Category: Iowa Food

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.

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.

Blueberry Compote

Blueberry Compote

Not only is this compote a cinch to make (3 ingredients? What?!), but it’s also extremely versatile and with no refined or processed sugar, even a little bit healthy with all those antioxidants from the blueberries. With all the proven health benefits of blueberries, you may even want to double or triple the recipe. You can serve this compote on its own, or put it on nearly anything or everything from pound or angel food cake, biscuits, toast, pancakes, ice cream, crackers, crepes – the possibilities are virtually endless!


  • 1 1/3 cup blueberries fresh or frozen, divided
  • 1 TB + 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Place 1 cup of blueberries, honey (or maple syrup), and vanilla in a small saucepan and mix gently. Heat over low heat.
  • Cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries are soft and starting to burst.
  • Take the compote off the heat and stir in the remaining 1/3 cup of blueberries. It will thicken as it cools.


Store leftovers, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week.

IFC Cart *Timing Change*, now opens Sunday at Noon!

IFC Community,

We have been exploring changing when the cart opens. Based on feedback, we are moving the cart open time to Sunday, July 7th at noon. The cart will still close at the usual Monday, July 15th at noon. Sunday is a busy shopping day for the IFC, and this change will allow our consumer members to shop every Sunday afternoon. 

Things to bear in mind with this change: 
Producer members will need to try and get their inventories adjusted prior to the new cart opening time. 
Consumer members may notice that their account may show a balance from the previous cycle as we may not have all of the previous cycle’s information finalized prior to the cart opening. You do not need to do anything about this, please be patient with us and feel free to email me directly with any concerns.

Thank you for your support and encouragement as we make this change. If you have any thoughts, comments, or concerns please reach out to me at and title your message CART TIMING. 

Happy Shopping,

Valentine’s Day Menu

Valentine’s Day Menu

Whether for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, a birthday, or any occasion, this is my go-to steak dinner that’s sure to impress. Instead of heading out to a restaurant, treat yourself and a special someone to a lovely dinner in because this steakhouse quality dinner at home won’t let you down.


  • 2 steaks beef tenderloin, NY strip, top sirloin, ribeye – whatever makes you happy
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese such as Gouda Parmesan, or Lost Lake special reserve
  • 4 1/4 ” thick red bell pepper rings
  • 3 cups of 1/2″ cubed butternut squash
  • 2 TB honey or maple syrup
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 slices of bacon diced and fried
  • Creamy salad dressing such as creamy Italian
  • 1 TB + 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • Salt & Pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450F. Toss the cubed squash in 1 TB of olive oil and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt & pepper. Roast until easily pierced with a fork – about 20 minutes.
  • While the squash is roasting, heat a heavy, oven safe skillet (I break out my cast iron for this) over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, and the pepper rings. Cook until slightly charred on each side about 2 minutes per side. Set aside. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels (this helps you to get a nice sear). Add the ghee to the skillet, once melted, add the steaks. Sprinkle with a liberal amount salt and little pepper to taste. Allow the steaks to sear without moving them for 2 to 3 minutes, flip and sear for another 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook to desired doneness – about 5 to 6 minutes for rare/medium-rare, 8 minutes for medium. Remove skillet from oven and sprinkle on shredded cheese. Return to oven and allow cheese to mostly melt – about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven, twist pepper rings into a figure 8 and place 2 on each steak. Allow steak to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Using a fork, mash the cooked squash, stir in the honey or maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne (more or less depending on your preference). Set aside.
  • Trim the end off the romaine, leaving the connecting stalk intact, and cut the head in half from stalk to tip. Arrange each half on a place or in a shallow bowl. Divide the blue cheese and bacon between each wedge and drizzle with the dressing of your choice.
  • Pour a glass of wine, beer, or mix up your favorite cocktail. Serve the steaks with the mashed butternut squash and enjoy your incredibly easy steak dinner that rivals anything you can find in a steakhouse.


For an extra special treat, serve one of our amazing baked goods for dessert – this meal pairs perfectly with cheesecake or cream puffs.

