Juneteenth Celebrations in Davis this Month

 On January 1st, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved Black people in Confederate states, at least it did on paper. About 500,000 of 3.9 million enslaved people were able to liberate themselves by escaping behind Union lines between 1863 and the end of the war in 1865. The rest – the vast majority – remained enslaved. The Emancipation Proclamation also authorized Black men to join the Union army. These men would be crucial to the Union’s war effort, especially as Northern forces swept through Confederate territory liberating enslaved populations. After the Proclamation was issued, slave owners in Mississippi and Louisiana marched more than 150,000 enslaved Black people west to Texas, beyond the reach of Union forces at the time. Texas remained under Confederate control until the spring of 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. On June 19th, 1865 in Galveston, Major General Gordon Granger announced, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This is the day we celebrate as Juneteenth (“June” plus “nineteenth”), the day freedom came to those enslaved folks still living under Confederate control in Texas, at least symbolically. Granger’s announcement also asks the newly freed people to “remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages,” which exemplifies how ending slavery and upholding white supremacy can completely coexist, almost in the very same sentence.

Between 1916 and 1970, half of the southern Black population, nearly 6 million people, migrated north and west to escape segregation, widespread lynching, and a lack of social and economic opportunities in the Jim Crow South. This movement northward is known as the Great Migration. Black Texans took Juneteenth with them. Starting in the 1920s, Black communities celebrated in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Seattle in the west. In Hayes Turner’s words, Juneteenth is “a potent life-giving event … a joyful retort to messages of overt racism … a public counter-demonstration to displays of Confederate glorification and a counter-memory to the valorization of the Lost Cause.” You can learn more about the history of Juneteenth in this blog we wrote.

There are Juneteenth celebrations all over the country today. In 2021, President Biden made Juneteenth National Independence Day an official federal holiday. Find Juneteenth events happening in and around Davis below. 

Juneteenth Celebrations

Support the Black community by buying Black at the Co-op. Look for the “Black Owned” shelf tag on products from departments across the store. See all of our inclusive trade brand partners here.

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Pride Events in Davis this Month

June is Pride Month!

Pride Month wouldn’t exist without queer and transgender people of color. More specifically, it wouldn’t exist without queer and trans people of color fighting back against police brutality. If this is news to you, read about the history of Pride and queer political activism in this blog we wrote last year. If you’re somewhat familiar with the history of Pride, you might know that the riots at the Stonewall Inn, which occurred from June 28th to July 3rd, 1969, are the impetus for the Pride events we know today. With these deep roots in political action, Pride has grown and spread all over the globe. Scroll through this blog to see Pride events happening in and around Davis! 

Shop queer-owned brands by looking for the shelf talker on our shelves. You can see all of our inclusive trade brands here.

It is imperitive the Co-op be a safe and inclusive space for shoppers, Owners and staff. You can read about our decision to include pronouns on nametags to that end here

Pride Month Happenings

The Co-op will be at Davis Pride on 6/4 from 10-2 in Central Park! Come say hi and get one of these *limited edition* pride stickers. Happy Pride Month!

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May 13 – International Hummus Day Recipes

Happy International Hummus Day!

Hummus can be a versatile tool in your kitchen. It’s a vegan and gluten free source of fiber, protein, and other phytonutrients. It is traditionally made with mashed chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame seeds ground into a paste), lemon, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Enjoy hummus with raw veggies and toasted pita bread or use it as a sandwich spread. Always have some on hand to top a grain bowl for lunch or dinner. And hummus is easy to riff off; use what you have on hand to create delicious flavor combinations or try some of our recipes below!

Not into making your own? We got you! Our Deli makes several flavors fresh each week. Find plain, Kalamata olive, and roasted red pepper hummus in the case across from Mermaid Sushi. You can find the rest of our hummus offerings on Aisle 13.


