It’s a Date: Persian Rice Salad


This month we featured dates as an alternative sweetner in our Sweet Solutions series. This savory recipe calls for them as well, creating a variety of flavors in one simple dish.
To make the Persian Rice Salad you will need:
1 1/2 cups of long grain brown rice
3 cups water
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/2 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup cashews, toasted and chopped
In a medium pot with a lid, place rice together with water. On high heat bring rice to a boil, uncovered. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is done and most of the water has been absorbed. Drain and cool. In a large bowl, whisk together all other ingredients. Add cooled rice and toss to combine.


It’s a Date: Baked Apples with Dates + Walnuts

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This sweet treat uses Golden Delicious apples (which are on sale right now for $0.99/pound), dates and walnuts as its main components. It’s gluten-free and free of processed sugars. Dates are a great source of natural sugar for those looking to remove processed sugars from their diet.

To make this recipe you will need:

  • 9 a Golden Delicious apples, cored
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • 4 dried dates, pitted and chopped into small pieces
  • pinch of fine sea salt, ground cinnamon and ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees  with the rack in the center. Core apples and squeeze a little lemon juice into each one. Melt coconut oil in a small pan. Stir in almond meal, walnuts, dates, salt, cinnamon, ginger and coconut milk. Heat for a few minutes over medium heat. Carefully stuff apples with the mixture. Place apples in muffin pans. Cover loosely with foil. Bake for about 45 min or until apples have softened and split.

How To: Throw a Co-op Birthday Party!

Our Co-op Kids program turned 8 years old last week (that’s eight years of positive programming for the kiddos in our Co-op community), so of course we had to celebrate! Here are some photos from the birthday party, along with some tips for throwing your own little ones a birthday party- Co-op style.

We know that there are a variety of dietary issues facing our little ones nowadays, so we offered a vegan chocolate cake and gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. It’s always good to check with other parents to find out if their kids have any allergies or food sensitivities. It’s really nice for children with dietary restrictions to feel like they can participate in the fun at a birthday party. Look for the recipes we used at the bottom of this post!


While it’s easy to spend a ton on birthday parties, we like to recycle items we already have, like newspaper to make birthday hats and colorful paper to make decorations. For these goody bags, we used sample sizes of kid-friendly snacks, little puzzles, some temporary tattoos and plantable seed paper.


We also made sure we had a special drink station for the grown-ups with coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We used a chalk runner to write a message, but you could also run this down the middle of the kids’ table and let them draw as part of the festivities.


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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, until well combined. Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and mix again so that it’s really well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary. Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and pour batter into pan. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely. To make a layer cake, double the recipe and bake in two separate cake pans.

Gluten-free Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, like Bob’s Red Mill
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup almond, soy or cow’s milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk. In another mixing bowl whisk together the sugars with the egg, milk, vanilla and oil. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth and it starts to thicken slightly. Be careful not to over mix the batter or cupcakes will become dense. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until they are golden brown and the tops spring back slightly. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Coconut Flour Pancakes


If you’re trying to avoid gluten, but still want the satisfying goodness of eating pancakes, well then look no further! These coconut flour pancakes, sweetened with agave nectar, are fabulous alternative for those looking to ditch the grain. To make the pancakes you will need:
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk or coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
coconut oil or butter for frying

Preheat griddle over medium-low heat. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. Mix in milk, vanilla, and agave. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together. Stir wet mixture into dry until coconut flour is incorporated.Grease pan with butter or coconut oil. Ladle a few tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake. Spread out slightly with the back of a spoon. The pancakes should be 2-3 inches in diameter and fairly thick. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the tops dry out slightly and the bottoms start to brown. Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.Serve hot with butter, coconut oil, honey, syrup or fruit.


Winter Citrus Salad


While it’s common to think of citrus as a summertime treat (who doesn’t love ice cold lemonade on a hot day?), citrus is actually at its prime in the winter. So, how about we celebrate the four new inches of snow n the ground with a recipe for this bright and flavorful citrus salad?
To make the salad you will need:

1 Cara Cara orange
1 Blood orange
1 Honeygold grapefruit
1 Pink grapefruit
2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
 Slice ends off of all citrus. With the fruit standing up on a cut end, cut down the sides of each fruit to remove the skin. Slice citrus in 1/4 inch think pieces. Arrange on a platter. Drizzle honey over fruit. Sprinkle feta cheese and rosemary over the top. Enjoy!

