Butternut Squash and Parsnip Crostata

Winter is the time to take advantage of the beautiful root vegetables and squashes that are in season. This recipe is a perfect lunch, dinner, or a crowd pleasing party appetizer. Don’t let the dreary winter days get you down. Cozy up to a slice of this treat and it’s sure to brighten up your day!



  • 1 pre-made pie crust
  • ½ small butternut squash
  • 1 parsnip
  • ½ small red onion
  • ¾ cup shredded gouda cheese
  • ⅛ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 ℉
  2. Remove the peel of the butternut squash and chop one half into 1-inch pieces roughly ¾ inch thick (Note: do not discard seeds, they will be roasted and used as garnish later. Keep and wash.)
  3. Peel the parsnip and cut similarly to the butternut squash
  4. Slice the onion as thin as possible
  5. Place the butternut squash, parsnip, and onion on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  6. Roast the vegetables until soft and caramelized around 25 minutes
  7. Remove the vegetables and allow to cool slightly
  8. Place the pie crust on a sheet and sprinkle on cheese leaving an inch of crust to layer over the top later
  9. Arrange the vegetables over the cheese and sprinkle the thyme and rosemary over the top (keep the drippings on the pan used to roast the vegetables as it will be used later)
  10. Fold the inch border over the vegetables and bake until the crust is golden, about 25 minutes (for an extra golden crust, brush it with a tablespoon of melted butter)
  11. During the last 3 minutes of baking, place the reserved squash seeds on the pan that the vegetables were roasted on and coat the seeds in the drippings. Season with salt and roast in the oven until brown (between 2-3 minutes).
  12. After the crostata is done cooking remove it from the oven sprinkle the roasted seeds over the top and enjoy !


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics
Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Emily Salvaggio, and Taylor Singleton


Coconut Curry Lentils

Bring the Indian flavor to your home. Warm and cozy. Comfy and lovely. December is a time of joy and celebration! This recipe is a easy one pot meal with wonderful flavor for welcoming in the holidays.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 head of garlic, chopped (10-12 cloves) or pre-chopped garlic
  • (1) 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, chopped or spiced
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • Optional: 1-2 teaspoons cayenne powder
  • (1) 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 3 cups of water


  1. Heat coconut oil in pot
  2. Add cumin and garlic
  3. Allow to simmer
  4. Add can of crushed tomatoes
  5. Add ginger, turmeric, and sat
  6. Allow to simmer
  7. Add lentils and 3 cups of water
  8. Add cayenne seasoning
  9. Bring lentils to boil and then simmer for 35-40 minutes
  10. Occasionally stir lentils
  11. Once lentils are cooked, add can of coconut milk
  12. Bring pot to boil and then simmer one more time
  13. Serve curried lentils over brown rice

*May pair lentil dish with toasted naan bread. If recipe seems to be too spicy, you can add 1 scoop of nonfat greek yogurt


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics
Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Emily Salvaggio, and Taylor Singleton

Party Cheese Crisps

Are you sick of the same old party snack? These loaded cheese crisps are the perfect finger food for your next party! It only takes 5 simple ingredients to create these satisfying snacks and it’s an excellent way to have a change from the same old mundane bag of chips! Pair them with your favorite dips or just have them alone and the perfect finger food for your next party! It only takes 5 simple ingredients to create these satisfying snacks and it’s an excellent way to have a change from the same old mundane bag of chips! Pair them with your favorite dips or just have them alone and enjoy!

Cilantro Cheddar Crisps


  • 12 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper  
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Place parchment paper on a baking pan
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together in one mixing bowl
  4. Place about 1 slightly overflowing spoonful of the cheese mixture on the baking pan to make one crisp, repeating this 11 times making a total of 12 crisps
  5. Place in the oven for around 6-7 minutes, or until the edges are brown
  6. Leave them to cool  

Pepperoni Pizza Mozzarella Crisps


  • 12 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp pepperoni, diced
  • ½ tsp basil (fresh or dry)
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder


  1. Complete the same steps as above

GuestBloggers: James Madison Dietetics
Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Emily Salvaggio, and Taylor Singleton

What Makes a Food Kosher?

For a food product to be considered kosher, it must be prepared in accordance with guidelines specified by Jewish dietary law. We carry plenty of kosher certified foods at the Co-op, but how do you tell if a product is certified? What does it mean for a food to be kosher?

Kosher foods can fall into one of three categories: meat (including all meat byproducts), dairy, and pareve, which refers to foods that contain neither meat nor dairy and includes eggs, fruits and vegetables, pasta, canned beans, and most of the other products we sell.

