Extra Extra… Eggs!

They’re, quite likely, hanging out in your fridge right now. Their limelight’s passed, but they’re still full of protein and deliciousness, if you can get past the (quite possibly) hints of colorful dyes alluding to the fun they’ve been party to!

Jen's Deviled Eggs New Pi Eats

This recipe from New Pi Marketing Manager Jen Angerer – her take on her mother’s deviled eggs – gets a special zing from green or kalamata olives, setting them apart from the usual deviled egg crowd.

To dress these eggs up for their next party, pipe the yolk filling into the whites with a pastry bag, or simply a ziploc plastic bag with a corner snipped off.


TIP: If you’d like your deviled eggs to stay sunny-side-up, trim a sliver from each round bottom-to-be of the white halves to make a flat surface.


Finally – full of tips today – if you’re not starting with already boiled eggs, try this Alton Brown baking method I just learned about from Midwest Living Magazine‘s food editor, Hannah Agran!

Deviled Eggs with Olives

Recipe by Jen Angerer, New Pi Marketing Manager

If your party is outdoors, place your plate of eggs on a bed of ice just in case, but they probably won’t last long enough to spoil!

1 dozen eggs
7-10 olives, chopped (kalamata or green are Jen’s favorites)
2 t. olive juice or vinegar
1 t. spicy brown mustard
½ c. mayonnaise
to taste: dash of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
optional: parsley, green onion, and/or paprika to garnish

Boil eggs (or try this Alton Brown baking method!) and cool. Peel, slice in half lengthwise, and remove yolks. Set whites aside.

In a mixing bowl, mash egg yolks, and add all ingredients but olives. Mix until smooth, then mix in olives. If too dry, add mayo and olive juice or vinegar.

With a pastry bag (for slick-looking eggs), fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture.

Garnish with parsley, green onion, or paprika.

New and Mysterious

When I brought the new local oyster and lion’s mane mushrooms home from the Co-op, I just stared at them. Dramatically lit on my cutting board, minutes passed before I could bring myself to let a knife near them. I’m not used to this form of beauty!


I’ve adjusted to (but still stop to wonder at – what else is life for?) the splash of color from opening up a beet, or noonday light glancing through salad greens, or the fresh perfume and ode to summer wafting up from a just-sliced perfectly-in-season tomato. But in March, with the season change stirring, when we’ve just gotten the earliest spring gift of our snowdrop bulbs peeking into the world, the thought of fresh and new to the senses is awfully delicious.

Yet with delicate, very fresh mushrooms like these, the beauty isn’t in color but in texture and in wonder. Their growing formation is fascinating, at least to me. (They’re packed in blue-labelled plastic boxes, like grape tomatoes, still in their growing formation from Mushroom Mills in Columbus Junction – meet Todd Mills in our article here.) Their delicate gills are such a contrast to the beets and carrots and potatoes I’m still eating from my garden, stored all winter long.


If you pick these oyster or lion’s manes up and sit spellbound like me, well, I have a quick trick for you. Ditch whatever recipe you’d conjured. Get out the sauté pan and a thick pat of butter and salt – and that’s all you need. Cut off their stems and slice the mushrooms a third of an inch thick, get the butter hot in the pan over medium heat, brown both sides of each slice until dark golden, and sprinkle them with salt. Aaaand eat. The gills turn crispy, the mushroom still juicy: Best snack or casual appetizer ever. Gosh they are delicious.

Mushroom Mills, Columbus Junction, Iowa

(Okay, disclaimer: What, fried in butter, isn’t delicious? However, people go to great  lengths – and big dollars – for a buttery taste of morel around here. Well, to my palate, this satisfies the same desire. I think these are just as good… but that’s hearsay! Don’t tell anyone I said that.)


If you can make it past wondering at their beauty with enough time to make an actual recipe with them, this mushroom tart from my favorite cookbook is delightful. Ideal for a special meal – lunch, brunch, dinner, or simply a celebration of these new fungi friends – it’s light with a perk from lemon and earthy at the same time.

Mushroom Tart

from Tartine, by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson 

partially baked and cooled 9-inch flaky pastry (baked until pastry just turns opaque) tart shell  - your recipe of choice, not a sweetened dough, or pre-made frozen dough
1 lb. mix of fresh mushrooms (the more flavorful the mushrooms, the more interesting the end result) – do not wash but wipe caps with a damp cloth if needed
3 T. unsalted butter
packed 1 c. shallots, halved and thinly sliced
¼ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper, freshly ground
lemon juice from ½ a medium lemon
2 T. water
1 c. crème fraîche or heavy cream (I used cream, though I’m sure the former would be delicious)
3 large egg yolks
¼ t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 T. fresh thyme, coarsely chopped

Have pre-baked tart shell ready.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare the mushrooms by removing stems if spongy. Slice depending on shape and size and how you’d like them to look in the finished tart.

