Strawberry Overnight Oats (Vegan)

Makes 1 serving
Looking for a tasty and healthy breakfast to start your day with? Strawberry overnight oats can be made the night before and are a convenient breakfast to enjoy on busy mornings. This hearty breakfast is loaded with whole grains and is high in protein and fiber. A simple three ingredient strawberry milk gives the oats extra strawberry flavor and is naturally sweetened with medjool dates. The combination of creamy quick oats and chewy rolled oats absorb the flavors of the strawberry milk and chia seeds help thicken the oat mixture. These make-ahead strawberry overnight oats are a delicious way to enjoy strawberry season and take only 10 minutes to prepare.


¼ cup quick oats
¼ cup rolled oats
1 ½ tbsp. chia seeds
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup strawberries, halved
3-4 medjool dates, pitted
1 ¼ cups unsweetened soymilk


  1. Add soymilk, dates, and ½ cup strawberries to a blender and blend until all ingredients are well blended.
  2. Add oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon to a 16-ounce jar and mix all ingredients. Add strawberry milk and stir to combine. Place in the fridge overnight for 6-10 hours.
  3. Top with remaining ½ cup strawberries. 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.


Barbecue Jackfruit Pizza (Vegan)

Makes 1 (12 inch) pizza

This barbecue jackfruit pizza is my plant-based version of barbecue chicken pizza and is a unique meal to make and enjoy this summer. Young jackfruit is also known as unripe jackfruit and is often used in savory dishes due to its meaty texture. It tastes similar to barbecue chicken when shredded and flavored with barbecue sauce. This starchy, tropical fruit is low in calories and contains fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. The pizza is topped with a creamy, tangy ranch flavored hemp dressing. Hemp seeds are high in protein and are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These mighty seeds are incredibly versatile and have a mild, nutty flavor and soft texture. You can add a sprinkle of hemp seeds to oatmeal, smoothies, and salads for an extra nutritional boost.


1 (12 inch) Pizza crust (I used Rustic Crust Classic Sourdough)
1 (14 ounce) can jackfruit, drained
1 cup barbecue sauce (2/3 cup for jackfruit, 1/3 cup for pizza crust)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup hemp seeds
½ cup unsweetened soymilk
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tsp. apple cider vinegar
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Shred jackfruit using two forks. Stir in 2/3 cup barbecue sauce and mix well.
  3. Spread barbecue jackfruit mixture onto pizza crust. Arrange red onions on top of jackfruit in a single layer.
  4. Bake pizza for 10 minutes.
  5. While the pizza is baking, prepare the dressing by combining hemp seeds, soymilk, garlic, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds until the dressing is creamy and smooth.
  6. Top pizza with dressing. 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.



Kitchen Promise for Earth Day

Zero waste is a great goal, although a bit difficult to achieve. However, we can all waste less if we put our minds to it. Just choosing one aspect to focus on can be a good way to start. If you’d like to waste less and use more of the food you buy, take a look at some of these suggestions and see what will help you in your quest for zero waste. Do it for Earth Day or, do it because it will save money!

1. Use those radish and carrot greens

Buying radishes or carrots by the bunch? Use the leaves to make pesto, salads (like Moroccan Carrot Radish Salad), and toss in soup. Think of them as peppery parsley.

2. Savor broccoli and cauliflower stems

Do you discard broccoli and cauliflower stems? Peel the tough skin from the stems and chop the tender cores to use in the dish, or cut in planks to eat with dip.

3. Cook kale stems like you would celery

Do you discard kale and other greens stems? When cooking with kale, you can simply separate the leaves from the stems, chop the stems, and cook the stems first; they will cook a bit like celery. If you juice, save all your greens stems from meals you prepare, including parsley, and add to your juice for a chlorophyll boost.

4. Flavor stock and other dishes with potato peels

Do you peel potatoes? The peels make a flavorful addition to stock, and even thicken it a bit. Consider whether you even need to peel; many soups, potato salads and even mashed potatoes are more nutritious and filling with the skins left on.

Or, toss your clean potato peels with oil and seasonings and roast about 15-20 minutes at 400°F , stirring once half way through. Then sprinkle with cheese and green onions or serve with a favorite dip.

5. Enjoy the flavor and nutrition of apple peels

Baking or cooking with apples? Leave the skins on and you will reap the nutrients and fiber they contain, and save time. If you do peel, add them to soup stock, for a subtle sweetness.

