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Cooking Up the Good Life

Creative Recipes for the Family Table

2011
Authors:

Jenny Breen and Susan Thurston

Cooking Up the Good Life

Wholesome, fun recipes to cook with the seasons—from renowned Twin Cities chef Jenny Breen

Veteran Minneapolis chef Jenny Breen knows that cooking at home can be a joyful, rewarding, and healthy experience for the whole family. In Cooking Up the Good Life, Breen—along with writer Susan Thurston—presents a scrumptious journey through the seasonal ingredients of the upper Midwest with an enticing variety of her most-loved recipes for the family table.

Cooking Up the Good Life is sure to become a treasure in your kitchen! Jenny Breen’s background as a locavore, nutritionist, chef, teacher, and mom make all the recipes and tips mouthwatering! She and Susan Thurston guide us through the seasonal kitchen like a good friend sharing cooking secrets with clear, accessible recipes. The book is a passionate celebration for the fun of cooking delicious, good food for friends and family.

Lucia Watson

Roasted figs with gorgonzola. Lemon miso soup. Harvest lasagna, lentil walnut burgers, and ginger molasses cookies. Veteran Minneapolis chef Jenny Breen knows that cooking at home can be a joyful, rewarding, and healthy experience for the whole family. In Cooking Up the Good Life, Jenny Breen—along with writer Susan Thurston—presents a scrumptious journey through the seasonal ingredients of the upper Midwest with an enticing variety of her most-loved recipes for the family table.

Written with both beginner and experienced cooks in mind, each section in Cooking Up the Good Life—from starters and sauces to soups, salads, main courses, and sweets—is organized by season to help bring our daily meals into harmony with local harvests. Recipes include imaginative “Family Kitchen” segments that suggest safe, fun ways to get kids involved. An advocate for inviting children into the kitchen, Breen has found that they are more apt to eat what they are connected to, whether by growing the vegetables, feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs, or helping prepare the food.

Cooking at home is also an opportunity to discover more about the ingredients we use and the people who bring them to our grocery stores, our farmers markets, and ultimately to our tables. Featuring refreshingly simple, creative, and unfussy recipes, Cooking Up the Good Life’s relaxed and encouraging style helps you cook with ease and serve with confidence wholesome dishes that highlight the natural beauty and elegance of Midwestern seasonal ingredients. Oh, yes—and they’re absolutely delicious. But don’t just take our word for it.

Cooking Up the Good Life

Jenny Breen has been cooking and baking professionally in the Twin Cities for more than twenty years. She is a co-owner of Good Life Catering (previously Good Life Café) and is a passionate advocate for local and sustainably raised foods. She received a Bush Leadership fellowship in 2009 and returned to school to study public health nutrition and continue her pursuit of healthy food for healthy families in healthy communities on a healthy planet. When not biking or canoeing with her family, she is in her home laboratory, passing along the pleasures of food to her husband, Jon, and their daughters, Solana and Frances.

Susan Thurston grew up on a farm in south central Minnesota, where her mother and grandmother taught her how to garden and cook with gusto. A poet, novelist, and former journalist, she met Jenny Breen in her work with continuing education at the University of Minnesota. Her daughter, Madeleine, loves almost everything Susan cooks and writes; her son, Samuel, often thinks both are improved with a little butter and salt.

Cooking Up the Good Life

Cooking Up the Good Life is sure to become a treasure in your kitchen! Jenny Breen’s background as a locavore, nutritionist, chef, teacher, and mom make all the recipes and tips mouthwatering! She and Susan Thurston guide us through the seasonal kitchen like a good friend sharing cooking secrets with clear, accessible recipes. The book is a passionate celebration for the fun of cooking delicious, good food for friends and family.

Lucia Watson

Jenny Breen’s work continues to inspire me. Cooking Up the Good Life is the culmination of her love for ‘good real food’ and her heartfelt efforts to integrate a new consciousness toward local foods with the timeless joys of cooking together.

Tracy Singleton, owner of the Birchwood Café

This cookbook, unlike many other kids' cookbooks, actually has food the adults will want to eat too.

