Rustic Potato Pancakes

Looking for a creative way to use up a leftover? Trying to find a unique side dish to add to a scrumptious lunch or dinner? Look no further! These potato pancakes with delicious seasoned yogurt garnish are sure to please any hungry belly.




  • 2 cups pre-cooked mashed potatoes
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray


Yogurt Sauce

  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp lime juice
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Chives (garnish)



  1. To a large bowl, add all of the pancake ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  2. Place an even coating of nonstick cooking spray into a small skillet. Heat to medium-high heat.
  3. Once the skillet is hot, place a ball of the dough onto the surface and flatten. Cook on both sides until golden brown and crispy, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Repeat until all of the dough has been used.
  5. To make the yogurt sauce, place all ingredients into a small bowl, whisk to combine, and enjoy
  6. Now you’re ready to eat and be merry!


Look no further for a light summer soup that will cool you down in the summer heat; it leaves the senses refreshed and rejuvenated!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 large jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt, for seasoning, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 4 firm ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and mashed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • optional, 1/2 cup sour cream
  • optional, hot sauce or salsa


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeno and the garlic and cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add the avocados, chicken broth, lemon juice, cilantro, onion mixture, and water. In batches, add to a blender and purée until smooth, straining each batch of purée into a large bowl. Stir in the 1 teaspoon of salt and the 1 teaspoon of pepper
  4. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, around 3 hours.
  5. Pour the chilled soup into individual bowls. Try adding a drizzle of sour cream and/or hot sauce, and sprinkle cilantro on top.


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics

Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Andrea George, and Emily Salvaggio

Greek Inspired Turkey Burgers

Fire up the grill and try this Greek inspired turkey burger with homemade tzatziki sauce. This burger is perfect for summer grilling and will be sure to satisfy everyone.



For the tzatziki

  • ½ english cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated
  • ½ non-fat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh mint
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to liking

(I always like to make more sauce when I cook this recipe for other people, it seems there can never be enough tzatziki sauce!)

For the burgers:

  • 1½  pounds ground turkey
  • ½ small onion, minced (¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of oregano
  • Add tomatoes, arugula, or more cucumbers for extra flavor!


  1. Heat a grill to high.
  2. Make the tzatziki: in a bowl combine the cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, mint and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator until meal time.
  3. Make the burgers: in a medium bowl, use a fork to combine the turkey, onion, parsley, and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Carefully form the mixture into 16 small patties. Grill until fully cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. To serve, try heating the pitas on the grill or in the oven; halve and fill with the mini burgers. Add whatever garnish you and your family or friends desire, and enjoy!


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics

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

Local Vendor Profile – Red Root & Co.

Corey MacDonald and her team at Red Root & Co. are doing something truly unique. Using high quality ingredients from the garden and the forest, they blend tradition and innovation just for your palate. Their delightful herbal infusions are delicious and nourishing.

Corey: We use whole botanicals (no juices or extracts), honey to lightly sweeten, small batch processing, and each recipe is infused with my background in herbalism. Flavor is one dimension of a fruit, vegetable, or herb; but, knowing various essences of plants helps create an elevated product. In the cocktail realm, it is nice to use pure ingredients—the flavors are superior and it’s a bonus to feel good about our indulgences.


Red Root desires to “connect people to plants with nourishing, delicious and delightful herbal infusions.” Corey says it perfectly: “Plants change lives.”

Corey: Just think of the way flowers make people feel—they bring smiles, lift spirits, warm hearts. Red Root & Co. increases the positive experiences people have with plants. Our food system has gotten a little out of whack, which has impacted both human and environmental health. People are making choices each day to encourage healthier growth. Being a producer is a joyful place to be, supporting connections and opening opportunities for education and empowerment.


Mixing up cocktails may not be everyone’s glass of bubbly, but Corey encourages keeping it simple and starting with something you already enjoy. To first-timers, Corey simply says, “Have fun!”

Corey: Cocktail making is entertaining and delicious. If you like a Gin & Tonic, try making it with additional ingredients or swap out one ingredient for another. Perhaps substitute the part of the tonic with elderflower soda or add drops of fruity, floral bitters. Bitters can round out a cocktail, similar to finishing a culinary dish with salt. Try trading lemon or lime juice for a bright flavored shrub can mix-up a drink. Playing and experimenting is a great approach to making drinks.


