All posts by Kate D

Iowa Food Co-op: Your Year-Round Farmers’ Market Solution

Stop by the Iowa Food Cooperative (IFC) on alternate Thursdays and you will see the “scramble” in action. What’s getting scrambled is the result of hundreds of local food enthusiasts, who create custom food orders on the co-op’s website. Iowa farmer producers deliver a bounty of vegetables, eggs, meat, dairy products, baked goods, sauces and more to fill these orders over a day and a half. The scramble begins at 2 p.m. Thursday when all the deliveries are quickly reorganized so consumer buyers can receive their individual orders as early as 4 p.m.

Ryan Marquadt, IFC general manager, will tell you just how much fun a team of mostly volunteers have on the scramble days. Not only is it a challenge, it supports Iowans who care about where their food comes from and how it’s produced. Located on Franklin Street in the Merle Hay neighborhood of Des Moines, the IFC is in its 11th year of operation. 

As a producer member for over ten years, past board president, and now the general manager since March, Marquadt is well equipped to lead this effort to build a food community.  Along with his wife, Janice, and their two children the Marquadts are 5th generation famers near Van Meter.  In their farm operation, Wild Rose Pastures, they provide pasture raised, chemical-free and antibiotic-free turkeys, broiler chickens, eggs, and grass-fed beef at the IFC on-line store. 

“As farmers markets are ending their season, the IFC continues year-round access to hundreds of food and non-food products directly from Iowa farmers and artisans,” states Marquadt.  He adds, “This is a tremendous opportunity for Iowans to support fellow Iowans in eating quality local foods.”

Facts about the impact of the Iowa Food Cooperative in Iowa:

  • All of our products are sold by producers who have grown, made, or raised each item
  • 1,600 different products are offered for sale
  • The top 4 selling items are eggs, ground beef, yogurt and leafy greens
  • We offer 10 different distribution sites for consumers to pick up their order
  • Over 300 farmer producers and 1400 consumer buyers are members
  • Producers provide profiles that describe their production practices
  • Annually over $400,000 in sales occur at the cooperative
  • 82.5% of the purchase price goes straight to our farmer-owners
  • We have 8 part-time staff and 60 volunteers; both are essential to the success of the cooperative
  • We help protect Iowa’s air, water, soil and wildlife by supporting farming practices that enhance the environment

To become a member or learn more about the Iowa Food Cooperative check our website at or contact Ryan Marquadt at or 515-978-1034.

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili

Let's talk chili, Cincinnati chili, in particular. When I explain this particular chili to folks, I start by saying it's not the reddish, tomato-based Tex-Mex chili they're used to eating; it's best to think of Cincinnati chili as a mole of sorts since it contains both chocolate and cinnamon. Yes, I know that seems like an odd thing to put on spaghetti or hot dogs, but trust your Recipe Lady on this one, it just works and it works well.

How did this strange dish come to be?

The history of Cincinnati Chili – a heart felt story of two Macedonian refugees who fled to America from Argos Orestiko in order to escape the Balkan Wars in 1921: Macedonian immigrant Tom Kiradjieff created Cincinnati chili in 1922. With his brother, John, Kiradjieff opened a small Greek restaurant called the Empress. The restaurant did poorly however, until Kiradjieff started offering a chili made with Middle Eastern spices, which could be served in a variety of ways. He called it his “spaghetti chili.” Kiradjieff’s “five way” was a concoction of a mound of spaghetti topped with chili, chopped onion, kidney beans, and shredded yellow cheese, served with oyster crackers and a side order of hot dogs topped with more shredded cheese.

The 'ways' of the chili:

Two-way: spaghetti topped with chili

Three-way: spaghetti topped with chili and shredded cheddar

Four-way: spaghetti topped with chili, cheese, and chopped onion

Five-way: spaghetti topped with chili, cheese, chopped onion, and beans

For a Cincinnati coney, substitute a hot dog in a bun for the spaghetti


IFC Ingredients:

Ground beef

Cheddar cheese


Crushed red pepper

Hot dog buns

Hot dogs


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 TB vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 TB chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 ounce unsweetened chocolate about 1/2 of a square of baker’s chocolate or 3/4 tsp of cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups beef broth
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper


  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Diced onion
  • Cooked kidney beans

For serving: cooked spaghetti or hot dogs


    • In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 6 minutes.
    • Add beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Stirring frequently, cook until browned.
    • Add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, chocolate, beef broth, tomato sauce, cider vinegar, and red pepper. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
    • Remove bay leaf and serve over cooked spaghetti with the toppings of your choice, or on hot dogs.


    Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days; or, frozen in an airtight container for up to 9 months.

    Local Wonderland Winter Farmers’ Market

    Save the date for our annual winter market! This event is open to all–you do not need to be a member!

    Get a chance to meet the farmers, makers + food producers behind your favorite products. Know the artisans who make the gifts you give.

    Locally produced food and gifts, from fresh local greens to cheese, meat to eggs, honey to beeswax candles.

