  • With all of that delicious Texas citrus floating around, Cody (from our produce department) shared some delicious recipes for enjoying this seasonal sensation.

    If you are interested in teaching a class at the Co-op, cooking or otherwise, contact Becca – 934.4880 or [email protected]

    Baked Chicken with Orange Juice

    Adapted from “The Joy of Cooking,” this recipe is especially delicious with freshly squeeze orange juice.

    Grapefruit Salad

    Delicious as a side dish.

    Beet Citrus Goat Cheese Salad with Fennel

    This salad can be served either as the main dish, or a side salad. Be careful with the red beets, they can stain!


    Kumquat Stir-Fry







    Blender Hollandaise Sauce

    This is a great accompaniment to roasted vegetables, potatoes, or the classic eggs Benedict. Cody served it with baked asparagus spears – just place asparagus on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 15 minutes or so at 350.

    It does not hold up well as a left-over, though, so be sure to use it all at once.


  • Vegetarian Recipes
  • January 30th, 2015
  • Stefanie taught a great class on vegetarian cooking, utilizing both pantry staples and interesting ingredients.

    If you are interested in teaching a class at the Co-op, cooking or otherwise, contact Becca – 934.4880 or [email protected]

    Spinach Tomato Cheese Strata

    Don’t let the eggs fool you, this Strata doesn’t have to be relegated to the breakfast menu. Feel free to use experiment with different cheeses or greens.


    West African Groundnut Stew

    (from 150 Vegan Favorites by Jay Solomon) via the Winterfeldt’s)

    Naturally vegan and gluten free, this is a hearty and delicious stew.

    Sauteed Peppers with Balsamic Vinegar

    (adapted from The Antipasto Table, Michele Scicolone, 1991)


    Ginger Cake

     (from the William-Sonoma Baking Book)


  • Compost at the Co-op
  • January 23rd, 2015
  • The Co-op deli has been composting in the back for well over a year, diverting 27 tons of waste from the landfill.  Just this week, we drilled new holes in the garbage area, so we could compost in the seating area, too. Take note of the change and we’ll report back on how much waste we’re turning into soil, instead of into the landfill. Where’s it going? Full Circle Organics has a composting facility in Good Thunder.

    compostable large sign


  • Healthy Snacks
  • January 23rd, 2015
  • The Superbowl is drawing near, so Emily brought some great appetizer recipes. Whether you’re rooting for the Patriots or the Seahawks, or you just watch for the commercials and camaraderie,  good food is a must!

    Bean Salsa

    A delightful twist on your traditional salsa, serve it with chips, crackers, a baguette, or just go ahead and eat it all by itself (yes, it is that good).


    Chinese Chicken Wonton Crunchies

    Baked, not fried. With the right amount of crunch and easy to prepare.


    No Bake Energy Bites

    Follow the recipe, or change to suite your taste…

    • Chocolate: This recipe calls for dark chocolate chips but fee free to substitute in any other kinds of chips (butterscotch, milk chocolate, white chocolate, etc.).  For vegans, try cacao nibs.
    • Nut butter: With so many peanut allergies floating around, sometimes it’s best to try a different nut butter. Cashew, almond, or sunflower butters would make great alternatives.
    • Sweetener:  Honey works really well in this recipe, but agave or maple syrup would do the trick, too.

    Cinnamon Honey Fried Bananas

    These are great on their own or with ice cream or chocolate.


  • Class Recipes
  • January 16th, 2015
  • Erica Idso-Wesiz taught a fabulous class at the Co-op that was all about warm comfort food for winter time. To accommodate some class participant requests, Erica made each of her recipes both gluten and dairy free. If you’re interested in taking a class with us, here is the full list. Please remember to register with Community Education by calling 934-3048. If you would like to teach a class, contact Becca at [email protected] or 934-4880.

    Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

    (originally from




    Mac N’ Squash

    (adapted from


    VaVa Voom Carrot Cake

    (Recipe from “Gimme Some Oven”; Cake recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

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