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté for a few minutes, until they start to color. Increase heat to high, add mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms are soft, about 5-10 minutes.

When the mushrooms are soft, push them to one side of the saucepan. Add lemon juice and water to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together cream and egg yolks until smooth. Mix in mushrooms and gently pour the mixture into the tart shell (or put mushrooms into shell and pour cream and egg mixture over). If the sides of the pre-baked tart shell have slumped unevenly and putting all the filling in would cause it to overflow, egg mixture that doesn’t fit in the shell could be carefully poured in, 5 minutes into baking.

Bake until the custard is barely firm in the center, about 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. The tart will continue to set as it cools.

Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with thyme and freshly grated nutmeg.

Dr. Terry Wahls Algerian Chicken

March is what makes us strong Iowans. We hear crocuses have sprung in Kentucky, but ours are not ready for that yet. Here, we still have time for winter mulling, garden planning, cozy cooking, and reading whatever last rights of winter you like.

Dr. Terry Wahls's Algerian Chicken - New Pi Eats

It will probably be blustery; March nearly always is. Yet this is precisely what steels us, makes us the resilient folks we are, and makes those crocuses – when they do emerge – that much sweeter.

Meanwhile, not getting ahead of ourselves with talk of crocuses, back to the cooking!

After taking these photos for the March/April Catalyst that’s about to hit the shelves, we gobbled up a few bites, then packed it to share with co-workers. It was a huge hit with our crowd, particularly when they found out just how easy it was.

Ben, who took these photos, took a portion home to share after the shoot: “My [then-]pregnant wife, who couldn’t stomach anything in the last week of her pregnancy, loved this.” I believe he made it twice more in the following week and again the next. (And yes, they have a lovely baby boy home now!)

Terry Wahls Algerian Chicken New Pi Eats

The recipe comes from Dr. Terry Wahls, a local doctor whose story is so amazing you’ve probably already heard it, but if you haven’t: She treats her MS symptoms through what she eats, successfully taking her from wheelchair-dependent to fully active, independent, walking, biking, you name it. We all know food can be powerful – but turns out it can be powerful medicine as well. Her new book The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine comes out March 17.

You may have seen her at the Co-op (like below); she’s one of our great fans!

Dr. Terry Wahls at New Pi!

Dr. Terry Wahls with her signature kale at New Pi!

Keep your eyes peeled for her book – and get a preview in the March/April Catalyst, and – in the meantime – make this for dinner! So easy, tasty, and healthy.

Algerian Chicken or Vegetarian

Courtesy of Dr. Terry Wahls, from her soon-to-be-released book, The Wahls Protocol

serves 4

This is delicious, fast, and easy! Enjoy it as part of the Wahls Diet (serve over quinoa with red pepper), or Wahls Paleo Diet (over spaghetti or winter squash, yams, sautéed cabbage, or Cauliflower Rice – recipe in The Wahls Protocol), or – as plated above – with Dr. Wahls’s Greens and Bacon recipe in the March/April Catalyst.

4 cloves garlic, minced 1.5 lbs. chicken, skin on (breasts, legs, or thighs)
14.5-oz. can chopped tomatoes
2 c. sliced leeks
1 c. broth (ideally Dr. Wahls’s Bone Broth – recipe in The Wahls Protocol)
1 med. banana pepper (we substituted the adorable mini peppers we carry), sliced
1 med. carrot, sliced
1 T. coconut oil
2 t. ground turmeric
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. kelp powder (optional)
1/2 t. iodized sea salt
4 c. green beans or asparagus
2 c. cilantro, stems reserved

Mince garlic and let sit for 15 minutes to allow sulfur to stabilize. Add garlic, chicken, tomatoes, leeks, broth, peppers, carrots, coconut oil, spices, kelp powder, and salt to large skillet over medium heat (in this instance, putting everything straight into a cold pan at once seems to be just fine!). Simmer for 15 minutes.

Add green beans or asparagus and chopped cilantro stems to the skillet and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Stir in chopped cilantro leaves just prior to serving.

Reprinted by arrangement with AVERY, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company.
Copyright © DR. TERRY WAHLS LLC, 2014.

