Growing Together More Than a Cookbook

(FN2043, November 2021)
Other Authors

Project director: Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., food and nutrition specialist

Content research, recipe testing:
Halli Heimbuch, program assistant, NDSU Extension
Alliana Houfek, R.D., program assistant, NDSU Extension
Eliza Johnson, program assistant, NDSU Extension
Amanda Perrot, program assistant, NDSU Extension

Recipe testing:
Deb Haugen, M.P.H., L.R.D.
Michelle Strang, Ph.D., R.D.N.

Web only
Publication Sections


In 2005, Nola Storm was the English language learner social worker for Fargo Public Schools and Adult Learning Center. As an English language instructor and family literacy home visitor, Nola got to meet and visit many of the New American families in the area, hear their stories and learn about the difficulties leaving home and finding their way in their new community. As a member of Olivet Lutheran Church, Nola asked her pastors if the church could do anything to help. We had a meeting and discussed the possibility of starting a garden project.

Jack Wood’s name and love of gardening came up. Jack agreed, and he and Nola met and got permission to ask the New American families if they were at all interested, and everyone excitedly said yes! We started the spring of 2006 with eight New American families and a handful of other Olivet volunteers.

Each year, we grew, adding more families and community partnerships. The land where we had our original garden was sold, but through a partnership with First United Methodist, we were able to move everyone and add more people to a new location.

Jack’s dedication, enthusiasm and community connections and Nola’s relationships with Lutheran Social Services and New Americans have helped us add locations and people around the F-M area. We have been blessed that when property is no longer available to us, other churches, businesses and organizations open up space and allow us to use their land for new gardens.

The garden was born to aid New Americans to feel more at home in their new community, and it has evolved into a place where anyone can join as long as they are willing to work alongside their new friends for two hours a week, and you get vegetables!

Jack Wood remembers the call that he received at 10:30 from his friend, Thomas Lorentzen, to ask if he would be interested in helping start a garden with New Americans. His first thought was about being able to plant more tomatoes.

“In my backyard, I am limited to 45 plants, but in this new garden, I could grow hundreds,” he says. “But after working in the gardens a few weeks, I found out that it was more than just about the tomatoes. It was also about the New American friends I was meeting and interacting with.”

The first years were a struggle with having enough tools and volunteers, planting the right vegetables, learning the proper spacing and making sure that our plant stakes were in the ground deep enough for the strong North Dakota winds. As each year went by, we improved many techniques that would help us increase our yields to produce more.

We also found other organizations that wanted to start gardens but needed a guide. One of our volunteers put together a tool kit that is beneficial for new startups. This information is available on our website, growingtogetherfm.org.

The Growing Together Community Garden is unique because it consists of volunteers working together each week for two to three hours to perform the tasks for a successful garden. At harvest, the produce is divided equally among the full-share members. Volunteers becomes full-share members when they complete 16 hours as volunteers at the garden. Growing Together also has a market in which volunteers receive vouchers as their share, which can be used at the market.

In 2021, we started on a new project at Gethsemane Cathedral. This site included a 100- by 200-foot garden that was a share garden as well as a family garden. The larger garden, 200 by 200 feet, was the site of our 2022 market garden. This brought our total to eight gardens in Fargo: Catalyst East, Catalyst West, Lutheran Social Services, World, Arbors, Family, Market and Gethsemane.

Our group had discussed a cookbook during the past few years. We started gathering recipes in 2020, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, our planning was stalled. In 2021, we asked Julie Garden-Robinson if she would be interested in being the director of our cookbook. The train was back on the tracks.

One of the unique experiences was the taste testing for five weeks ranging from nine to 14 recipes each week. These were tested by Growing Together volunteers and members of our community. Each tester was given a sheet to grade different aspects such as appearance, taste and other aspects. We are so excited to share this cookbook with those who are looking for recipe ideas.

Through methods that we have developed through the years, such as wide-row gardening, raised beds, succession planting, plant spacing, companion planting and other techniques, our gardens are very productive. In 2019, our yields from our gardens, which then measured 2.14 acres, yielded 65,000 pounds, which was shared with our volunteers, and 8,000 pounds given to local food banks.

Nola and I sincerely thank each one of our volunteers who have worked with us the past 15 years and all who wish to join our organization. It is the “many hands that make light work” that has been our motto that has given us this success. One person can change the world, but a group of people can make a huge impact on this change.

Thank you,
Nola Storm and Jack Wood

Welcome to Our Cookbook

I was pleased to be asked to assist with the creation of the Growing Together cookbook. We are excited to share the cookbook with all of you! We hope you enjoy the recipes and find the nutrition, food safety and preparation tips helpful.

This truly was a community effort. We thank all the community gardeners who shared their recipes, gardening tips and input about the content of this cookbook. We express thanks to our enthusiastic taste testers who filled our tables during our weekly tasting opportunities. In some cases, we retested the recipes using the taste testers’ suggestions. These efforts culminated in very delicious recipes, by the way!

Each week, our food preparation team gathered in the Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral kitchen at 8 a.m. and prepared up to 14 recipes in about four hours prior to the arrival at noon of 25 to 35 guests. I will admit that the kitchen was quite hectic as we tried to snap photos of the food before putting it on the buffet line. We appreciate Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral administration for graciously allowing us to use the space.

I am especially grateful for the diligent efforts of four NDSU students, who are all studying dietetics, who helped research the cookbook content, shopped for groceries, prepared and served food, and cleaned the kitchen. We had additional help from two dietitians and two gardening interns. Please see the credits for the names of the food preparation team and others involved in bringing this cookbook to life.

All of the recipes feature vegetables or fruits that can be grown in our area, and we asked for gardeners to contribute “healthful” recipes. Some of the foods have an ethnic flair, including a couple of German or Scandinavian heritage recipes. A few of the recipes are from more recent immigrants.

All of the recipe ingredients can be obtained in local grocery stores outside of the regular growing season. We ran a computer analysis of the nutritional content of each recipe, and that is provided with each recipe.

If you would like to explore additional ethnic recipes from our region and other nutrition, food safety and health tips, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/food and search for these titles:

We hope you are inspired to enjoy more vegetables and fruits as a result of this cookbook. Vegetables and fruits truly are good for you — and rewarding to grow!

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., F.A.N.D.
Professor and Food and Nutrition Specialist
NDSU Extension

Gardening Tips

“Gardening is one time in the day where you will be completely in-tune to the world around you. It is a sensory experience — sun on your back, hands in the dirt. No matter how busy or stressed I am, I never regret spending a few hours gardening.” – Annie Prafcke, Austin, Texas 

“If you are struggling with weeding and/or keeping your plants watered, consider using woven weed barrier fabric. It will suppress weeds and cool the soil, preventing precious water from evaporating in the heat of the summer.”

– Jeffrey Miller, Kindred, N.D. 

“Over the years, I have found that working in your garden the minimum of five minutes each day can eliminate many of the problems. You will note new bugs that have arrived, plants that need water, the start of diseases on your plants like mildew or wilt. Yes, the five minutes can turn into an hour but disaster may be averted.” 

– Jack Wood, Fargo, N.D. 

“With new plants, you should research on how to care for that plant. Water as often as the plant needs. Follow these tips and your plants will produce lots of fruits, vegetables and flowers!”

– Archana P., Fargo, N.D. 

“To me, gardening is another way of sharing in God’s creation. Beginning with a tiny seed, produce, usable by so many people, develops. There isn’t anything better than seeing a garden become green in the spring and provide so much luscious produce in the fall. How blessed are we?” 

– Virginia Brazil, Fargo, N.D. 

“1. Avoid landscaping with rocks. Plants placed in rock-covered ground get overheated and die. 

2. Before you plant anything, amend the soil with lots of peat, compost and manure.”

– Carol Seim, Fargo, N.D.

Steps to Food Safety From Store to Storage

Shopping tips:

  • Buy only foods in good condition and with sound packaging.
  • Shop just before going home.
  • Shop for perishable foods last.
  • Buy products labeled “Keep Refrigerated” only if they are stored in a refrigerated case.
  • Buy eggs only from refrigerated cases in the deli.
  • Keep refrigerated and frozen items together so they remain cold.
  • Buy only foods that can be used before the use-by date.
  • Buy only the amount of shaved deli meats that can be used in one or two days.
  • Buy frozen foods that are frozen solid without frost buildup on the package.
  • Avoid cross-contamination.
  • Report problems with packaging, product, storage or sanitation to store management. If you still are unsatisfied, report the problem to local health authorities.

Storing tips:

  • Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer.
  • Freeze fresh meat, poultry and fish immediately if you can’t use it within two days.
  • Put packages of raw meat, poultry and fish on a plate before refrigerating or when defrosting so their juices won’t drip on other food. Raw juices often contain microorganisms.
  • Refrigerate products with “Keep Refrigerated” labels.

Cooking tips:

  • Cook ground beef, pork and veal to 160 F. Cook poultry to 165 F. Use a meat thermometer to check that it’s thoroughly cooked in the thickest part.
  • Cook beef, pork, veal and lamb roasts, chops and steaks to 145 F and allow to rest for three minutes.
  • Ground meat is usually done when it’s brown or gray inside. Poultry juices should run clear. Fish should flake with a fork.
  • Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm, not runny. Scramble eggs to a firm texture.
  • Avoid tasting raw food preparations containing meat or eggs, such as cookie dough.
  • Use a minimum oven temperature of 325 F for cooking.
  • If you have a cut or infection, avoid handling food or at least wear clean plastic gloves, particularly when handling cooked products.

Preparing produce safely:

  • Remove outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage.
  • Use separate cutting boards for produce and meat.
  • Clean and sanitize cutting boards.
  • Serve cut-up produce in containers over ice.
  • Store below 40 F.

Grilling safely:

  • Don’t re-use marinades on cooked meats or other foods.
  • Use a food thermometer to check food doneness. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the food. Remember that safe internal temperatures are as follows:
    • 160 F – ground beef, pork, veal and lamb
    • 165 F – poultry
    • 145 F – beef, pork, veal, lamb steaks, roasts and chops
  • To prevent cross-contamination:
    • Clean the grill before and/or after each use.
    • Clean the thermometer after each use.
    • Use a spatula or clean tongs for removing meat or poultry from the grill. Place on a clean plate.

How to Clean Produce

Fresh produce can become contaminated in many ways as it travels from the field to your table.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are at risk of contamination before, during and after harvest. Make sure to inspect your produce before you buy it, keeping an eye out for any bruising or damage to the outside of the product.

You can prevent the contamination of your produce by washing, preparing and storing your fruits and vegetables properly.

  • Wash your hands for a full 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before handling your produce.
  • If you notice any bruising or damage to the produce, cut away these areas and discard.
  • Rinse produce before peeling or cutting to avoid transferring bacteria from the skin to the flesh of the produce with the knife.
  • Hold the produce under running water and rub gently. Vegetable brushes may be beneficial for items such as apples, melons and potatoes.
  • Dry with a paper towel.
  • If working with a head of lettuce or cabbage, remove the outermost leaves.
  • Be sure to store perishable produce at or below 40 F.

