Food & Dining
5 Recipes that Prove Healthy is the New Delicious PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 17 June 2013 14:09

With adventurous food tastes and concerns ranging from personal health to ethical agriculture and livestock practices, more people are exploring alternative diets.

But that’s not always easy – or palatable.

“You have paleo and primal diets, pescatarian and raw foods, vegetarian and vegan, and they all have wonderful merits, especially when compared with the processed foods many Americans continue to eat,” says Holistic Chef and Certified Healing Foods Specialist Shelley Alexander, author of “Deliciously Holistic,” (

“My focus is on easy-to-follow healing foods recipes that make delicious, completely nourishing meals. Some will appeal to those who adhere to a strict diet, such as vegan, and all will make people feel noticeably healthier without sacrificing any of the enjoyment we get from sitting down to eat.”

Alexander offers five recipes that can be used for any meal of the day or night, including:

• Mango chia ginger granola (raw, vegan): 2 ripe mangos, peeled, cored and sliced in one-inch cubes; 2 cups Living Intentions chia ginger cereal; 2 cups nut or seed milk. Put ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! The cereal is gluten-free, nut-free, and raw- and vegan-diet friendly, and extremely nutritious. Preparation takes five minutes or less and is hearty enough to satisfy appetites the entire morning. The ingredients can be substituted for dietary needs or preferences.

• Portobello mushroom and grilled onion burgers (vegan): Marinade for the mushroom is essential – 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar; 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil; 1 tablespoon wheat-free Tamari or organic Nama Shoyu soy sauce; 1/8 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika; 1 peeled garlic clove (grated or minced); 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper; 2 teaspoons organic maple syrup – grade B. The burgers include 4 large Portobello mushrooms – cleaned and patted dry; 1 large white onion (peeled and cut into thick slices); olive or avocado oil to cook mushrooms and onions; 2 sprouted whole grain hamburger buns –toasted; Dijon mustard; ¼ cup baby romaine lettuce – washed and patted dry. Marinate mushrooms and onions for 30 minutes. Drizzle with oil and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, turning mushrooms halfway through. Serve immediately.

• Wild blueberry smoothie (raw, vegan): 3 cups vanilla Brazil nut milk (there is an additional recipe for this); 2 cups fresh or frozen wild or organic blueberries; 1 peeled banana – organic or fair trade; 2 to 3 cups organic baby spinach; 1 small avocado – peeled and pitted; ¼ teaspoon cinnamon; (optional) a preferred protein powder or superfood. Blend until creamy. Blueberries are an amazing fruit packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients.

• Raw corn chowder (raw, vegan): 4 cups organic corn kernels (best during summer months); 2¼ cups unsweetened almond milk; 1 clove peeled garlic (remove inner stem); 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice; ½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika; 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract; ½ avocado (peeled and seed removed); unrefined sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Blend ingredients and strain; top with corn kernels and diced organic red bell pepper. Among other nutrients, corn provides lutein – an important carotenoid that protects eyes from macular degeneration.

• Dijon honey chicken wings: 1/3 cup Dijon mustard; ½ medium peeled lemon – remove all the white pith; ¼ cup raw honey; 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt; 2 large, peeled garlic cloves – grated; 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper; 12 whole chicken wings – rinsed and patted dry; ½ teaspoon paprika. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Blend ingredients in a blender, except for wings and paprika, until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove tips of cleaned wings and store in freezer for future stock. Place wings on lightly greased baking dish, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, place in oven. After 30 minutes baste wings with juices from pan, then brush mustard sauce all over wings, sprinkle with paprika and continue baking for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. Wings should have internal temperature of 165 degrees when done. These are a healthy and tasty alternative to deep-fat-fried wings.

About Shelley Alexander, CHFS

Shelley Alexander has enjoyed a lifelong love of delicious, locally grown, seasonal foods. She received her formal chef’s training at The Los Angeles Culinary Institute. Alexander is a certified healing foods specialist, holistic chef, blogger and owner of the holistic health company, A Harmony Healing, in Los Angeles.

