Spiced Carrot Dip

This recipe is a delicious way to transform carrots into a flavorful dip. These ingredients incorporate sweetness from natural apricot preserves and depth from rich herbs and spices. I love this recipe because the flavors are so full, ranging from sweet to savory.

Spiced Carrot dip is a great dip for your next super bowl football party. Skip the guilt of overeating highly processed dips, and instead, enjoy the delicious flavors of whole foods and natural ingredients!


1 lb. carrots, peeled
1 T. ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. organic apricot preserves
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. coriander
4 tsp. sesame oil

  1. Put carrots and ½ tsp of salt in a large saucepan. Add 2 cups water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain.
  2. Transfer carrot mixture to a food processor along with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, ginger, garlic, apricot preserves, lemon juice, sesame oil, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne. Process until almost smooth.

Enjoy with pita chips. Happy Cooking!


Madeleine Wirth

Madeleine is a senior at James Madison University, studying to be a registered dietitian. She loves exploring recipes with fresh and nutritious ingredients. As a native to the Shenandoah Valley, she passionately supports the local food economy in Harrisonburg.

Shopping in Friendly City

By Steve Cooke, General Manager

Friendly City is not like any other place that you have shopped. We get that! In fact, it was always our intention to create a whole new way to run a grocery store, from the way the store looks to the way our team members interact with you, our community, to the relationships we have with our local vendors, and ultimately to the way we plan to create a new local food distribution system here in the Valley.


Buy in season:

  • If we have a lot of something (apples, winter squash, peaches, watermelons,) it’s likely in season here in the Valley, and you can get the best bargains on these items. They’re also at the peak of their best flavor and nutritional value. Get a bunch and chop it up and freeze it, can some, make pickles, jams, jellies, or soups and preserve it for another time when that fruit or vegetable is not available.

Look for Local

  • We all want to support our local economy, and if you see our Local tag on any product, you know that your dollars will stay here in the area, circulating between the farmers, bakers, jelly makers, ranchers, and your Friendly City Co-op team, not to mention generating tax revenues, and keeping our local economy strong.
  • Local products are all over the store, not just in the produce department! We have local maple syrup, wheat berries, canola oil, pancake mix, salsas, potato chips, deli salads, muffins, pound cakes, and even popcorn.

Check out the Co+op Deals!

  • Every few weeks, we change out the products we have on sale, and they are featured in our Co+op Deals flier, end cap displays, and in the aisles, coolers, and freezers. Often you can find organic items at comparable prices to conventional items when they are on sale, and you can stock up. As part of the National Co-op Grocers, we have joined forces with 150 other co-ops around the U.S. to get the best pricing on these items, so we can pass along the savings to our local communities.
  • We also have coupon books offering even more savings on many new and unique products around the co-op. Usually, during the two-month coupon cycle, items will also be featured as a Co-op Deal and you can find deep savings by combining the sale with the coupon.
  • We also get special deals just for our co-op shoppers that will only be on sale here in Friendly City.

Co+op Basics Stretch your Grocery Budget 

We have a new program that features staples items like pasta, tomato sauce, tuna fish, paper towels, cleaning products, toothpaste, chicken and beef broth, canned beans, veggies and fruit, plus crackers, milk and frozen foods – all for considerably less than many of our other brands. So, you and your family can eat well and stay within your budget each month.

We want to Bulk you up!

  • Our bulk department has over 30 linear feet of grains, beans, granolas, nuts, dried fruit, snacks, coffee, tea, culinary and medicinal herbs. You are empowered to get as much or as little as you like, and pay less due to the fact that there is no printed packaging and no marketing budget to support with the manufacturers. Bulk is the greenest way to shop, and if you re-use your bags, or bring in your own containers and get our cashiers to weigh them for you before you fill them, you earn serious green points.

Clean 15

  • These fruits and vegetables were deemed the least contaminated with pesticide residues*,  so you can purchase them worry free:
    Sweet corn
    Sweet peas
    Kiwi fruit
    Sweet potatoes

*list based on Environmental Working Group’s latest research

Meat up

  • The whole right side of our meat case contains meat from local farms – beef, pork, and lamb. The beef is mostly grass fed and grain finished.
  • Look for whole chickens from Shenandoah Valley Organics raised right here in Rockingham County – super fresh, delicious and nutritious. Also look for Red Wheelbarrow branded chicken parts raised here and processed over on Liberty Street in Harrisonburg.
  • To the left of the meat case in the freezer, you’ll find a large selection of products from the famous Polyface Farms – beef, sausages, uncured hot dogs, etc.. This farm was featured in Michael Pollan’s book Omnivore’s Dilemma, which helped promote the local food revolution.

