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Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Category: Healthy Foods (page 2 of 6)

Gumbo Recipe with a Wisconsin Twist

gumbo-1The quick and easy gumbo recipe had been sitting in my “bookmarks” folder for a long time now and I had almost everything on hand to make it except for the sausage. I was about to head to the grocery store when I decided to hunt in the freezer for my final ingredient. The recipe called for a spciy andouille sausage but when I came across a package of Bavaria Sausage Kitchen bratwurst I decided to try those instead. I enjoy the taste of spice but I am a big whimp so the brats would be a welcome subsitution. The best part about this recipe? You can set it and forget it in the slow cooker. 

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Have a Healthy Holiday with Wisconsin Food Gifts

For the most part, I’m all for pigging out around the holidays, but sometimes it’s better to give a healthy holiday treat.  Maybe you have a family member that is trying to stay healthy and you don’t want to derail them with a box of cookies, or maybe giving a cheese and sausage gift basket to your running buddy seems counter productive.  Whatever the reason, there are plenty of healthy yet delicious holiday food gifts around.  Believe it or not, some of them even come from Wisconsin.  The state that is famous for cheese and bratwurst is also known for cranberries, cherries and other healthy holiday treats.

Dried Cherries


No Sugar Added Tart Dried Cherries – Tart dried cherries are hard to find outside of Wisconsin so they are a popular gift on  A nutritious topping for salad or cereal, tart dried cherries also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to the Wisconsin Cherry Growers Association. Other cherry goodies that make sweet gifts: cherry salsa and cherry jam.






Dried CranberriesCranberries– Cranberries are a ruby in the Wisconsin agricultural crown. Studies suggest that cranberry rich diets have the potential to prevent heart disease, ulcers and certain types of cancer. If you enjoy dried cranberries, try Curbanies. This sweet snack is similar to a dried cranberry, but goes through a special drying process so they retain some moisture. For an even sweeter cranberry treat try some dark chocolate covered cranberries.







Movie Popcorn
Popcorn– An extra large bag of movie popcorn can contain thousands of calories, but it’s the butter that’s to blame, not the popcorn.  The gourmet popcorn varieties grown in Wisconsin have plenty of flavor without all the extra toppings.  You can even taste the difference between the types of kernels.  Dieters love popcorn for the satisfying crunch without the calories and fat of other salty snacks. Not sure how to pop kernels without the bag? Check out this blog post with stove-top popping instructions.

Cherry Food

Cherry food probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Wisconsin cuisine.  Most people think of cheese, bratwurst, and maybe cranberries, but Door County Wisconsin grows about 5% of the USA’s cherry crop each year. Not only are cherry foods delicious but they are nutritious as well. According to the Wisconsin Cherry Growers Association,a diet rich in cherry food can combat major heart disease risk factors.  Eating cherries has been linked to lower body fat, decreased inflammation, and lower cholesterol. Here are a few yummy ways to get more cherries in your daily diet.

Cherry Juice Cherry Juice– Only one ounce of cherry juice provides enough antioxidants to meet nutritionist’s recommendation of daily consumption, so drink up for an easy way to meet your cherry needs.

Dried Cherries Dried Cherries– Dried cherries are perfect to sprinkle on salads or munch as a healthy snack. Door County cherries, available at, come sweetened or in a “no sugar added tart” variety.



Cherry Salsa– Want to spice up your cherries? Try some sweet and tangy cherry salsa.

Cherry Ice Cream– Maybe not the healthiest cherry food, but definitely yummy and refreshing on a hot summer’s day, Mad Grad Medley ice cream is a decadent combination of Door Country cherry infused vanilla ice cream with chocolate chocolate chips.  This flavor is only available online at for a limited time.

Cherry Bratwurst– Incased in a bratwurst may not be the healthiest way to eat cherries, but this is Wisconsin after all and we make bratwurst in about every variety you can think of, even pizza bratwrust, so it’s no surprised we brought cherries and brats together.

Cherry Cook Book– Need more cherry ideas? This cookbook is full of sweet and savory cherry recipes.

Greek Style Turkey Burgers

greek-1 Greek style foods bring cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, and kalamata olives together into a delicious flavor combination. I have experimented in the kitchen with Greek salad, Greek pizza, and my new found favorite, Greek style turkey burgers.  Spinach, onions, garlic and Wisconsin feta cheese are mixed in with the meat, then the burger is topped with an olive spread, grilled red onions, tomatoes and cucumbers.  The veggies and lean meat make this burger a healthy option but it’s so delicious you will have your dinner guests shouting “Opaa!”.

Greek Style Turkey Burgers

Adapted by Amanda from Chicken or Turkey Spanakopita Burgers

 Serves 4



2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves chopped

1 red onion, half diced and half sliced for topping

1 10oz box of frozen spinach, thawed

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon Greek seasoning

1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles Recommended: Mt. Sterling Wisconsin Goat Milk Feta Cheese

1 package ground turkey breast (you can also use ground chicken)

4 crusty rolls, split


1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 roasted red peppers drained

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley

2 sliced roma tomato

1 sliced cucumber

1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the diced (not sliced) onions and garlic for 5 minutes.  Place the onions and garlic in a large bowl to cool.

2. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil and cooked the sliced onions for 5 minutes. Reserve for use as a topping later.

3. Put the defrosted spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wring out the excess water over the sink.  Add the spinach, oregano, grill seasoning, feta crumbles, and meat to the bowl with the onions.  Use your hands to mix everything together.

4. Form the meat into 4 1-inch thick patties.  Heat the skillet to medium high and grill the burgers for 6 minutes on each side. You can also do this on the grill if you prefer.