Corey is drawn to lighter spirits, ciders, and wines that bring in the flavors of the season. She suggests starting summer with sangria.

Corey: Sangria is easy to make for a group, incorporates Virginia summer berries and fruit, and is refreshing. Drinks like this are nice with summer’s bounty—grilled or roasted veggies, fresh pico de gallo wrapped in a warm tortilla. Below are some recipes she developed especially for the Co-op’s quarterly publication, Craft & Cork.



 2 T Orange Marigold Shrub
 T Summer Oxymel
1 Fat Tire Belgian White Ale
2 T Sweet Vermouth
¼ cup Berries, any type
2 Orange slices

Combine shrub, oxymel, vermouth, berries and orange slices in a small bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to infuse. Divide fruit mixture between 2 wine glasses and add 6oz of Ale. Squeeze an orange wedge over each glass and gently stir to combine.



 2 T Rhubarb Verbena Shrub
10 drops Hopnotch Bitters
250mL Archer Roose Bubbly
½ cup Strawberries, hulled and chopped
2 Lemon Slices

 Divide strawberries and shrub between two, 6 or 8 oz glasses. Mash mixture with muddler. Add lemon slice to each and mash a little further to release flavor. Add several ice cubes to each glass, then fill with sparkling wine, and add 5 drops of Hopnotch Bitters to each glass.



2 T Blackberry Mint Shrub
12oz Big Pippin Ginger Hard Cider
Splash of Elderflower Soda or Ginger Beer, to taste
Squeeze of Lime Wedge
Blackberries to garnish

Fill 2 copper mugs with ice. Divide and pour in the shrub, cider, and squeeze of lime. Add elderflower soda or ginger beer and gently swirl to mix. Garnish with blackberries.

Spring Salad with Strawberry Dressing

Fresh. Light. Tasty. This salad is the perfect way to ring in spring. Make this salad for yourself or double, triple, even quadruple the recipe to make and share with others! It is perfect to bring to a party or pair with protein for a hearty meal!

Salad dressing ingredients (makes 1 serving)

  • 6-8 Strawberries
  • 1 T. Honey
  • 2 T. Apple Cider Vinegar

Salad Dressing Instructions (makes 2-3 servings)

  1.     Chop up strawberries, throw in bowl, and microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  2.     Once the strawberries come out of the microwave, mash them with a fork.
  3.     On low heat add mashed strawberries, honey, and apple cider vinegar to a pot and stir until combined and most strawberry chunks are mashed.
  4.     If some strawberries chunks still remain, strain if desired.

Salad Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups of spinach
  • 1/2- 1 cup of arugula
  • 1 beet
  • 5 asparagus
  • ¼ cucumber

Salad Instructions

  1.     Chop asparagus and beets as you please and roast in the oven at 400 for 30-35 minutes, flipping half way through.
  2.     Dice the cucumber.
  3.     In a large bowl add spinach, arugula, and cucumbers.
  4.     Once the asparagus and beets come out from the oven, let them cool, and then add them to the salad.
  5.     Top the salad with dressing and enjoy!


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics

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


A Co-op’s Response to the Loss of Curbside Recycling

We’re all hearing about more and more area cities and towns, besides Harrisonburg, who are eliminating curbside recycling. There are many contributing factors, including everything from China’s refusal to continue to accept America’s trash to a greatly reduced need for recycled glass.

These factors have resulted in a stressed recycling market that is leaving cities nationwide in a dilemma. Now, leaders in localities across the country are left to figure out if they can afford to salvage their recycling programs or find alternative solutions.

Friendly City Food Co-op is uniquely positioned to offer alternatives to plastic packaging and educate our community on ways to ReThink their purchases, in addition to the more common Three R’s: Recycle, Reduce, Reuse.  


  1. Our bulk food/herb bins allow shoppers to bring in their own containers, or use fabric (or paper) bags to hold their products for purchase.
  2. Glass bottle milk with deposit closes the loop and avoids glass recycling altogether. Same is true of water kefir sodas, and we can explore the potential of beer growlers in expansion project.
  3. Many of our beers come in aluminum cans, which are now more friendly for recycling, weigh less than glass and are crushable which reduces mass in recycling bins.
  4. We bag groceries in only paper bags, never plastic, and now provide paper bags for bulk purchases.
  5. We sell stainless steel straws, water bottles, food containers, plus fabric bags for produce and bulk as well as re-usable bags for groceries.
  6. We provide loaner bags (in a basket in front of the store) for when you forget your reusable bags.
  7. Our salad bar and hot food bar offer compostable containers, and shoppers can bring their own containers if they choose (you can have your container weighed to get a tare first)
  8. We encourage shoppers to bring in their old six-pack and four-pack holders for us to re-use for kombucha, sodas, single beers, etc. and allow folks to bring back clean paper grocery bags for us to use for other shoppers going forward.