Sonjia’s Hummus

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne to taste (to kick it up, optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water (if needed for thinning consistency)

Use a food processor: Process garlic. Add drained and rinsed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and optional cayenne. Process until smooth, adding water as needed. Can be made with just olive oil (add additional 1/4 cup, and no water, for a richer flavor). Taste and adjust salt.

If serving at a party, place in an attractive bowl and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle of paprika and shopped parsley. Pairs well with pita chips, cut veggies and goes great in wraps and sandwiches!

Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.

Roasted Beet Hummus

  • 1 medium or 2 small red beets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinse
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
  • ½ teaspoon each of cumin and coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Serve with: 1 small baguette, sliced and toasted, radishes or other veggies, sesame seeds, finely chopped parsley, pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Drizzle the beet with olive oil and then wrap the beet and garlic together in foil. Place on the baking sheet and roast 30 to 40 minutes, or until the beet is fork-tender.

When cool enough to handle, peel the beet skins under running water using your hands. Chop the beet and place it in a blender. Add the roasted garlic, chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and water and blend until smooth. Add cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Chill until ready to use.

Garnish with sesame seeds, pine nuts and parsley and serve with toasted baguette slices and/or crispy raw veggies.

Roasted Garlic White Bean Hummus

  • 1 head of garlic plus olive oil
  • 19 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced; to garnish

Roast garlic.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the top ¼ inch off of a head of garlic, then wrap in aluminum foil; drizzle olive oil into head before sealing. Roast for 45 minutes, then remove from oven and cool until it’s safe to handle.

In the meantime, assemble remaining ingredients in the food processor.

Squeeze the roasted cloves out of the garlic skin into the food processor. Process for 30 seconds – 1 minute, scrape sides of processor and repeat until smooth and creamy.

Green Hummus

  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley 
  • 1 cup (packed) raw leafy greens of choice (arugula, kale, spinach, etc. ), tough stems removed
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives or green onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 or 2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, or more to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1-3 tablespoons water if needed to thin consistency

Combine in a food processor and run until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. 

Lemon and Turmeric Hummus

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp yellow curry powder
  • ¼ tsp salt, or more to taste

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Cut the lemon in half and place cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking tray. Roast for 10 minutes, then allow to cool. Juice the roasted lemon. 

Add the roasted lemon juice, along with all the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste test and adjust the seasoning to your liking. 

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Things to do on May 14th – Alternatives to Mother’s Day

May 14th

Alternatives to Mother’s Day

May is a beautiful spring month. Flowers are in bloom, especially after our very wet winter. The weather is finally warm enough to wear dresses and shorts, to feel the sun’s fire on your skin. This is a time to reconnect and grow after months of seasonal dreariness. 

May is also home to Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate mothers and motherhood. For some, it can be a painful month and the constant reminders of motherly love often don’t fit with everyone’s experience of having a mother. Some businesses, like Etsy, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, and Uncommon Goods offer subscribers the option to opt out of receiving emails about Mother’s Day.

Whatever your reason for choosing not to celebrate, we are here to offer you some alternatives to enjoy May 14th and the whole month of May.

May 14th Ideas

Have a self care day! Everyone’s idea of self care will be different, but do try to do something that makes your feel good, loved, safe, etc. (and if it’s too hard to feel good on this day, don’t be mad at yourself that it is). Some ideas are yoga, meditation, hiking or walking, joyful movement (exercise that you actually like doing that actually feels good to you), crafting, spa day, baking or cooking, gardening, reading, napping, calling a friend, the list goes on. 

May is bike month. Grab coffee and lunch to-go from the Co-op, put on some sunscreen, and take a leisure bike ride with some friends through our beautiful small town! Looking for a longer ride? Grab a Davis Bike Map at the Customer Service Desk; head down Russell Boulevard and Putah Creek Road to Winters for Turkovich or Berryessa Gap Wines or Old Davis Road to Dixon to visit the Barn & Pantry

Spend the day in your yard or indoor jungle. Spring is the time for repotting and propagating indoor plants and sprucing up your outdoor garden. Stop by the Patio to grab some new soil, fertilizer, pots, and plants! Check out our blogs on Propagating and Container Gardening, and our Plant Care Guides.