Start where you are…

Jump in where you feel most comfortable

  • get a sandwich or salad for lunch
  • Pick up some local apples or cider for your party
  • Try the Homestead Creamery milk in the glass bottles – the creamline style still has the cream on top, and it tastes like milk is supposed to taste
  • Grill one of our grass fed steaks – your family will taste the difference
  • Check out our Friendly City line of supplements and vitamins

Co-ops – Stronger Together – when you’re ready to check out, our cashiers will ask if you are an owner of the co-op. There’s no pressure. We just want everyone to know that you can be a part of this new and improved way of doing business. Ask for a membership packet if you’re interested, and join with us when you are ready.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 6
As winter approaches, hot meals are more and more appetizing. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious, hot meal that will warm you up on a cold day. Lentils are a great source of iron, fiber, and protein. The meaty texture of the lentils makes this home-style favorite a hearty and healthy meal. Instead of potatoes, I used rutabagas as the top layer mash. Rutabagas are a great source of potassium, fiber, and Vitamin C. With a flavorsome amount of natural sugars, rutabagas provide a sweet contrast of flavors that is absolutely delicious in shepherd’s pie!


1 cup dry green lentils
1 cup fresh celery, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup fresh carrots, diced
¼ cup shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth, low-sodium
2 T. parsley
1 T. thyme
2 T. olive oil
3 medium rutabagas, peeled & diced
Salt & pepper

  1. In a Dutch oven, sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil. When fragrant, add celery, carrots, peas, lentils, parsley, thyme, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 hour or until the lentils are tender.
  2. As the lentils simmer, peel and dice the rutabagas to 2” cubes. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add the rutabagas. Boil until tender or about 20 minutes. When tender, drain. Mash and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Create a slurry using the cornstarch and 4 T. of the lentil cooking liquid. Whisk the ingredients together until combined, and add to lentil mixture. Boil while stirring constantly until thick.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drop and spread the rutabaga mash on top of the cooked lentil-vegetables to create a top layer. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the lentils simmer.

Happy Cooking!


Madeleine Wirth

Madeleine is a senior at James Madison University, studying to be a registered dietitian. She loves exploring recipes with fresh and nutritious ingredients. As a native to the Shenandoah Valley, she passionately supports the local food economy in Harrisonburg.

Savory Avocado Toast (Vegan)

Makes 2 servings
The combination of creamy, buttery avocado and warm, toasted bread is the perfect match. I love avocado toast because it is delicious, nutritious, and takes only a few minutes to make. Avocados are nutrient dense and are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and potassium. When paired with whole grain bread, which contains protein, this avocado toast makes for a satisfying and filling meal. My favorite avocado toast toppings are olive oil, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, salt, and pepper. Pumpkin seeds add extra crunch and nutty flavor to the dish. They can be found in the bulk bins at Friendly City Food Coop. Try this savory avocado toast for yourself and savor it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

4 slices of your favorite bread, toasted
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
Dash of sea salt and pepper


  1. Mash avocado onto each slice of toasted bread using a fork.
  2. Top each slice of toast with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds, sea salt, and pepper on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!


By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.

Soba Noodle Stir Fry (Vegan)

Makes 4 servings
Soba noodles are a staple item in my pantry and I love cooking them for a quick and easy dinner. Soba noodles originated in Japan and are made from buckwheat flour, which gives the noodles a unique light brown color. They have an earthy, nutty flavor and are loaded with nutrients. Each serving of soba noodles contains a healthy dose of protein, iron, and whole grains. I love pairing soba noodles with stir-fried tofu and veggies and a super simple sauce made with liquid aminos, rice vinegar, and hot sauce. The combination of savory and fresh flavors makes this dish one of my go-to meals for a fast, healthy dinner.