Flyoverland

Cooking Up The Good Life: Creative Recipes for the Family Table by Jenny Breen and Susan Thurston is filled with no-fuss, no-fancy-ingredients-necessary recipes that use real food, fresh and seasonal, all packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals and plenty of delicious flavor.

Bemidji Pioneer

I was extremely impressed by nearly each and every recipe Cooking Up the Good Life has to offer....Jenny Breen and Susan Thurston have certainly created a winner.

Lazy Lightning

With recipes for all cooking levels, the book offers refreshing, creative and straightforward recipes that are bound to spark up excitement in the kitchen.

Roseville-Little Canada Review

The cookbook is full of healthy, easy, and incredibly delicious recipes that are certain to make
your body feel good.

Kara’s Cuisine

Cooking Up the Good Life

Preface
Introduction: Jenny Breen and the Good Life
The Family Kitchen
Starters
Autumn
Miso Sesame Paté [VEGAN]
Squash Pecan Paté [VEGAN]
Polenta with Tomato Jam [VEGAN OPTION]
Stuffed Grape Leaves [VEGAN]
Winter
Sun Dried Tomato Paté [VEGAN]
Red Lentil Paté [VEGAN]
Cooking Beans and Legumes
Fiesta Roulades [VEGAN OPTION]
Roasted Figs with Gorgonzola
Spring
Mushroom Paté [VEGAN]
Artichoke Paté [VEGAN]
Sunflower Paté [VEGAN]
Stuffed Mushrooms
Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce
Tofu Egg Salad [VEGAN]
Summer
Carrot Cashew Paté [VEGAN]
Dill Veggie Paté [VEGAN]
Smoked Trout and Potato Croquettes
Grilled Polenta with Three Pepper Salsa [VEGAN OPTION]
Sauces
Autumn
Balsamic Vinaigrette [VEGAN OPTION]
Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce [VEGAN]
Basil Walnut Pesto and Cilantro Pecan Pesto [VEGAN]
Lemony Olive Sauce with Grilled Vegetables [VEGAN]
Winter
Lemon Miso Sauce [VEGAN]
Sweet Almond Curry Sauce [VEGAN]
Toasting Nuts
Savory Peanut Sauce [VEGAN]
Spring
Roasted Red Pepper and Leek Sauce
Cashew Orange Sauce
Garlic Pecan Sauce
Summer
Ginger Sesame Sauce
Salsa Fresca
Barbecue Sauce for Tempeh, Mock Duck, or Chicken
Soups
Autumn
Italian Potato Soup [VEGAN]
Making Stock
Harvest Medley [VEGAN]
Turkey Soup with Herbed Dumplings
Southern Style Squash Chili [VEGAN]
Winter
Hearty Black Bean Soup [VEGAN]
Creamy Wild Rice Soup [VEGAN OPTION]
Curried Squash Soup [VEGAN]
Winter Fish Chowder
Cashew Quinoa Chili [VEGAN]
Cooking Grains
Spring
Potato Leek Soup [VEGAN OPTION]
Miso Vegetable Soup [VEGAN]
Spring Greens Soup with Carmelized Ramps [VEGAN OPTION]
Summer
Carrot Dill Soup [VEGAN OPTION]
Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup [VEGAN OPTION]
Gazpacho [VEGAN]
Beet Borscht [VEGAN]

Salads and Sides
Autumn
New Age Potato Salad [VEGAN OPTION]
Garlic Almond Kale [VEGAN]
Roasted Roots [VEGAN]
Golden Pecan Rice Salad
Luscious Lima Bean Salad [VEGAN]
Quinoa and White Beans with Raspberry Dressing [VEGAN]
Growing Green Flavor
Rosemary Chicken Salad
Winter
Mediterranean Millet Couscous [VEGAN OPTION]
Sesame Ginger Soba Noodles [VEGAN]
Black Bean, Tofu, and Miso Salad [VEGAN]
Tangy Cashew Wild Rice [VEGAN]
Wild Rice
Herbed Yam and Potato Salad [VEGAN]
Latin Couscous [VEGAN]
Brussels Sprouts with Honey Horseradish Sauce [VEGAN OPTION]
Spring
Rainbow Rice [VEGAN]
Polenta and Artichoke Salad [VEGAN]
Asparagus and Artichoke Pasta
Asparagus with Citrus and Olive Marinade [VEGAN]
Potato Gratin with Gorgonzola
Early Greens with Miso Dressing and Toasted Almonds [VEGAN]
Summer
Marinated Veggies [VEGAN]
Potato Broccoli Salad [VEGAN]
Gingered Green Beans [VEGAN]
Quinoa and Cucumber Salad [VEGAN]
Asian Pesto Rice Noodles with Mock Duck and Sesame Greens [VEGAN]
Fresh Potato and Smoked Salmon Salad
Southwestern Chicken Salad with Cilantro and Orange Dressing

