Nutmeg, lemon juice, beef stock, celery stalks and oxtails are a sample of ingredients that can be found in the “Friends of Lindsay Heights Cookbook.” Created and written by community members, the cookbook offers alternatives to unhealthy eating habits in Lindsay Heights.
Helping people “make better choices about what they serve on their tables, and what they put in their mouths” was the motivation for the project, according to Kimberly Njoroge, Walnut Way Conservation Corp. board member and former community food specialist at Fondy Food Center.
The book’s recipes are healthy and traditional, inspired by the community’s African-American heritage. As a community of residents who are at high risk for diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, the cookbook is a way to “practice healthy eating habits,” according to Njoroge.
Recipes were submitted by people who live, serve and work in Lindsay Heights, such as neighbors, gardeners at Alice’s Garden, shoppers at Fondy Farmers Market, members of the Lindsay Heights cooking club and patients at Bread of Healing Clinic.
“When we share recipes and stories in the form of a cookbook, we are preserving the history of our people and strengthening our community ties,” said Venice Williams, program director at Alice’s Garden.
Published this summer, the 132-page cookbook is divided into five categories: appetizers, soups and salads, main dishes, veggies and sides, and breads. It’s interspersed with first-person stories from residents who submitted recipes, and descriptions of Lindsay Heights landmarks.
Young Kim, executive director at Fondy Food Center, and Linda Meurer, associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, led the “Friends of Lindsay Heights Cookbook” project. It was funded by a grant to the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, and supported by the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program.
“We hope that the cookbook serves not only as a resource to families for healthy, culturally-rooted, local recipes shared by neighbors and friends, but also as a way to share the stories of the Health Alliance and its partners,” Meurer said.
Some of the recipes include Kenyan coastal carrot rice, Bentley’s Southwestern chicken soup, Joyce’s Southern style beans and spicy black-eyed peas. The cookbook can be purchased at Walnut Way, 2240 N. 17th St., for $5.