6. Zest your citrus and freeze for future use

Juicing a lemon or lime, or eating an orange? Zest your organically grown citrus first, then freeze the potent zest in a freezer bag, for adding a hint of citrus to everything from muffins to pastas.

7. Peel overripe bananas and freeze for smoothies or baking

Are those bananas looking a little too brown to put in the lunch box? Peel and freeze them, then add them to smoothies (like Hidden-Spinach Berry Smoothie or Orange Dream Silken Smoothie), or thaw and puree for banana bread, muffins and cakes.

8. Puree and freeze veggies before they go bad

Do you have veggies going soft in the crisper? Cook and puree carrots, sweet potatoes, greens, cauliflower, and other veggies, then freeze. Stir the purees into pasta sauce, macaroni and cheese, soups, casseroles and meatloaf for an added veggie boost.

9. Save veggie trimmings for soup stock

Cutting up vegetables for a dish? Save and freeze the skins and trimmings from onions, carrots, celery, sweet potato, potato, parsley, spinach, and other mild veggies (peppers, cabbage and broccoli can be too strong) until you have a good amount to make Veggie Trim Stock.

10. Use up stale bread in flavorful recipes

Do you have bread going stale? Freeze the slices to use later in stuffing, croutons, or recipes such as Ribollita soup, Creamy Lentil Soup with Wheaty Croutons or Flexible Bread and Veggie Casserole. Make croutons for salads and soups, or crumbs to toss with pasta or top casseroles. Don’t forget about bread pudding and stratas, too.

11. Keep food that needs to be consumed soon front and center

Organize your refrigerator and pantry, and put foods that should be consumed sooner right in front. Switch your storage containers from opaque to clear glass, so that you will see that tasty lasagna from last night, because out of sight is out of mind.

12. Turn your vegetable scraps into fertilizer

Do you have room for a compost pile or a worm bin? Ultimately, transforming your plant waste into fertilizer is better than packing it in the landfill.

Red Curry With Veggies (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Makes 4 servings
This red curry comes together in a flash and is loaded with colorful veggies. It is creamy, a little spicy, and super satisfying. Red curry paste adds wonderful depth of flavor and complexity to the curry. It is made from exotic ingredients such as red chili, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime. I love cooking with red curry paste because it fills the kitchen with a fragrant aroma and adds beautiful color to the dish. Coconut milk adds richness and rounds out the flavors of the curry. Serve this veggie red curry alongside some fluffy jasmine rice for a healthy and delicious meal.



1 onion, diced
1 pound gold potatoes, diced
3 tbsp. red curry paste
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
1 tbsp. organic cane sugar
1 tbsp. liquid aminos
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup snow peas
1 cup peas


  1. Sauté onions and potatoes in 1 tbsp. of coconut milk over medium high heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in red curry paste, the rest of the coconut milk, diced tomatoes, sugar, and liquid aminos. Stir to combine and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Add in red bell pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in snow peas and peas and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve 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.


Giving Back by Paying it Forward!

By Steve Cooke, aka the Big Cheese

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending the 8th Annual Up and Coming Food Co-op Conference in Milwaukee, WI. Over 350 attendees from start-up food co-ops around the county, including a group from Fredericksburg, Va came out to learn how to get their co-ops off on the right foot to ensure success.

Since Friendly City Food Co-op opened in June of 2011, it has been held up as an example of a co-op that “did everything right”. And while that is certainly nice to hear and true in many regards, it is humbling and raises questions about how other food co-ops are able to open, survive and thrive in a very competitive marketplace.

My purpose in attending was two-fold. First I was asked to share a case study about our co-op and what we did so well, and whether we could have been even better prepared to operate a strong food co-op. Secondly, I got to sit in on other workshops and serve as a resource, of sorts, to offer feedback on ideas that new start-ups have for their co-ops and also to be a “ringer” – answering questions and filling in gaps of information. Start-up cooperators wanted to hear from someone who has been through what they’re experiencing.

We are very pleased to be able to join with other existing food co-ops around the country in contributing to a Principle Six (Cooperation among Co-ops) grant to support next year’s conference attendees with scholarships for registration. As a co-op that benefitted from wise counsel and support from other co-ops when we were on the path to opening, it is very heartwarming to be able to pay it forward in this way.