Have a sibling, friend, or pet day instead. Use this day to celebrate the strong relationships you do have. Plan out your ideal friend date, bundle at home or go out and enjoy the spring weather. Just like a self care day, this will vary for everyone. Here is an example of how I would do it: (1) early climbing/yoga/walk followed by matcha (2) go back to my house for hanging on the couch (3) then we make a huge and complicated meal (4) and then we eat it several hours later when it is finally done! 

Spend the day with someone who needs a mother. Sign up to volunteer at the SPCA or foster/adopt at Hearts for Paws Rescue in town. Finding a way to share some love, with a creature that will unconditionally love you back for a walk and some snuggles can be a great way to emotionally heal. Volunteering with both organizations takes a little time and training to qualify. If you are last-minute looking for some snuggles, ask some friends with pets if you can pet sit for the day!

Weekend Happenings

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5 Favorite Nature Walks & Hikes Around Davis

Inside Davis

1. The North Davis Greenbelts

You can find greenbelts throughout Davis, but my favorite is probably the North Davis Greenbelt system. The Greenbelt is a paved and protected walking and bike path that connects the green spaces and parks of North Davis. You can visit a park on the green belt or you can walk the various paths between parks. My favorite walk is a 3.5 mile loop that hits North Star Park, Covell Park, the Perimeter Greenbelt, and Senda Nueva Park. Ample trees along the Greenbelt provide plenty of shade for strolling in the summer months. Be sure to check out the Julie Partansky Pond at North Start Park if you enjoy birding or quiet nature observation. 

2. The Arboretum

Maybe this sounds crazy, but I think UC Davis’ Arboretum is underrated! This is seriously one of my favorite places in Davis. I like to do the whole 3 mile loop in one stroll, but you can visit as much or as little of the Arboretum as you want. The plants are organized by collection with tons of information to absorb if you’re into that. There are many places to sit, but I recommend the picnic tables in the Muir Grove of Redwoods because it’s always shady! 

About 15 Minutes from Davis

3. Putah Creek Riparian Reserve

The UC Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve is a 640 acre riparian and grassland ecosystem that runs along the southern edge of UC Davis’ campus. Most of the land is open to the public for fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking. There are picnic tables and you can make a reservation to use the fire ring in the main picnic area. Dogs are allowed, just keep them on leash. 

2. Cache Creek Nature Preserve

Cache Creek Nature Preserve is a 130 acre park of wetlands, oak woodlands, grasslands, and riparian lands with 1.5 miles of hiking trails throughout. In addition to trails, the Preserve is home to the Tending & Gathering Garden, a collaborative effort with the local Indigenous community to demonstrate native plant uses in Patwin culture, and the Jan T. Lowery Memorial Grove showcasing native CA plants. CCNP is open Sunday-Friday 8am-4pm (closed Saturdays). Dogs are not allowed. 

About 30 Minutes from Davis

2. Rockville Hills Regional Park

By far my favorite local outdoors spot! Located in Fairfield, CA, Rockville Hills is about a 30 minute drive from Davis. The park is 644 acres with hiking and mountain biking trails, a lake, a pond, picnic tables, two caves, ample scrambling boulders, wildlife and wildflowers if the time is right. Find a variety of trails, easy to difficult. Dogs are allowed too! Heavy rains this winter have closed some trails, but the park is drying out. 

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Non-Alcoholic Drinks for St. Pat’s

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Keep scrolling for our favorite non-alcoholic, all-ages mocktail recipes for St. Paddy’s

Simple Syrup

Simple syrups are super easy to make! Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over medium/low heat until all of the sugar is dissolved. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool. The longer you let the syrup sit with all the ingredients, the strong it will be! Once cooled, strain and place in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Check out these simple syrup recipes if you want to try something a little more interesting! 