News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Laurie Johns   
Friday, 14 June 2013 14:09

There are some things we can agree on that we don’t like about summers in Iowa: mosquitos, humidity, road construction.  But all are quickly forgotten once we catch the waft of juicy meat sizzling on the grill or pork ribs slowly smoking in the Cookshack.

Neighbors who were previously only seen waving from their cars in winter magically appear in our backyard to debate the finer points of meat rub recipes and barbeque sauces.  “Do you make your own rub? Do you sear the meat first? What’s the internal temperature?”  Such conversations are done in the same serious tones of nuclear physicists measuring alpha particles.  These are the Mensa’s of Meat.

Mensa’s of Meat congregate and compete each year at the Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest ( at the Iowa State Fair.  This year will be the 50th Cookout Contest and I’m sure competition will be stiff as county Farm Bureaus begin their contests.   It’s intense, but it’s just as fun to stand on the sidelines and watch; hundreds of State Fair-goers do that (and get free samples in the meantime).

I, and other women in my neighborhood, have surrendered the whole meat grilling/smoking endeavor to our husbands.   Some of these men, who admittedly can’t seem to do a single load of laundry without turning everything gray, are transformed into subject matter Experts on Everything, simply by standing at their backyard smoker/grills.  They gather to debate every culinary detail and nuance of spice rubs and sauces: “You’ve added one teaspoon of cayenne, right? I use two, and a touch of cumin.”

It’s refreshing to surrender the evening meal to the Mensa’s of Meat.  No challenge is offered, no criticisms leveled.  None dare; although I heard one year, one spouse got tired of waiting for dinner to start, so she went on the patio, lifted the lid of the smoker and complained loudly.  She hasn’t been seen since.

But seriously, I don’t  interrupt the bliss, the adventure, or traditional domain of the Mensa’s of Meat gathering.  Any attempt to enter the backyard and I get waved away by my husband, who is gamely armed with a rather ominous-looking stainless steel seasoning injector.  Our two small dogs hover nearby, sniffing the air, respected ancestral members of the same carnivorous pack, bound by a mutual pursuit of the perfect steak.

Tonight, we’re having smoked pork ribs.  Or, so I’m told.  Don’t ask me how they’re done, or when they’ll be done, but the men and dogs are gathering.  The way I look at it; what better tribute to Father’s Day than to patiently pay homage to the Mensa’s of Meat?

News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Andrew Wheeler   
Friday, 14 June 2013 10:00

County Contests Kick Off June 15th

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – June 13, 2013 – The sweet smell of barbeque and smoked meat will soon be wafting in the air when the state’s best grillers gather to compete in the 50th annual Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest on August 13 during the 2013 Iowa State Fair.

The championship pursuit begins in June when county Farm Bureaus host local contests to determine winners in several categories of outdoor cooking. Interested grillers and attendees should contact their county Farm Bureau office for more details and information on rules and local contests.

Local finalists from around the state will compete at the state fair for the coveted 2013 Cookout Contest Championship and cash prizes.  A gas grill, donated by Iowa Propane Gas Association (valued at $1,000), will be given to the winner in the youth category.

“Iowans take their grilling seriously and every year contestants from around the state look forward to showcasing their skills at our annual state cookout contest,” said Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Coordinator Denny Harding.  “It’s a great way for grillers to demonstrate their creativity while preparing high-quality meats produced here in Iowa.”

Contestants will compete in six categories: beef, pork, lamb, poultry, turkey, and combo/specialty.  Entries in the beef category will be limited to chuck or round primal cuts, including ground chuck or ground round.  Combo recipes combine two or more meats from the five other categories.  Specialty recipes may feature venison or any other Iowa domestically raised product.  All wild game is excluded.  Dishes will be judged on taste, appearance, and originality.  Special recognition will go to contestants in showmanship, youth and team cooking categories.  Youth grillers must be between the ages of 13 and 18 years, as of August 1, 2013.  Farm Bureau or affiliated company employees are not eligible to compete.