8 oz. Soba Noodles
1 package Extra Firm Tofu, cubed
2 cups Broccoli, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
½ Onion, sliced
¼ cup Liquid Aminos
2 T. Rice Vinegar
1 tsp. Hot Sauce
1 T. Coconut Oil


  1. Heat 1 T. coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in broccoli and red bell pepper and sauté for 3 more minutes until veggies are tender. Add in cubed tofu, liquid aminos, rice vinegar, and hot sauce. Mix to combine and sauté for 2 minutes. Cover pan with a lid and remove from heat.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook soba noodles for 5-7 minutes until soft. Drain cooked noodles and add to veggie-tofu mixture. Mix all ingredients together. Serve immediately and enjoy!


By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.


Hearty Veggie Loaf (Vegan, can be made GF by using GF oats)

Makes one 9 by 6 inch loaf
Now that winter has settled in, delight your friends and family by making them this hearty veggie loaf. Loaded with protein and fiber from tofu, lentils, and oats, this dish is a nutritious alternative to regular meatloaf. Bragg’s liquid aminos give the veggie loaf a savory, umami flavor while the ketchup glaze gives the loaf a subtle sweet and tangy flavor. I made this loaf for my family and they were amazed by the meaty texture and sweet and savory flavor. With a simple ingredient list, this hearty veggie loaf is easy to make and is sure to be a hit during mealtime.

1 package (14 oz.) firm tofu, drained
1 cup green lentils, rinsed
½ large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup quick oats
¼ cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tbsp. ketchup + 3 tbsp. for glaze topping
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

In a medium pot add 3 cups water and 1 cup green lentils and bring to a boil. Once boiled, reduce heat to medium-low and cook lentils for 30 minutes until tender.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium pan, sauté onion over medium heat with ¼ cup water for 5-7 minutes until translucent and tender. Add in garlic and 1 tsp. dried oregano and sauté for one minute until fragrant. Set onions aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add drained tofu and mash with a wooden spoon until tofu is crumbled and broken apart. Add in cooked green lentils, onions, 1 cup quick oats, 2 tsp. dried basil, ¼ cup liquid aminos, 1 tbsp. ketchup, and 1 tsp. Dijon mustard. Mix well.
  4. Add veggie loaf mixture into a lightly greased 9 by 6 inch baking dish. Top loaf with 3 tbsp. of ketchup and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!


By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.


Food is Changing – It’s Great To Keep Up

Are you interested in learning more about people who produce and care about food and, in turn, are helping to transform the environment in which our food is grown? How about understanding the connections and collaborations that form in order to improve the way we eat?

The Change Food Video Library is a comprehensive collection of the best short length videos covering both problems and solutions to food and farming today. It includes talks from Change Food, The Real Food Media Project, TED, TEDxManhattan and other TEDx events.

The videos are supplemented with online educational information such as links to other sites, materials to be used for discussion, actions and campaigns, and links to additional reading.

Just a quick glance led me to find videos on all sorts of interesting topics, such as “What role do chefs play in the future of good food?” Or, “How can we feed more people by addressing food waste?” And, “Why is organic food so *#@! expensive”?

An excellent resource, the Change Food Video Library presents quality content that is accurate and up to date – and maybe best of all, located in one easily accessible place.

You don’t have to be a teacher, lecturer or event organizer to appreciate this library – just someone with a desire to know more about the changing world of food today.

Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

Makes 4 servings
Looking for a nutritious dish that will add festive flair to your dinner table? This Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate recipe makes for a simple side dish and takes only 30 minutes to make. When roasted, Brussels sprouts become crispy and caramelized on the outside and tender on the inside. The addition of antioxidant rich pomegranate seeds adds sweetness and crunch to the dish. This recipe combines two of my favorite fall/winter fruits and veggies into one unique, and nutrient dense dish. Try it out for yourself and savor the seasonal, fresh flavors.

1 pound Brussels Sprouts, Washed, Trimmed, and Sliced in Half
1 tsp. Brown Sugar
Dash of Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp. Coconut Oil, Melted
½ cup Pomegranate Seeds

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. In a large mixing bowl combine Brussels sprouts with Brown Sugar, Salt, Pepper, and Coconut Oil. Once combined, transfer mixture to a baking sheet.
3. Bake Brussels Sprouts for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and tender
4. Transfer the Brussels Sprouts to a serving bowl and top with pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy!


