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Cooking with Koshiki- Japanese Bento (virtual class)

October 24, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Bento is Japanese boxed lunch or dinner where small portions of well-balanced prepared foods are beautifully arranged in wooden and lacquered boxes. We will prepare Kara-age (marinated and fried chicken), sweet potato rice, tamagoyaki (egg omelet), and a side of seasonal vegetables.

Koshiki Smith, the Japanese Kitchen


This is a virtual class. Please RSVP in advance.

Cooking with Koshiki: Home-made Gyoza Dumplings (Virtual class)

November 1, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

We will learn how to stuff and shape these pork & napa cabbage stuffed savory dumplings, then cook them two ways: pan-fry them for a crispy perfection and boil them for steaming silky texture.  We will also make homemade ponzu sauce, Japanese sour and savory citrus dipping sauce.

Koshiki Smith, The Japanese Kitchen

Fermenting with Pickle Witch (Virtual class)

January 22, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Learn the basics of fermenting in a hands on workshop that will teach you to turn almost any vegetable into a nutritious, delicious, fermented pickle.

L. Kling, Pickle Witch

Please RSVP in advance via the Eventbrite link below. You will receive an email from Eventbrite that contains a Zoom link or phone number to join the class in advance of the class date.

Three Seward Co-op nametags each with different pronouns displayed (she/her, he/him, they/them)

Everyone Welcome: Gender Inclusion at Seward Co-op

At Seward Co-op, we are committed to a culture of inclusion where everyone feels welcome, respected and celebrated. As part of this commitment, we are asking staff, owners and customers to use gender-inclusive and affirming language. As part of this effort, you may notice some new signage in the stores and at the café. The signs simply say:

“If you are unsure of someone’s pronouns, please use gender-neutral language and/or a person’s name when talking to them. We appreciate you!”

What do we mean by “Gender Inclusive?”

Using gender-inclusive language is one way that we can show respect and avoid making assumptions. For example, instead of using gendered language such as “ladies,” “gentlemen,” “sir” or “ma’am,” try instead using phrases like: “Good morning, folks!” or “Thanks, friend.” Personal pronouns (words like she, her, he, him, they and them) can be tricky in the English language because their use—whether correct or incorrect— can reflect assumptions about a person’s gender expression. Making an assumption about someone’s pronouns can feel disrespectful and hurtful. If you’re not sure about someone’s pronouns at the co-op, just use that person’s name or change your sentence a little bit.

For example, instead of: “Thanks for the recipe suggestion, Sam! (turning to person next to you) He always has a recipe for each new veggie in season.”

Try this: “Thanks for the recipe suggestion, Sam! (turning to person next to you) Sam always has a recipe for each new veggie in season.”

Co-op staff have ongoing relationships with both co-workers and community members—so it often makes sense to share our pronouns and/or ask others which pronouns they use. When someone shares their pronouns with you, please use those pronouns. Again, this is a way to show respect.

If you make a mistake and misgender someone, apologize, move on, and do better next time. If you’d like to learn more about why this is important, read tips on sharing and asking about pronouns or find other resources, www.mypronouns.org is a great place to start.

View Now: Everyday East African Meals

Nourish // East African Cooking from Seward Co-op on Vimeo.

Shegitu Kebede filled her house with the smells of Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. She hoped her children would fall in love with cooking. “You’re passing a tradition,” said Shegitu, a former community activist, restaurant owner, and longtime Seward Co-op shopper and class instructor. She moved to Minneapolis in the 1990s as a refugee from Ethiopia and raised her family in the Seward neighborhood. “The Franklin co-op was our everyday store. Now my daughter is a grownup and she works here.”

Shegitu’s recipes have been a pillar of Seward Co-op’s Nourish program for years. Shoppers will often find them on the recipe racks in stores. Shegitu and her daughter, Seward Co-op employee Asnat Ghebremedhin, are working together to reach more Seward Co-op shoppers with tips on eating well on every budget. “I always say that as long as you eat, and we all do eat, why don’t you feed yourself a good meal that you’ll be so proud to prepare?” Shegitu said.