5. In a bowl, season the sliced cucumbers and tomatoes with salt and pepper.

6. Add olives, roasted red pepper and parsley to the bowl of your food processor.  Pulse a few times until you have a thick paste.

7. Spread the olive mixture on the top bun.  Put the burger on the bottom bun and top with tomatoes, cucumbers, and grilled onions.  Serve with fancy chips or fries.

Cranberry Salad

Mixing up a big helping of cranberry salad provides a much needed break from indulgent foods and cheese and sausage we eat here in Wisconsin, but like cheese and sausage, cranberries are a food of the Badger State- and a healthy food too! Cranberries and spinach provide antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber just to name a few of the health benefits. Walnuts contain omega-three fatty acids, and blue cheese- well, it’s still cheese- but since the blue stuff is so strong in flavor you can use less of it compared to more mild cheese. So believe it or not, you can eat Wisconsin and still eat healthy! Click “continue reading” to see the recipe.

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Croutons are a great way to use up leftover bread. When I have a partial loaf of italian bread about to go stale, or a random extra hamburger bun, or the heals of the bread that are sitting around uneaten, I just toss them in the freezer. These bread orphans, that would have otherwise ended up in the trash, can live in the freezer until I find another use for them. The uses for leftover bread are endless! Leftover bread is perfect for some quick homemade bread crumbs, stuffing, or my favorite- homemade croutons!

My only precaution- sometimes the bread in the freezer situation gets a bit out of hand.  Click “continue reading” to see the recipe and the crazy amount of bread that piled up in my freezer.

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Soda Cake Recipe

soda-cake-recipe-1 Soda cake is all the rage lately, mostly amoung dieters who use diet soda to make a lower calorie cake. But who says you can’t make your soda cake with regular soda? No one! The flavor combinations are endless- yellow cake mix with rootbeer, chocolate cake mix with orange soda, white cake mix with cream soda…I could keep going.  This soda cake also makes a great birthday cake for your soda loving friends.  Have a buddy who loves Sprecher’s rootbeer? Bake them a rootbeer cake for their birthday party. Continue reading to see the ridiculously easy soda cake recipe.

Soda Cake Recipe


1 box of cake mix

1 egg

12oz can/bottle of soda, Recommended: Blumer’s Premium Soda (picture below)

1. Mix these ingredients together to make your cake batter, then bake according to package directions.

2. Top with your favorite store bought icing and sprinkles!



  • Use only these ingredients! No oil- just egg, soda, and cake mix.
  • For the lighter version, use diet soda and 1 egg white in place of the egg and soda.
  • Be aware that white cake mix will be the color of the soda.  So if you use a blue soda and white cake mix, your cake will be blue…I’m not generally a fan of blue food but if you are, go for it!

 Rootbeer, orange, blueberry cream, black cherry, cream soda, diet root beer… so many options!


Popcorn Kernels

Popcorn Gift Set

I’ve noticed that popcorn is a hugely popular gift, but to be honest, up until a couple days ago I wouldn’t have known what to do if someone sent me some popcorn kernels.  Where’s the bag? I would wonder. How on earth do you pop popcorn kernels WITHOUT a microwavable bag? Popcorn has been around for thousands of years, the microwave only about 65 years, so people have been popping popcorn sans bag for most of popcorn’s existence. Time for me to try popcorn the old fashion way.

Popping on the stove took a bit longer than the microwave, but I had fun watching the popcorn kernels  jump around through the glass lid of my stove top. I hoped the extra time and attention I gave to the popcorn would pay off, and wow! I wasn’t disappointed.  The popcorn tasted great! All I added was a sprinkle of salt and I thought I had died and gone to popcorn heaven! So if you are still a bag popper, I highly recommend you join me as a stove popper.

Click below to see a recipe and tips for popping popcorn on the stove, and stop back soon for more popcorn tips and recipes.

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Rose Bowl

rose-bowl-1Rose Bowl Veggies Watch out Rose Bowl, here comes the Wisconsin Badgers! I wish I could be in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl on January 1st, but looks like I will have to celebrate with my own Rose Bowl party right here in Madison.  Since my Wisconsin themed Rose Bowl party will mostly involve heavy foods like cheese, bratwurst, and Babcock Hall ice-cream, I decided to lighten up the Rose Bowl cuisine with a veggie tray, garnished with tomato roses.  The tomato roses seem fancy and look great, but they are surprisingly easy to make.  Read on to find out how to make them.

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Healthy Halloween Food For Kids

Healthy Halloween food for kids is as elusive as a Halloween ghost on most Halloween party menus.

Sure, Halloween is all about trick-or-treating for candy. It’s the night when other-wise rational, health-conscious parents encourage their kids to collect monumental amounts of sweet, fatty food and consume it at will.

Not to worry, we parents reason. The kids will run it all off on the way to the doorbells. Right? But then what happens?

Trick-or-treating is over; the Halloween night is in its final hours, and my kids are still bouncing off the walls, but now they are cranky and either on the verge of tears or tantrums. What goes up always comes down.

 So, should I have said no to the Halloween treats? Then I’d be both witch and devil.

No, cunning strategy is again what this parent needs. This is my tenth year in the game and I’ve figured something out. My answer: I stuff the kids full of healthy Halloween food BEFORE they trick-or-treat. Then those kid tummies have less room for candy. Plus, the food in their stomachs slows the digestion of the incoming sugar. The sugar highs don’t spike as high, and the lows don’t plummet into tantrum territory.

But, you likely wonder, how do I get kids to eat healthy food on Halloween? They’re so excited they don’t want to eat. True, that’s when I pull out all of my food decorating tricks. Kids may refuse healthy food that looks like healthy food. But SPOOKY healthy Halloween food is too tempting to resist.

Keep reading for my suggestions for creating spooky healthy Halloween food for kids.

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