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part granulated sugar

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, keep covered, and let the syrup cool completely. Bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Greena Colada

makes 2 drinks

  • 1 cup light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup fresh spinach or kale (de-stemmed) 
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • Pineapple wedges and leaves for garnish (optional)
Add everything (but the garnish) to a blender and blend until smooth (this may take 1 full minute or longer). Pour into serving glasses. Garnish with pineapple wedges and a pineapple leaf! 

Lime Rickey

makes 4 drinks

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces simple syrup (recipe above)
  • 12 ounces soda water or tonic water
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

In a large measuring cup, combine lime juice ands simple syrup. 

Fill 4 glasses with ice. Pour sweetened lime juice into the glasses, about 3 ounces in each. Top with soda water. Stir with a spoon and garnish with a wedge of lime. 

NA Irish Coffee

makes 1 drink

  • 1 cup freshly brewed strong hot coffee
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • cocoa powder, for garnish

Whip the heavy cream with a whisk, electric mixer, or a frother until light and fluffy, but not all the way to whipped cream. 

Add brown sugar to serving mug. Pour in the hot strongly brewed coffee and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Top with whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over the back of a heated spoon. To heat the spoon, run it under hot water. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the top.

Salty Gingerade

makes 1 drink

  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 6 ounces ginger beer
  • Garnish: mint sprig

Add the lime juice, date, salt and cumin to a shaker. Let sit for 5 minutes, then muddle until the date is pulverized.

Add ice and shake until well-chilled, then pour unstrained into a tall glass. Top with ginger beer and stir well to combine. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Mango Orange Nojito

makes 4 drinks

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup mango nectar or juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 12 oz sparkling water of choice
  • ice
  • orange slices and mint leaves for garnish

In a large bowl or pitcher, add the 1 cup of fresh mint leaves and muddle. Add sugar, and muddle the mixture again. Add the orange juice, mango juice, lime juice, and sparkling water. Gently stir.

Fill each glass halfway with ice. Pour in mixture over ice. Garnish with orange slices and mint.

Sparkling Almond Mocktail

makes 1 drink

  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ ounces orgeat, or almond syrup
  • 4 ounces mineral water, such as Topo Chico
  • pebble ice
Pour lemon juice and orgeat into Collins glass with pebble ice. Top with mineral water.
Garnish with lemon or lime wheel and herb sprig.

Naturally Green Shamrock Shake

makes 2 drinks

  • 10-15 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 avocado
  • big handful of fresh spinach leaves 
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 5-10 drops peppermint extract
  • Whipped cream, cacao nibs and mint leaves for serving 
In a high speed blender, combine and blend mint leaves, avocado, spinach, milk, and vanilla. Add ice cream and pulse until combined
Before adding mint flavoring, taste the shake to see if it’s minty enough for your liking. if not, add a few drops of mint flavoring as needed.
Serve in a glass with whipped cream, cacao nibs and a mint sprig.

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30 Minute Dinners for National Noodle Month

Happy National Noodle Month!

There’s a lot to celebrate about noodles. For one, they’re friendly to just about every diet: there are gluten free noodles, vegan noodles, noodles packed with protein, and noodles made from straight up vegetables (which is a great way to introduce younglings to veggies like carrots, zucchini, and squash). 

Noodles also cook fast making them an excellent weeknight choice. Noodle dishes make great leftovers too – many hot rice noodle dishes taste wonderful chilled the next day for lunch and Italian pasta dishes can be woken up in the microwave or oven and finished with a fresh sprinkle of parm.

Make these recipes any night of the week – they’ll only take you 30 minutes! And grab everything you need for a delicious National Noodle Month at your co-op. 

Rice Noodle Recipes

Rice noodles are the go-to in my kitchen as they’re gluten free and quick cooking (2-4 minutes). I always have tamari, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, chili garlic paste, and maple syrup on hand to whip up a quick sauce for the noodles to absorb. Add veg, optional protein, and sesame seeds on top for a great meal in 20 minutes. 

