Category: Recipes

Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese

This can be used under a spicy jelly like Boone County Organic’s Aronia Peach Habanero or Clear Creek Orchard’s Mango Habanero, Raspberry jalapeno or any of their spicy flavors. This is also great as the base for a layered dip with salsa, beans & cheese.



Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese
  • 1.5 to 2 times as much yogurt as the amount of cream cheese required for the recipe.
  1. Line a fine mesh strainer with multiple layers of cheesecloth.
  2. Pour in approximately 1.5 to 2 times as much yogurt as the amount of cream cheese required for the recipe.
  3. Cover and let the whey strain out until it reaches the consistency of cream cheese. This can take up to 24 hours.
  4. Chill and use in most of your recipes requiring cream cheese. This can be used under a spicy jelly like Boone County Organic’s Aronia Peach Habanero or Clear Creek Orchard’s Mango Habanero, Raspberry jalapeno or any of their spicy flavors. This is also great as the base for a layered dip with salsa, beans & cheese.


No Bake Squash or Pumpkin Cheesecake with Homemade Maple Whipped Cream

No bake squash or pumpkin cheesecake made with homemade Greek yogurt cream cheese can be a very healthy and rewarding dessert to add to your holiday menu. By making your own squash puree & Greek yogurt cream cheese (instructions below), you can drastically cut down calories, increase protein & feel good about the quality of ingredients you are using. I recommend you start by making the cream cheese and squash puree at least the night before.


No Bake Squash or Pumpkin Cheesecake with Homemade Maple Whipped Cream
  • 18 gingersnap cookies or equivalent Graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2oz) WW Homestead butter, melted
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) Greek yogurt cream cheese*
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups homemade squash/pumpkin puree, chilled*
  • Maple Whipped Cream
  • 1½ cups (12floz) Hanson Dairy cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Maple sugar (garnish)
  1. Directions
  2. In a small bowl combine cookie crumbs and melted butter, mix until evenly coated. Press into the bottom of 6 jars or glasses.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy.
  4. Add the honey or maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt and beat for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the squash/pumpkin puree and beat until blended.
  6. Taste for level of sweetness & add more honey or maple syrup if needed. Beat to incorporate.
  7. Divide cheesecake mix between the 6 glasses.
  8. Maple whipped cream
  9. Put a metal mixing bowl and your beaters into the freezer for five minutes to get very cold.
  10. Pour the heavy cream & maple syrup into the mixing bowl.
  11. Beat on whipped (usually highest setting) until the cream begins to form soft peaks and has nearly doubled in size.
  12. Top the cheesecakes with whipped cream.
  13. To garnish, shake maple sugar on top or fresh ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
  14. Chill until ready to serve. May keep refrigerated for up to 48 hours.
  15. How to make squash/pumpkin puree
  16. Use a meaty, rich, full flavored squash such as a Seminole, Red Kuri, Buttercup, Butternut or your favorite variety of pumpkin.
  17. Roast squash. I roast mine whole then cut it open & scoop out the seeds because I’m lazy but you can also cut your squash in half, remove the seeds & roast.
  18. Roast until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.
  19. Let cool slightly then scoop the flesh out.
  20. Puree using a food processor or blender.
  21. Place cheesecloth into a fine mesh strainer, place over a bowl & pour the pureed squash into the strainer.
  22. Cover & let the excess moisture drain out.
  23. If you have extra this freezes very well & can be used for lots of recipes.
  24. How to make Greek yogurt cream cheese
  25. Line a fine mesh strainer with multiple layers of cheesecloth.
  26. Pour in approximately 1.5 to 2 times as much yogurt as the amount of cream cheese required for the recipe.
  27. Cover and let the whey strain out until it reaches the consistency of cream cheese. This can take up to 24 hours.
  28. Adapted recipe for sampling at Iowa Food Cooperative. Use whole milk Greek yogurt, substitute sweetener & don’t use crust for Keto friendly version.


Apple Sausage Stuffing

A stuffing recipe that not only highlights local bread, butter, and sausage, but also local apples!



Apple Sausage Stuffing
Author: Chad
  • 10 cups bread, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes (Cook’s choice: white, whole wheat, sour dough, rye, a mix. Leave the crust on or don’t. Live your best stuffing life)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced celery
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped coarsely (peel or don’t. It bears repeating, live your best stuffing life)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 10-12 minutes; set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pork and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks. Remove pork from skillet and place in a bowl.
  4. Melt butter in the skillet the pork was cooked in. Add garlic, onion and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in apples, sage and thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. In a large bowl, combine bread, sausage, apple mixture, walnuts and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock until absorbed and well combined
  6. Spread bread mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place into oven and bake until top is browned, about 45 minutes.


Winter Squash Gratin

Member Chad’s winter squash gratin was a HUGE hit at our sampling event last Thursday. Grab the recipe here, then shop the ingredients.