About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to helping farm families prosper and improve their quality of life.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve economic growth, educational improvement, and environmental quality in their communities.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at

Corndog Kickoff: The Grandest Show Around PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Allyson Krull   
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 13:52

DES MOINES, IA (06/12/2013)(readMedia)-- It's sure to be the "Grandest Show Around," as the Blue Ribbon Foundation plays host to the seventeenth annual Corndog Kickoff Benefit Auction and Fair Food Grazing Party on Saturday, July 13 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Doors to the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building will open at 6:30 p.m. for a night filled with exciting auction packages, entertainment and all of your favorite Fair foods; all while helping raise funds to restore the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds!

Nearly 200 enticing auction packages fill the live and silent auctions. See the finest in sprint car racing with four passes to the Knoxville Nationals, August 7-10. Experience a private tour for eight of the Quilted Gardens, an elaborate nursery filled with unique plantings, while sampling a selection of craft beers and hors d'oeuvres. Or, take home a beautiful heirloom quality grandfather's clock handmade from native Iowa red oak.

The Corndog Kickoff has been a pre-fair tradition since it began in 1997. First held in Pioneer Hall, 480 people were in attendance. Since then, the event has grown to raise more than $2.7 million for the restoration and preservation of the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The 2012 event brought in a crowd of 1,400 and raised a record high of $350,000!

"We are excited to grow our event each year and get more people involved in our pre-Fair tradition," said John Putney, executive director of the Blue Ribbon Foundation. "The Kickoff is the Foundation's largest annual fundraising event and we are grateful for the support to continue our mission of restoring and preserving our historic Fairgrounds."

Take advantage of the advance ticket price by ordering now. All inclusive Corndog Kickoff tickets are $75 each until June 30. After that date, tickets will be $100. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Blue Ribbon Foundation at (800) 450-3732, online at or at the door the night of the event.

The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has generated more than $95 million for renovations and improvements to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. For more information on the Corndog Kickoff, please contact the Foundation at (800) 450-3732 or


Old Chicago- Bettendorf location to Unveil New Brand Direction Including Expanded Menu and Updated Design PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Samantha Gange   
Monday, 10 June 2013 14:47

Restaurant Stays True to Roots of Handmade Pizzas and Craft Beers

While Expanding Appeal to Wider Audience

Bettendorf, June, 2013Old Chicago’s Bettendorf location is implementing updates to its brand, menu and design. The restaurant will unveil the New Old Chicago on June 27th.

According to Old Chicago’s Director of Brand Marketing, Will Powers, the change is meant to re-emphasize the restaurant’s commitment to quality food, great value and a welcoming atmosphere for a broad variety of customers and occasions.

“Walk into any Old Chicago location and you’ll find our kitchen staff making dough, chopping ingredients and preparing our guests’ meals, and that has been our practice since we opened 36 years ago,” said Powers.

The Old Chicago menu has been revamped to shine the spotlight on the restaurant’s commitment to crafted, “craveable” items. Forty new product offerings have been introduced through this rebranding effort. Among the new menu changes, a new tavern-style thin crust was introduced to complement the existing deep dish pizzas and the restaurant nearly doubled its salad selection with a combination of chopped and tossed salads, all with homemade dressings. Old Chicago guests may also choose from seven new appetizers, Panini sandwiches and an expanded pasta section.

Old Chicago was one of the first restaurant chains in the United States to offer a wide variety of craft beers from around the world. Similar to the updated food menu, Old Chicago will unveil a new draft system with 25+ taps that ensure the highest quality beer delivery system available today. Old Chicago has also developed a comprehensive “Beer Guide” that lists all the restaurant’s beer offerings. The restaurants will host exclusive brewery events and pre-release beers throughout the year.

Old Chicago Bettendorf:   3030 Utica Ridge Road,  Bettendorf, IA 52722.   563-355-9494

For more information, visit

About Old Chicago:

A traditional, casual dining restaurant specializing in made from scratch Chicago-style pizzas, pastas, calzones and salads. The Old Chicago brand has more than three decades of proven success. With 96 restaurants operating in 22 states, Old Chicago is a model for the casual dining segment. The Old Chicago World Beer Tour allows its more than 1 million and growing members to enjoy 110 of the best beers from across the globe. Old Chicago features 24 new unique craft beers rotating daily from the selection of over 40 bottled beers, and 36 draft choices available. Visit to learn more and to find the restaurant nearest you. For information about franchise opportunities, visit


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