Note: If your noodles are coming out mushy, you are overcooking them. Set a timer and pay close attention when it goes off. If you’re still having trouble with mushy noodles, stop cooking by plunging them into an ice bath immediately.

Creamy Peanut Sesame Noodles

  • 1 tablespoon avocado or neutral oil
  • ⅓ cup peanuts
  • ¼ cup creamy unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sweet white miso paste
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened full fat coconut milk (no gums!)
  • 8 oz. pad thai rice noodles 
  • Crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Lime wedges 

Heat avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add peanuts and a pinch of salt. Cook until peanuts become golden brown, stirring frequently. Transfer to a heat-safe bowl to cool. Reserve the skillet. 

Combine peanut butter, maple syrup, tamari, lime juice, and miso in a small bowl. Use a whisk to get this mixture as smooth as possible. Set aside. 

Heat water in a medium or large pot. Once boiling, add rice noodles and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 2 minutes, strain through a colander and rinse with cold water. 

While the water is boiling, heat coconut milk over low heat in the skillet you used to fry the peanuts. After a few minutes, stir in the peanut butter mixture. Stir until smooth. Be careful not to overcook the sauce. Add the noodles to the sauce when they’re done. Cook noodles in the sauce for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Just before serving, top with fried peanuts, green onions, and lime wedges.

Cold Sesame Noodles

  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • ½-3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce 
  • 8 oz. pad thai rice noodles
  • 2 cups mixed red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • Small Persian cucumber, very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh Thai or regular basil, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced

Add sesame oil, garlic, shallots, and bay leaf to a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the garlic and shallot are golden and crispy, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and ginger, stirring all the while, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a heat safe bowl. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and tamari. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then cool in the fridge. 

Heat water in a medium or large pot. Once boiling, add rice noodles and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 4 minutes, strain through a colander and rinse with cold water for a minute or two to arrest cooking. 

Combine sesame oil mixture, noodles, and all the veggies. Toss until veggies are well coated. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Ginger Cilantro Take Out Noodles

  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-3 tablespoons chili garlic paste or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 16 oz. thin rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup)

Begin heating a large pot of water for the rice noodles. Once boiling, add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, strain through a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside. 

In the meantime, combine tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, chili garlic paste, lime juice, and fish sauce. Set aside. 

Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minutes, stirring all the while. Your kitchen should fill with the smell of ginger and garlic, yum. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Pour in the sauce. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, then add noodles. Stir until the noodles are evenly coated in sauce. After 2 minutes they should look dry as they’ve absorbed the sauce. 

Finally, toss with sesame seeds and cilantro just before serving.

Pasta Recipes

These noodles take a little longer to cook – 7-11 minutes. The trick to weeknight pasta is pairing noodles with a sauce that takes around the same amount of time to prepare. 

For those that can’t do gluten or want a little more oomph from their pasta, choose noodles made from lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, brown rice, etc. 

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

  • 1 16-ounce package linguine or spaghetti noodles
  • 1 1/2 cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional: 1 anchovy
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • freshly ground black pepper 

Cook pasta to al dente in salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, and drain the linguine in a colander.

Mix together the ricotta, reserved pasta liquid, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and anchovy in a serving bowl. Toss with the warm pasta, top with grated Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Wild Mushroom Linguine

  • 12 ounces linguine noodles
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cremini, shiitake or morel mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put on a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta, and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat, and add the mushrooms. Stir until the mushrooms are softened, lightly browned and nearly dry, about four minutes. Add the garlic and lemon zest and stir for about a minute.

Add the half and half and bring to a boil; reduce heat so it won’t boil over, but let it simmer vigorously for two minutes to thicken slightly. Stir in the parmesan until melted, then remove from heat. Add the drained pasta, parsley, salt and pepper to the pan, and use tongs to turn in the sauce until well mixed. Serve immediately.