Extra Fruits and Vegetables? Try These Ideas

Grow for the good of your community! Local food pantries rely on donated produce. Share your harvest by making regular donations of fresh produce. Many local pantries lack fresh produce donations. Grow your garden for the good of your community and increase regional food security. 

Tips for handling produce for donations:

  • Freshly pick produce and deliver same day
  • Handle food safely to minimize the risk of foodborne illness
  • Keep each type in separate, clean, food-grade containers or bags
  • Clean produce of dirt and mud
  • Select produce of good quality, free of mold, spoilage, bruising or insect damage

Produce with a longer shelf-life*

  • Potatoes — up to five weeks
  • Winter squashes — up to three months
  • Onions — up to two months
  • Sweet potatoes — up to five weeks
  • Beets — up to two weeks
  • Cabbage — up to two months
  • Apples — up to two months

    *Note: these are average times. With the right storage conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.), these vegetables can last even longer.

Participate in Gleaning

Gleaning is the process of collecting excess food from farms, gardens, farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, state/county fairs or any other sources to provide it to those in need. Take part in gleaning by donating any extra produce. 

For more information on gleaning, visit:

www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usda_gleaning_toolkit.pdf and find out how you can participate.




Composting Basics

What to Compost

  • Greens: food scraps including fruit and vegetable skins and cores, coffee grounds and nonperennial weeds
  • Browns: newspaper and shredded paper, small branches and plants, coffee filters 

What Not to Compost 

  • Meat or fatty products such as butter or oils 
  • Dairy products
  • Pet waste
  • Weeds with mature seed heads attached 

How to Compost

  1. Find a dry, shady spot by a watering hose for your compost.
    Tip: Use a garbage pail with a cover to keep unwanted pests out. 
  2. Add small pieces of brown and green material to the compost bin. 
  3. Stir occasionally when adding new material to your pile, or about every two to four weeks in the warm summer months. Do not turn compost in the winter to prevent heat from escaping. 
  4. When the compost appears a deep, nearly black, the compost is ready to be added to the soil. 

    For more information on composting, visit: 


Food Preservation Tips

Use research-tested food preservation recipes such as those from Cooperative Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Be cautious of recipes found online or shared on social media. They may not have been tested for safety.


  • Canning is a form of food preservation that removes oxygen and prevents the growth of bacteria and yeast. This process destroys food enzymes from breaking down food further, resulting in food preservation.
  • Acid foods, such as tomatoes and figs, may require the addition of an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Low-acid foods should be canned in a pressure canner, while acidic foods can be canned in a hot-water bath. If an unsealed jar is discovered within 24 hours of canning, the food may be re-canned safely.


Freezing is a convenient and easy way to preserve food while maintaining its original color, texture and flavor. It also is one of the best ways to preserve a food’s natural nutrients.

  • For optimal results, make sure your freezer is at the correct temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
  • Products that are improperly packaged or covered will result in the formation of ice crystals, which will result in loss of flavor, texture and nutrients.


  • Drying is a method of food preservation that removes water from the food product, resulting in inhibited growth of bacteria and mold.
  • Fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat, seeds, nuts all can be dried.
  • You must cool the dried products completely before storing them in a dry, sealed container. Completely drying products prevents sweating from occurring, which will stop mold from growing.

For a range of research-tested food preservation information, please see www.ag.ndsu.edu/food (go to Food Preservation).

Grilling Fresh Fruits

Grilling fruit enhances the caramelization of its natural sugars and flavors. Grilled fruit can be used for dessert, side dishes, salsa, appetizers or as a garnish. 

Fruits great for grilling:

  • Pineapple
  • Peaches
  • Bananas
  • Mangos
  • Watermelon
  • Kiwi
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honey dew melon
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Lemons
  • Nectarines
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Coconut 


  • Honey
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Maple syrup
  • Sugar 
  • Salt 
  • Black pepper
  • Rum
  • Caramel or chocolate sauce
  • Marshmallow fluff
  • Nuts
  • Vanilla extract
  • Soft cheese: feta, goat, brie or camembert 
  • Tajin seasoning

Simple mixtures: 

  • Sugar, butter, nutmeg, salt and black pepper
  • Butter, honey and cinnamon
  • Cinnamon, brown sugar and lemon juice
  • Mint, feta or goat cheese 
  • Honey, lime juice, cayenne, sea salt and tajin seasoning

Before you get started:

  • Make sure grill grates are clean.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Apply a nonstick spray to the grill. 
  • Brush fruit with the desired mixture or leave plain.


  • If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak the skewers before cooking for 20 to 30 minutes in water. This will prevent them from burning on the grill. 
  • Skewer smaller fruits such as berries so they do not fall through the grill grate.
  • Oven-safe dishware can be used for cooking fruit or basting with rum, wine, oil or syrup.
  • For larger fruit, halve and place directly onto the grill grate.
  • Grilled fruit is best served immediately or repurposed as leftovers for salsa or a remoulade for grilled fish/meat.
  • Fruits that are more firm hold up better on the grill; overripe fruit will be mushy. 
  • Do not peel fruit; leave the skin on the fruit. This is especially important for bananas.
  • Cook each side for three to five minutes without moving and then flip.
  • If you don’t have a grill, use an oven broiler set to 500 F, cooking the fruit for five to six minutes on a sheet pan.
  • Skip the foil and use a cast iron skillet.

Grilling Fresh Vegetables

Any vegetable can be grilled. Wash all vegetables and cut. Deseed and/or cut stems. Larger veggies can be quartered and cooked directly on the grill; smaller ones can be skewered. 

Vegetables to try:

  • Broccoli 
  • Artichokes
  • Bell peppers
  • Lemon
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes (on the vine work great on the grill)
  • Corn
  • Summer squash
  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Green beans 
  • Cauliflower (try cutting into steaks) 
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage 
  • Romaine
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Parsnips
  • Edamame
  • Kohlrabi

Combinations to try:

  • Bell pepper, summer squash, onions, mushrooms and corn
  • Quartered lemon, zucchini, red onion, mushrooms and rosemary sprigs
  • Corn on the cob, bacon, ranch dressing, cheddar and fresh chive 
  • Cauliflower steaks, cheddar, sour cream, bacon and chive
  • Corn on the cob, sriracha, honey, torn basil and sea salt
  • Halved zucchini, torn basil, chili flakes, lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Head of romaine (halved), Caesar dressing and red onion
  • Yellow onion, cauliflower, zucchini and feta
  • Brussels sprouts, yellow onion, broccoli, balsamic vinegar glaze and feta
  • Mushrooms, balsamic vinegar glaze and chopped parsley
  • Eggplant, mozzarella, basil, salt and pepper


  • Olive oil, salt and pepper 
  • Desired dressing: Greek, tzatziki, pesto or a chimichurri work great
  • Hummus 
  • Herbs (thyme, basil, oregano or rosemary)

Before you get started:

  • Make sure grill grates are clean.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Apply a nonstick spray to the grill. 
  • Brush vegetables with the desired mixture or leave plain.


  • Cut similar-sized pieces, so that vegetables cook evenly.
  • Cook for 20 minutes, or until tender.
  • Flip halfway to char all sides.
  • Skewering? Use metal skewers if you don’t have time to soak wooden skewers.
  • Brush vegetables with oil to prevent sticking or use a nonstick spray.
  • Cooking with herbs? Try whisking herbs with oil to brush evenly on the vegetables. 
  • Apply a dressing or a marinade after grilling to absorb more flavor with less oil.

MyPlate Nutrition Recommendations

What Does a Serving Size Look Like?

1 cup (c.): a cupped hand —> fruit juice, cold cereal, cooked rice or pasta, milk or yogurt

1 teaspoon (tsp.): tip of a thumb —> oil, butter, mayonnaise 

1 ounce (oz.): full thumb —> fatty cheeses, peanut butter

1 to 2 oz.: a handful —> nuts, small candies, chips and pretzels

3 oz.:
palm —>lean poultry, fish, shellfish and beef 

Portion Control Tips

  • Make your own single-serving packs.
  • Add vegetables to increase volume without a lot of calories.
  • Listen to hunger cues and stop when full.
  • Be conscious when eating out. Try splitting an entrée. 

Key Nutrients in Fruits and Vegetables

Did you know most people need at least four to five servings of fruits and vegetables a day? One serving of produce is equal to 1 cup.

Consuming adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Red fruits and vegetables are colored by natural pigments called lycopenes or anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants found in strawberries, raspberries and red grapes that protect against the development of chronic disease. Studies have found that one to two servings a week of anthocyanins can protect against hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and pancreatic disorders. Fruits and vegetables rich in lycopene include tomatoes, red peppers and grapefruit. Lycopene reduces the risk of prostate, lung and stomach cancer.

Orange and yellow vegetables get their vibrant colors from naturally occurring pigments called carotenoids and bioflavonoids. Carotenoids are found in many fruits and vegetables, including squash, citrus fruits, bell peppers, corn and mangos. Incorporating carotenoid-rich vegetables into your diet can reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration by 43%. Bioflavonoids work with vitamin C to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Green fruits and vegetables, including avocado, green beans, honeydew, lettuce and limes, are colored by the pigment chlorophyll. Lutein, found in leafy greens such as spinach, reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage contain indoles that protect against breast cancer.

Purple and blue fruits and vegetables contain the plant pigment anthocyanins. This is what gives eggplants, blackberries and more their deep purple and blue hues. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage, and they may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

White fruits and vegetables, including bananas, cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic and onions, are colored by anthoxanthins, and they contain allicin and other chemicals. Allicin may help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as well as reduce the risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. 

To preserve nutrients when preparing fruits and vegetables, consider these tips:

  • Limit skin peeling to maintain fiber content.
  • Use a small amount of water when cooking vegetables.
  • Avoid boiling because extended exposure to water and heat may decrease nutritional value.
  • Serve food quickly because nutrients may decrease the longer food is left out.

See the NDSU Extension publication “What Color Is Your Food?” for details.

Foods for Digestive System Health

While several practices can help improve and maintain your digestive well-being, a key strategy is eating a healthful diet. Incorporating these foods may help combat and/or prevent gastrointestinal issues:

  • Whole vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, peas, carrots, corn, potatoes with skin. Find these in your local market garden or backyard garden.
  • Whole, low-fructose fruits, such as berries, citrus fruits and bananas Whole grains, including whole-grain bread and crackers and
    long-grain rice
  • Legumes, such as lentils, kidney beans, baked beans and peanuts

Why these foods?

The foods listed above are rich in fiber. Dietary fiber helps our digestive system and our overall well-being.