The mother-daughter team is offering Nourish cooking lessons through an online video series. Nourish is a Seward Co-op program offering a needs-based discount, food and wellness staples at a low price every day, recipes, and classes. Shegitu and Asnat cook beef tibs, as well as gomen (greens) and keysir (beets and potatoes) using Nourish recipes— meals that can feed four for $15 or less. The dishes can be eaten on their own or served with injera, rice or pita. Seward Co-op offers injera every day at the Franklin store and on Fridays at the Friendship store.

“All of the dishes are a really good introduction to Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine,” Asnat said. “Beef tibs is a staple. We’d go to the co-op and get our fresh meat and our fresh vegetables and make this dish for us. It’s just an everyday meal.”

Food for Fuel
Shegitu said people eat food for a purpose in East Africa. Ingredients like garlic and ginger do more than add flavor. They’re a way to support your body. Shegitu adds flax to her food and drinks—4 tablespoons a day—to promote hair, skin, joint and digestive health. First, she roasts the raw flax seeds in a pan. Then “when I have a meal, I just grind it and use about two tablespoons over a meal or over my latte. I just throw it in my coffee and drink it.”

Watch Videos
Follow Seward Co-op on YouTube and Vimeo for videos with Shegitu and Asnat as they prepare Nourish recipes that Shegitu developed.

Sign Up for Nourish Classes
Learn basic from-scratch cooking tips and enjoy a meal at our Nourish classes. Healthy East African Cooking is sold out, but a waiting list is open. Register for Nourish 101: Tempeh Tacos here. Learn more about the Nourish program, which includes a recipes, needs-based discounts, and a staples list, here.

Sign Up for March Classes

Need help with meal prep? March classes kick off with two approaches to cooking as a component of wellness. Join Jesse Haas and Vanashree Belgamwar, two local instructors for:

Ayurvedic Cooking for Your Constitution
March 7, 6-8 p.m., Friendship store
$25/$20 co-op owners

Practical Meal Planning Strategies for Health (+ Sanity)
March 19, 7-8 p.m.
$20/$15 for co-op owners

Meet the Instructors

Vanashree Belgamar
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Vanashree practices in multiple locations, including Wellness Minneapolis near Seward Co-op’s Friendship store. Join her on March 7, 6-8 p.m., at the Friendship store for a cooking class with an introduction to Ayurveda and the concept of doshas. Click here to learn more and register for Vanashree’s class. Visit Vanashree’s website to learn more and like Vanashree Ayurveda LLC on Facebook!

“Ayurveda is a whole science in itself and has answers to everything with reason. I love Ayurveda because it is the most natural and gentle way to treat and heal.It is a very ancient science but its applicable anytime, anywhere because its principles are universal. This healing in harmony with nature is what inspires me to practice Ayurveda. ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is what Ayurveda focuses on a lot more and this preventative aspect of Ayurveda always encourages me to educate people and make them aware about their well-being.”

Jesse Haas, CNS
Jesse Haas, a longtime Seward Co-op class instructor and the co-founder of Wellness Minneapolis, is a heart-centered and deeply intuitive nutritionist. She combines nutritional counseling and whole foods culinary education to help her clients understand why they’re not feeling well and how to change that one meal at a time.

Join Jesse on March 19, 7-8 p.m., at the Friendship store to get some practical strategies for meal planning that will make feeding yourself and your family a breeze. Jesse will equip you with home pantry staples, lists, meal planning hacks, recipe formulas and sample meal plans. Click here to learn more and register for Jesse’s class.

Natural Egg-dying Demo At Seward

This Saturday, March 28, we’ll be showing you how to make natural dyes for eggs at Seward Co-op. Pop by the store any time from 1-4 p.m. and see how to make great dyes from onion skins, coffee, turmeric, and tea!

We’ll have a recipe for natural egg-dyes in the recipe rack by the Customer Service desk, too, so be sure to grab one, or take a look at the article on egg-dying below.

If you want something a little less DIY, pick-up a Natural Earth Paint’s Natural Egg Dye Kit located on the display island by the Deli Hot Bar. This kit isa set of food based powdered dyes that are incredibly easy to use. Because the dyes are free from the petroleum derivatives and carmine that are found in conventional dye kits, they can also be safely used as a food coloring for baking projects.

New this year, check out the Wooden Egg Craft Kit, a great vegan option for egg dying! These kits include 6 wooden eggs, which are handmade in the Pacific Northwest from sustainable FSC certified wood, and 6 colors of natural earth paints.