Maybe you can think of other ways to ReThink your purchasing in order to lighten the recycling load. We’re all in this together and if we’re committed to finding solutions, we can. April is Earth Month and we feel like these are some ways to start making changes for the better.

Spicy Potato Chip Breaded Oven Baked Chicken Tenders (serves 4)

Crushing potato chips to use as breading creates a panko-like texture that is perfect for breading chicken tenders.

1.5 lbs chicken tenders
1 ½ c buttermilk
¼ c hot sauce
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 Tbs salt
2 Tbs spicy brown mustard
2 eggs

2 c panko
(1) 6-0z bag Route 11 Mama Zuma’s Revenge potato chips
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ c flour


Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium glass bowl, whisk together brine ingredients until combined. Add chicken and mix to ensure all pieces are covered. Cover and leave in refrigerator for 4-8 hours.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk panko, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika until combined. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned.

Using a food processor, grind potato chips to a panko consistency. Add to mixing bowl with flour and panko mixture. Whisk until combined.

Shake off excess brine and bread tenders one as a time. Press each tender firmly while it is covered with breading to ensure it adheres. Place breaded tenders on a wire rack and refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375F. Bake tenders on wire rack for 18-21 minutes, flipping once halfway. Serve with spicy brown mustard and enjoy.

Local Vendor Profile – Rt. 11 Potato Chips

At their essence, potato chips contain three ingredients: potatoes, oil, and salt. They’re one of America’s favorite snacks year after year, and the crowded market reflects that: countless flavors and varieties, too many brands to count, massive marketing campaigns, and more. So how can a small producer hope to compete? How do they set themselves apart? If you ask Sarah Cohen, President of Route 11 Potato Chips, she’ll say, “Less is more.”

The folks at Route 11 have found success with that motto since their founding in 1992, and their resume shows it: a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream collab, a name drop from Oprah, a featured ingredient in the cookbook of two star Michelin Chef José Andrés . . . The list goes on.

When a food product has so few ingredients, quality becomes even more important. “With snack foods, manufacturers look for what’s cheapest,” Cohen says. That’s not the case at Route 11, where they’ve been using organic produce since day one. “The quality of the potato is essential,” she says. “The better potatoes we get, the better chips we’ll make. All of our potatoes come from the east coast, all the way from Florida to New York. We work with a local grower in Harrisonburg and we get close to 1,000,000 pounds of potatoes from him every season . . . The beauty of a kettle chip is that it really reflects the potato.”

But to stand a chance against large brands, that commitment to quality must extend beyond potatoes. Salt is often taken for granted in cooking and commercial food production, but at Route 11, it’s an opportunity to create an even better product. They use a mineral salt mined in Redmond, Utah, the standard salt for most Route 11 flavors. “What we love about Real Salt is that—first of all—it’s really delicious. And it’s unrefined, which means that it still has all of the 70-plus minerals inherent to salt. Most commercial salt is just sodium chloride, and is missing all the mineral goodness essential to good health.”

Their brand new Salt & Pepper flavor uses salt from J. Q. Dickinson, which is sourced from the Iapetus Ocean, an ancient body of seawater that lies isolated below the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, about 250 miles west of the Route 11 factory. “We were playing around with creating the Salt & Pepper flavor for years,” Cohen says. “There are about 20 salt and pepper chips on the market, most of them containing 15-plus ingredients. Our goal was to do it with just salt and pepper. We just couldn’t find a good balance until we discovered the JQD salt.  As soon as we tasted it, we knew . . . We consider this the best flavor we’ve ever developed.”

Route 11’s production process is as dedicated to sustainability as it is to quality. When they rebuilt their factory in 2008, they didn’t cut down trees; they planted them. Sustainability is a focal point at every step of production from the moment the potatoes arrive from the farm: The residual dirt washed off the potatoes is collected by a filter to be used as topsoil. After the potatoes are peeled—at a mind-boggling rate of 50 pounds per second—the skins and rejects are sent half a mile up the road to a farmer whose cow herds have developed an affinity.