  • Regulating bowel movements by bulking up stool, making it easier to pass
  • Helps prevent diverticulosis and possibly lowers risk of colorectal cancer
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Gives feeling of fullness

Unfortunately, most U.S. children and adults consume less than half of the recommended fiber intake levels. Below is a table of daily fiber recommendations for adults.

Recommendations for Daily Fiber Intake

 Age 50 and BelowAge 51 and Above
Men38 grams30 grams
Women25 grams21 grams

Secondly, the food groups listed above are lower in fructose (or fruit sugar). Fructose commonly is accompanied by gas and bloating. 


Featured Cookbook Recipes

  • Easy Roasted Vegetables (p. 56)
  • Vegetarian Borscht (p. 42)
  • Kale Salad (p. 48)
  • Black Bean Wraps (p. 81)

Ingredient Substitutions

Substitutions make recipes more healthful or provide an option when the item you need is unavailable. Use caution when doing this, however, because substitutions sometimes can alter the taste and texture of recipes. Use substitutions as needed or for inspiration for a healthy swap! See the NDSU Extension publication “Ingredient Substitution” for much more!

Ingredient Substitution 
Baking powder1 tsp. = a tsp. baking soda + ½ tsp. cream of tartar
Bread crumbsRolled oats or bran cereal
Butter, margarine, shortening or oil in baked goodsUnsweetened applesauce, prune puree or avocado; substitute half or equal parts
Buttermilk1 c. = ¾ c. almond milk + ¼ c. yogurt + ¼ tsp. lemon
Corn syrup1¼ c. light brown sugar + a c. water 
Cream of tartar1 tsp. = 2 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar 
CreamFat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk,
2 Tbsp. cornstarch + 1 c. milk = 1 c. cream
Cream cheesePureed low-fat cottage cheese; to puree, pulse in a food processor

1 egg = ¼ c. of the following: unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana, silken tofu, carbonated water or yogurt

1 egg = 1 tsp. of baking soda + 1 Tbsp. of vinegar 

1 egg = 3 Tbsp. of nut butter 

1 egg = 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds or chia seeds + 3 Tbsp. water

FlourBlack beans swap 1 c. flour = 1 c. black beans 
Honey1 c. = 1¼ c. sugar + ¼ c. liquid (use liquid called for in recipe)
Ketchup1 c. = 1 c. tomato sauce + 1 Tbsp. sugar + 1 tsp. vinegar 
MayonnaisePlain yogurt 
Sour creamPlain nonfat Greek yogurt
Sugar, brown

1 c. firmly packed = 1 c. granulated sugar

1 c. firmly packed = 1 c. granulated sugar + ¼ c. molasses

Sugar, confectioners’
or powdered
1 c. = ¾ c. granulated sugar
Yogurt, plain

1 c. = 1 package (¼-oz.) active dry yeast 

1 c. = 1 c. buttermilk

1 c. = 1 c. cottage cheese blended until smooth

1 c. = 1 c. sour cream

Abbreviation key: c. = cup; tsp. = teaspoon; Tbsp. = tablespoon; oz. = ounce

Measurement Conversions

Dry Conversions:

  • 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
  • 1½ teaspoons = ½ tablespoon
  • 4 tablespoons = ¼ cup
  • 8 tablespoons = ½ cup
  • 16 tablespoons = 1 cup

Fluid Conversions:

  • 1 liter = 34 fluid ounces
  • 1 cup = ½ pint
  • 2 cups = 1 pint
  • 4 cups = 1 quart
  • 2 pints = 1 quart
  • 1 quart = 2 pints = 4 cups
  • 1 gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints = 16 cups
  • 1 pound = 16 ounces
  • 1 ounce = 2 tablespoon
  • 1 cup = 240 milliliters
  • 1 cup = 8 ounces

Oven Temperature Conversions:

120 C250 F
160 C320 F
180 C350 F
205 C400 F
220 C425 F

Butter or margarine:

1 c. butter = 2 sticks = 8 ounces = 8 tablespoons

Changes at High Altitude:

  • Increase oven temperature 15 to 25 degrees
  • Decrease baking time by five to eight minutes/30 minutes of baking time
  • Decrease sugar 1 tablespoon per cup
  • Increase liquid by 1 to 2 tablespoons at 3,000 feet, increase by 1½ teaspoon for each additional 1,000 feet
  • Add 1 more tablespoon of flour at 3,500 feet and an additional tablespoon for every 1,500 feet




Food Storage Basics

Here are some basic tips for storing foods safely, which is important not only for preserving the flavor and texture but also for preventing foodborne illnesses.

Storing Perishable Foods

  • Keep refrigerator temperatures at or below 40 F and freezer temperatures at or below 0 F.
  • Avoid overcrowding the refrigerator and freezer; once a week, make a routine of throwing out spoiled foods.
  • Clean out the refrigerator regularly and wipe up spills immediately with hot, soapy water, then rinse.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods in appropriate packaging as soon as possible.
    • Freezing does not lower nutrient content.
    • Freezer burn is a food-quality issue, not a safety issue, and does not always mean food is unsafe.
  • Cool food quickly. Divide hot food into smaller portions (2 to 3 inches deep) before refrigerating for faster cooling.
  • Keep securely wrapped meat in the meat compartment or coldest part of the refrigerator, ensuring meat juices cannot drip on ready-to-eat foods (including fruits and vegetables).

Storing Nonperishable Foods

  • “FIFO”: First in, first out. Use the oldest dated packages first. Do this by placing old purchases in front of new purchases.
  • Check labels to decide how foods should be stored.
  • Keep food away from cleaning products and chemicals.
  • Keep canned goods in a clean, cool, dry place and use within a year for best quality.
  • Store dried vegetables in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and use within a few months.


Key to Abbreviations

c. = cup
tsp. = teaspoon
Tbsp. = tablespoon
oz. = ounce
lb. = pound

qt. = quart
g = gram
mg = milligram

pkg. = package


Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Contributed by Laurie Anderson

Similar recipe contributed by Megan Lewis 


3 large eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. zucchini (preferably small zucchinis), peeled and grated (use medium-sized grate texture)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
2½ c. flour
½ c. cocoa powder
Cooking spray 


Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Combine wet ingredients: eggs, grated zucchini, vegetable oil and vanilla. While mixing, gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Spray two small (for example, 8- by 4-inch) bread pans with cooking spray and fill with batter. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Makes two loaves.

Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 310 calories, 15 g fat, 4 g protein, 43 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, and 240 mg sodium.

Focaccia Bread

Contributed by NDSU Extension


4 c. flour
a c. lukewarm water
2 Tbsp. olive oil + more for greasing
1 Tbsp. honey 
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 pkg. dried yeast 
Variety of colorful vegetables


Proof the yeast. Add lukewarm water (about 110 F) and honey to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, and stir to combine, using a nonmetal spoon or your finger. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Give the yeast a quick stir to mix it in with the water. Then let it sit for five to 10 minutes until the yeast is activated and foamy.

Knead. Set the mixer to low speed and gradually add flour, olive oil and salt. Increase speed to medium-low and continue mixing the dough for five minutes or until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 

First rise. Remove dough from the mixing bowl and use your hands to shape it into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl with a touch of olive oil, then place the dough ball back in the bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Place in a warm location and let the dough rise for 45 minutes, or until it has nearly doubled in size. 

Prep veggies. While the dough is rising, prep your vegetables. Make sure you wash each veggie and cut into thin slices — strips and rounds — so that the vegetables are varied shapes and sizes for most colorful garden focaccia results. 

Second dough rise + decoration. Once dough rises for the first time, punch down and then put your dough onto an olive oil-greased standard baking sheet (13- by 9-inch) and press the dough down so it covers the baking sheet and is about ½ inch tall. Preheat oven to 400 F. Now start decorating your blank canvas focaccia, imagining your favorite garden. Create shapes using the vegetables that mimic flowers. Try using peppers as flower heads, asparagus as stems, parsley as leaves and rosemary as grass. Remember that the dough grows and the veggies shrink, so for bright and best results, cover the dough completely with various vegetable flowers. Sprinkle either coarse or fine sea salt over the top of the dough before placing in the oven.

Bake. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through. 

Serve. Like most baked goods, this focaccia is best served straight from the oven. You also can let it cool completely and wrap in tin foil and store in fridge for up to one week or freezer for up to one month.

Note: Pairs well with soup. See page 37 for soup recipes. 

Makes 12 servings. Each serving has 180 calories, 3 g fat, 5 g protein, 34 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 85 mg sodium.

Kraut Buns

Contributed by Janna Diggs

“My paternal grandpa, Lawrence Dick of Englevale, N.D., was 100% German Russian. His dad, Philip Dick, was born in Norka, Russia, and his mom, Maria Stroh, was born in Frank, Russia. They were “Volga River” German Russians and immigrated to Nebraska as children. They met at church in Nebraska and moved to Ransom County, N.D., after they were married, with Philip’s parents. My great-grandma Mary and my great-aunts made the best kraut buns and this recipe comes from my great-aunt Marian (Dick) Sibley.”


4+ c. finely shredded cabbage
½ c. finely chopped onion
1 lb. bacon
Bacon drippings
Salt and pepper (to taste) 

Optional: Can replace some of cabbage with sauerkraut 

Dough (or can use frozen bread dough):
4-4½ c. all-purpose flour
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt


For the filling: 

Fry bacon in a large skillet; crumble and set aside. Add cabbage and/or sauerkraut and onion to the bacon drippings in the skillet, and sauté until tender. Depending on the amount of bacon drippings, you may need to add more shredded cabbage (so the mixture is not too greasy). Add crumbled bacon and salt and pepper to taste. My family uses a generous amount of pepper. Refrigerate until dough is ready.

For the dough: 

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 c. flour and the yeast.

In a saucepan, heat milk, sugar, butter and salt until just warm (115 to 120 F) and butter is almost melted, stirring constantly. 

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture; add eggs.

Beat on low speed of mixer for ½ minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat three minutes at high speed.

Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (six to eight minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled (about one hour).

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Punch dough down; divide dough in half. Roll out each half of dough into a rectangular shape of ¼-inch thickness. Cut dough into 4- by 4-inch squares — it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Take one piece of dough (can roll out more or stretch as needed) and add a large spoonful of the cabbage filling to the center of the square.

Bring up each of the four corners and pinch together well. Form into a rounder shape and place the dough ball, seam side down, into a baking sheet.

Let dough balls rise for 30 minutes. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush tops with melted butter.

Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 320 calories, 14 g fat, 18 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 610 mg sodium.

Squash Biscuits

Contributed by Janna Diggs

“My sister-in-law from Sioux Lookout, Ontario, brought this recipe from Canada when she married my brother, who farms near Englevale, N.D. These biscuits are a “must have” at our family dinners and it’s hard to just eat one. They are great with butte, or butter and honey. The original recipe also suggests using them for ham and honey mustard sandwiches.”