Kosher meats must come from animals that chew their food and have split hooves, like cows, goats, and sheep. Chickens, ducks, turkeys and other non-predatory fowl can also be considered kosher. For their meat to be kosher, animals must be slaughtered, inspected, and prepared by a schochet, an expert with special training in kosher slaughtering rituals. Blood from the animal must be drained, which is typically done by soaking the meat in cold water and then salting it. All of the equipment used by the schochet must also be kosher.

To be considered kosher, dairy and meat cannot be mixed, so dairy products cannot contain gelatin or animal rennet. Anything containing even trace amounts of meat or dairy are classified as such. Since insects are not kosher, certain fruits and vegetables must be inspected before earning their certification. There’s even a unique certification process for wine!

The exact requirements for Kosher certification can vary can vary depending on the organization—that’s why there are so many different symbols on various products throughout the store. OU Kosher and OK Kosher are some of the largest Kosher certification organizations. To see if a product is kosher certified, check the label for a certification symbol.
For more information on kosher certification, visit www.oukosher.org or www.ok.org.  

Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Dipping Sauce

Looking for a way to use up leftover holiday ingredients? Searching for a quick and easy recipe to throw together for a holiday gathering? Look no further. This quick and easy appetizer is sure to please and put everyone in the spirit!


  • 20 Brussels sprouts
  • 20 bacon slices
  • 1 cup jarred (or homemade) cranberry sauce
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped



  1. Preheat oven to 400 ℉
  2. Wash and dry Brussels sprouts
  3. Wrap each Brussels sprout with one piece of bacon and secure with toothpick
  4. Place Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 40 minutes
  5. In a small bowl, add the cranberry sauce, orange zest, thyme, and stir
  6. Place the cooked Brussels sprouts on a serving dish alongside of the cranberry sauce and enjoy!


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics
Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Emily Salvaggio, and Taylor Singleton


Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and whether you’re a host or guest, you might be considering bringing a bottle (or two, or six) of wine. From sparkling to white to red, we’ve got you covered, with delicious wines handpicked to complement every part of your meal, all at prices you’ll be thankful for.


Light and refreshing, sparkling wines are a great way to start and end a meal. Pair with pre-dinner appetizers or sweet desserts (or everything, honestly).

  • Mas Fi Cava Brut Rosé, $12.99. A nice dry rosé is one of those wines that “goes with everything.” Let the fresh, clean flavors of this brut rosé accompany your meal from appetizers to dessert and beyond.
  • La Vielle Ferme Sparkling Brut Reserve, $16.99. Bright and balanced with a floral nose and notes of stone fruit, this is a refreshing “all day” kind of crowd-pleaser. Hand a glass to your guests as they arrive.



A good Thanksgiving white wine needs to stand up to the rich and bold flavors of the meal without taking away from anything.

  • Oxford Landing Pinot Grigio, $9.99. Pinot grigios are a perfect pairing for heavy, rich flavors like stuffing or garlicky mashed potatoes with gravy. This one from Oxford Landing Estates brings a medium body and notes of apple, pear, cinnamon, and spice. It doesn’t get more festive than that, right?
  • Yalumba Unwooded Chardonnay, $9.99. Unwooded chardonnays are bright and fruit-forward, so they won’t overpower your Thanksgiving flavors with oakiness, but they’re still full-bodied enough to hold their own. This unoaked chardonnay from Yalumba fits the bill perfectly, full and creamy with a sharper citrus finish.



Thanksgiving dinner is one of the heaviest meals you’ll eat all year—and we wouldn’t have it any other way. But it does call for a lighter, more drinkable red to accompany it.

  • Root 1 Pinot Noir, $10.49. Pinot noir is an all-around great Thanksgiving red, thanks to its versatility. Pair with turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, or mac & cheese. If you’re going with just one red for Turkey Day, a pinot noir is your safest bet. Root 1’s is a beautiful ruby red color, with berry and cherry aromas and notes of vanilla and spice that’ll pair nicely with turkey and all sorts of sides.
  • Goose Ridge Vineyards StoneCap Merlot, $9.99. While not as versatile as the pinot noir, a heavier-bodied merlot pairs beautifully with mashed potatoes or sausage stuffing. The ripe berry notes from the StoneCap Merlot are great between bites of turkey. Who even needs cranberry sauce? (Okay, just kidding, we all do.)


