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Get the dish on news, events and announcements related to sustainable food.

The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook by Debra Daniels-Zeller

(Step Up to the Plate is running a series of posts to introduce readers to seasonal cooking. We aim to get you through the winter with satisfied taste buds and a head full of delicious recipes. Our third cookbook review is Debra Daniels-Zeller’s Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook.)

baked goodsThe title doesn't lie: The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook is a great authority for seasonal, tasty meals built with local ingredients. The options are wholly regional (Daniels-Zeller references many Oregon and Washington producers by name, and some of the recipes were themselves created by area farmers), and all are based on the products of the season. As with The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook, the author devotes equal time to winter, spring, summer, and fall; as with Winter Harvest Cookbook, the offerings are varied, numerous, and highly accessible.

While the stories, essays, tips, and random bits of information (ever wonder how beets are harvested?) would, by themselves, be worth the cover price, the recipes are no less engaging. From breakfast to dessert, Daniels-Zeller has you covered.

Time to Plan Your Garden

Beat the chill with Urban Growth Bounty

pear treeIt’s that time again — time to start imagining all the delicious fruits and vegetables just waiting to be planted. Jump-start your own backyard garden with Urban Growth Bounty, and prepare for spring with two of our most popular courses:

  • Learn all about growing fruit in the city from Master Gardener Glen Andresen. The class covers everything you need to get started, from how (and what) to plant to techniques for easy harvesting.

Register now and get a jump on the season! Email or call 503-823-6947 with questions.

Portland's Winter Farmers Markets

We know your hankering for fresh fruits and vegetables doesn’t go away just because the weather is colder. Luckily, there are still a few farmers markets setting up shop in Portland, and you can stock up on tasty mushrooms, greens, nuts, cheese and eggs, and all sorts of other seasonal goodies by visiting a winter market.

Check out all the delicious seasonal offerings, and take the opportunity to learn about your food directly from its source!

Urban Growth Bounty 2012

Make this year a healthier one for the earth, your family, and your budget

Urban Growth Bounty

It's finally here! The 2012 series of Urban Growth Bounty classes is now open for registration. You really don’t want to miss out on this year’s terrific offerings:

Visit Urban Growth Bounty for a full course list and detailed descriptions, and register now to ensure your place in these limited-size classes. There’s no better way to explore urban homesteading and to connect with your community. 

Email or call 503-823-6947 with any questions.

The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook by Kim O'Donnel

More ideas for winter eats that will get you through the season.

(Step Up to the Plate is running a series of posts to introduce readers to seasonal cooking. We aim to get you through the winter with satisfied taste buds and a head full of delicious recipes. Our second cookbook review is Kim O’Donnel’s Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook.)

O’Donnel tackles the entire year in this cookbook, with recipe options tailored specifically for spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Her focus is the whole-menu approach: instead of dividing the contents into ‘soups,’ ‘sides,’ or ‘entrees,’ she groups her offerings into what she thinks will work best as an entire meal. The Hummus-Stuffed Tomatoes are right next to the Fattoush Salad and Seared Halloumi, for example, while the Red Lentil Dal is cozied up with the Individual Flatbreads. There’s a nice balance of uber-simple options (e.g., Wilted Greens in a Skillet Vinaigrette) with the more time-consuming (such as the Gumbo z’Herbs), and she offers plenty of guidance about which recipes are gluten-free, vegan, kid-centric, or convenient for leftovers.

As the book’s the title implies, there’s no fish, poultry, or meat to be found within its pages (and no desserts, either). Some of the ingredient lists might require a quick trip to the grocery — O’Donnel seems particularly fond of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce — but the results are worth it: the stuffed peppers (pictured) would be a welcome side dish at any meal, and the Black-Bean Chili is just the thing for a snug evening by the fire. It’s a great guide for those who are new to seasonal cooking, and the conversational tone and abundant photos make it a handy resource for the beginner chef.