2 c. flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
2½ tsp. baking powder 
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for garnish
¾ c. butter, cut into ½-inch cubes 
1 c. cold mashed winter squash (or pumpkin or sweet potato)
4-5 Tbsp. heavy cream, plus more for brushing biscuits if desired 


Preheat the oven to 425 F. 

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and pepper in a large bowl.

Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized crumbs.

Stir squash and 4 Tbsp. cream into flour mixture with a fork, adding more cream as needed to moisten crumbs and form a rough, slightly sticky dough. 

Turn out dough onto a floured work surface. Gently knead dough, turning over about five times, until it comes together.

Roll out dough into a 10-inch round (about ½ inch thick). 

Cut out 2-inch rounds from dough with a biscuit cutter, dipping cutter in flour before each cut. Arrange rounds on a large baking sheet.

Gather and reroll scraps. Cut out more biscuits. Repeat.

Brush tops of rounds with heavy cream if desired for a slightly shiny glaze, and top each with a pinch of freshly ground pepper. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 14 to 18 minutes. Transfer biscuits to a rack to cool.

Makes 18 servings. Each serving has 140 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 135 mg sodium.

Zucchini Bread

Contributed by Rhonda Jordahl

“This recipe is a great way to use an abundance of fresh zucchini!”


3 large eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. zucchini, grated and drained
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
½ c. chopped walnuts


Combine eggs, baking soda, sugar, oil, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, zucchini and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well. Mix in flour and chopped walnuts. Grease three bread pans and divide dough evenly among the pans. Bake for one hour at 350 F. Check for dryness with a toothpick at 50 minutes. Remove from oven when done, let cool for five minutes and remove from bread pans. Serve with butter.

Makes 24 servings. Each serving has 230 calories, 11 g fat, 3 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 160 mg sodium.

Zucchini Muffin Mix: Four Ways

Contributed by Deb Haugen

This muffin mix can be prepared four ways. Combine the main mix to any of the four flavors: regular, carrot spice, Scandinavian or chocolate recipes.

Main Mix


1 c. unbleached flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. granulated sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a separate large bowl, cream sugar and oil. Add eggs to oil-sugar mixture. Combine both mixtures; mix well. Add desired flavor to mix (See No. 1-4). Bake muffins for 15 to 18 minutes at 350 F. 

Makes 16 muffins. Each serving has 250 calories, 15 g fat, 3 g protein, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 95 mg sodium.

Note: One of the following four mixtures can be combined with the “Main Mix” recipe to complete your zucchini muffin recipe.

1. Regular Zucchini Muffin Flavor

1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 c. zucchini, grated

Makes 16 muffins (one muffin = one serving). Each serving has 250 calories, 15 g fat, 3 g protein, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 95 mg sodium.

2. Carrot Spice Zucchini Muffin Flavor

1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon 
1 tsp. clove 
1 c. carrot, grated
1 c. zucchini, grated
1 egg (additional)

Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 260 calories, 15 g fat, 4 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 105 mg sodium.

3. Scandinavian Zucchini Muffin Flavor

½ c. almond flour
1 Tbsp. almond extract
1 tsp. cardamom
2 c. zucchini, grated 
1 egg (additional)

Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 280 calories, 17 g fat, 4 g protein, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 100 mg sodium.

4. Chocolate Zucchini Muffin Flavor

¼ c. cocoa powder
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 c. zucchini, grated 

Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 260 calories, 15 g fat, 3 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 95 mg sodium.


Carrot Top Soup

Contributed by Cindy Maritato

“Carrots from the Market Garden had such lovely green tops that I searched for a recipe to use them. (There are many recipes using carrot greens!)”


1 large bunch carrot tops (2 bunches if small)
1 medium-large onion (to make 2 c. in small dice)
1 lb. potatoes
4¼ c. vegetable or chicken broth
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and ground pepper (to taste)
Turmeric, cumin and/or grated fresh ginger (optional)
Sour cream or Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)
Olive oil for garnish (optional)


Wash carrot tops and remove/discard tough stems and any yellowed leaves. Use a scissors or knife to cut carrot greens into smaller pieces. Peel and cut onions and potatoes in small dice.

Heat olive oil at medium heat in a saucepan. Sauté onions until translucent. Then add potatoes. Cook for about five minutes, stirring from time to time before adding carrot tops. Stir for a few minutes. Once carrot tops have started to “melt” a bit, add broth. Add salt and pepper and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Add optional spices to taste (preferably at the end of the cooking process to preserve flavors).

Use an immersion blender for a smooth soup or simply add in the diced ingredients for greater texture.

Serve by topping with olive oil and/or fresh cream or a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 140 calories, 8 g fat, 3 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 65 mg sodium.

German Sausage Soup

Contributed by Brenda Bauer


1 tsp. olive oil
14 oz. turkey smoked ring sausage, cut into small slices (turkey kielbasa recommended)
1½ c. onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
32 oz. chicken, vegetable or beef broth
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes 
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp. pepper
7 oz. cabbage, shredded
3-4 carrots, grated and/or chopped into small bits
1 bay leaf
1/3 c. rice


In a large pan sauté onion and garlic until tender, one to two minutes. Add turkey kielbasa. Cook for eight to 10 minutes. Add broth, diced tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Simmer until the rice is cooked.

Serve with a pretzel roll or breadstick.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 170 calories, 5 g fat, 10 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 550 mg sodium.

Rustic Tomato Basil Soup

Contributed by NDSU Extension


2½ lb. fresh, ripe tomatoes, halved
4 Tbsp. olive oil
½ Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
2 medium onions, chopped
10 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (14½-oz.) cans fire-roasted tomatoes with juices
3 c. fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
2 tsp. dried oregano
6 c. unsalted vegetable stock
1 tsp. sugar, depending on sweetness of tomatoes


Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large rimmed sheet pan, combine the fresh tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in an even layer for 45 to 60 minutes. While tomatoes are roasting, in a heavy large pot, sauté onions in olive oil for one minute. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes with juices, fresh basil, oregano and vegetable stock. Stir to combine well.

Add your oven-roasted tomatoes (and any liquid that may be on baking sheet) and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree soup until desired texture. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to taste, if needed. Add additional salt and/or black pepper as needed.

Each serving has 100 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 510 mg sodium.

Summer Borscht With Beets

Contributed by Bonnie Peterson

“Borscht is a traditional Eastern European dish. In summer, it is more vegetarian but in winter it often starts with beef chunks as a base. Dill is a favorite flavor addition, both in the soup and as a garnish.” 


3-4 beets with greens
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large potatoes, cut into large pieces
2½ qt. water (or use reduced-sodium beef broth or vegetable broth)
½ tsp. celery seed
2-3 bay leaves
½ tsp. coriander, ground
½ tsp. fennel, ground
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper (to taste)

Optional garnishes: chopped green onions, fresh dill, chopped hard-boiled egg, sour cream or Greek yogurt


Prepare beet roots by peeling and dicing. Dice beet stems and thinly slice beet greens. Sauté onion in olive oil five to seven minutes. Add garlic for 45 seconds. Add beets and carrots and sauté for five to seven minutes. Add beet greens, potatoes, broth and spices. Bring to boil; simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are done. Add lemon juice. Garnish bowls as desired. May be served hot, room temperature or cold.

Makes 16 (6-oz.) servings. Each serving has 60 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 25 mg sodium.

Vegetarian Borscht

Contributed by Rosemary Jones


2-3 large beets, peeled and diced

1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced
6 c. water or vegetable broth
2 large potatoes, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
½ medium cabbage, cut into strips 
1 bay leaf 
¼ c. lemon juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. dill
½ c. fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
Sour cream or Greek yogurt (optional) 


Add vegetable oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot and heat on medium. Add onions and sauté until soft, then add garlic and sauté briefly. 

Add veggie broth and/or water and heat until simmering. 

Add carrots, beets, potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add bay leaf, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Simmer until all vegetables are tender (20 to 30 minutes). 

Add chopped herbs and adjust seasonings if needed. Eat right away or let it rest overnight. Top with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt if desired. 

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 130 calories, 0 g fat, 4 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 160 mg sodium.

Vegetable Broth

Contributed by Bonnie Peterson

“Excellent way to use up the ends and peelings as well as an excess and leftover vegetables to make broth for rice, soup or sauces.” 


Onions and/or ends, diced
Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. oil
Carrots and/or peelings
Celery stalks, leaves and/or ends, diced
Green beans and/or ends
Peas and/or pods
Tomatoes and/or skins
Squash ends and/or slices, peeled
Broccoli/cabbage/cauliflower stalks and/or pieces
Sweet potatoes and/or peelings, diced
Mushroom tops and/or ends, sliced


Vegetables listed above are only suggestions. Quantity and type of vegetables depends upon what you have available or leftover at your home. 

In a 4 qt. pot, sauté onion until transparent, adding garlic during the last minute. Add the sweeter vegetables such as carrots, squash and sweet potato. Add seasonings and sauté another four minutes to develop their flavor. 

Add the rest of the vegetables and cover with water to the top of the vegetables. Cook over low heat for one to two hours until the broth is the flavor and strength you desire. Salt and pepper, as well as the other seasonings, can be added according to your taste.

Strain the broth and blend or discard the vegetables. Putting the cooked vegetables into the blender and mixing with the liquid could give a thicker broth. 

Refrigerate the broth for no more than four days. It can be labeled, dated and frozen in 1- to 4-cup servings to thaw and use as needed.

Makes 12 (1-cup) servings. Each serving has 5 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 0 mg sodium.


Chicken Broccoli Salad

Contributed by Michelene Peterson

“I got this from watching the Frugal Gourmet on PBS back in the early ’90s.” 


1-2 bunches broccoli, chopped in small pieces
4 green onions or small bunch chives, chopped
Small bunch parsley, chopped
2-4 cooked chicken breasts, cold and chopped in pieces


2 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ c. cottage cheese
½ c. milk
½ c. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. sugar or honey
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. dill, dried or fresh
Salt and pepper (to taste)


Put broccoli pieces in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Combine chopped broccoli, green onion/chives, parsley and cold cooked chicken breasts and set aside. Prepare dressing by combining dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl or Mason jar. Add dressing to chopped ingredients. Adjust quantities of broccoli and chicken to your preference.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 330 calories, 19 g fat, 27 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 300 mg sodium.

Fresh Creamy Cucumber Salad

Contributed by Rhonda Jordahl 

“This is a summertime favorite for me growing up. I remember my mother telling me stories of my grandmother making creamed cucumbers for my grandpa while I was growing up on the farm. She used fresh cream from the bulk tank!”


2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced 
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced 
2 tsp. salt
1 c. mayonnaise 
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh dill
1 tsp. black pepper 


Stir together cucumbers, onion and salt in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; let stand for 30 minutes. Transfer cucumber mixture to a colander; let drain, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has drained. Pat the cucumbers dry and transfer them to a large bowl. Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, dill and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the cucumber mixture to coat and gently mix. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.

Makes 14 (½-cup) servings. Each serving has 130 calories, 12 g fat, 1 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 430 mg sodium.