Throwback Thursday: Alicia’s Sunflower Sprout Salad

Moments ago: a dark thunderstorm – like a spring thunderstorm – plus hail. Within minutes? Gorgeous sunshine. Gosh, Iowa’s got the most fascinating weather. At the end of February, this little taste of spring is making me hungry.

Mostly, it’s bringing on a craving for more green in my life. Yet, really now, it’s way too early for that in Iowa. It’s time to start things like onion and leek transplants (like some good friends have growing in their window right now, but I can’t claim to be on it myself this year) and start revving our engines to start the rest of our transplants in March, in preparation for this year’s gardens… but our growing season is still a few months off.

LUCKILY for us, our local growers are on the job, with lettuces from Rolling Hills Greenhouse in West Union, Iowa, and local sprouts from Organic Greens in Kalona, Iowa, on our shelves. Thank goodness for sprightly spring sprouts. Whew - that’s a lot of s’s… this little bit of spring is going to my head.

Organic Greens Sprouts

So what makes this ‘Throwback Thursday’? Well, we just re-discovered our archive of recipes, and it really wouldn’t be co-operative of us to keep them to ourselves. (Isn’t that what February is for? To give us enough time indoors that we can’t help but rediscover _____ ? What [fill in the blank] have you rediscovered this February?) 

This rejuvenating recipe from the Spring 2011 Catalyst is perfect to start up our Throwback Thursday series. On a personal note, it happens to be the first Catalyst issue I had the pleasure of editing. Start the reel and read all about our good friends – and great growers – at Organic Greens, where:

“Paying attention to the health of the environment, the seeds, and the soil creates healthy roots, which produce healthy shoots – organic works.”

Meet owner James Nisly of Organic Greens and hear his vision for feeding our community in the Spring 2011 Catalyst on page 8 here.

Alicia’s Sunflower Sprout Salad

Alicia Diehl, Organic Greens Marketing Coordinator and New Pi Member

sweet potatoes, cubed and roasted (I bet winter squash would also be nice)
local Organic Greens sunflower sprouts or mixed sprouts (their combination includes radish, red cabbage, snow pea, & sunflower sprouts)
red onion, thinly sliced
local Maytag Blue Cheese, crumbled

Maple-balsamic Dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced
½ c. olive oil
¼ c. balsamic vinegar (preferably aged)
3-4 T. maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it - Alicia usually uses 4 T.)
sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Assemble or toss salad ingredients. Mix dressing ingredients by whisking or shaking in a tightly-lidded jar. Dress the salad to your liking and enjoy!

Lickety-Split (Pea) Chili

Some nights are the right nights for chili. 20 below? Yes. Game time? Yup. Looking for homey and cozy? Definitely.

Lentil Chili New Pi Eats_Ben Partridge photo

A couple days ago (a day in that 20 below zero category), chili seemed right. But we were out of beans. Well, to be more precise, our beans were 5 miles from the house, at our garden, in a wheelbarrow, sheltered yes, but… Waiting to be shelled, assuming we’d long since forgotten them. I guess we had.

A pantry search determined: it was lentil time.

The verdict on “lentil time”? Great! This will put a nice, rich chili on the table in about 45 minutes (even if you’re out of beans). Also: the delicious chorizo accent (New Pi’s chorizo sausage links, which are made in-house from non-confinement-raised pork) is on sale right now!

I highly recommend topping it also with our Rumiano Pepper Jack cheese- it’s organic and the most flavorful Jack cheese I’ve tasted, with vibrant, vivacious red peppers (You can see in the photo too: it’s much more yellow. Attribute that to the good grass they’re eating.). Notes on those gorgeous red chips below.

My Husband’s Lentil Chili

4 oz. brown lentils
4 oz. yellow split peas
4 oz. moong dal
4 oz. red lentils
(OR 8 oz. brown lentils + 8 oz. yellow split peas)
2 New Pi chorizo sausages (handmade in the meat case)
2 ribs celery
1 large or 2 medium onions
½ t. cumin
¼ – ½ t. chipotle powder
1 t. salt
a splash of beer (optional)
2 c. chopped tomatoes (canned, frozen from summer, or whatever you like)
6 c. water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch cilantro, leaves removed, stems minced
toppings: see below

Remove the sausages from their casings and fry (in a little oil if needed), breaking them up, in a soup pot. When it begins to brown, add celery, then onion, and cook until wilted. Then add the spices, salt, and pulses, and stir for a minute or two, until fragrant. If it starts to stick, add a splash of beer (or liquid of choice). Then add the tomatoes, 6 cups water, garlic, and minced stems from the bunch of cilantro. Cover and simmer for half an hour or until tender. Use an immersion blender to partially blend until a nice thickness.

