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Roots for the Home Team by Julie Kendrick


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Teen gardeners hit it out of the park with a healthy concession stand that has baseball fans lining up for more at Target Field in Minneapolis.

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Roots for the Home Team by Julie Kendrick

  1. 1. COURTESYROOTSFORTHEHOMETEAM(5) 8 Visit us on Teen gardeners hit it out of the park with a healthy concession stand that has baseball fans lining up for more. W hen hunger strikes at the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field, nobody has to settle for the standard hot-dogs- and-nachos fare. A group of Twin Cities teens is bringing the farm-to-table trend to the ballpark, providing healthy, tasty options while learning lessons about growing, cooking, market- ing and sales. Nonprofit Roots for the Home Team, the brainchild of Minneapolis registered dietitian Susan Moores, pairs teens involved in local youth community garden programs with chefs to create fresh, innovative salads with names like the Ooh La La Salade, a French-style mix of roasted veggies, bulgur and goat cheese tossed in an herby vinaigrette; and the Home Run Super Crunch, a Cajun-inspired combo of black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes and toasted pecans, with a creamy, peppery dressing. The teens then sell the dishes via the ballpark’s Garden Goodies carts. Not only do the fans benefit from the nutritious fare—the whole process gets the teens themselves more invested in making better choices at mealtime. “Tell kids a food is ‘healthy,’ and often there’s little interest in giving it a go,” says Moores. “But when you grow a vegetable from seed, then watch how it can be turned into something delicious that fans want to buy, you might begin to change your thinking.” True to Their Roots The salads often include ingredients the kids connect with on a personal level. Working with Southeast Asian-American chef and Union Kitchen owner Yia Vang, teens created the East Side Pad Thai salad. Sean Sherman, known as The Sioux Chef, teamed up with a group from the Dream of Wild Health youth garden program, one of the longest con- tinually operating Native American organizations in the Twin Cities. Their salad uses traditional Lakota mainstays like pasdayapi (hominy) and ma- noomin (wild rice). Their secret ingredient? Native ground cherries, which the kids grow themselves on the organization’s 10-acre farm in Hugo, Minn. In a nod to the often-frigid spring and fall temperatures at the outdoor stadium, teens from the Urban Ventures community garden partnered with area Chef Geo Avila on the popular DreamingFind out more Curious about Roots for the Home Team? Visit continued on page 10 By Julie Kendrick BITES Big League Susan Moores
  2. 2. CUPCAKESBYMARKBOUGHTONPHOTOGRAPHY/STYLINGBYCALLIEBLOUNT;SALADCOURTESYROOTSFORTHEHOMETEAM CONTINUEDFROMPAGE 8 of Veggies Soup, which includes the potatoes, carrots, corn, squash and cilantro they grow. “This soup reminds me of stories about my grandmother’s vegetable garden in Mexico,” says 18-year-old Leslie Nicolas, one of the recipe’s developers. Dream Big Roots for the Home Team—and Moores herself—have fans of their own in the Twins organization. “Sue inspires these kids to cre- ate delicious salads, work hard and lead the charge for healthier lifestyles,” says Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter. “Her vision for providing true growth opportunities for these kids makes a world of difference in our community. Meanwhile, the Roots kids take ownership in the program and have collectively stepped up to make it prosper.” Not only did the teens grow 600 pounds of organic vegeta- bles for Roots and sell nearly 750 salads at weekend games last year, but Roots for the Home Team now extends beyond the ballpark. The salads are sold in a local gro- cery store and served in Minneap- olis Public Schools cafeterias. “We’re using the power of salads to seed youth success,” Moores says. • 10 Visit us on food Creamy, Dreamy Dessert NO-BAKE ICE CREAM CUPCAKES These cute creations from mom and blogger Laurie Farmer of take frozen treats to a new level. Use your favorite cookies and ice cream flavors for a customized cool-down. 12 chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreo), crushed 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted 6 cups ice cream, softened Cool Whip, sprinkles, maraschino cherries 1. Line a muffin pan with foil cupcake liners. 2. In a small bowl, combine crushed cookies with butter. Press 1 Tbsp cookie mixture into each liner to form crust. Using the back of a spoon, press ice cream into crusts. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight or at least 4 hours. 3. Spread thawed Cool Whip on top of ice cream and top with sprinkles and cherries. Serve immedi- ately. Serves 12 Make summer sweeter with these must-share mini treats