Market Musings Blog

Holiday Sampler


Holiday Sampler

We’re kicking off December with a Holiday Sampler – a shopping and sampling event focused on gift ideas and foods for the holidays. Sample indulgent holiday flavors, peruse our fair trade and local gifts, experience some of our favorite body care products, and enjoy a 5% sale on all general merchandise.

The Holiday Sampler will be taking place at all Mississippi Market locations on Saturday, December 5, from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Yams – three great recipes

From sweet to savory, these three recipes show the versatility of yams.


Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

A classic

Ingredients (serves 6)
4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces | 2/3 cup packed  brown sugar | 5 tbsp. butter | 1 tsp. ground cinnamon | 1/2 tsp. salt | 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg | pinch of ground ginger |
2 cups marshmallows | 1/2 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat. Cover dish tightly with foil.

Bake potatoes 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts. Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown, about 3 minutes. (Recipe from

Not Too Spicy Yam Soup

Just enough kick to warm you up on a cold night

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil | 1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced | 4 large yams |
2 cup water  | 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth | 1 sweet red pepper
1 jalapeño or ½ tsp. hot red pepper flakes | Half a lemon or lime | 1 cup heavy cream
More salt (optional) | Fresh basil or cilantro leaves | Unsalted, roasted cashews


Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, add the olive oil, then sauté onion until it starts to brown.

Peel sweet potatoes; slice crosswise; put in a heavy pot with chicken or vegetable broth; simmer until sweet potatoes are tender (20–30 minutes).

When sweet potatoes have become soft, add onions, their oil and pan scrapings, then put through a food mill or blender to make as velvety as possible. Return to the heavy pot and leave on simmer.

Chop sweet red pepper into small dice, mince jalapeño, and add those to the soup. Taste for balance, and add juice from lemon or lime (you can also add some zest from the skins). Then add up to a cup of heavy cream, after which you may need to add some more salt. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Sweet Potato-Chicken-Peanut Stew

A common and very luscious West African dish

Note: If you’re vegetarian, substitute firmly pressed tofu for the chicken (two 1-pound packages). You’ll probably need to increase all of the seasonings to bring up the flavor.


2 tablespoons of peanut oil
1 smallish yellow or white onion, chopped coarsely
1 small whole chicken, or 8 pieces, skin-on, bone-in for extra flavor, or two 1-pound packages
of tofu, firmly pressed before use
½–1 teaspoon of kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup of finely chopped peanuts or chunky peanut butter
1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock or broth
Another 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock or broth
2 cloves of garlic, skinned and finely chopped
1 medium dried hot pepper or ¼ teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes
2 medium raw sweet potatoes, skinned, sliced once lengthwise and four times crosswise
3 canned tomatoes, mashed (for vegetarian version)
¾ pound of greens (spinach, kale, chard, collard), sliced crosswise into thin ribbons
2 tablespoons of lemon juice or clean-flavored vinegar
Tabasco sauce (optional)


1. Heat a large, heavy pot on MEDIUM, then add oil, and when it shimmers, add onions and cook until they brown and become transparent (about 10 minutes).
2. In the meantime, season chicken pieces lightly with salt and pepper. Add them to the onions, stir in, and cook on both sides until they are browned (about 6–7 minutes).
3. Combine peanuts or peanut butter and 1 cup of chicken stock or broth until the mixture is smooth; then add the other 2 cups of stock.
4. Mince the garlic and red pepper until it’s almost a paste, or grind them in a mortar. Stir into the chicken stock.
5. Add stock to the pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to SIMMER and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
6. Add sweet potatoes to pot. Bring back to boil, then lower heat again to SIMMER, and cook, partly covered, until sweet potatoes are tender (about 15–18 minutes).
7. Add greens and stir in, until they wilt but are still bright green (less than 2 minutes). Season with more salt, pepper, lemon juice, and pepper sauce, if desired.

Like all soups and stews, this grows tastier by the day. (Adapted from Barbara Kafka’s Soup: A Way of Life (1998) and several in African News Cookbook (1986).)

Halloween Treats for Little Goblins

Preheat the oven and cook up some Halloween fun!
Read more …

Fresh Deals recipe: Bacon, Avocado & Tomato Pasta

This week’s Fresh Deals include bacon, avocado and grape tomatoes. A nice, comforting bowl of pasta sounds pretty great right now – and bacon makes everything better, right?!

Read more …

Summer in the city

Mississippi Market has a strong tradition of community involvement. We support St. Paul-based non-profits through our donations programs, we offer classes year-round, and we sponsor community events. We take our connection to St. Paul seriously because “concern for the community” is one of the seven cooperative principles and because we are owned by over 16,000 of our St. Paul neighbors.

One of our favorite ways to support our community is to sponsor and attend community events. Read more …

2014 MEDA award

Congratulations to Hoyt Hsiao! The CEO of our general contractor, Shaw-Lundquist Associates, was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA). MEDA’s annual award ceremony honors the successes of its clients who have excelled in their talents, achievements, and their contribution to helping entrepreneurs of color succeed.

We’ve had the privilege of working with Shaw-Lundquist on all of our construction projects since 2008, when we partnered with them to build our West 7th store. Family-owned and operated for more than 40 years, Hsiao worked with his father, Fred Shaw, while growing up, before joining the company full time in 1987. Shaw Lundquist in one of the top 20 general contractors in the metro area, and the largest Asian-American general contractor in the nation.

We applaud Hoyt for his commitment to working with minority and women-owned businesses, and his personal contributions to the Twin Cities community. Learn more about his excellent work in the video below. Our East 7th store has a great cameo role!

The Credjafawn Co-op Store – A piece of St. Paul co-op History

Most Twin Cities food co-op members associate the growth of co-ops with the period 1960–1975, when so many of our present co-ops began. A notable exception to the Sixties food co-ops was the Credjafawn Co-op Store, Read more …

Cheesy Cauliflower

Sure, this would be even healthier if you left off the cheese sauce.  But sometimes it’s grey outside and you just need something cheesy. Read more …

Fish Friday: A Tea Take on Tuna

My last contribution to Market Musings was all about tea, and ever since there’s been an ever so quiet whisper in my head to actually cook with matcha powder again.  This powdered form of green tea has a very distinct flavor, and, if used correctly, can yield itself a magical secret ingredient in a number of dishes.  Read more …

Celebrating Mardi Gras

A good meal can offer a transcendent experience for those who truly enjoy food. If you’ve ever shared a really good meal with friends, or been transported to your childhood just by smelling your mom’s chicken noodle soup, you understand the power food has beyond the ability to nourish us physically. Read more …