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 Lindsay.Martin@friendlycity.coop]




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.