Viroqua Food Co-op Recipe Blog

Charlene Elderkin

Recent Posts

Becoming a Kale Convert

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Thu, Jul 07, 2016 @ 06:30 AM

I must confess, no matter how much I was told that kale is “good for you,” the numerous prolific kale plants in my garden were eaten primarily by chickens. It was not a vegetable I grew up with nor did I find a way to prepare it that was satisfying enough to repeat.

That changed with my son’s wedding. One of the dishes at the reception was this very Tuscan Kale Salad. I probably wouldn’t have tried it if I hadn’t donated a significant amount of kale from my garden to the cause. I could not believe how good it was.

I found the recipe on the website strongertogether.coop and started making a big batch once a week and eating it daily. I was incredulous at the difference between the taste of raw kale (blegh!) and this kale salad (yum!). Kale is perfect drizzled with this tangy-sweet dressing; the bitterness magically vanishes. Accent with crunchy nuts and savory cheese. And unlike lettuce salads, this one makes a great left-over, as marinating the leaves tenderizes them. I think it’s even better if you let it marinate overnight before eating, but you may not be able to resist. This year I can hardly wait to start harvesting kale from my garden.

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Tags: Kale

Carrot Ginger Coleslaw Recipe by Bjorn Bergman

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 @ 05:12 PM

Click on the recipe card in this blog for fun serving suggestions!

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Tags: Recipes, Ginger, salad, Carrots

Sweet & Spicy Summer Gazpacho Recipe

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Thu, Jul 04, 2013 @ 12:14 PM

Incorporating more raw foods into your diet is easy to do in the summer since you can buy it locally or grow & pick it yourself. This recipe is one of my favorites. It reminds me of Grandma & I in the garden, eating as we picked. The tomatoes & watermelon warmed from the sun... the combination & sweetness of the two really make this gazpacho a simple & refreshing meal. Enjoy!

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Tags: Tomatoes, cucumbers, Gazpacho, Watermelon

Recipe for Hot Mulled Red Wine

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Sat, Jan 19, 2013 @ 07:49 AM

This recipe was contributed by Mary Kehoe, the Viroqua Food Co-op Herbs and Spices Buyer. Mary has worked for the Co-op for 15 years. She regularly contributes drink recipes to the Pea Soup using the teas, herbs and spices that you can purchase in bulk at VFC.

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Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing Recipe from Luke Zahm

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Dec 24, 2012 @ 02:17 PM

This recipe was contributed by Luke Zahm, Viroqua Food Co-op Chef.
Luke is a Vernon County Native who returned to his roots after 13 years of professional cooking in Madison. He is passionate about family farming, buying local and strengthening the local community through food. He and his wife Ruthie (also from Viroqua) have 3 children and live in the countryside near La Farge.

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Tags: Recipes, Stuffing

Pork Shoulder with Apple Cider Reduction Recipe

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Dec 24, 2012 @ 02:17 PM

Recipe contributed by Luke Zahm. Luke is a Vernon County Native who returned to his roots after 13 years of professional cooking in Madison. He is passionate about family farming, buying local and strengthening the local community through food. He and his wife Ruthie (also from Viroqua) have 3 children and live in the countryside near La Farge.

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Tags: Apples, Pork

Coconut Orange Macaroons

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 @ 03:35 PM

A citrusy twist on an old favorite—gluten free to boot!

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Tags: cookie, macaroons, coconut

Curried Butternut Pear Bisque

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 @ 03:16 PM


Rich, creamy butternut squash, juicy pears, a can of coconut milk and a dash of curry, and you’ve got a warm, spicy dish that’s sure to be a hit as an appetizer or a meal all by itself.

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Tags: pear, Recipes, soup, squash, curry, coconut milk, butternut

Maple Ginger Roasted Root Vegetables

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 @ 02:52 PM

Every year as we come out of the holiday season and dive into the new calendar year, I have trouble shifting my local food eating gears. The switch from eating delicious local greens, like salad mix, spinach, and kale, to a wide array of root vegetables, like beets, parsnips, carrots, turnips is always difficult for me. It really takes a deliberate shift to get myself to focus the vegetable side of my cooking on root veggies.

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Tags: Recipes, Carrots, beet, Parsnips, Rutabaga, Turnips

Arlene’s Sour Cream Cucumber Salad Recipe

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 08:59 AM

For the next in my "Eating out of the garden" series, we'll use cucumbers and sweet onions. There are some dishes that I can only eat the version that I grew up eating - nobody else's tastes quite right. My mother's cucumber salad is one of those. Fortunately my sister Jenni Gile came to my rescue, she actually had this written down. I'd been winging it, which is fine for me, but harder to share with you. The only thing i might add to this is a little dill, if you have that growing in your garder, just snip off some of the leaves -  not the seeds. Save those for pickles

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Tags: eating out of the garden, onions, cucumbers