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Each season, participating youth tap into their nutrition knowledge, cultural heritage and creativity to develop our tasty Roots salads. These are their stories and recipes.

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Jackie’s Salsa, aka The #42
Salsa is an important food at Youth Farm’s south Minneapolis programs, in part because of the large Latino community that lives there. Diego, Maimouna, Yasmin and Amnah used that knowledge in creating this salad. They named it in recognition of baseball legend and civil rights champion Jackie Robinson. The salad made a great impression on Minnesota Twins’ broadcaster Dan Gladden, as did Diego. When Dan learned Diego was bilingual, he arranged for Diego to meet with the team’s Spanish translator and learn about a future career opportunity. See more in Career Ambassadors.

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Northside Dandy Dinger Salad
Youth from Appetite for Change were inspired to create this vibrant, summery salad from a dish they knew was popular at a neighborhood restaurant called Breaking Bread Café. The youth made it their own by adding sorghum, an ancient African whole grain, and testing out a brightly flavored yogurt dill dressing. It’s a colorful, crisp and creamy taste-bud pleaser.

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Northside Homerun Greek Salad
Tajaih, Trejana and Jessie with Appetite for Change created this savory salad to meet two goals:  1) feature vegetables they grow in their city gardens and 2) make a salad they felt other young people would like to eat. They achieved both goals, as evidenced by sales at the ballpark. They shared their recipe with Breaking Bread Café, a vibrant restaurant adjacent to their program. It’s become a popular item for all ages there, too.

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Oooh La La Salade!
Urban Roots fielded a team of ambitious youth chefs to create a roasted French-inspired salad featuring beaucoup vegetables from their prolific gardens. Roasting the veggies amplifies their sweet nature; adding bulgur adds to the salads earthiness; topping it with crumbled goat cheese takes it to a whole other level. Their simple vinaigrette allows the bright flavors of the vegetables and herbs to shine through. C’est magnifique.

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Pasdayapi (Paush-Die-Yaw-Pee) Salad
Dream of Wild Health youth created this salad to celebrate their Native American culture and its indigenous foods, and to showcase the beautiful vegetables growing on their 10-acre farm in Hugo. The salad features “pasdayapi” (the Dakota word for hominy) and wild rice, which we purchased from Native American farmers. The proud chefs also introduced most of us to a new ingredient: ground cherries. Some fans loved them so much that they requested all our salads contain these treasured cherries.

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Slawsome Slugger Salad
Youth Farm’s St. Paul Frogtown teens found inspiration for this salad in their neighborhood Asian grocery stores and restaurants. Maya, Pao and Antonio — and cleverly named — this colorful, crisp, flavorful salad recipe that includes a miso and fish sauce dressing. All the vegetables featured in the dish are grown in their gardens. Awesome slawsome from awesome youth.

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Spiced Curry Puckett
Cassandra, Imogene and Alero from Urban Roots used their inventive nature to put the typical potato salad out to pasture. In its place is this hearty, savory salad they cleverly named after Minnesota Twins’ great Kirby Puckett. It was a brilliant business move from these bright, industrious young women. They caught customers’ attention with a fun product name, then delighted them with a surprising twist to traditional fare. We sense some serious business savvy.

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Spicy Thai Breaker
Roots chefs Alexus, Mai, Rubin and Suabnag wanted to showcase their Asian heritage with a salad using the Thai cooking philosophy of four flavors—sour, sweet, creamy and salty—layered with heat. Using a base of veggies they grew as interns at Urban Roots, the group came up with this crispy, colorful fan favorite.

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