Serve with pepper Jack cheese, luxurious local Kalona SuperNatural sour cream, cilantro leaves, avocado (optional), and tortilla chips  - the Food Should Taste Good jalapeño chips are delish, and that beautiful red.

Erin’s Humble 32-Bean Gem

[Enjoy New Pi Iowa City customer service star Erin McCuskey's guest post on the wonders of our 32-Bean bulk mix! --Allison]

The dark days of January are here. What for again?

32beans New Pi Eats Ben

I often have to remind myself that this post-holiday month is for a time of slow renewal. Like a bulb waiting for spring, we can hide out in our dens and fashion our own regeneration for the new year. For me, it’s also a great time to make slow-cooking food and watch long movies.

I’ve been touting a humble gem from our bulk department for some time: our often-overlooked 32 Bean Soup Mix. It’s one of those great hearty recipes that can be vegan, vegetarian, or for omnivores. Last time I was purchasing the soup mix for my family, I asked my cashier – Store Team Lead Mike Gustaveson – if he had tried it, and he looked up at me with conviction in his eyes and said, “This is my favorite thing we sell in the whole store.”

My recipe for this soup has varied over the years, depending on what I have and/or how much prep I want to put in. Last time I made just the basic recipe it turned out with this lovely tomato-gravy background for the beans that were cooked to a perfect al dente. The next day it was an excellent topping for an egg in a basket – and would also be great on a cake of polenta.

Erin & bean

Guest blogger Erin and one of her favorites from the 32-bean mix.

Which bean in the mix is the Rattlesnake bean? Or the European Soldier? The Tongue of Fire – is that even real? The mix’s ingredient list is really incredible, and it happens to be fairly low sodium (and you can take it home with you for a very reasonable $4.99/pound).

Put it all on the stove, watch the first half of Barry Lyndon, and wait for the magic to happen.  If you’re cooking with a ham shank, watch the whole film, and then enjoy.

Pair with:

Peace Tree Black River Gumbo Stout (a seasonal local beer). Stillwater Artisanal Folklore is a fine choice as well. [Both available at New Pi Iowa City.]

Earl Grey Tea with lemon.

Mixed greens salad with Annie’s Sesame Shiitake dressing or New Pi’s house-made Japanese dressing.

New Pi’s Pain Puttanesca bread, sliced and toasted under the broiler with olive oil.

Green & Black’s hazelnut currant dark chocolate.

Erin’s Basic 32 Bean Soup

One cup of 32 Bean Soup Mix easily serves four.

Use a stockpot or Dutch oven for best results.

1 dry c. 32 Bean Soup Mix (in the New Pi bulk section)
splash of olive oil and/or pat of butter
1 medium yellow onion
3 medium cloves garlic
1 quart broth plus about 3 quarts of hot water
about 2 T. Better Than Bouillon (see broth note below) plus 4 quarts hot water
12 or 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, per your tomatoey preference

optional (but certainly desirable if not vegetarian!): ham hock or shank
(There is none better than our local Beeler’s ham shanks, stocked in New Pi’s meat freezer.)

vegetables of choice (see below)
spices & seasonings of choice (see below)

Veg. options:
celeriac or celery
carrots (note that there are already some dried carrots in the mix)
red pepper
sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes)

Broth options:

Better Than Bouillon (we carry chicken, beef, and mushroom) is a great product to have in your fridge – very versatile, and you can make as little or as much broth as you need. It tends to be a bit stronger-flavored than boxed broths, hence my lighter recommendation.

Spice options, to taste:
cayenne pepper
Worcestershire sauce
lemon juice
bay leaf

Sauté the diced onion in your choice of oil and/or butter. Keep the pan on the low side of medium and add any chopped vegetables. Stir and allow vegetables to release some of their water.  Keep the heat low enough so it doesn’t brown.

When the onions start to become translucent, add the chopped garlic (I am a convert and now just use the garlic press). Let the garlic cook for just another minute until it releases its flavor. Add the soup mix and sauté the mix with the vegetables for about a minute.

Add broth and/or water. Bring to a hard boil for about ten minutes.

Add the ham hock and reduce to a low simmer.  Add any of the suggested additional spices, keeping it to pinches and dashes.

Cook 2-3 hours.

If cooked with a ham shank, remove it from the pot, pull the meat from it, and return it to the pot. Add the can of tomatoes about twenty minutes before serving (this brightens up the color of the soup from bean-brown to a warm red).

Salt and pepper to taste.