Winter Squash Gratin
Author: Chad
  • roughly 3 Lb winter squash, peeled and seeded (Any firm, good flavored squash like butternut, Hubbard, Kuri will be perfect)
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, plus 3-5 leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, plus extra for greasing pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Olive Oil for frying sage leaves.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl.
  3. Peel and dice onion finely. Place 1 tbsp butter and onion in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Cook onions until very golden with a touch of brown, 15-20 minutes (reduce heat if onions begin to burn before caramelizing). Remove from heat.
  4. Slice 6 sage leaves finely. Add the sage and heavy cream to the pan with onions over very low heat for 10 minutes. Add the salt and the black pepper. Stir often and do not let the cream get to a boiling point. Remove from heat.
  5. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the squash into very thin slices, about 1/8th of an inch thick.
  6. Taste the cream for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.
  7. Butter a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish on the bottom and sides.
  8. Create one even layer of butternut squash in the dish, spoon on and spread a thin coating of the cream on the squash and repeat the process until the the last layer is topped with cream. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the cream evenly.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and turn up the heat to a high broil until golden brown, roughly 5 minutes.
  10. Pour a liberal amount of olive oil in the bottom of a small skillet. Place over medium high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, place reserved sage leaves in oil and fry for 2-3 seconds (they will roll out flat on top of oil). Remove with a fork and place on paper towels.
  11. Let the squash sit for 10 minutes. Garnish with fried sage leaves and serve.


Recipe: Holiday Sausage Stuffing

Wait a minute… I was just grilling brats for Labor Day! I blinked and the holiday season is almost upon us – time to start planning those wonderful family feasts. Give this superb sausage stuffing a try for your next holiday. You can make it the day of, weeks (or months) in advance, and freeze it; or assemble it 1 or 2 days ahead, store it covered in the refrigerator, and then bake it.



Recipe: Holiday Sausage Stuffing
  • 8 cups unseasoned, dried bread cubes
  • 1/2 cup butter + extra for greasing the casserole dish
  • 1-1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. seasoned sausage
  • 2-3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 TB fresh chopped rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 TB fresh chopped sage or 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or 1 TB + 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees and grease a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish with butter. Place the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add the onions and celery. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, or about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1 or 2 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the bread cubes, being careful to scrape out all the vegetables. Without washing it, add the sausage to the same pan, breaking it up as it cooks. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Add the sausage and fat in the pan to the bread cubes bowl.
  3. Add the chicken broth, egg, rosemary, sage, parsley, salt, and pepper to the bread cubes. Mix until the bread is soft and moistened. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish and bake for 65 to 75 minutes, uncovered, until golden brown and crisp on top.
  4. After baking and allowing to cool, this dish can be frozen, tightly covered for up to 3 months. To reheat, defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then reheat it, covered with foil, in a 325 degree oven until hot.
  5. —To make ahead, after everything is mixed together and added to the casserole dish, tightly wrap the dish with foil or plastic wrap and store, refrigerated for up to 2 days. Remove from the refrigerator at least an hour before baking. Bake as indicated above.—


Recipe: Country-Style Minute Steak w/ Pan Gravy

In the south, we call minute steak ‘bucket steak’ and it’s a regular on the dinner menu. No matter what you call them, you’re going to want to give this country steak a try – it’s tender, it’s extremely easy, and it’s perfect for fall, winter, or anytime really.



Recipe: Country-Style Minute Steak w/ Pan Gravy
Author: Robin Meadows West
  • 2 to 4 minute steaks
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder (depending on your preference)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow bowl, mix flour, black pepper, seasoned salt, and garlic powder together. Set aside 3 TB of the seasoned flour to use in the pan gravy.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Dredge the steaks through the seasoned flour and brown both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Place the steaks, in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
  3. Mix the previously set aside seasoned flour into the beef stock and stir until smooth. Pour broth over the steaks, cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the meat is tender and gravy has thickened – about 2 hours.
  4. Enjoy with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and buttered bread for a great southern dinner.


Empanadas + Enchiladas–Double Recipe!

“You know when dinner time rolls around and you’re thinking about takeout or a restaurant because you’re exhausted, only that requires actually, well, going out. To that end, I give you these options for empanadas and enchiladas take-out fake-out!”