Baked Ravioli

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound store-bought fresh ravioli of your choice
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

(This one will take a little longer than 30, but a good chunk is oven time so you can catch up on dishes, studying or doing nothing!)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Add thyme and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Toss sauce with ravioli. Pour pasta into an 8×8 inch baking dish, and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Would it really be National Noodle Month without a few Mac and Cheese recipes?

Vegetarian Chorizo Mac and Cheese

  • 1 box of your favorite stove-top macaroni and cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 package vegetarian chorizo, casing removed and crumbled
  • 1 small can of mild or hot green chiles
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Toppings (optional): diced tomatoes, diced red onion, sour cream, sliced black olives

Cook macaroni noodles according to box instructions. 

In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions and peppers. Sauté for 1 minute and add soy chorizo. Sauté for 6 minutes. Add noodles and cheese sauce. Stir. Add green chiles and cilantro and stir again. Finish with additional toppings if using. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pound dried small pasta shells
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Place the squash, milk, water, and salt in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Use a blender to purée the milk and squash into a smooth sauce. Stir in the pepper and nutmeg. Add the cooked pasta, cheddar, Parmesan, and fontina cheese, and stir until the pasta is evenly combined and the cheeses are melted. If the cheese needs a little help melting, return to a pot over low heat and stir until the cheese is appropriately melty.

Bacon Mac and Cheese

  • 16 oz. cavatappi or noodle shape of choice
  • 6 oz. Red Witch cheese, grated
  • 10 oz. Gruyere, Emmental or other Swiss melting cheese
  • 16 oz. white cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3 pieces of fully cooked bacon (or more), diced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • Parmigiano Reggiano to taste
  • 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (or panko breadcrumbs)
  • Olive oil
(This one will take a little longer than 30, but a good chunk is oven time so you can catch up on dishes, studying or doing nothing!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set aside 1/2 cup of the Red Witch and cheddar cheeses. Cook noodles until al dente according to package instructions.

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until well incorporated. Add the milk, slowly, whisking constantly. Keep whisking for about 5 minutes until the sauce boils and thickens. Then add the half and half and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and add bacon, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and the cheese you did not set aside earlier. Stir together until well mixed.

Combine sauce and cooked noodles and stir. Top with the 1/2 cup of reserved cheesed. Grate some Parmigiano Reggiano on top, to taste. Toss breadcrumbs with a little olive oil and sprinkle over the mac and cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.

Not Pasta Recipes

Don’t worry, I will not pretend that “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) are the equivalent of starchy, comforting grain-based noodles. That being said, vegetable noodles definitely have a place in my kitchen. Doing lots of 3rd grade field trips and kids cooking classes has also taught me little ones are a smidge more inclined to munch on raw zucchini if it’s in fun noodle form.

You can purchase frozen carrot and zucchini noodles or make veggie noodles yourself with the right equipment. My $20 “spiralizer” has been working great for years. You can also get thin, wide noodles by using a vegetable peeler.

Carrot Noodle Salad

  • 2 large carrots, spiralized (about 4 cups carrot noodles)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup raisins (Optional: rehydrate by soaking in 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar mixed with water enough to cover for 15-30 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped

In a large bowl, combine carrot noodles, chickpeas, and raisins.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, harissa, cardamom, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour over carrot noodle mixture and toss until everything is coated with dressing and spices.
Top with feta cheese, toasted walnuts and parsley.

To make this a meal, fill out with Aidell’s Spinach and Feta Chicken Sausage or a side of lemon garlic couscous. 

Zoodles with Lentil Bolognese

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 pinch sea salt or to taste
  • 26 ounces of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dry split red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium zucchini, rinsed and both ends sliced off
  • Optional: cheese or nutritional yeast for topping

    Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, shallot, and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until slightly softened and fragrant. Turn down heat if browning. Add carrots and a pinch of salt and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes more, then add marinara sauce and stir to coat.

    Add red pepper flake, basil, oregano, coconut sugar, water, and lentils. Increase heat slightly and bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to low/medium-low, cover, and continue cooking until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 17-20 minutes. Add a bit more water if mixture gets too thick. Once lentils are cooked, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    While the sauce is cooking, spiralize your zucchini into noodles. Serve bolognese over zoodles. Sprinkle with cheese or nutritional yeast if using. 