Holiday-Perfect Panna Cotta

Photo & recipe re-blogged with permission from Cafe Johnsonia.

Photo & recipe re-blogged with permission from Cafe Johnsonia.

“Around the holidays, starting when I was a kid, I always wanted to impress my grandma Betty,” New Pi graphic designer Laura Engel tells me. “So I’d look up a fancy recipe, like in Martha Stewart, make it, and take it to her for her to ‘taste test’ it. One time,” she remembers, “I tried to make this chocolate ganache cake and I spent hours on it. It just didn’t work! It wasn’t pretty, but we still ate it it anyway.”

Well, this year’s challenge turned out great.

Laura made beautiful (& delicious!) panna cottas for her family and came in to work talking about ‘em.  She mentioned the beautiful blog it came from, with lots of frequently gluten free recipes for all you GF-ers out there, and gorgeous photos: Cafe Johnsonia. Word spread.

milk thickening Laura New Pi Eats

“I’d never cooked with lavender and ours [in the New Pi bulk herb department] is culinary grade, so I thought ‘Why not?’ I’d never made candied lemon peel either, and my grandma – the same grandma Betty – gave me this new cool tool for cutting the rind. She uses the same one.” (Curious? The top two here match theirs.)

“It was super easy to make the custard,” Laura says, “and you could just put one of our good jams – like our marmalade – on top, if you didn’t want to do the rest. I think it could be topped with anything – even chocolate sauce. It’s kind of like ice cream in that way.”

Laura New Pi Eats poaching pears

Lavender Panna Cotta with Honey Poached Pears

Recipe adapted by Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia from The Joy of Cooking, who says: “Don’t let this frighten you away. It’s a lot easier than it seems and will seriously blow people away. I love desserts like that. Don’t you?”

Makes 6-8 servings

For lavender panna cotta:

3 T. cold water
1 pkg. gelatin (unfortunately we don’t carry gelatin, but we do carry Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which is vegetarian and – while I have not yet tried it – could likely be adapted to this recipe with the “Did you know?” info here or “Jelled Milk Pudding” recipe here)
1 3/4 c. heavy cream
1 1/4 c. whole milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. lavender buds
1 t. vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped)

For honey poached pears:

3 slightly under-ripe pears, cored and peeled, cut into quarters
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. honey
juice of 1 large lemon
peel of one large lemon cut into strips (use a vegetable peeler to create long strips and cut them into thinner strips with a sharp knife)
1 t. lavender buds
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise down the middle
pinch sea salt

For candied lemon peel:

reserved poaching liquid, only pears removed
1/4 c. sugar


For panna cotta:

Have 6-8 custard cups or ramekins ready.  (You can lightly oil them if you plan on turning them out onto a plate, as it helps them release better, but this is also delicious – and easier – in the dish!)  Place the ramekins in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet.  Set aside.

Place the cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top.  Let soften for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine heavy cream, milk, sugar, and lavender in a medium saucepan.  Heat gently, stirring to dissolve sugar, until the mixture just comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the softened gelatin.  Place back on the stove and heat gently until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the vanilla and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup with a spout.  Pour about 1/2 cup of the mixture into the ramekins.  (There might be some leftover depending on the size of the ramekins.)  Let stand until cooled to room temperature, then cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for several hours to chill until set.

For honey poached pears:

Place the pears, water, honey, lemon juice and peel, lavender, and vanilla bean in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until pears are just tender, stirring occasionally and making sure the bottom doesn’t burn. (If it does start to burn, lower the heat – it should just barely simmer.) The pears will probably need between 30-45 minutes to properly poach. Check for doneness by inserting the tip of a sharp knife into one of the pears. If it goes in easily, then the pears are done. If not, cook for a few more minutes. Remove the pears and place them in a bowl to cool. Reserve the poaching liquid and other ingredients.

For the candied lemon peel:

Bring the poaching liquid and its contents to a boil, then lower the heat a bit, and continue cooking until the liquid reduces and become syrupy, an additional 15 minutes or so. Remove the lemon peel from the syrup, letting as much of the syrup drip back into the pan as possible. Reserve the remaining syrup to use as a sauce when serving. Place the sugar in a shallow bowl and add the lemon peel to the bowl and roll until coated. Set the zest aside to finish cooling. You may need to roll them in the sugar several times. Set aside until serving time.

To serve:

Either serve the panna cotta still in the ramekin, or carefully loosen it from the mold with a thin knife and turn upside down on a plate.  Top with 3-4 pear slices, drizzle with some of the syrup, and top with a few strips of candied lemon peel.

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