Sustenance
Autumn
Harvest Lasagna [VEGAN OPTION]
Curried Chick Peas and Autumn Vegetables [VEGAN]
Shepherd’s Pie [VEGAN OPTION]
Autumn Pasta with Tarragon and Cider Sauce [VEGAN OPTION]
Polenta with Chicken and Artichoke–Tomato Sauce
Pumpkin Ravioli with Corn Cream Sauce
Mediterranean Succotash with Edamame and Lime [VEGAN OPTION]
Winter
African Peanut Stew with Spiced Millet [VEGAN]
Lentil Walnut Burgers [VEGAN OPTION]
Roasted Squash Gratin with Cilantro Pesto [VEGAN OPTION]
Black-eyed Pea and Sweet Potato Ragout [VEGAN]
Stuffed Squash with Wild Rice, Quinoa, and Pine Nut Pilaf [VEGAN OPTION]
Squash Pecan Croquettes [VEGAN]
Greek Squash or Pumpkin in Phyllo Casserole
Turkey and Sheep Cheese Quiche
Winter Squash and Greens in Coconut Milk Curry [VEGAN OPTION]
Roasted Winter Vegetable Gratin [VEGAN OPTION]
Spring
Israeli Couscous with Blackened Tofu (Fish or Chicken)
Pizza with Arugula, Potatoes, Caramelized Spring Onions, and Gouda or
Gorgonzola
Risotto with Wild Mushrooms, Leeks, and Sun Dried Tomatoes [VEGAN
OPTION]
Potato and Sweet Pea Croquettes
Baked Tofu and Asparagus with Mixed Olive Pesto [VEGAN]
Wild Rice Almond Croquettes [VEGAN]
Wild Mushroom Stroganoff over Buckwheat Noodles [VEGAN]
Savory Chard and Goat Cheese Tart
Layered Ginger Curry [VEGAN]
Summer
Smoked Salmon, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese Tart
Falafel [VEGAN]
Tempeh or Chicken Fajitas [VEGAN OPTION]
Three Sisters Salad
Simple Garlic Rubbed Salmon and Vegetables with Sweet Basil Dressing
Multicolored Potato Gratin with Heirloom Tomato Sauce and Sausage or Tofu
[VEGAN OPTION]
Summer Fried Rice [VEGAN OPTION]
Wild Mushroom and Tuna Casserole
Seafood Kebobs in Lime Ginger Marinade [VEGAN OPTION]

Sweets and Such
Muffins
Basic Whole Wheat Muffins
Banana Cranberry Muffins
Blueberry Cashew Muffins
Squash Pecan Muffins
Strawberry Cornmeal Muffins
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Scones
Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
Blackberry Coconut Scones
Date or Currant Walnut Scones
Apricot Almond Scones
Apple Pecan Scones
Snacks
Herbed Crackers
Wild Rice Crackers
Granola [VEGAN]
Breads
Maple Cornbread
Pumpkin Cornbread
Banana Bread [VEGAN]
Desserts
Fruit Crisp [VEGAN]
Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze or Maple Nut Frosting [VEGAN OPTION]
Flourless Chocolate Torte
Cookies
Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ginger Molasses Cookies
Coco Loco Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Poppy Seed Cookies
Cornmeal Walnut Shortbread
Almond Butter Balls [VEGAN]
Bars
Apricot Date Bars [VEGAN]
Almond Joy Bars [VEGAN]
Cashew Chocolate Brownies [VEGAN]


Green Beer and Local Wine

Seasonal Menu Suggestions with Wine Recommendations

Acknowledgments

Index