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.”
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.