Kale Salad

Contributed by Karen Kooren

“It’s healthy and popular with guests when I entertain.”


8-10 c. kale, thinly sliced
1 c. toasted walnuts
½ c. crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing:

4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar (optional)


Mix dressing ingredients and toss well with salad.

Makes eight (1-cup) servings. Each serving has 230 calories, 19 g fat, 6 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 115 mg sodium.

Leafy Greens With Fruit, Cheese and Nuts

Contributed by NDSU Extension


2½ c. spring greens
1 small apple or pear, cut into thin slices
½ c. grapes, sliced lengthwise
1/8 c. crumbled feta
¼ c. toasted walnut halves


Rinse greens thoroughly under running water. In a large bowl, toss greens, apples and grapes together. Pour favorite dressing over the fruit and lettuce, and toss again to combine. Top salad with feta crumbles and toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.

Makes two servings. Each serving (without salad dressing) has 180 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 115 mg sodium.

Norwegian Cucumber Salad (Agurksalat)

Contributed by Bonnie Peterson

“This is a simple Nordic summertime salad and can easily be multiplied for a crowd.” 


2-3 large cucumbers 
2/3 c. white vinegar
2/3 c. cold water
3 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper 


Slice cucumbers into thin strips and place aside in a 2 qt. bowl. Mix vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over cucumbers and mix. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Best served with a slotted spoon. 

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 40 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 150 mg sodium.

Side Dishes

Cilantro Vegetable Rice

Contributed by Sundari Elango


1 c. basmati rice
1 carrot
1 potato
2 tsp. salt
1 green spicy chili
1 inch ginger root
2 garlic cloves
Beans (optional)
1 bunch cilantro
1 tsp. butter
2 Tbsp. oil
2 star anise
1 bay leaf


Grind cilantro, garlic and chili with a little water. Add oil and solid butter to a rice cooker. Fry the star anise and bay leaf. Then add the vegetables and sauté. Add rice and cook until done. 

Makes 10 servings. Each serving has 120 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 490 mg sodium.

Creamed Tomatoes on Toast

Contributed by Deb Haugen


6+ large tomatoes, sliced about ½ inch thick (after cutting off ends)
1+ c. flour in flat dish
1-2+ c. milk
About 2 Tbsp. olive oil or butter per round of frying
Any herbs desired
Salt and pepper (to taste)


In a large frying pan, heat oil or butter. Dip tomato slices on each side in flour. Fry tomato slices until browned on each side. Continue frying and add tomatoes to serve to group on toasted bread. Freezes well.

Makes 15 servings. Each serving has 140 calories, 3 g fat, 5 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 110 mg sodium.

Cucumber Spread

Contributed by Joan Bishoff

“I have also used sour cream and plain yogurt instead of mayo and added a bit of honey if I wanted sweetness. Parsley can be added or substituted for dill weed. This was my mother’s recipe — sort of. She made open-faced sandwiches for company. I have made some changes over the years.”


4 large cucumbers (3-4 c. diced)
½ tsp. salt
8 oz. cream cheese
½ c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. dill weed
1 Tbsp. diced onion
Chives, mint or parsley (optional)


Rinse cucumbers thoroughly. Peel cucumbers if desired. Remove seeds and dice. Combine with salt and allow to rest one hour, draining excess water. Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed and onion. Fold in cucumbers. Top with optional herb. Serve with crackers, vegetables or as a sandwich spread.

Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 110 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, and 160 mg sodium. 

East African Seasoning

Contributed by Deb Haugen


3 Tbsp. cumin
3 Tbsp. coriander, ground
1 Tbsp. cinnamon, ground
1 Tbsp. cloves, ground
1-3 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional|
1 Tbsp. salt


Mix together and store for use in stew or soup or on meat. 

Makes 16 (1½-tsp.) servings. Each serving has 10 calories, 0 g fat, 0.5 g protein, 1.5 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber and 440 mg sodium.

Easy Roasted Vegetables 

Contributed by NDSU Extension


2 c. sweet potato, diced into small cubes
1 red onion |
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 c. broccoli florets
1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered 
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered 
2 c. white mushrooms
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar 
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. Italian seasoning 
Salt and pepper (to taste)


Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place sweet potatoes in bowl and add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Transfer vegetable mixture (reserve bowl) to sheet pan and spread in single layer. Roast for about 30 minutes, then stir. Place remaining vegetables in bowl and add remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Add to sweet potatoes on sheet pan. Roast 10 to 15 minutes longer or until tender. Roasting time may need to be adjusted depending on size of vegetables. Serve immediately. 

Note: Feel free to try different vegetables or different seasoning mixtures. 

Makes 12 servings. Each serving has 80 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 30 mg sodium.

Fresh From the Garden Salsa

Contributed by Rajeev Kunwar


1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 large onion, finely chopped
½ large green bell pepper, finely chopped
½ -1 whole jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3-4 large Roma (paste) tomatoes, chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Juice from ¼ lemon


Rinse all fresh produce, then prepare as noted. Mix ingredients together and serve, altering the recipe to suit your own taste preferences. Store covered in the refrigerator. To keep calorie and fat content low, serve with baked tortilla chips.

Makes 10 servings. Each serving has 15 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 0 mg sodium.

Note: This fresh salsa recipe is not suitable for canning. Visit NDSU Extension food preservation resources for many research-tested salsa recipes.

Fresh Tomatoes

Contributed by Sky Purdin

“Tomatoes grown in North Dakota are some of the sweetest I have ever tasted. I grew up eating tomatoes with some salt and eating them like an apple. I didn’t get back into eating them like this until I had fresh tomatoes in abundance.” 


Tomatoes (any variety — Roma or beefsteak tomatoes work great)
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil


Slice tomatoes into thick round slices.

Add fresh, gently torn basil leaves on top of the tomatoes. 

Drizzle coarse or regular sea salt and balsamic vinegar on top. 

Enjoy as a fresh snack or as a side dish.

Makes four servings. Each serving has 20 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 5 mg sodium.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Contributed by Joan Bishoff


4 tomatoes, chopped (about 2-3 c.)
½ c. chopped onion
½ c. chopped green pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. oregano or cilantro
1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 mango, diced (optional)


Combine all washed ingredients in a medium bowl and mix.

Makes a little over 4 c.

Makes 32 2-Tbsp. servings. Each serving has 5 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 150 mg sodium.

Note: This fresh salsa recipe is not suitable for canning. Visit NDSU Extension food preservation resources for many research-tested salsa recipes.

Fried Green Tomatoes 


4 large green tomatoes 
2 eggs
½ c. skim milk
1 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. cornmeal
½ c. regular or whole-wheat bread crumbs 
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 qt. vegetable oil for frying 


Slice tomatoes ½ inch thick. Discard ends. 

Place flour into a bowl. Whisk eggs and milk together in a bowl. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper on another plate. 

Dip tomatoes into flour to coat, transfer the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture and cover completely. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat. 

In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is ½ inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes in your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes; they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels. 

Makes four servings. This recipe would require lab testing to determine calorie and fat content.

Be sure to heat the oil sufficiently before adding the tomatoes. Then drain the fried tomatoes thoroughly on paper toweling.

Frozen Sweet Corn

Contributed by Marguerite Ronsberg

Similar recipe contributed by Megan Lewis

“My farm family would freeze sweet corn each summer. It would take a large part of the day as we would pick the corn, shuck the corn, clean the corn, cut the corn off the cob, blanch/cook the corn and then finally package the corn for freezing. This was a favorite of our family, so we made many, many batches of this recipe.”
- Marguerite Ronsberg 

“This is a family favorite! It is so easy and so tasty. We can’t wait to get our 12 dozen ears of corn every year so we can enjoy this all year round.” - Megan Lewis 


1 qt. sweet corn, shucked and cut
1 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
2 sticks butter, melted
1 tsp. salt


Cut sweet corn off the cob to equal 1 quart. (See tips below) 

Put in a 6 qt. pot on medium/high setting to heat. Add water, sugar, melted butter and salt. Adjust salt if using salted butter or if dietary needs dictate. Stir to combine and bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes.

Cool. Put in containers of your choice to freeze. 

Tips: Use an electric knife to cut the corn off the corn cob. If you have an angel food cake pan with a hole in the center of the pan, corn ears can be held in the hole while the corn kernels are cut off and the majority of the kernels will fall into the pan.

Makes seven servings. Each serving has 380 calories, 26 g fat, 5 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, and 340 mg sodium.

Grilled Cabbage Steaks

Contributed by Terri Hedman

“My husband, Dave, made it up in his head!”


1 cabbage head
Olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Optional Seasonings: 

Red pepper
Onion powder
Garlic powder

Optional Toppings:

Crumbled bacon
Cheese (parmesan, feta, goat)
Cherry tomatoes 
Creamy garlic dressing 

Creamy Garlic Dressing:

2/3 c. mayo or plain Greek yogurt
½ c. milk
½ tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. dried parsley
¼ tsp. dried dill
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper 


Slice cabbage in 1 inch “steaks” Slide wooden skewers across the cabbage slices. This will help hold the cabbage together on the grill. Drizzle the slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and your favorite seasonings. Grill each side on a medium-high temperature for about seven to 10 minutes per side, until you have a nice char. Top with desired toppings. 

Makes six servings of cabbage steaks. Each serving has 90 calories, 5 g fat, -3 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 40 mg sodium.

Makes six servings of dressing. Each serving has 25 calories, 0 g fat, 3 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 180 mg sodium.

Jean Eppler’s Cranberries

Contributed by Sarah Carlisle

“I can’t take credit for this; I got it from a Fargo native whom I never met named Jean Eppler. This recipe was posted on The Lost Italian blog, which has been taken down. But lucky for me (and you) because I saved it! This recipe is a new family tradition served during Thanksgiving and Christmas for both my side and my husband’s side of the family.”


12-oz. pkg. fresh cranberries or 1 (14-oz.) can whole cranberry sauce (depending on availability)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
¼ c. cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 c. sugar (exclude sugar if using canned cranberries)
¼ heaping tsp. cumin (I use more)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Dash sea salt
2 (8-oz.) pkg. whipped cream cheese (use mixer to whip cheese just before serving or buy whipped)

Tortilla chips (lime flavor recommended)


Chop cranberries in a food processor. Mixture should stay red. If it is turning pink, it is overprocessed. Finely chop green onions, cilantro and jalapeno pepper. Combine and mix all ingredients (except for cream cheese and chips) then cover and refrigerate for at least four hours. The sugar needs some time to soak into the cranberries and break up their bitter taste. Let cream cheese sit out for a short amount of time to soften before serving. 

When you are ready to serve, spread cream cheese on a platter and pour the cranberry mixture over the cream cheese. Serve with tortilla chips.

Makes 12 servings. Each serving has 350 calories, 20 g fat, 5 g protein, 41 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 270 mg sodium.