Empanadas + Enchiladas
  • 1/2 lb ground chorizo, unseasoned ground sausage, or ground beef
  • 5 cups fresh spinach (or other greens such as kale or Swiss chard)
  • 2 pre-made pie crust pieces (think pie crust for a top and bottom crust pie)
  • 2/3 cup salsa (you pick how spicy you want it – just use your favorite, but the more kick, the more flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or jack, or a combination)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Salsa or sour cream for serving
  • 1 jar enchilada sauce
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs of chicken or capon breasts (boneless or bone-in, skin removed – see cooking times below)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or jack, or a combination)
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, for serving
  • sour cream for serving
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a skillet, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until no longer pink, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain any grease. Return to heat, stir in the spinach and salsa. Once the spinach has wilted, stir in the cheese. Remove from heat.
  3. On an ungreased cookie sheet, unroll the pie crusts. Cut each pie crust in half. Divide the meat mixture between the 4 crust pieces, placing it on half of it and spreading to about 1/2″ from the edge – leave enough room to fold the crust over and seal the edges.
  4. Fold the untopped portion of each crust over the filling, and then slightly roll the edges up. Press down along the edges with a form to make sure they’re sealed. Prick the tops several times with the fork and brush with the beaten egg.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with extra salsa or sour cream.
  7. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Add chicken to the Instant Pot and pour the enchilada sauce over it. If using boneless, cook on High Pressure for 12 minutes. If using bone-in chicken, cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes. Quickly release the pressure. Check the chicken for tenderness – it should easily shred with a fork. If needed, put the lid back on and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes on HP and repeat the quick release.
  8. Turn off the Instant Pot. Remove the chicken to plate and shred with two forks.
  9. Soften the tortillas by wrapping in damp paper towels and microwaving on high for 30 seconds.
  10. Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, or rub with olive oil. Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
  11. Divide the shredded chicken between the tortillas and top with 2 TB of shredded cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas and top with remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.
  12. Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro or parsley and sour cream.




Cheesy Chili Mac

Sometimes life gets busy and you want something easy for dinner. In about the amount of time it takes to open the box with the talking white glove – you know the one I’m referring to, you can have this healthier version of chili mac on the table. You probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry!

Cheesy Chili Mac
Author: Robin Meadows West
  • 1 TB oil (canola, vegetable, or olive)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tst salt
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 TB brown sugar, packed
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 TB fresh parsley, chopped (optional for garnish)
  • Garlic bread for serving
  1. In a large skillet with a lid, add the oil and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper (if using). Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Add the ground beef and brown slightly, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks, until there is no more pink in the meat.
  2. Add the water, salt, and tomato sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Stir in the pasta and cover, increasing the heat to medium-high. Cook the mixture, stirring often, and adjusting the heat down to maintain a simmer. Continue to cook for 9 – 11 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cheddar and jack cheeses. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Cover and allow to sit until the cheese is fully melted. Stir again, and serve with chopped parsley (if using) and a slice of garlic bread.

Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy

Break out the lederhosen, crank up the polka, and let’s enjoy this fall weather in true German Oktoberfest fashion!


Shopping list:



German Schnitzel w/Mushroom Gravy
Author: Robin Meadows West
  • For the mushroom gravy:
  • 2 TB butter, lard, or bacon grease (lard or bacon grease will give the best flavor)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of diced yellow onion
  • 1 lb of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 TB salted butter
  • 4 TB all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • For the pork schnitzel:
  • 4 pork chops (boneless or bone-in w/bone removed) or tenderettes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Canola or other neutral oil for frying
  • Mashed potatoes (potatoes, butter, milk, salt and pepper) or German spaetzle for serving.
  1. Melt butter, lard, or bacon grease in a large skillet. Sauté the onions until translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 – 7 minutes, or until golden brown and the liquid from the mushrooms has mostly evaporated.
  3. Add the butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the beef broth, vinegar, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk continually until gravy thickens. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 – 10 minutes. If gravy becomes thicker than you prefer, stir in a little additional beef broth to thin it out. Keep warm while the schnitzel cooks.
  5. If using pork chops, place between two sheets of plastic wrap, and pound until 1/4″ thick. If using tenderettes, you may need to pound them until slightly thinner.
  6. Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dredge the pork in the flour, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs, coating both sides and shaking off the excess breadcrumbs.
  7. Heat 1/2” of oil (oil should be deep enough to come about 1/2 way up the chops) in a large skillet to approximately 325 degrees – oil should be hot enough that flour sprinkled in it browns in 2 to 3 minutes, but does not burn.
  8. Fry the schnitzel for approximately 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. If it’s browning too quickly, lower the heat slightly. Transfer cooked chops to a paper towel lined plate.
  9. Serve immediately topped with the mushroom gravy and a side of mashed potatoes or spaetzle. A local Oktoberfest beer is optional, but greatly encouraged.

Ditch That Can Sloppy Joes

Fall… football… tailgating… and sloppy joes… who’s ready?

This easy recipe will have you ditching that can in no time. Taking to a tailgate? You can make this a day or two ahead of time and keep it warm in a crockpot, or warmed on a portable grill or camp stove (use a disposable foil pan for easy clean up!). Want to cook once and eat a few times? Double it, and divide it into freezer bags – it will easily keep for 6+ months.

Ditch That Can Sloppy Joes
Author: Robin Meadows West
  • 1 TB butter
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef (Note: you can substitute ground capon, chicken, turkey, lentil, or a soy meat product)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 TB brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 TB tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Shredded cheese for serving (optional)
  • Hamburger buns for serving
  1. Add the butter to a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat, followed by the ground beef. Cook until the browned, breaking up any large clumps of meat. Drain the fat and discard.
  2. Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add ketchup, water, brown sugar, dry mustard, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Stirring to combine. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and let reduce for another 5 minutes, or until desired consistency.
  4. Serve on toasted buns, topped with cheese, and your favorite side.
  5. Any leftovers freeze well.