Vegan Coconut Oil Truffles


While we love Valentine’s Day because it’s a chance to spread some love around, we also love that it’s one of the only acceptable times to gorge yourself on chocolate… all in the name of love! This recipe for vegan coconut oil truffles will enable you to celebrate this holiday with the best of them. And while you’re at it, pour yourself a big ol’ glass of red wine. To make the truffles you’ll need:
1/2 cup high quality cocoa powder (plus 2 tablespoons set aside for rolling the finished truffles)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons of coconut (for rolling finished truffles)

In the bowl of a food processor combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. If you do not have a food processor you can mix by hand, but make sure the mixture is very smooth. Place mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. With a small scoop or melon baller, scoop mixture into balls and roll in either cocoa powder or coconut.

Game Day with the Co-op: Black Bean Dip


Chips and dip are one our favorite things about Super Bowl Sunday. That and the thrill of the big game, of course. The Co-op has several dips and tons of chips available for purchase, but for the perpetual DIYers out there, here is the recipe for our Black Bean Dip. Be sure to look for the coupon at the bottom of this post for an exclusive Super Bowl savings from our deli.

To make the Black Bean dip you’ll need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 cup jalapenos, chopped
2 cups cooked black beans

Combine all ingredients except black beans in a food processor and blend well. Add black beans and blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

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Game Day with the Co-op: Beef + Bean Chili


Now that it’s acting like winter again outside, we think the Co-op’s Beef and Bean chili would be a hearty addition to your game day menu. It’s full of local Country Natural Beef meat and veggies and will fill up a crowd without a ton of effort. To make the this chili you’ll need:
2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 small yellow onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked pinto beans
2 cups cooked black beans
1 tablespoon beef bouillon
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup potato starch

Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add all spices and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Add onions and bell pepper and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until veggies are soft. Mix beef bouillon with water. Add beans, tomatoes, salt pepper and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Mix potato starch with a little water to form a slurry and add it to the chili. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until thickened. Add corn and cook until heated, about 10 more minutes.

Game Day with the Moscow Food Co-op: Corn + Bean Chili

Chili makes a great Super Bowl menu item! It’s easy on the cook to prepare and can be so versatile for guests with toppings like cheese, sour cream, scallions, chives and crunchy tortilla pieces. This tasty vegetarian chili recipe is great for a crowd.
To make the Corn + Bean Chili recipe you’ll need:
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 small yellow onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups of frozen sweet corn
2 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
4 cups cooked kidney beans
4 cups cooked black beans
2 quarts vegetable broth
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 cup potato starch

Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add all spices and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add onions, zucchini and bell pepper and continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Add beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Mix potato starch with a little bit of water to form a slurry and add it to the chili. Simmer for about 30 more minutes until thickened. Add corn and cook until heated, about 10 more minutes. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped scallions and tortilla chips.

Antioxidant Chocolate Bark


If eating healthier foods was part of your New Year’s resolution, but you’re a little worried about sacrificing taste, this recipe is sure to put your fears at ease. Now, we know there are people are there who don’t like chocolate, and to the 3 of you out there reading this, we apologize. We’ll find another tasty treat for you. This chocolate bark is rich, simple to make and full of antioxidants. If you’ve heard about antioxidants, but are still unsure of what they are what they do for you, here’s a basic rundown.

  • Antioxidants are like your own little army that help protect cells against free-radicals in the environment.
  • Carotenoids (there are more than 600) are well-known leaders in the fight against certain cancers. Lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene are are kinds of carotenoids.
  • Vitamin C, perhaps the best known antioxidant, helps the body fight infection and helps produce collagen.
  • Vitamin E helps protect from cell damage that can lead to certain types of cancer, heart disease and cataracts.

AntioxidantChocolateBarkTo make the bark you’ll need:
16 ounces dark chocolate (the darker the better!)
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
1 cup of shelled pistachios

In a double boiler on the stove or in the microwave, heat the chocolate. The key to heating chocolate is to go low and slow, being careful not to burn it. Mix in half of all the ingredients with the melted chocolate. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spread the chocolate mixture in a thin layer. Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on top. Let the bark set on the counter for a couple hours. Break into pieces and enjoy!