Jolloff Rice

Contributed by Bibian Cummings


8 chicken breasts or preferred chicken parts
2 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ginger, ground
2 tsp. onion powder
½ medium onion (chopped)
2 bay leaves
6 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. seasoning salt or 3 seasoning cubes
Add salt to taste
6-9 c. stock water
½ c. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
White or Brown Rice
3 c. rice

Tomato Stew

2 c. tomato stew (see Tomato Stew Recipe, page 75)



Season the chicken with paprika, thyme, curry powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cook seasoned chicken for about 10 to 15 minutes or until tender (I prefer to cook before frying). Strain your stock with a sieve and set stock aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp. from the chopped onions and cook until the oil becomes fragrant.

Add cooked chicken (chicken breast or preferred chicken parts) and fry until they become well browned on both sides - about 10 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside. (Or you can bake the chicken).

White or Brown Rice + Stock Water

Wash rice; change water until water is clear. Put in a bowl and set aside.

Add 6 to 9 c. stock to pot, allow to boil. Add chopped onions, onion powder, curry powder, thyme, paprika, ginger, 2 bay leaves; add unsalted butter and 6 Tbsp. tomato paste. Add seasoning cubes/salt. Add salt to taste, stir and allow to boil

Stir in rice, cover first with foil, then put on the lid; allow to boil over low heat for 30 minutes. Add water until rice cooks and is soft.

Mix Rice With Tomato Stew

Option 1: When rice is done, mix with tomato stew, cover tightly and allow the steam to cook the rice on very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Option 2: Preheat oven to 360 F. When rice is done, mix with tomato stew and put mixed rice in an oven pan and cover tightly, then put in the oven. Cook rice in oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or until soft. When cooked, bring out and allow to cool.

Serve Jollof Rice with mixed steamed vegetables or vegetable of choice.

Makes 10 servings. Each serving has 440 calories, 16 g fat, 26 g protein, 46 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 360 mg sodium.

Kale Chips 

Contributed by Mary Przyrmus


1 bunch curly kale 
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Juice from ½ lemon (or more)
½ Tbsp. tamari sauce (available at Cashwise and Family Fare in a variety of options, such as gluten-free or low-sodium
Salt and pepper (to taste)


Tear kale off of the tough stems and break into pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and massage into kale. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (I spray lightly with PAM). 

Bake at 275 F for about 10 to 15 minutes until crispy. Turn once during cooking; they don’t take long. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. 

I cool them on newspapers (spread out), which also absorbs some excess oil. Seal the chips in zip-top bags. 

Alternatively, they can be dehydrated at 115 F for eight hours.

Makes four servings. Each serving has 80 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 55 mg sodium.

Potatoes With Rosemary and Garlic

Contributed by Mary Ann Phillips

“My husband never cooks, but during COVID, he wanted to prepare Christmas dinner for the two of us. These potatoes were our favorite part of the meal!”


4 large potatoes
Kosher salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 Tbsp. butter
1 c. chicken or beef broth
2 rosemary sprigs
2 garlic cloves


Preheat oven to 400 F. 

Peel potatoes and slice off ends; cut potatoes into ½-inch slices.

Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Add oil and 4 Tbsp. of butter. Sear potatoes on one side until golden brown, about four minutes.

Flip potatoes and add broth, rosemary and garlic. Transfer skillet to the oven and cook until fork tender, about 30 minutes.

Spoon pan sauce over potatoes and serve. Enjoy! 

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 160 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 85 mg sodium.


Contributed by Lane Lipetzky


1 medium eggplant
8 Roma tomatoes
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
7 mushrooms
¼ c. olive oil
1 medium onion
5 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
8-10 leaves fresh basil
½ dried oregano
Fresh parsley
Fresh thyme
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese 


Cube or thinly slice eggplant, squash and zucchini; toss in 2 Tbsp. olive oil and salt. Roast on a baking sheet at 425 F for 10 minutes. Put the eggplant pan on the middle rack, the other vegetables on the top rack.

Dice onions, peppers and tomatoes. Mince garlic and slice mushrooms. 

Sauté onion, garlic, mushrooms and peppers in 2 Tbsp. olive oil on the stove using a cast iron skillet (or any pan that is oven safe) for five minutes on medium heat. 

Add tomatoes, oregano and basil to skillet and cook on low to medium heat until tomatoes form a sauce. 

Add the roasted eggplant, squash and zucchini to iron skillet and mix in. 

Bake at 375 F covered for 40 minutes; remove cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with parsley, thyme, extra basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 190 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 90 mg sodium. 

Refrigerator Beet Pickles

Contributed by Bonnie Peterson

“Beet pickles have been a family favorite for generations and even though ‘canning’ them in mass quantities doesn’t happen at my house, we can still enjoy the taste for a few months in smaller batches without all of the fuss.” 


2 c. apple cider vinegar
2 c. water
2 c. granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. whole allspice 
½ tsp. whole cloves 
2 qt. beets (about 15 medium-large beets), roasted or boiled


Cover beets with cold water, then bring to a boil and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and dice into large pieces. Pack cut beets into two clean quart-sized or four pint-sized jars. Bring water, vinegar, spices and sugar to a boil. Pour hot brine over beets in jars to cover completely (add water if needed). Put jar covers on and store jars for three to four days in refrigerator before serving. They must be stored in refrigerator because they are not processed. They will keep for two to three months. 

Makes 25 servings. Each serving has 90 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate and 1 g fiber. 

Note: Sodium content varies in these pickled recipes because the brine generally is not consumed and the pickles will absorb varying levels of sodium.

For pickling recipes for canning, see “Making Pickled Products” available at www.ag.ndsu.edu/food under Food Preservation.

Refrigerator Cucumber Pickles

Contributed by Becky Erickson

“This recipe came from a co-worker. I make a gallon or two every summer. Sometimes I add some chopped green peppers as well.”


10-15 cucumbers
4 large onions
4 c. sugar
4 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. turmeric
½ c. salt


Wash and thinly slice enough cucumbers to fill a gallon jar. Slice and separate onions and place in a jar with the cucumbers. Combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, mustard seed, turmeric and salt in a large kettle. Heat until dissolved. Cool. Pour over the cucumbers and onions. Store in the refrigerator. 

Makes 64 servings. Each serving has 90 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate and 0 g fiber.

Rosemary Potatoes

Contributed by Bob Splichal

“This recipe is a great meal complement when you can use those fresh baby potatoes from the garden drizzled with butter when hot or cutting up those larger potatoes and baking crisp, for those who like that “chip” texture. They look great and taste even better!”


2 lbs. unpeeled red potatoes
2 pressed garlic cloves
¼ c. (1 oz.) fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary, crushed
¼ tsp. salt
¼ c. olive oil 


Preheat the oven to 450 F. Use whole baby potatoes or cut into cubes (about 1 inch wide). Place potatoes in bar pan or large sheet pan. Lay potatoes in single layer in pan. Press garlic over potatoes; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, rosemary and salt. Drizzle with olive oil to coat evenly. Cook for 10 minutes, turn potatoes and cook another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the crispness desired. Check with fork for desired tenderness.

This recipe is also great cooked in a grilling pan outside.

Add fresh green beans, multicolored bell peppers, carrots or asparagus for a great grilled garden combination. If cooking in a grilling pan, toss vegetables with ingredients in a zip-top bag, (minimize olive oil drizzle usage as will wash off coating when mixing). Coat vegetables evenly before putting in the grilling pan.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 210 calories, 11 g fat, 4 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 210 mg sodium.

Sauteed Nettle

Contributed by Jeffrey Miller

“Nettles are a common woodland plant that most often is looked at with derision. When touched, tiny spines inject formic acid into the skin. This causes a burning and itching sensation. Nettle is commonly called itch weed or burn nettle for this reason. On our homestead, we have a few patches, and we actually nurture them along so we can enjoy sauteed nettle.”


Fresh nettles
1 Tbsp. butter
Sea salt


Collect nettles in the spring, before they have flowered. Once they have flowered, they are no longer edible. Do not collect nettles in a location that has been sprayed or subjected to dust, as in a road ditch.

Wearing gloves and using scissors, cut each plant a few inches above the ground. Nettles around a foot tall are the best.

Collect in a cloth grocery bag until full.

Using the scissors, snip the leaves off each stalk. Discard the stalk.

Place nettle leaves in a colander and rinse well.

Heat 1 Tbsp. of butter in a pan. Once melted, fill the pan with nettle leaves. As they heat, they will wilt. Cook to desired doneness.

Remove from the pan and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy as you would spinach. We enjoy it with wild game meat.

Makes four servings. Each serving has 60 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate and 6 g fiber. The sodium content varies with the amount of added salt.

Savory Rice Pilaf


1 tsp. canola oil
1 c. onion, fresh, peeled, ¼ inch diced 
1 c. brown rice, parboiled, uncooked
1 Tbsp. almonds, chopped 
1/2 tsp. salt (or less)
1 tsp. allspice, dried and ground
1 tsp. turmeric, dried and ground 
1 tsp. curry powder, dried and ground
Black pepper (to taste)
1 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
Nonstick cooking spray 


Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat oil on medium high in a large skillet. Add onions and sauté until tender, about three minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add uncooked rice, almonds, salt, allspice, turmeric, curry powder and black pepper. Stir constantly until rice is yellow and almonds and seasonings are lightly toasted, about one to two minutes. Do not burn. Stir in vegetable broth. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Lightly coat a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly into the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed. Fluff the rice gently with a fork. 

Note: If using a rice pot, use the pot’s rice and liquid measurements to make 3 cups rice. If desired, add 1 c. cooked lentils or beans before baking.

Makes five servings. Each serving has 190 calories, 3 g fat, 4 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 270 mg sodium.

Stuffed Zucchini

Contributed by Janna Diggs


4 medium zucchini (about 6 oz. each)
½ small yellow onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
¼ tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. thyme
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. + 2 Tbsp. sour cream
¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
3 oz. crumbled bacon


Preheat the oven to 400 F. Slice zucchini lengthwise.

Scoop out seeds and discard. Scoop out flesh, leaving a ½-inch-thick shell around edges. Chop the zucchini flesh.

Sauté chopped onion with butter. Add curry powder and sauté for 30 seconds (no longer or will taste bitter).

Add thyme, salt, pepper, sour cream and the chopped zucchini and tomato.

Scoop into zucchini boats.

Place zucchini in a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 20 minutes, then broil until the top is golden brown. Add crumbled bacon.

Note: If using smaller zucchinis with less flesh, add ½ to b c. chopped zucchini to mixture and sauté.

Makes four servings. Each serving has 240 calories, 19 g fat, 7 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 590 mg sodium.