By the way, one of our founders and former Friendly City Board President Ben Sandel, was also a presenter at the conference. In his new role as a consultant with Cooperative Development Services Consulting Co-op. , he spends his time guiding start-ups in successful owner loan campaigns and board development. He is in high demand and led four separate sessions at the conference, all of which were very well received.

Spaghetti Puttanesca (Vegan)

Makes 2 servings

Puttanesca is an Italian sauce made from simple ingredients like garlic, canned tomatoes, kalamata olives, and capers. I love making spaghetti with puttanesca sauce because it is a light, savory meal that is loaded with flavor. This puttanesca sauce comes together in 30 minutes and has a nice balance of salty, acidic, and spicy flavors. The brine from the kalamata olives adds a touch of saltiness and red pepper flakes add a spicy kick to the dish. A sprinkle of fresh Italian parsley adds freshness to the dish along with a pop of color. Try making this plant-based puttanesca sauce and savor its robust flavor.


1 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half lengthwise
2 tbsp. Kalamata olive brine
2 tbsp. capers
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
8 oz. spaghetti


  1. Sauté onions in olive oil in a large pan over medium heat for five minutes. Add in garlic and sauté for one minute until fragrant.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add in tomatoes, olives, capers, olive brine, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once water is boiled, add in spaghetti and cook for 10 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally.
  4. After sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, turn off heat and add in chopped parsley. Mix well to combine. Add cooked spaghetti to puttanesca sauce and toss to combine.
  5. Serve 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.



There’s A New Cereal In Town

A new cereal has found its place on the shelves of Friendly City Food Co-op. Quinoa Queen is a cereal from a start-up company that values ethically sourced and healthy food. The start-up company began in Ecuador and is making its way to the United States. The lucky customers of Friendly City are some of the company’s first American customers!

The ingredients are simple: whole unrefined quinoa. Quinoa is a great source of fiber and vegetarian protein. The grain is higher in protein than other grains such as rice, wheat, or barley. Quinoa also does not contain gluten, so it’s safe for anyone with a gluten allergy or Celiac’s disease to consume. It is an excellent source of zinc and magnesium, while also containing iron and some antioxidants. Overall, the grain is an excellent food to incorporate into the diet.

For anyone living with multiple food allergies, finding nutritious and convenient foods that fit the diet can be a challenge. Quinoa Queen cereal is completely free of dairy, nuts, and gluten making it an ideal choice for someone with one of these common allergens. There are three types of the cereal; Citrus Bliss, Unsweetened, and Lightly Sweetened. I recommend tasting the lightly sweetened version first. All the cereals can be used to make granola bars with dates, chocolate chips or nuts and used as bread crumbs or croutons!

I highly recommend picking up a box of Quinoa Queen at Friendly City. The earthy and nutty flavor of quinoa varies from cereal’s usual refined wheat taste. Try adding a sliced banana, blueberries, or strawberries for extra sweetness. This cereal is perfect for anyone with gluten allergies or sensitivities, general food allergies, or someone looking to taste a new and nutritious food.


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.

Chocolate Strawberry Pie

Strawberries and chocolate are a deliciously perfect combination. The elegant red and black colors invite a rich and deep sweetness you can taste before the first bite.

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful occasion to enjoy strawberries and chocolate. This simple pie incorporates 5 ingredients for full chocolatey goodness. With only a few ingredients, you can surprise a special person in your life with this homemade decadent dessert.



Ingredients (9” pie)
(3) 4oz. semi-sweet chocolate bars
1 ½ c. heavy whipping cream
1 package of chocolate crème sandwich cookies
½ c. unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 lb. strawberries, sliced

To make the crust:

  1. Process cookies in a food processor to a small crumb size. Move cookie crumbs to a large bowl, and combine with melted butter until well incorporated.
  2. Transfer to a 9” pie or tart pan. Press the crumbs down along the bottom and sides of the pan using a spatula. Refrigerate the crust for 1 hour or until set.

To make the ganache:

  1. Break chocolate into chunks in a heat-safe bowl.
  2. Heat heavy whipping cream to a slight boil, then pour into the bowl of chocolate. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the chocolate into the pie crust, and chill until set 4-6 hours. When ganache is set, arrange and press sliced strawberries on the top!

Add extra strawberries into your pie by placing sliced strawberries on the crust before pouring in the ganache. Or, drizzle melted white chocolate over the finished pie.

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.

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.