Winter Farmers’ Market


***This Saturday, December 8th, from 9a-noon, at our Franklin location. Non-members welcome, so bring your friends!***

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

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


*Wills Family Orchard–Certified Organic apples, pies, candy
*Red Barn Produce–Winter squash, homemade jelly + jam
*Meadow BlazingStar–Honey, creamed honey, handmade beeswax candles + beeswax ornaments
*Raccoon Forks Farm–Handmade soap, fresh produce, folk art
*Global Arts Therapy–Vegan + gluten-free prepared food, handmade vanilla extract
*Corazon Coffee–Locally-roasted coffees, hand-blended teas, pottery mugs, handmade bags
*Sipma Farms–Homemade jams, jellies, flour sack towels, pet toys, beard oil, Christmas decor, Amish candies
*Berry Patch Farm–Apples + homemade jam
*Lost Lake Farm–Artisan cheeses
*Lucky George Farm–Heritage pork, goat, beef
*Chris’ Custom Bakery–Baked goods like cinnamon rolls, quick breads, and sugar cookies
*Herbal Blis Soaps–Handmade artisan soaps

Shop a large selection of products made, grown, or raised in Iowa!

Invite your friends by sharing this event on Facebook.

What is the Local Food Difference?

If this is your first time visiting our website you might be wondering, what is Iowa Food Coop?

To put it simply: Iowa Food Coop is an online ordering system for Iowa produced food. Our members have access to over 1,500 Iowa produced products, which they order on a bi-weekly schedule.

There are a lot of special things about Iowa Food Coop besides our selection of Iowa produced products. Here are just a few more things that set us apart.

Order Exactly What You Want From Home
Logon to and browse our selection. You can sort by producers or by item. You’ll find that we sell all of the staple items you need like bread, eggs, milk, cream, and meat. We also sell specialty items like Iowa produced maple syrup, soap, hummus, kombucha, dog treats, baby food, and the list goes on and on. Our producers are expected to share their growing practices and ingredients with you so you know exactly what is in the food you’re eating.


Visit our producer profiles and pick one out. You can read about their business and practices, and if they currently have items for sale you can read more about their individual products.

We Don’t Have Food Waste
We’re not a store and we don’t have inventory. When our consumer members place an order online they are ordering directly from the producer. When the cart closes the producer gets a list of everything that was ordered that cycle and brings it to our Des Moines location the day before or morning of distribution. Since we only receive what was ordered we don’t have excess food to throw away. 

85% of the Money You Spend Goes to Our Farmer-Owners
When you shop at Iowa Food Coop you are not supporting corporate interests. The money you spend goes directly into the pockets of our producers and into making IFC a great alternative to the conventional food system. You can feel great about the money you spend at IFC.

Shop Less Often and Eat Healthier
Several IFC members buy at least half of the food they eat through us. By ordering on IFC’s bi-weekly schedule they cut their trips to the grocery store down significantly and know more about where their food comes from. No longer tempted by grocery aisles full of cookies and chips, they often find that their diets improve dramatically. And this is not a fad diet. An #iowavore diet (mostly local, Iowa food diet) is a way of eating that not only makes the consumer healthier, but helps local farmers and our local economy.


We Sell Iowa Grown Food Year Round
Iowa Food Coop is a year-round option for eating local. Just because the farmer’s market season has ended or your CSA is done doesn’t mean you have to stop eating local. Purchase meat, greens, milk, vegetables and more through IFC all winter long.

Step One: Check to see if the cart is open.

You’ll notice in the left sidebar of this site we list our Upcoming Order Cycles. Check here to see when the cart opens or closes. You can also check our Facebook Events page and subscribe to be notified of upcoming order cycles. When you become a member at this page you’ll be signed up for our cart-is-open reminder emails. Your first six months as a member are free, which gives you a chance to fall in love with IFC!

Step Two: If the cart is open, fill up that basket!

Go to and login (you’ll get your login information when you become a member in Step 1). On the member panel page you’ll see your “Basket Status.” Click open a shopping basket. Select your delivery type and pick-up location. Once you’re in, click shopping and browse our list of products by category, producer, or search for the item you want!

Step Three: Pick-up the following Thursday!

Whatever is in your cart on Sunday night is ordered. You can set up payment online or you can pay when you come to pick-up on Thursday. Here’s a list of our convenient pick-up locations. Find the location closest to you and become a regular at Thursday pick-ups!

Step Four: Enjoy food and share with us on social media

We love to see what are members are eating and enjoying. Share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram using the #iowafoodcoop hashtags.

So what are you waiting for? Come join today!