Stick with sparkling, go all red or all white, mix and max—whatever works for you and your guests. Everyone has their preference, after all, but these wines are a great place to start. The best part? If you buy six, you get 10% off. Check out these wines and more on our Friendly Prices endcap at the end of Aisle 7.

Twice Baked Rosemary & Roasted Garlic Infused Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if you’re like us, you’re already creating a mental blueprint of your dinner plate, with approximately one third of that space dedicated to the best side dish: mashed potatoes. But not just any mashed potatoes. Next level mashed potatoes. With brown butter infused with roasted garlic and rosemary. Topped with butter and baked to golden brown perfection. Then mixed up and baked again for even more crispy goodness. Serves 8-12

Why it’s good:

  • Roasting the garlic takes the flavor to the next level while softening it so it incorporates smoothly.Using cultured butter adds a pleasant, subtle tang and richness.
  • Browning the butter enhances the flavor, and infusing it with roasted garlic and rosemary carries these flavors throughout the potatoes.
  • Scraping the surface with a fork and topping with butter before baking creates craggy surface area that promotes more browning.
  • Mixing and repeating spreads that flavorful goodness throughout (so you and your guests don’t have to fight over it).


  • 6 lbs Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes (Use starchy Russets for fluffier texture, and smooth Yukon Golds for creamier texture. Or use both like I did.)
  • 2 heads garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1.5 cups room temperature heavy/whipping cream or milk (you may add more or less depending on texture preference)
  • 3 sticks cultured butter
  • Salt & black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare garlic by slicing off a small amount across the top of the heads, exposing the tops of the cloves without peeling. Wrap them in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes. The cloves will be lightly browned on exposed areas, soft in texture, and should be easy to remove from the skin.

  2. While you wait, peel the potatoes, removing any eyes. Cut them into approximately 1-inch chunks, rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove excess starch, and place in a large stock pot. Cover completely with water, leaving enough space at the top so the water doesn’t boil over.

  3. Generously salt the water, cover the pot, bring to a boil, and remove the lid. Boil for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Cooking time varies by potato type and size.

  4. While you wait, heat a medium pan on medium-low. Mash the roasted garlic into a paste. Melt 2.5 sticks of butter, bring to a low simmer, and mix in garlic paste and rosemary. Adjust heat as necessary to prevent burning the butter or aromatics. Lightly brown the butter and remove from heat.

  5. Drain potatoes and rinse with quickly with warm water. Transfer to a large bowl and mash to desired consistency using a potato masher or ricer. Add butter, rosemary, and garlic, and mix until incorporated. Add and mix in cream in small amounts (you may use a hand mixer, but avoid over-mixing) until desired textured is achieved. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

  6. Transfer potatoes to Dutch oven or other large oven safe dish and spread evenly. Scrape the surface with a fork to create a rough texture. Cut remaining butter into cubes and distribute half of it across the top. Broil on low, about 10 minutes, rotating as necessary until evenly golden brown. Keep an eye on it to prevent the butter from burning. Mix, add remaining butter across the top, and broil again on low until golden brown. Garnish with chopped parsley or rosemary and serve immediately.


  • Short on time? Do everything but the baking the night before the big day, cover the dish with foil, and store in the fridge. Before serving, complete the first broiling step and mix. Then set the oven to 350°F, place the remaining butter on top, and bake until golden brown on top and hot throughout.
  • Cheese fan? Add some Parmesan. You can grate it on top before baking to create a crunchier crust that pairs excellently with the aromatics. Or try mixing in cream cheese or sour cream to create a tangier flavor.
  • Use freshly ground black pepper, and lots of it—it’s worth it.

Our Co-op Is Expanding!

No, it’s not a rumor – our co-op is expanding! Our aisles are crowded and we need more space for our fresh, local produce; meat; grocery and wellness items. We’ll also upgrade our deli kitchen and have more cafe seating!

In order to make this expansion a reality, we need the support of our owners – that’s you! Borrowing from our owners (vs a bank) is something all co-ops do, is more flexible and in alignment with our cooperative principle of “members’ economic participation.” Our owner loan campaign goal is $1 million by November 16.  

So why should you invest in the co-op?

  • It’s a truly responsible investment, with significant local benefit: every $1000 invested with us becomes $1600 in local benefit as it keeps getting spent around our community
  • You earn a return (more on that in a minute)
  • You’re participating in something good, that aligns with your values

While we can’t promise you anything, you can trust that we have done our due diligence including 10 year financial projections. We aren’t overdue on any of the loans owners made to help us open our doors – and our sales continue to grow each year we are open.