Tomato Stew

Contributed by Bibian Cummings


4 c. water
2 unpeeled medium potatoes, diced (any choice of potatoes)
1 c. rice, dry
1 medium onions, diced
2 (12-oz.) cans tomato paste
1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 (14.5-oz.) can stewed tomatoes, drained and sliced
1 jalapeno or Habanero pepper, chopped (optional)
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. seasoning salt
1 bay leaf
1 (10-oz.) bag whole-leaf spinach, prewashed


In a large saucepan, boil water. Add potatoes, rice, onions, tomato paste, tomato sauce diced tomatoes and chopped pepper (optional). Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in basil, seasoning salt and bay leaf. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until potatoes and rice are tender but firm. Add spinach and stir until wilted and fully heated. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 280 calories, 1 g fat, 12 g protein, 62 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber and 280 mg sodium.

Main Dishes

Auntie Annie’s Curry

Contributed by Ian DeSilva

“This recipe is based on Auntie Annie’s with influences from Dad and Aunt Hilda.” 


Marinade, if using meat or poultry:
1 Tbsp. garlic paste
1 Tbsp. ginger paste (or 2 Tbsp. combined garlic ginger paste)
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (use apple cider vinegar with brown sugar if vegan)

Mild Curry Powder:
a skinny red chili pepper, finely minced (or pulverized dried chili)
½ tsp. coriander, ground
1 tsp. mixed peppercorns, ground
¼ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. cayenne pepper (It was good I added this and the red pepper flakes. Bhutanese would have liked more “heat” but this level kept this mild.)
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. dried parsley
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cardamom


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes or 2 cans drained chickpeas
1 small onion, finely diced
1 (15-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes or 2 c. fresh tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. salt (Bhutanese gardeners would have liked more salt; they use a lot)

Vegetables: Mix and use about 3-4 c. as available:
3 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes and cooked in water
1 eggplant, sliced ½-inch-deep round slices, then cut ring into fifths
½ c. zucchini chunks, remove center seeds (I tried this in another recipe)
1½ c. winter squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (not in garden yet but Bhutanese gardeners were looking for it)
Baby bella mushrooms, finely diced
Peas (I used garden fresh peapods in a recipe at home; suggested by others who like curry, too)
Jalapeno pepper, minced (I didn’t have so added the cayenne pepper instead)
Poblano pepper (I didn’t have)
½ tsp. lemon juice
½ c. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. Chopped or dried cilantro to sprinkle over top, as served


Curry Powder: Can be prepared in advance

Destem chilies. If you want to reduce the heat, remove the membrane and seeds from inside chilies. 

Combine ingredients in spice grinder/blender until it reaches a powderlike consistency. If blender has plastic parts, leave out the turmeric and add directly to curry later. 

Once blended, put in pan over low heat. Toast the spices, stirring frequently, until fragrant (they toast very fast). 


Combine marinade ingredients and chicken in a plastic bag. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible and refrigerate two to four hours, or overnight. 

Add onion and salt to pot. Muddle together with your hands.

Add peppers and tomatoes to pot and heat on medium-high heat until vegetables are translucent. 

Add marinated chicken to pot and cook until browned. 

Add remaining vegetables, curry powder and lemon juice to pot until mostly cooked. Use a medium-low heat here to keep it at a simmer. If needed, add water to pot. This probably won’t be needed with chicken as it releases juices. Potatoes will take 20 to 30 minutes here to be “fork tender.” 

In the last five minutes, add coconut milk to pot. Allow it to reach a simmer. If using potatoes, you will need to add more salt. 

Once vegetables are cooked, serve over rice with cilantro sprinkled on top. 

Notes: We ate this over rice and the curry served well from a Crock-Pot; it may need more liquid (tomato juice or coconut milk if held very long or it will become thick).

I heated the curry spices, sautéed the onion and mushrooms in 1 Tbsp. oil, followed by the eggplant or zucchini. Then I added the tomatoes and peas.

I cooked the potatoes in water about 10 minutes and added these last at about the same time as the coconut milk, bringing them to temperature to serve over rice.

It worked well to prep the rice in a rice pot (takes about 18 minutes) and have the curry in the Crock-Pot to serve.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 390 calories, 14 g fat, 23 g protein, 47 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber and 700 mg sodium.

Black Bean Wraps 

Contributed by Janna Diggs 


2 tsp. olive oil
1 large green or red pepper, diced
2 c. diced Roma tomatoes (cored and seeded)
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. garlic powder
3 (10-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
3 Tbsp. cream cheese or mashed avocado 


Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan; sauté pepper for two minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, vinegar, cumin and garlic powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Spread cream cheese or avocado evenly over warmed tortillas. Top each tortilla with the bean filling. Roll up each tortilla, cut in half and serve. 

Makes six servings. Each serving has 300 calories, 11 g fat, 11 g protein, 45 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber and 440 mg sodium.

Cherry Tomato Crouton Casserole

Contributed by Deb Haugen


8 c. cherry tomatoes with stems removed
½ bag seasoned croutons
½ c. Parmesan/Italian cheese blend 


Grease two glass pans. Layer ingredients as follows: tomatoes, croutons, cheese, tomatoes, croutons, cheese. This recipe can use an abundance of tomatoes. Bake about 45 minutes at 325 to 350 F until cheese melts. (Can begin in microwave if wish to speed process). Serve over rice or as a side dish.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 90 calories, 3 g fat, 4 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 180 mg sodium.

Crustless Savory Zucchini Pie

Contributed by Megan Lewis

“My family loves this dish for breakfast or lunch with a fresh garden salad. You can add a layer of garden tomatoes to the bottom of the pan prior to pouring in the filling for more color and flavor!” 


10 oz. zucchini, shredded
½ c. red onion, diced
a c. fresh chives, chopped
¼ c. feta cheese
½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c. milk
1 tsp. olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
½ tsp. salt
Pepper (to taste) 


Preheat the oven to 400 F and spray the pie pan with cooking spray. Combine zucchini, red onions, chives and feta in a bowl. In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Add all remaining ingredients and blend well. Combine zucchini mixture with dry ingredients and blend well. Pour into pie pan and top with feta cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until knife comes out clean in the center. Let stand five minutes prior to serving. 

Makes six servings. Each serving has 110 calories, 4 g fat, 6 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 290 mg sodium.

Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner 

Contributed by NDSU Extension


2 lb. chicken breasts
2½ lemons (for juicing and slicing) 
8 cloves garlic
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. red potatoes, chopped 
1 lb. green beans, trimmed 
1 large red onion, chopped
1 (15-oz.) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes 
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley + more for garnish
12 Kalamata olives 
4 oz. feta cheese 


Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut each chicken breast into 1- by 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, add the chicken pieces, juice from one lemon, four minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp. salt, pepper, paprika and 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Mix and set aside while you prepare veggies. 

Add beans, chopped onion and chopped potatoes to a large bowl. Stir in the 15-oz. can tomatoes, juice from half a lemon, rosemary, thyme, parsley, 1 tsp. salt and pepper and 2 Tbsp. olive oil. 

Pour mixture onto a large baking sheet, add the chicken pieces (spaced evenly throughout the pan), lemon slices from leftover lemon, four thinly sliced garlic cloves and Kalamata olives. Roast at 450 F for 20 minutes. 

Pull the pan out from the oven but don’t remove. Crumble feta cheese and sprinkle onto the sheet pan and continue to cook for five more minutes, or until the chicken reads 165 F with a meat thermometer.  Serve while it’s hot and garnish with chopped parsley. 

Makes six servings. Each serving has 440 calories, 21 g fat, 40 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 540 mg sodium.

Harvest Skillet

Contributed by Jenny Buhr

“I wanted to come up with something sweet using some fall vegetables. My family loves this and demands it every fall.” 


1½ c. dry brown rice
1 lb. ground turkey
1 leek, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, raw, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
1½ c. Brussels sprouts, raw and halved
2 medium Braeburn, Gala or Granny Smith apples, peeled, seeded and chopped into ½-inch cubes
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
1 c. water
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1-2 c. of mozzarella cheese, shredded


Cook time: 45 minutes

Boil the rice per package instructions. Set aside. In a separate (oven/heat-resistant) skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground turkey and diced leek until leeks are transparent and ground turkey is white and fully cooked. Set aside on a separate plate.

In the same oven/heat-resistant skillet, combine sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and olive oil, and fry over medium high heat for five minutes. Add apples and fry for another five minutes. Combine with cooked and drained rice, ground turkey and leeks.

Add bouillon, water, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and cinnamon and heat over medium heat until completely combined and water is mostly gone (about five to 10 minutes). 

Top with desired amount of cheese and place pan in an oven set to broil for three to five minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Serve hot.

A really delicious variation: Pour the entire cooked mixture (without cheese) into an emptied and mostly cooked pumpkin, gourd or squash. The pumpkin stem should be cut out on top but the rest of the body remains intact (similar to cutting a jack-o’-lantern) with the seeds removed. Fill to the top with mixture and bake until pumpkin/gourd/squash is fully cooked. Add cheese and cook for an additional five minutes. Serve with remaining cheese. Wild rice works well also.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 340 calories, 13 g fat, 23 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 470 mg sodium.

Nigerian Chicken Stew

Contributed by Bibian Cummings

“This recipe was developed as a result of a need to find foods that I can eat. When I first came to the United Sates in 2002, it was hard to adapt to the American food. I was not used to most of the food and even the Nigerian foods were too expensive or I thought they had preservatives and were not fresh, thereby unhealthy. So I decided to use the American ingredients to make familiar foods like porridge potatoes, tomato stew and rice, beans porridge etc.”



6 medium tomatoes
3 red bell peppers (Nigerian name Tatashe)
2 habanero peppers (Nigerian name Atarodo) - optional
1 medium onion
5 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger root
1 (14.5-oz.) can tomato sauce


8 oz. chicken breast or preferred chicken parts
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. onion powder
½ c. vegetable oil


1 medium onion diced
1½ -2 c. chicken stock
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. paprika
2 bay leaves
2 bouillon cubes or 1 tsp. seasoned salt 


Step 1: Blend

Slice the tomatoes, peppers and onions into two halves. Blend everything with the ginger root and set aside.

Step 2

Season the chicken with paprika, thyme, curry powder, salt and pepper. Cook seasoned chicken for about 10 to 15 minutes (I prefer to cook before frying). 

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add 2 tsp. from the diced onions and cook till the oil becomes fragrant. 

Add the chicken (chicken breast or preferred chicken parts) and fry until they become well browned on both sides, about 10 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside. (Or you can bake the chicken). 

Step 3

Add the remaining diced onions in the same pan where the chicken was fried. Cook until the onions become translucent. Add the blended sauce and bay leaves and cook for five to 10 minutes. 

Add the paprika, curry powder, rosemary, two bouillon cubes or 1 tsp. seasoned salt, black pepper and salt to taste.

Add the blended tomato mix; allow to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Add the tomato sauce, allow to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Gently put the fried chicken in the sauce and leave to simmer until the chicken becomes tender, for about 20 minutes. (Cook until the water in the tomatoes dries, leaving tomato paste). Stir occasionally to prevent burning, and adjust the thickness of stew with chicken broth or stock. 

