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Earth Dinners Showcase Local, Organic Foods

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Souffléd Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale or Spinach

(Family Features) - The food on your dinner plate has a story. But, can you explain where the food was grown, how it was processed and how it ended up at the grocery or market where you purchased it?

With many Americans becoming increasingly aware of their food's origins and seeking out locally grown, seasonal, organic foods, Earth Day, April 22, is the perfect time to gather for a memorable Earth Dinner and share the tale of the food on your platter.

"We launched Earth Dinner because Earth Day needed its own special meal filled with meaningful conversations about food and the environment, " said Theresa Marquez, Earth Dinner founder and chief marketing executive for Organic Valley, the nation's largest organic farmers cooperative. "Earth Dinners are a perfect way to slow down, connect with family and friends and honor each aspect of the food being served."

Organic Valley offers helpful Earth Dinner planning tips, creative recipes and conversation starters on its web site, www.earthdinner.org. Also available are Earth Dinner Creativity Cards--playful yet thought-provoking food and farming trivia cards--for $10 a set. Another offering, "Unconventional Wisdom: The Earth Dinner Reader," is a book of essay, poetry and fiction readings available for free download at www.earthdinner.org this spring.

The recipe for Souffléd Twice-Baked Potatoes featured here would make a great conversation piece for any Earth Dinner. The earthiness of the potatoes is married with the richness of organic butter, milk and eggs--and further enriched with the addition of nutrient-rich kale or spinach for a hearty side dish or light main entrée.

Even if you can't find locally grown and raised dairy products or kale or spinach for the recipe, you can opt for organic products, which were grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals and have not been treated with additives or preservatives-another excellent way to honor the Earth and celebrate its natural bounty.

For more delicious organic recipes, visit www.organicvalley.coop.

Souffléd Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale or Spinach

Ingredients
  • 6 large baking potatoes (about 3 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons Organic Valley Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Organic Valley Milk, heated
  • 2 large Organic Valley Eggs
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cooked and finely chopped kale or spinach
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives or parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
    1. Heat oven to 375°F. Scrub potatoes; prick each one with a sharp fork in 2 to 3 places. Bake until fully tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 1/4 hours.
    2. Cut a 1/2-inch slice lengthwise from each potato. Scoop out flesh from top slices and from inside the potatoes, to make shells with 1/4-inch thick "walls." Pass the still-hot potato flesh through a potato ricer. (You can also mash the potatoes with electric beaters, but don't overdo it, or the spuds will become gluey). Use a rubber spatula to fold butter and hot milk into potatoes.
    3. Separate the eggs, placing yolks in a small bowl and whites in a clean, medium bowl. Beat egg yolks; fold yolks, kale or spinach, chives, salt and pepper into potatoes. Use clean electric beaters or a large whisk to whip egg whites until firm, but not stiff. Fold a quarter of them into potato mixture, then gently fold in the rest.
    4. Heap mixture into potato shells. Place on ungreased baking pan; bake until potato mixture is brown-tipped and heated through, about 25 minutes.

Serves
Makes 6 Servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Recipe and Photo courtesy of Terese Allen for Organic Valley Family of Farms

SOURCE: Organic Valley



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