You can find all the details in the “Loan It” brochures available in the store, but here are the basics:

  • You must be a member-owner and a resident of Virginia
  • The minimum loan amount is $1000 but we’ll need some owners to loan $5000, $10,000, $25,000 and even more to meet our goal of a $5000 average loan.
  • You can choose a repayment term between 5-10 years (available on a first come, first serve basis).
  • You choose your interest rate! Between 0-4% depending on loan amount (keeping in mind that a lower interest is of greater benefit to the co-op).

Co-ops all over the country are successfully raising $1 million or more, so we are confident we can do it too! Click here to see how we’re doing; we encourage you to make a loan to help us reach the goal, plus help us spread the word!

To ask questions or commit to making a loan: come into the store and ask for a loan packet or call/email our general manager Steve Cooke at (540) 801-8882 or steve@friendlycity.coop.


Guest Blogger: Lindsay Martin, Board Member

Whole-Wheat Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage and Kale

October means fall and fall means everything pumpkin. Add it to pasta in this recipe and enjoy the splendid autumnal combination that is pumpkin, rosemary, andthyme. It is a feel good dish that will leave your belly full and your family happy!



1 lb whole wheat chiocciole pasta

1 lb pork sausage without the casing (I used a blend containing rosemary and thyme to mimic other flavors of the dish, but use whatever you prefer!)

1 (15 oz) can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 ½ tsp minced garlic

1 minced shallot

4 cups lacinato kale (or a variety of your preference)

½ cup chicken broth

½ cup pasta water reserved

3 tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt

½ cup parmesan cheese

1 ½ tsp fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh rosemary

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt, Pepper


  1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Sauté the minced garlic and shallot for 1-2 minutes until slightly soft.
  3. Add the sausage to the skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the sausage is close to done, breaking it apart with a fork or spatula.
  4. Add the kale to the skillet. Cook the kale until just wilted about 2-3 minutes.
  5. To the skillet add the can of pumpkin, chicken broth, thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let simmer on low heat until the pasta has finished cooking.
  6. Collect ½ cup of cooking water from the pasta pot and set aside. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet.
  7. Add the pasta water, yogurt, and parmesan cheese to the skillet.
  8. Stir thoroughly to coat.
  9. Top with extra cheese if desired, plate, eat, and enjoy!


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics

Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Emily Salvaggio, and Taylor Singleton


October is Virginia Wine Month

Virginia is the second largest wine producer in the South, thanks to exponential growth over the last few decades. Though the state has been growing wine grapes since the earliest colonial settlements, its reputation as a major wine producer is a relatively recent phenomenon, bolstered in part by major investments from big names like Jean and Steve Case, who founded AOL long before opening Early Mountain Vineyards in 2012. Today, there are more than 250 different wineries in Virginia, up from just a half dozen in 1979. The growth and presence of local wineries is undeniable, but it raises a question: why Virginia?


The Climate Poses Certain Challenges. While the climate bears similarities to those of some world-class wine regions in Europe, Virginia still poses a challenge for growers. Excessive heat, humidity, and rain during the growing season can create mold and rot. It’s a battle against nature where it’s not unusual for growers to experience major losses by harvest time. But year after year, they do it anyway, with no signs of slowing down. Why? Simply put, for all the challenges the climate can sometimes pose, growers know the grapes are well worth the trouble.

Virginia winemaking is a labor of love, fueled by the desire to create something beautiful and truly unique. Known for both Old World and New World styles, Virginia winemakers adapt traditional methods to the new climate and even native grapes like the Norton. To quote Jim Law, a Virginia wine veteran, it’s “a blending game.”


The Wine Will Just Keep Getting Better. With current technology, techniques, and a greater depth of experience growing grapes locally than ever before, Virginia wine is better than it has ever been. And it’s only going to keep getting better. There’s no better time to experience a rapidly growing wine culture that is recognized internationally by some of the biggest names in the wine industry, including famous wine critic Steven Spurrier.

We’re proud to carry over 40 wines from 14 Virginia producers. And in celebration of Virginia Wine Month, they’re 10% off all October long.

If you’re interested in experiencing more of what Virginia has to offer, be sure to visit the store every Thursday from 4pm-7 for our weekly sampling. Each week we offer a free tasting of beer, wine, or cider, with a focus on highlighting local producers and other co-ops. We also offer store-wide samples of cheese and other snacks, as well as live cooking demonstrations.


Don’t Miss Tasty Thursdays. Like our page on Facebook to keep up with each week’s Tasty Thursday sampling lineup, as well as new classes, events, and blog posts.