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    Black Vegan Chefs and the Future of Food

    Black people became the fastest growing vegan demographic in the country in 2022. It’s no wonder then that Black vegan chefs are expanding the boundaries of both Black and vegan cuisine in the US, with aims to practice a veganism that uplifts people and planet. 

    Veganism as environmental justice as racial justice

    Let’s explore some of the reasons why Black folks and Black chefs are turning to veganism. 

    But first, let’s talk about intersectionality. Intersectionality is a relatively new concept in Western thought and describes “the ways in which systems of inequality based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class and other forms of discrimination ‘intersect’ to create unique dynamics and effects.” 

    For example, Black Americans are more likely to live in food deserts than white Americans. Is race the sole determining factor? Most certainly not. We know that food deserts are also more likely in communities with small populations, lower incomes, low levels of education, and higher rates of unemployment. Using the intersectional approach, we can see then that race, socio-economic status, education level, and other dimensions of identity overlap here to create and sustain a system in which certain folks seriously lack access to healthy, fresh, and affordable foods.

    Southern Style BBQ Tofu by Brandi Crawford

    So, veganism, environmental justice and racial justice…intersect? Yes they do! Let’s look at exactly how. Take one common reason for going vegan: reducing cruelty and harm to animals. You’ve done away with meat, dairy, eggs, honey, cheese and you’re filling your shopping cart with so many vegetables. Before you check out, consider: Was the Latinx farmworker who harvested your food paid a fair wage? Do they work in safe conditions? Does the farmer own the DNA inside the seeds they plant or does a chemical company? Were the fields sprayed with pesticides that will end up in our rivers and oceans? If you don’t know, can you really say your veganism reduces cruelty? 

    While there are many individual health benefits to eating more plants, going vegan is also an opportunity to engage more deeply with the social, political and environmental sides of what we eat. For the Black community, which is disproportionately affected by climate change and health conditions associated with racism, many see veganism as an opportunity to fight against these inequalities.

    We should also mention that communities in Asia, Latin America, and Africa have been “eating vegan” – plant-based – for thousands of years. Trendy vegan foods like quinoa and sweet potatoes made popular by wealthy, white social media influencers have been staple crops for millions across recorded time. In fact, these days non-white Americans are more likely to be vegetarian or vegan than white Americans. 

    Okay, now let’s meet some of the Black vegan chefs changing the game.

    Tracye McQuirter


    Tracye McQuirter earned her Masters in Public Health from NYU and has over 36 years of experience eating and cooking vegan. She directed the first federally funded, community-based vegan nutrition program; co-created the first vegan-themed website specifically for Black Americans; launched the first Black American vegan starter guide; wrote two vegan how-to/recipe books; and previously served as a nutrition advisor for Black Women’s Health Imperative. Purchase her cookbooks and guides here

    Aisha “Pinky” Cole


    Aisha Cole is the brilliance behind Atlanta’s Slutty Vegan restaurant which regularly attracts an hour-long line of folks dreaming of her incredible vegan burgers at accessible prices. She opened the first Slutty Vegan in the majority Black neighborhood of West End, where there were previously zero plant based options. When Cole isn’t running multiple locations throughout Georgia or hosting Slutty Vegan pop-ups around the country, she’s donating funds to help local college students pay off their debts and stay in school. 

    Bryant Terry


    Yes, Bryant Terry is a big deal. He’s won a James Beard Award and Fast Company named him one of 9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food. He has also worked as Chef-in-Residence at San Francisco’s Museum of African Diaspora, authored best-selling cookbooks, and founded 4 Color Books, an imprint creating visually stunning books with BIPOC chefs and writers. In other words, he’s a fierce food justice advocate. 

    If you want to learn how Black folks have always been major influencers and innovators on the American food system, check out our blog on Black food history.

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