Serve over white/brown rice, pasta or couscous, or eat with freshly baked bread. Can also serve with steamed broccoli, mixed vegetables, spinach, green beans or another vegetable of choice.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 320 calories, 21 g fat, 14 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 470 mg sodium.

Spinach (or Swiss Chard) Chicken

Contributed by Laurie Anderson


2 pkg. fresh baby spinach (or Swiss chard)
8 chicken breast halves, skinned and boned
1 bottle Italian (or Caesar) dressing
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
16 oz. angel hair pasta (or brown rice)
8 Roma tomatoes 


Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Place raw chicken breasts over spinach (or Swiss chard). Season as desired. Pour half of dressing over greens. Place cheese over dressing. Add sliced tomatoes. Top with additional mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.

Bake covered at 350 F for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake additional 15 minutes. 

Serve over angel hair pasta or rice, cooked to package directions. 

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 730 calories, 35 g fat, 53 g protein, 50 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 690 mg sodium.

Swedish Potato Dumplings (Kroppkakor)

Contributed by Janna Diggs

“My grandma Ruby was 100% Swedish and this was a favorite dish of our family. Several generations of family have learned how to make ‘crops,’ as we call them.” 


6 c. baking potatoes, peeled and grated raw
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
About 5 c. flour
2 lb. cubed side/salt pork or ham 
1 lb. salt pork, cut into 2-inch strips (or ham)


Fry side/salt pork until crisp. Cool and drain on a paper towel. With a food processor, grate raw potatoes. Pour off water that accumulates. Mix grated potatoes, salt, baking powder and flour. Mixture will be similar to a breadlike dough but sticky. Wet hands and roll a handful of mixture into a ball (approximately the size of a small orange). Create a pit in the ball of dough and fill with a small spoonful of fried pork. Close and seal the opening and reform into a ball.

Drop the balls into a large pot of boiling, salted water so the dumplings are covered. Lower heat to a slow boil. Cook uncovered for about 45 minutes. Depending on the size of the dumpling, cooking may take anywhere from 30 minutes for smaller dumplings to 60 minutes for larger ones. As they cook, move the dumplings so they don’t stick to the bottom. They will float up as they cook. Once they float, cook for another 10 minutes. Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon. Serve with the fried side/salt pork and cranberries, and pour cream over the dumpling.

If there are leftovers, we cube them and reheat them in a frying pan, and then serve with lots of cream poured over them. 

Makes 18 servings. Each serving has 210 calories, 1.5 g fat, 1.5 g protein, 41 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 480 mg sodium.

Swiss Chard Frittata

Contributed by Mary Przymus


1½ Tbsp. olive oil 
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1 lb.), stems sliced thin and leaves sliced into ribbons
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 large eggs
6 grape tomatoes
½ c. crumbled feta cheese 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add Swiss chard stems. Sauté for nine to 10 minutes, until stems are tender. Add Swiss chard leaves and garlic. Cook until leaves are tender, two to three minutes. 

Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. 

Pour egg mixture into skillet over Swiss chard. Cook over medium heat until eggs are just set around the edges, about five minutes. Scatter tomato halves and crumbled feta evenly over top of frittata. 

Transfer skillet to oven and cook until eggs are set, about 15 minutes. 

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 130 calories, 9 g fat, 8 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 190 mg sodium.

Tomato Pie

Contributed by Sue Ellingson

“This was one of my mother’s favorite recipes once tomatoes were in abundance. While it could serve four to six, she and a friend could each eat half a pie.” 


7 fresh Roma tomatoes 
½ green bell pepper (diced)
½ medium yellow onion (diced)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ Tbsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp. pepper
¼ c. olive oil mayonnaise
1 c. shredded cheese (mozzarella or Monterey jack)
1 premade pie crust
1 Tbsp. fresh basil and/or oregano
4 oz. Italian sausage (optional)
Balsamic glaze (optional)
¼ tsp. salt


Roll out pie crust into a 9- to 10-inch lightly greased pie pan. Bake at 350 F for eight to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Slice tomatoes, keeping the outer flesh only. Discard the jelly seedling portion of the Roma to ensure pie is not runny. Bake tomatoes on a baking sheet for 18 minutes at 350 F until tender. Remove from the oven and allow tomatoes to cool. Once cooled, peel skin off using a fork. Set aside. 

Dice onion and green bell pepper. Add olive oil to a pan and sauté onion and bell pepper. Add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the pan. Sauté until tender. Remove from heat and fold in mayonnaise.

To pie crust, layer tomatoes evenly. Add onion and bell pepper mixture, spread evenly. Top pie with cheese. 

Optional: Add 4 oz. of Italian sausage to the skillet. Cook until crumbly and browned. Once fully cooked, evenly spread sausage crumbles over pie.

Bake at 375 F for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing. Top with torn fresh basil or oregano. 

Optional: Serve with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 340 calories, 22 g fat, 10 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 600 mg sodium.

Desserts and Treats

Apple Butter


5 lbs. unpeeled apples, washed
¼ c. water
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (optional)


Cut four sides off apple core and place in electric pressure cooker. Add water to apples and cook 15 minutes on high pressure. Let pressure release on its own. Use immersion blender or blender to purée apples. In pressure cooker, blend sugar and spices with apple purée. Press sauté function on electric pressure cooker, low setting, and cook down to desired thickness. Store up to a week in refrigerator or frozen in sterilized containers.

Makes about 2 qt.

Makes 64 (2-Tbsp.) servings. Each serving has 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 0 mg sodium.

Apple Crisp

Contributed by Deb Haugen

We use flavorful baking apples off of trees such as Haralson, or Braeburn from the store. Our family tradition since the 1960s has been to pick Haralson apples together each year and freeze the apple slices.


8 c. flavorful apples, sliced
1 tsp. salt 
½ c. whole-wheat flour 
¼ c. butter 
½ c. flour 
2 unbeaten eggs 
1 c. oatmeal
a c. canola oil 
1 c. brown sugar 
1 tsp. cinnamon/nutmeg 
2 tsp. baking powder combination 


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a large 9- by 13-inch glass pan.

Spread apples throughout pan. Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add butter and eggs, and cut them into dry ingredients. Place mixture over apples.

Pour oil evenly over mixture and sprinkle the crisp with cinnamon/nutmeg. 

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. 

Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 100 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 160 mg sodium.

Carrot Souffle

Contributed by Janna Diggs

“I’ve been making this dish since my daughter was a preschooler and she is now in college. It’s a favorite of my nieces and nephews and is always on the menu at our holiday dinners.”


1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
½ c. sugar
¼ c. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 1-quart baking dish.

Cook carrots in boiling water until tender. Drain. Process carrots in a food processor until smooth. Add remaining ingredients to carrot puree. (You also can put all ingredients in a blender and puree.)

Pour into a greased baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until set. Soufflé is set if a knife is inserted into the soufflé and it comes out clean.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 140 calories, 8 g fat, 3 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 65 mg sodium.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake or Cupcakes

Contributed by Anne Walker

“This is a dense chocolate lover’s cake that I have won many awards with. You don’t see or taste the zucchini so you don’t have to tell anyone it’s there. Just let them enjoy the rich moistness! I substitute gluten-free flour and substitute applesauce for half the oil.”


2 c. all-purpose flour (or all-purpose gluten-free flour)
2 c. white sugar
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1½ c. vegetable oil (can use ¾ oil and ¾ applesauce to lower the fat and keep moistness)
3 c. zucchini, grated
1 c. chocolate chips (optional)
Chocolate frosting (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch baking pan, Bundt pan or cupcake pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil; mix well. Fold in the zucchini (and chocolate chips, optional). Pour into the prepared pan or muffin cups.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. For cupcakes, bake 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely and, if frosting, frost.

Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 310 calories, 15 g fat, 4 g protein, 43 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 240 mg sodium.

Green Tomato Apple Pie

Contributed by Anne Walker

“This pie is a family tradition to make at the end of tomato season, sweet and tart at the same time, served warm with vanilla ice cream. You don’t have to tell anyone that the secret ingredient is green tomatoes!”


Pie crust for a 2-crust pie
2 c. green tomatoes, skinned and thinly sliced
3 c. apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter


Preheat the oven to 425 F.

To peel the green tomatoes: Cut an X into the skin on the bottom of each whole tomato. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for one minute and then rinse under cold water to cool. Peel the tomato skin starting at the X cut on the bottom.

Combine sliced and peeled tomatoes and apples with dry ingredients.

Line a pie pan with the bottom pie crust. Pour in the apples and tomatoes. Dot with the butter. Place the top crust over the filling and crimp the edges together. Use a fork to poke a few vent holes in the top crust.

Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 450 calories, 18 g fat, 3 g protein, 71 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 400 mg sodium.

Rhubarb Cookies

Contributed by Christie Magnuson


1 c. soft butter
1½ c. brown sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1¾ c. quick oats
½ tsp. baking soda
1½ c. rhubarb 


4 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
4 Tbsp. soft butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 


Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add flour, quick oats, baking soda and rhubarb (mix after each addition).

Drop by spoonful to make 20 cookies. Bake for about 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie. Mix ingredients for frosting. After cookies have cooled, frost. Keep cookies refrigerated.

Makes 20 servings. Each serving has 180 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 40 mg sodium.

Rhubarb Slush

Contributed by NDSU Extension


3 c. fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped
a c. sugar 
1 c. water
1 c. apple juice
¾ c. pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 qt. lemon-lime sparkling water 


In a saucepan, combine rhubarb, water and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for five minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Cool for about 30 minutes. 

In a food processor or blender, puree mixture. Stir in apple juice and lemonade concentrate. Pour into a container; cover and freeze until firm. Let stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes (or until soft enough to scoop).  

For individual servings, scoop a cup into a glass and fill with sparkling water. To serve a group, place all of mixture in a large pitcher or punch bowl; add sparkling water and stir. Serve immediately. 

Makes 14 (8-oz.) servings. Each serving has 60 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g protein,
16 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 15 mg sodium.

Zucchini Bars

Contributed by Becky Erickson

“I worked in a group home for adults with mental disabilities. This was one resident’s favorite bars. It’s great to take for potlucks.”


4 large eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. zucchini, grated
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2¼ c. flour


½ c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
¼ c. milk
2 c. powdered sugar

Chopped nuts (optional)


Beat eggs, sugar and oil together. Add vanilla and zucchini. Mix well. Add baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flour. Mix until combined. Pour into a greased 12- by 15-inch pan. Bake at 350 F for 35 to 45 minutes or until it springs back when touched lightly. Cool and frost with caramel frosting. To make the frosting, melt butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar and boil over low heat for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and keep stirring until it boils again. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Add powdered sugar and beat well. May add chopped nuts. 

Makes 48 servings. Each serving has 160 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 110 mg sodium.