Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekly Recipe #129: Garden Fresh Pico

by Leah Gramlow. Leah is a dietitian and volunteer at Open Arms for various client related projects. She is looking forward to beginning the Oregon State University’s MPH program for Health Promotion and Health Behavior this fall.

I use this pico on top of just about everything I eat including tortilla chips, beans and rice, fish tacos, and eggs. It adds color and flavor, not to mention tons of healthy naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Cilantro, scallions, and coriander are beneficial for digestive health and immune function; and those sweet, delicious tomatoes are high in vitamin C and vitamin A (important for cell regeneration, including skin cells!)

This pico is even more satisfying when you use ingredients from your garden or from a local farmer. Tomatoes, cilantro, and scallions are staples in my garden. If they are not ready to harvest in my own garden, I purchase organic, and sustainably grown ingredients from the local coop or farmer's market.

EDITORS NOTE: This week's recipe is all about eating without turning on your oven. Pair this with some blue corn tortilla chips, a large icy glass of fizzy water, a lawn chair set inside a kiddie pool, some fun music and you'll be all set.

Garden Fresh Pico

2 cups grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
4-5 scallions
1 handful of fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. coriander
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 lime – zested and juiced
1 Tbsp. olive oil

  1. Wash the tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and lime under cold running water. 
  2. Dice tomatoes and set aside in a medium sized bowl. 
  3. Thinly slice scallions on the diagonal, and add them to the tomatoes. 
  4. Remove some of the larger, thicker stems of cilantro, and discard. Chop up the cilantro (some remaining stems are okay as long as they are chopped small enough. It adds a little extra texture!) 
  5. Add the cilantro, coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt to the tomato and scallion mixture. 
  6. If you have a small grater, zest the limes before cutting them. The zest will add more flavor if you choose to add it. Then cut and squeeze the lime over your mixture. 
  7. Finally, stir all the ingredients up until the ingredients look evenly distributed. Drizzle olive oil over the mixture, cover, and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving so the flavors can develop.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Weekly Recipe #128: White Bean & Tomato Salad

By Rylee Ahnen, University of Minnesota Nutrition Major 

I don’t know about you, but I am often torn between my love of salad and being tired of eating a pile of iceberg lettuce. Well fear not! I’ve found a new salad that is quick and easy to make (just plan some time to marinate the shallots!), delicious, and fantastically cool during the warm summer afternoons. Better than that, it’s healthy too. The cannellini beans contain lots of fiber, protein, and iron while the tomatoes provide vitamins A & C.

A fresh new salad is just a few quick steps away. Enjoy as a side to a meal or as a small meal on its own.

White Bean & Tomato Salad
Adapted from

½ cup shallot (Finely chopped)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 medium tomatoes
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans (drain & rinse)
½ cup basil (torn)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1. In a large bowl combine chopped shallots and red wine vinegar. Set aside to marinate for 30 min – 2 hours
2. Core the tomatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add to the same bowl as the marinated shallots.
3. Add cannellini beans, basil and olive oil.
4. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Gently toss, and serve.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Weekly Recipe #127: Lime Dressed Slaw

by Leah Gramlow. Leah is a dietitian and volunteer at Open Arms for various client related projects. She is looking forward to beginning the Oregon State University’s MPH program for Health Promotion and Health Behavior this fall.

This salad is the perfect crunchy side to any meal. On top of that, it is really easy to prepare. It pairs beautifully with rice and black beans, chicken or fish tacos. If you end up with leftovers, use it up for breakfast the next day by sautéing a single portion for 3 minutes and serve with eggs cooked to your preference. I always choose sunny side up served right on top, so I can break the yolk and mix it in.

In addition, red cabbage is a good source of anthocyanins- a compound that can play a preventative and therapeutic role in inflammation and disease management.

Lime Dressed Slaw
4 servings

½ small red cabbage
3 large carrots
3 scallions
½ jalapeño
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
zest and juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

To prepare:
Wash all produce under plenty of cold running water. Finely chop cabbage lengthwise to make ribbons, and place in a large mixing bowl. Grate or julienne carrots, whichever you prefer, then add to the bowl. Thinly slice scallions crosswise, discarding or composting the thicker, dark green part. Add sliced scallions to the bowl. Finely mince jalapeno and cilantro and mix into the bowl, until all ingredients are evenly distributed. In a separate bowl whisk together lime zest, juice, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix in well.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekly Recipe #126: Quick Snack Energy Cookies

Over the coming weeks, the recipes come from Ashley Majer, a nutrition student at St. Catherine University. Ashley became involved with Open Arms last fall when her Food Service Management class participated each week in our morning pack-out. Since then, she's continued volunteering in the kitchen, at the farm and by submitting some of her favorite recipes, like the one below.

This recipe is a favorite of hers when she's busy with work and school. 



· 3/4 cup wheat germ
· ¾ cup whole wheat flour
· 1 cup rolled oats
· ½ cup non fat dry milk
· ½ cup butter
· 1 egg
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· 1 cup honey
· ¼ cup apple juice
· 1/2 cup craisins
· ½ cup coconut meat, shredded
· 1 cup carob chips
· 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
· 1 Tablespoon coconut oil


Preheat oven to 350’F and use oil to cover cookie sheet. In a medium bowl stir together the wheat germ, whole wheat flour and non fat dry milk. In a large bowl mix together the butter, egg, vanilla, honey, apple juice and slowly add mixture from other bowl mixing completely.

Mix in oats, carob chips, sunflower seeds and coconut shreds. With slightly damp hands roll dough into one inch balls and place on cookie sheet leaving three inches of cooking space between. Cook for 16 minutes or until golden brown and let cool.