Planning on a lamb or ham feast this weekend? We have great specials in the Meat Department that you’ll want to take advantage of! Local heroes Pastures a Plenty, the Lambe Shoppe, and Blooming Prairie will have all your favorite roasts, ribs, and lamb cuts for the big family get together. Let’s hope for grilling weather!

An article on egg-dying from the April/Mary 2014 issue of Sprout! newsletter:

“Celebrate Spring”

It comforts me to imagine that hunting and gathering colored eggs might be one of humanity’s oldest traditions, a way to celebrate our survival of another winter.

I don’t have much evidence for this. Egg painting can be connected to many cultures via folklore and mythology, but there’s no slam-dunk proof that any spring egg-hunt cults are terribly old. One custom, pysanky egg decorating of Ukraine, is more than likely ancient in origin. In excavations of Neolithic and Bronze-Age Ukrainian graves, cultic eggs have been found whose etched patterns are strikingly similar to pysanky “Easter egg” designs (pictured above).

Maybe. Or maybe I’m just feeling sympathy for my cold-climate ancestors after this harsh winter of 2014.

Watching my kids paint and gather eggs, I imagine that I see ancient, first-farming parents, emerging from another brutal Northern Hemisphere winter, keeping their parents’ hunter-gatherer ways alive by teaching kids how to gather wild multicolored eggs in the surrounding grasslands and woods. You know, just in case this new-fangled farming thing doesn’t work out.

How to Make Natural Egg-Dyes

Ingredients: Any number of hard-boiled white eggs
One pot per color of dye
1 Tbsp. white vinegar per cup of strained dye liquid (optional)
Bowls or egg cartons for drying dyed eggs
Paper towels

Don’t be too precious about this process. It’s meant to be fun for you and your kids, so proportions aren’t exact and don’t need to be.

1. Shop …for the veggies and other items that you’ll use for creating your dyes.

Some of these items can be gathered over the days running up to your egg-dying extravaganza. Red cabbage (blue, almost-indigo dye) Red onion skins (lavender or red) Yellow onion skins (orange or gold) Ground or cut turmeric (yellow) Red Zinger tea bags (lavender) Beets (pink; more of a brownish red the longer you leave eggs in this dye) Err on the side of more veggie matter rather than less when creating your dyes.

You can use juices and beverages for dying, too. Grape juice Old red wine Leftover coffee Juice from pickled beets Rule of thumb: If you’d freak out upon spilling a certain liquid on a white shirt, then it’s going to make a decent dye. We mixed some of these veggies to great effect, too. Eggs dyed in turmeric + yellow onion skins were bright gold. I want to try Red Zinger tea + red cabbage next year.

2. Chop …your veggies and prepare your dyes. We found that chopping fine, but not too fine, worked best. We used roughly 4 cups veggie matter for 4–6 cups water. Drop the veggies into the water and bring to a boil, turn heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15–30 minutes. The dye is ready when it reaches a hue a few shades darker than you want for your egg. Add white vinegar now.

3. Pop …your eggs in the dye. There are two approaches here and both work well. A) Strain the veggie matter out and set your hard boiled eggs in the dye for several hours (or even over night); or B) Set your fresh eggs in the boiling water with the veggie matter and hard-boil them in the dye as it’s being created. The first way will give you clean, solid colors.

The second way is a little more haphazard, but it makes for fun and interesting patterns. After removing eggs from the pots, try draping wet onion skins over the eggs for an hour or two to take advantage of the onion skins’ cool patterns. Ditto red cabbage.

You can experiment also with different amounts of vinegar, too. More vinegar will leave a thick film on the eggs that you can leave on and let dry, making them look gnarly and wonderful (my kids called them “dinosaur eggs”). Or you can rub the film away with a paper towel to find interesting patterns beneath, as the veggies and vinegar will soak into different parts of the egg. Caution: Leaving eggs in too much vinegar overnight will make them rubbery. (Which also might be fun, but not if you plan to eat the eggs.) Dry your eggs in bowls or eggs cartons over night.

* Top photo by Elizabeth Brooks Barnwell

* Pysanky egg photo courtesy Wikipedia.