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Monthly Archives

January 2017

Monthly Feature: Heathy Dining Hot Spot

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Thank you to FCS Professionals member Anne Boyer for providing this month’s restaurant review. In keeping with our theme of health and wellness, she introduces us to one of her new favorite Minneapolis eateries, Tao Natural Foods.

With the Twin Cities being voted best local food scene by USA Today last year and Food and Wine’s “America’s next big food city,” the food culture here in our backyard is something to be truly excited for. It is something I quickly noticed and immersed myself in when I first moved here over five years ago,  realizing this one- of- a kind and passionate food community. Not only can you find an abundance of exceptional chefs, innovative restaurant ideas, and diverse cultural food, this area is exceptionally health driven with an abundance of delicious, healthy dining options to explore.

Given this assignment, I had many ideas, but there is one, in particular, I have recently ventured to I wanted to highlight. It is a hidden gem in uptown that I finally had the chance to explore and has become my new favorite spot. Tao Natural Foods on the corner of Hennipen and 22nd is an organic café, coffee shop, and health foods store with a unique and diverse selection of fresh and all- natural food options. The community atmosphere and feel of this small café makes the experience all the better. With big windows and a European style front with quant lights, this place is perfect anytime during the day, alone or with a small group.

The menu ranges from a full coffee shop serving fair trade coffee, amazing smoothie bar with unique flavors and protein combinations, fresh made juices, local kombucha on tap, tonics and herbal formulas,  to nourishing breakfast options like bowls and ancient grains, salads, unique wraps, macro-bowls filled with grains and power foods,  and gluten free/ vegan desserts. The whole menu can be made gluten free serving gluten free wraps and breads as well, something I am always excited for.

Here is a photo of their Sunshine Bowl filled with quinoa, mixed greens, beets, spiced sweet potatoes, sprouts, mixed herbs, chevre, topped with a poached egg +lemon vinaigrette with a sage pear kombucha on tap from Deane’s Kombucha.

While the food is exceptional, one of my favorite aspects of this little café is their support and collaboration with local vendors and farms,  and their use of organic, non GMO, free range, hormone free, and sustainable ingredients for their entire menu. Once you enjoy your meal, you can even explore their health store where they offer an amazing selection of bulk herbs,  teas, supplements, foods, health services and even community classes. There is something for everyone and you never know what you may discover or learn!



Continuing Education: First Friday at University of St. Thomas featuring Cargill CEO

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FCS Professionals are invited to attend the University of St. Thomas First Friday Speakers Series luncheon to hear Cargill CEO Dave MacLennan “Nourishing the World:  Food and the Future of Agriculture.” Learn more about how Cargill is responding to shifting global trends and consumer values while nourishing people and animals efficiently and sustainably. MacLennan is sure to offer unexpected and forward-thinking insights.

The event will be held Friday, February 3 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall, 3rd floor Anderson Student Center, St. Paul campus

Register HERE by Friday, Jan. 27.

Individual tickets: $30 early-bird price until Jan. 20 (increases to $35 through Jan. 27); $15 for students. Includes a seated lunch and complimentary parking in the Anderson Parking Facility.

Table host: $210. A full table purchase includes lunch and parking for eight guests ($30 savings).

Monthly Feature: Healthy Recipe for 2017

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FCS Professionals member Mary Levinski shared a favorite protein bar recipe. It is a great snack to get through the day or after a workout. It is also tastes great with coffee and tea.

Protein Bars

2 cups peanut butter (I use Skippy Natural)

1 cup honey

3 cups oatmeal

2 ¼ cups protein powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

⅓ cup sliced almonds

Melt honey and peanut butter in the microwave for 1 minute. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together. Add peanut butter mixture and mix until smooth. Spread into a 9 X 12 pan and cut into 20 servings. Cover with plastic wrap to store.

Invitation: Beef and Brew

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The Minnesota Beef Council invites FCS Professionals to “Beef and Brew” Tuesday, February 28, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Bent Brewery in Roseville.  Cost is $50 per person.  To register click here.  Registration deadline: February 22

From the invite:

About Beef and Brew 

Join the Minnesota Beef Council for a fun evening from 6-8 p.m. as we partner with Bonfire Restaurant, Bent Brewstillery, Hy-Vee, the University of Minnesota Beef Team and the University of Minnesota Meat Lab! Learn how to pair your favorite beef and brews, as well as how to bring the fine-dining experience to your own kitchen.

Beef and Beer Authorities

Meat the Butcher

Learn from University of Minnesota’s Meat Scientist, Ryan Cox, about the art of meat cutting.

Where’s the Beef?

Wondering how beef is raised? Or how your beef is labeled at the grocery store? Beef specialists will be ready to answer your sizzling questions.

Small Package = Big Nutrition

Why just get through your day when you could conquer your day? A registered dietitian will showcase how beef’s nutrients keep your body fueled.

Beef at It’s Best

Want to get that fine-dining experience in your own kitchen at home without it being a #PinterestFail? We’ve got you covered with interactive demos from Bonfire’s seasoned culinary chef.

Cheers to Beef

Beef + Beer. Need we say more?!



Monthly Feature: New Years Resolution Healthy Living Help

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Thank you Debra Zwiefelhofer for the following article!

New Year? New Resolutions?

 Don’t we always seem to make some resolutions around eating better and exercising more? If you are someone who needs inspiration or accountability to keep you honest about your plan, check out what is available from our government at   Your federal taxes have helped to create some fantastic tools and resources to help you turn your resolutions into action.  The “SuperTracker” module can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity. It will help you with how much to eat; track the foods you eat, log your physical activities, and track weight.  You can get also access goal setting, virtual coaching, and journaling.