By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.

Spiced Sugar Cookies (Vegan)

As the holiday season approaches, it is important to make time for baking. Gingerbread cookies, chocolate truffles, peppermint candies, and spiced sweet breads are desserts that warm our hearts as we enjoy this special time of the year with the ones we love.

I absolutely love this sweet treat of a recipe: spiced sugar cookies with maple icing. This is a vegan recipe that I enjoy baking during the holiday season. These cookies will be a joy to bake as the rich smells of cinnamon, allspice, maple, and nutmeg fill the kitchen.

Vegan baking recipes will call for substitutions for butter, eggs, and dairy products. All of these items can be found inside Friendly City. Cacao nibs, dairy-free butter, a wide variety of dairy substitutes, oils, and flax can be found in the refrigerated and bulk food and baking sections. A variety of flour blends can be found in the baking aisle for gluten-free baking as well. Be sure to pay attention to how substitutions are used in these recipes because small deviations may ruin the product. My spiced sugar cookies have a simple substitute for butter: an equal ratio of dairy-free butter.

Check out how you can make these sweet cookies below. One of my favorite ingredients is Maple Flavor. Friendly City is stocked with flavors and extracts galore that are absolutely perfect for baking desserts. Cinnamon, Lemon, and Peppermint flavors are all options that you could use to bake other delicious treats like spiced cinnamon cupcakes with sweet lemon icing or chocolate-peppermint bark.

Ingredients (makes 32 cookies)

2 ½ c. flour
1 c. organic cane sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
½ tsp. maple flavor (in the baking aisle)
1 c. soft vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Original)
½ c. water

1 c. organic cane sugar
½ c. soft vegan butter
½ c. non-dairy milk
½ c. maple syrup
½ T. maple flavor

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter and water to the dry ingredients, and mix with a hand mixer until the dough forms a ball.
3. Form the dough into balls (using 2 T. of dough), and flatten into the size of a hockey puck.
4. Arrange cookies on a greased baking sheet about 1” apart.
5. Chill the dough / baking sheets for about 10 minutes before placing in the oven. Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes until they rise. They will firm up as they cool.
6. As the cookies bake, begin making the icing: add all the icing ingredients to a small pot on the stove. Mix, and bring to a boil on high for approximately one minute.
7. Turn the heat off, and allow the sugar sauce to sit for 10 minutes.
8. Whip the icing with a hand mixer for about 3-4 minutes until thick.
9. Drizzle the icing over the cool cookies on parchment paper.

Enjoy these irresistible spiced cookies, and good luck with all your baking adventures this holiday season!


Madeleine Wirth
Madeleine is a senior at James Madison University, studying to be a registered dietitian. She loves exploring recipes with fresh and nutritious ingredients. As a native to the Shenandoah Valley, she passionately supports the local food economy in Harrisonburg.



Own It.

There are lots of good reasons to be an owner of the co-op – and you may be surprised at some of them.

A co-op has a unique ownership model – it’s a different kind of business in which no one person owns more than anyone else. Each person (or household) owns a share. The co-op is driven by the shared values of its owners – the way it runs its business as well as the good it does for its owners and the community.

Co-ops do local best – there are fewer degrees of separation between you, who grows your food and who controls access to the food.

Co-ops are considered progressive – working for the re-creation of our local food system, supporting small farmers, advocating for fair treatment of workers, and for transparency.

You don’t have to be an owner to shop at the co-op, because everyone is welcome. But, if you are an owner, you can take pride in the fact that you are a part of something bigger – something you have a say in, and something that is an invested part of your community.

You get financial benefits as well. There are store-wide discounts on special days, rewards accrued just by shopping, coupon books which are mailed to you, discounts or free admission to Co-op Learning classes, and annual patronage dividends in years when the co-op makes a profit (subject to board approval).

You also have the chance to run for a seat on the Board of Directors, and/or to vote in elections. As an owner, you may also choose to attend monthly board meetings.

You can find out more about the many benefits of ownership on our website, or by speaking with a team member when you are in the store. We’d like you to consider becoming an owner because we think you’ll agree – the greatest reward is in knowing you are supporting your local farmers and producers, and your community.