    A list of producers + their products at our market:

    • Huber Family Farms/carrots
    • Meadow BlazingStar Honey/honey and beeswax products
    • Ebersole Cattle Co/beef products
    • Raccoon Forks Farm/handmade soap + cloth bags + folk art from reclaimed wood + storage produce + eggs
    • Lucky George/pork + soaps
    • Lost Lake/cheese
    • LSI Refugee Services/woven goods
    • The Pet Bistro/dog + cat food and treats + gift sets
    • Corazon Coffee Roasters/coffee by the mug + bags of coffee and tea, and ceramic mugs
    • Herbal Bliss Soaps/soap
    • Sunrise/garlic + micro-greens + Mexican folk art
    • BRAISED Bone Broth Co/chicken bone broth + samples + superfood seasoning blends + gift cards
    • Wild Rose Pastures/beef products + turkey
    • Global Arts Therapy/soap
    • Sipma Farms/storage produce
    • Nosh Eatery/frozen yogurt
    • Lola’s/hot sauce and drink mix gifts

    Boeuf Bourguignon

    Boeuf Bourguignon

    What happened to fall?! With this winter-like weather, warm up with this ultimate comfort food. Since this recipe makes enough for 4 or 5 large servings, plan for leftovers and serve it with buttered egg noodles for an easy weeknight reheat.


    • 3-4 lb beef roast chuck, sirloin, round, or rump cut into 2″ chunks
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • 6 TB all-purpose flour
    • 3 TB tomato paste
    • 6 TB sherry wine I do not recommend cooking sherry – use wine that you would drink
    • 1/4 lb bacon or pancetta diced, including drippings
    • 1 – 2 TB ghee
    • 1/2 lb shallots peeled and thinly sliced
    • 2 cups red wine burgundy, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir
    • 8 sprigs of fresh parsley
    • 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
    • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3/4 – 1 lb mushrooms sliced
    • 1/3 cup butter
    • salt & pepper
    • 2 TB fresh parsley chopped (for garnish) – optional
    • Mashed potatoes potatoes, milk, butter, salt & pepper and rustic bread (farm house, French, Italian, baguette, brioche or any other) with butter for serving


    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth, flour, and tomato paste. Set aside. Make an herb bouquet with parsley, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves by placing it in a large square of cheesecloth and tying it with kitchen twine, or by simply tying the herbs together – cheesecloth will prevent any pieces from coming off into the sauce, but it’s not completely necessary if you don’t have it.
    • In a large, heavy French or Dutch oven with a snug fitting lid, cook the bacon or pancetta over medium heat until cripsy and all fat has been rendered. Remove the bacon/pancetta to clean bowl and set aside. Add enough ghee to equal roughly 1/4 cup of fat.
    • Season beef with salt & pepper. Add half of the beef to the pot and brown on all sides, remove to the bowl with the bacon, and repeat with the remaining beef, removing it the same bowl when browned.
    • Add the sherry wine followed by the shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Give the beef broth mixture a good whisk or two, and pour into the pot. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a rapid boil. Stir in the red wine. Return the beef to the pot, and nestle the herb bouquet in the center.Cover and braise in the preheated oven for 2.5 hours.
    • Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the mushrooms. Remove the herb bouquet from the pot and discard. Stir the mushrooms into the sauce and serve over mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of parsley for garnish (if using) and side of cooked carrots and buttered bread.

    Chicken Soup

    Chicken Soup

    I love fall and all that it brings – crisp air, gorgeous colors on the trees, and the perfect excuse for comfort food. What better way to warm up a chilly day than a bowl of healthy, immune boosting, chicken soup? By using pre-made bone broth concentrate, this recipe is great for a weeknight or weekend!


    • For the chicken:
    • Whole chicken or pieces 3 to 5 lbs
    • 1 tsp Paprika
    • 1 TB Fresh thyme chopped, or 1 tsp dried thyme
    • 1/4 tsp Ground black pepper
    • 2 TB lemon juice
    • 6 cloves of garlic peeled
    • For the soup:
    • 2 Carrots diced
    • 2 Stalks celery diced
    • 6 TB of Bone broth concentrate
    • 3/4 tsp Salt
    • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
    • 1/4 tsp White pepper
    • 3/4 tsp Ground thyme
    • 16 oz Frozen egg noodles
    • 2 TB chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
    • 1 – 2 tsp of Superfood Seasoning from Braised Both Broth Company optional


    • Directions:
    • Season the chicken with the paprika, thyme,and pepper. Put it in the Instant Pot with the lemon juice, garlic cloves, 3 cups of water. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes (longer if the chicken is bigger than 4 lbs, a couple less if it’s smaller), then NPR. Save the broth. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, cut chicken into pieces, place in a stock pot, and cover with about 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, or until chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender.
    • Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and garlic cloves from the pot. Discard the garlic cloves. Skin the chicken and pull the meat off the bones. Set the meat aside.
    • If you cooked your chicken an Instant Pot, pour the broth into a stock pot, if you made it on the stove, leave it in the pot. In the stock pot containing the broth, add the bone broth concentrate and enough water to equal about 8 – 9 cups of liquid. Stir in all of the seasonings for the soup except for the parsley. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
    • Add the diced celery, carrots, and noodles. Cook until the egg noodles are just about done – approximately 18 minutes.
    • Add the chicken and cook until the noodles are done. Stir in the chopped parsley. At this point, if you want a thicker soup, you can either thicken it with a butter & flour roux (1 TB of melted butter mixed with 1 TB flour) or a little cornstarch slurry (1 TB of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water). Mix your thickener is a small bowl and gradually stir into your soup. Simmer until soup has reached your desired consistency.


    Serve with buttered crusty bread and/or a salad.
    Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for about a week, or frozen for up to 6 months.