Category: Iowa Food

Open House at Maple Grove Church

The Iowa Food Cooperative is excited to announce Maple Grove Church has offered to host our West Des Moines distributions!

What is the Iowa Food Cooperative?
-We are a dedicated group that facilitates connections between Iowa producers of food and Iowa consumers of food (You!).
-We care about the local food community and building relationships between farmers and consumers. We believe it is important to understand how the food that nourishes you is produced. The cooperative supports farmers who use sustainable practices in order to improve our water and soil quality along with supporting ecosystems for our pollinators.

How does the Iowa Food Cooperative work?
-The co-op operates a year-round online farmers’ market. Our members (we have a 6 month free trial membership) place orders online every two weeks; our producers deliver the goods to our main site in Des Moines. From there our volunteers sort orders and pack the goods to go out to our satellite locations. The consumers then pick up their goods at the chosen site.

Visit our open house at Maple Grove Church on Thursday, February 13th from 5P-6:30P to sign-up + learn more about what makes the Iowa Food Cooperative the best source for local food.

Budget-Stretcher Beef & Noodles

Beef & Noodles

Budget-Stretcher Beef & Noodles

Because eating local doesn't need to mean breaking your budget, I present this super easy beef & noodles recipe using local ingredients. Not only is this budget friendly, but it's flavorful and perfect for these chilly winter days!
Servings: 8
Cost: $2.25 per serving

Ingredients

IFC Ingredients:

  • Ground beef: http://bit.ly/GroundBeefIFC
  • Carrots: http://bit.ly/CarrotsIFC
  • Onions: http://bit.ly/OnionsIFC
  • Egg noodles: http://bit.ly/BearCreekIFC
  • Rosemary: http://bit.ly/DriedHerbsIFC

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup + 3 TB cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 oz dry egg noodles

Instructions

  • In a medium size sauce pan over medium heat, bring beef broth to a low boil. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 1/2 cup water. Slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry followed by the thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the gravy thickens to your desired consistency. Turn off the heat and let the gravy stay warm on the burner.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and egg noodles and cook until the noodles are cooked through – this will take about 10 – 13 minutes. Begin testing the noodles at the 10 minute mark. Drain and return to the pot. Stir in the gravy followed by the frozen peas. (Note: there is no need to warm the peas, the heat from the noodles will perfectly cook them from frozen.)
  • Steam carrots – there are many ways you can do this, I typically opt for the easy way out and put them in a bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir into the noodles.
  • Meanwhile, cook the ground beef and onions in a skillet, breaking up the beef, until cooked through. Drain off any grease, and stir into the noodles. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or frozen in an air tight container for up to 3 months.

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 https://iowafood.coop/ or contact Ryan Marquadt at ryan@iowafood.coop 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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!

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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 ryan@iowafood.coop and title your message CART TIMING. 

Happy Shopping,
Ryan

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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