Next, their slicer, which can process 100 pounds in 42 seconds, prepares the potatoes for the slow-cooking process in the kettle. “The key is removing moisture,” Cohen says. “We cut the potatoes to a deliberate thickness. We want them crunchy but not too hard.” This combination of factors creates irregularly shaped chips, some flat, some folded in half or even in quarters: “It takes Frito Lay about 30 seconds to cook a batch, where as it takes us close to 8 minutes, what would be considered an eternity when it comes to mass production . . . There’s more opportunity in our process for folding and undulating.” These irregularly shaped chips seem to hold onto seasoning better, creating a flavorful, satisfying crunch.

Fresh out of the kettle and still glistening with hot oil, the chips are inspected as they’re transferred up one level to the seasoning room on a vertical conveyor belt, which Cohen affectionately calls “the giraffe.” There, the chips are hand seasoned by two employees before making their way to a scale that weighs the appropriate amounts and drops the chips into bags in the room below. Cohen says when things are running smoothly, they can fill 80 two-ounce bags in a minute. From peeler to bag, the process takes about 14 minutes. “On a good day,” she clarifies with a smile.

From recycling potato dirt to selling excess used fryer oil to biofuel producers, Route 11’s production process demonstrates a dedication to incorporating sustainability at every level: “Next on the road is finding packaging that will keep the chips fresh and is also biodegradable,” says Cohen. “That would be a big one for us. Our long term sustainability plan is to keep doing what we’re doing and to control the things we can control.”

Cohen also knows Route 11 chips are for more than just snacking. She also recommends crushing them to use as breading. “It creates a panko-like texture,” she says. Be sure to check out the recipe on our blog for Spicy Potato Chip Breaded Oven Baked Chicken Tenders, created by Friendly City Food Co-op Contributor, Jack Needham.

BBQ Cauliflower Bites

Looking for another way to use cauliflower but don’t have the time for all the grunt work? BBQ Cauliflower Bites are the thing to try! With just five ingredients and minimal prep time, these yummy bites will have the whole family wanting more. Next time you are wanting to try something new, give these bites a try!

• 1 head of cauliflower
• 1 cup of BBQ sauce
• 1 cup of milk
• 1 ½ cup of all purpose flour
• ½ tsp chili powder

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2) Wash and cut cauliflower into florets
3) Whisk together milk, flour, and chili powder
4) Coat cauliflower pieces in mixture and place on parchment lined baking sheet
5) Bake at 450 for 15-17 minutes
6) Remove from oven and brush a layer of bbq sauce on each piece, be sure they are fully coated
7) Put back into oven for another 8-10 minutes
8) Serve with or without your favorite dipping sauce

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

Come Together

By Steve Cooke, General Manager and Big Cheese

We can all agree that supporting the local economy is good for our community. What’s more supportive than owning your own grocery store, which sells products grown and made right here in Virginia?

As our co-op grows, so does our ability to support local farmers, and entrepreneurs. Expanding our retail space means more opportunity for all of us to give back to our neighbors through innovative programs like our SNAP Retail Match, and Round up at the Register.

Local produce is fresher, stays fresh longer, retains more nutrients, and travel fewer miles which is good for everyone. Most produce sold in the U.S. travels 1500 miles from farm to store. Buying from local farms, right here in Virginia, means we have access to products like eggs, milk and sustainable meats even when winter storms make it hard for big grocery chains to keep their shelves full.

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business, or being part of a growing business enterprise? Our co-op owners can tell their friends, family and neighbors all about how they own their own grocery store and their store is spreading its wings and expanding to better serve our whole community, including the entire Shenandoah Valley.

The Friendly City Food Co-op needs all of our community to come together and support us as we embark on this expansion project. If you are able to make a loan to our co-op, let us know.

If you are not in a place where a loan makes sense, ask us about helping with our calling campaign. You can also purchase an additional share of equity or two. Shift more of your shopping dollars to the co-op. Bring a neighbor with you the next time you come and shop. Like us on social media and share our events and posts to help us spread the word. Together we can build a better world for all of us!

[If you’d like to find out more about helping with our calling campaign, please contact Lindsay Martin at]