If you teach anyone, of any age, about eating, cooking or food safety there is more fantastic information, recipes and activities for the classroom.   This is a website that really does have something for everyone.

In the News: Job Seeking, Food Trends that Need to Go, and More!

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Here is a sampling of articles of interest!


Continuing Education: Pulse Check on Cardiovascular Health Webinar

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A complimentary webinar sponsored by the Beef Checkoff, “Pulse Check on Cardiovascular Health: A Current Look at Nutrition Strategies” will be held Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00-1:00 CST.  

From the invite:

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major public health concern, and diet is believed to play an important role in mediating CVD risk. This webinar will discuss the history and impact of scientific research on nutrition recommendations for a healthy heart and will share practical tips for developing nutrition strategies for treating dyslipidemia today.


As a health professional, you are in a unique position to educate Americans on the importance of diet and nutrition for better health. By providing perspectives on the latest scientific evidence, you can help people weigh the risks and benefits of individual food choices when it comes to reducing CVD risk and improving overall health.


Join Michael Davidson, MD, FACC, FACP, FNLA, Clinical Professor and Director of Preventive Cardiology at the Pritzker School of Medicine, and Jan Tilley, MS, RD of Jan Tilley & Associates as they review the research and provide guidance on translating the research into practical dietary approaches for treating various forms of dyslipidemia.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Provide context to the dialogue on the relationship between diet – specifically red meat consumption – and dyslipidemia
  • Translate data and evidence-based research into heart-healthy nutrition recommendations to patients and clients
  • Educate peers and consumers on the scientific evidence related to beef’s role in a heart healthy diet
 Webinar is free but you must register in advance.  Click here

In the News: New for 2017

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Here’s a sampling of what’s in the world of food, nutrition, and home!

  • New technology is great but what information are your appliances capturing about your household?  Click here
  • The latest in kitchen design  click here
  • New safety features in kitchen appliances alert to possible fires.  Click here
  • 2017: The Year of the “Smart Home”  Click here
  • The role of health and wellness in “aging well.” Click here
  • Eight healthy food trends for 2017.  Click here

Monthly Feature: Holiday Traditions

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Thank you to Cindy Jurgensen for providing the following article on her family holiday traditions! 

As I’m sure all of you do, our family has a few holiday traditions that we believe are important and that we want to pass on. But a January article on the holidays? Sorry, but there just wasn’t time beforehand!

What’s special for our family? An apple and an orange must go in the toe of the Christmas stocking, a tribute to my mother’s father giving us fruit (and nuts) each year as we walked out the door from the annual dinner and presents. Even though they’re grown up, our sons Eric and Michael must hang their Thumb Body ornaments on the tree (mom’s idea!) and every year take turns hanging the homemade (albeit fairly tacky!) gray star at the top of the tree.

This year we added something new and special: making latkes to serve warm with applesauce and sour cream, a tradition in future (we hope!) daughter-in-law Emma’s home. Though not typically breakfast fare, we had them for brunch, along with a vegetable frittata, fruit and my great grandma’s liver sausage. Making 12 loaves of liver sausage sometime before the holidays is a must for my dad’s side. (If you are interested in the recipe, just let me know). It bakes for 2 ½ hours then is pan-fried in butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper before eating.

For two years running, we’ve made Strawberry Santas to bring to my husband Curt’s family in Red Wing. We just might call that a ‘two and done’ tradition as those little red men are very putzy to construct in-between Christmas brunch, presents, showers, walking the dogs, and driving to Red Wing from St. Louis Park!

Curt’s grandmother, Bernice Fredrickson, lived in Northfield and was well-known for the buckets of flatbread and butter she generously offered anyone who came to his grandfather’s Skelly station. Her recipe is basic but excellent and the one we make with the kids:

1 cup white flour

1 cup graham flour

2 teaspoon lard or shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Hot water (no amount given!)

Work shortening into flour as for pie crust. Add hot water enough to make a stiff dough so it can be rolled out thin on a pastry cloth. Bake on lefse grill at 450 F. about 10 minutes. Crisp in oven at 250 F.

Since our Peace Corps days, a favorite meal is African Groundnut Stew which our kids and their mates also love. We have always encouraged our boys to cook, so having them help make meals when they’re home for the holidays is a given! We added homemade Mint Chip Frozen Custard to the menu, a wonderful treat after the work of making the stew and Flatbread.

The holidays are special no matter what your traditions!

Continuing Education: The Food Industry Center (TFIC) Luncheon Series

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FCS Professionals are invited to attend The Food Industry Center (TFIC) Luncheon Series: Consumer Trends in Yogurt and Why it Matters on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. at The Food Industry Center at the University of Minnesota St Paul campus.

The luncheon speaker is Aaron Riippa.  Aaron is the Sourcing Business Leader for General Mills’ Yogurt Operating Unit. As a member of the Extended Yogurt Leadership Team, he is responsible for the connection and strategy alignment between Sourcing and the Yogurt brands, such as Yoplait, Annie’s, Liberte, and others. He has held previous roles in Dairy Sourcing, Sourcing Capabilities and Partnerships, and Indirect Sourcing. Aaron is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the University of Arkansas.

Complimentary lunch buffet is included.  Registration is free but you must register by Friday, January 20th.  Register by clicking here