Finding Health & Flavor with the Foods of the North
Story by Jon Bennett and Peter Schultz with excerpts from "Midwest Mediterranean: Finding Health & Flavor with the Foods of the North"
Photography by M. Schleif Photography
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most healthful and delicious ways of eating on the planet, but how can we best practice these dietary principles thousands of miles away in the Midwest?
Answer: "Midwest Mediterranean!"
Community of Collaborators
This book dips into history, agriculture, biology, philosophy, botany, ingredients, lifestyle and more. It's also packed with a collection of amazing Midwest Mediterranean recipes created by even more community collaborators: chefs and home cooks from across the Midwest and the Mediterranean who are truly passionate about this diet and this way of life.
Readers will find an amazing smorgasbord of principles and particulars – a kind of eclectic community table that they all helped create for each other; a table at which people can all sit, share, learn and enjoy.
"Midwest Mediterranean: Finding Health & Flavor with the Foods of the North" blends the research, knowledge and guidance of the Mediterranean diet with a focus on our place in the world -- the North. With insights from Dr. David Clardy, attending cardiologist at Sanford Heart and Vascular Center; Dr. Fadel Nammour, physician and owner of Dakota Gastroenterology Clinic; Noreen Thomas, farmer and owner of Doubting Thomas Farm; Dr. Peter Schultz, archaeologist, conservationist and importer; William Schultz, mental health practitioner and private practice owner; and Megan Myrdal, co-founder of Food of the North, this book will show you how and why you should make the Midwest Mediterranean part of your daily lifestyle.
"This book was written by a team of Midwesterners from diverse backgrounds, a team of members that share a zeal for healthy food, healthy lives and healthy souls. This little book isn’t just a 'cookbook.' It’s not just a 'health book' or a 'diet book' either. And it’s certainly not just a 'book about food.' In this case, the table is loaded with some truly life-changing ideas that we feel deserve the widest possible audience. In that spirit, we’re honored to offer this book to the community that gave it life, with the hopes that we can all continue to enjoy learning and thinking about the food, the people, the recipes and the stories that connect us to this amazing way of eating and living."
- Megan Myrdal
Let's Feast like Kings!
One great way to capture the spirit of this project was to bring together some amazing eats and beverages, and celebrate what this book is actually about. Schultz and Myrdal invited me to a small dinner party they hosted at 4e Winery for us all to enjoy the heart and soul of the Midwest Mediterranean. We were able to sip on a glass of wine and have conversation with other guests while listening to the music of Warren Christenson during the Wine Welcome Hour. It was a perfect and natural way to make the entire project come to life and I am blessed that I got to share it with Schultz and Myrdal and get to share it with the readers.
PATATAS BRAVAD (SPICY POTATOES)
Patatas Bravas (Spicy Potatoes), originated in Madrid, is in the tapas category of Spanish cuisine. Today it is ubiquitous in all of Spain. It is pan-fried potato cubes dressed with a spicy peppery tomato sauce. No two plates of patatas bravas are the same, which means you have lots of room to vary to your taste. Many also drizzle a garlicky aioli along with the tomato sauce.
Variations: You may also add a spicy aioli by adding garlic powder, lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper to half a cup of mayonnaise. Drizzle on the potatoes along with the tomato sauce.
Since We're Talking Olive Oil....
Mistra Estates Extra Virgin Olive Oil is some of the highest quality olive oil you can buy in America, and Fargo-Moorhead is ground zero for its U.S. delivery!
This exceptional extra-virgin olive oil comes from the small estate of Eugene Ladopoulos, a Greek olive farmer working in a small family grove near ancient Sparta. Local importer, Peter Schultz, met Ladopoulos in the late 1990s, when Schultz was earning his PhD at the University of Athens. In 2004, upon Schultz's return to the U.S., the two teamed up with local superstars Tony and Sarah Nasello to bring Mistra Estates Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Fargo-Moorhead. What started out as a very small project, bringing in about 40 cases per year, has blossomed into a favorite Red River Valley annual food event; last year Schulz and Ladopoulos imported about four metric tons of EVOO into our metro.
Like all ultra-high quality olive oils, Mistra Estates has all the amazing health benefits we've come to expect for our eyes, hair, skin, colons, hearts, brains, livers and souls. But Mistras Estates is also something truly special. It comes from a single producer – one, small family farm. It’s regeneratively grown with zero human inputs: no water, no fertilizers and no pesticides. It has incredibl low acidity, typically >0.01%, some of the very best in the world. And, most importantly, it’s bottled to order. This oil doesn't come out of the settling vat until the order is complete and it’s ready to be shipped. The result is 0% packaging waste and the freshest possible oil you can buy in the United States.
This year, Schulz and his team are partnering with Fargo-Moorhead's Jeremiah Program. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s sale will go to support the Jeremiah Program’s mission, working to move families from poverty to prosperity through education, employment and empowerment. The F-M Jeremiah Program’s annual gala is on October 22, 2021. Stay tuned!
Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead
Midwest Nest Magazine is a monthly print and digital publication that focuses on culture around the upper midwest.