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Local Chef, Restaurateur Writes Organic Cookbook

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities woman who's been a real pioneer in the practice of eating organic and natural foods now has a book on the subject.

Brenda Langton is sometimes called the "mother" of fresh and local eating. She's had several restaurants like Cafe Brenda, which is now closed. In 2006, she opened Spoonriver in downtown Minneapolis.

Brenda has a very loyal following of her cuisine. Now you can make it at home with the release of her new cookbook called, "The Spoonriver Cookbook."

Langton's food philosophies started at a young age.

"There was a vegetarian restaurant that opened up down the street from my mother. That was in the 70s," Langton said. "I just fell in love and I've never stopped."

Thirty five years and multiple restaurants later, she continues to put philosophy to plate at Spoonriver near the Guthrie Theatre downtown Minneapolis.

"We cook in our kitchen with the intention that this food is going to make people feel good.  That's really important," Langton said. "When you go out to eat, you want not only delish tasting food, you want food that nourishes and you feel good the rest of the day."

Now, she has put her Spoonriver favorites into a cookbook.

"They are very practical recipes that are very nutritious and you can make without spending hours in your kitchen," she said.

Some of the recipes include:  Walleye with sesame crust and giner orange teriyaki, braised Yams, onions and broccoli and German chocolate cupcakes. All photos in the book are from local farms, where Spoonriver's actual ingredients come from.

"We wanted to incorporate a lot of the farms into the book because that's what we cook with.  We buy from the farms," Langton said.

With nearly 300 colorful pages of one-pot recipes, Brenda hopes her new cookbook will inspire families to get back into the kitchen.

"We have been taught that cooking at home is a lot of work and we should eat fast food.  As a society, we need to cook.  We need to cook for our health.  It's the best insurance policy out there.  And it doesn't have to be complicated," Langton said.

Saturday you can pick up your own copy of the Spoonriver Cookbook at the Bibelot in St. Paul. Brenda will be signing copies from 1 until 2:30 p.m. The book retails for $34.95.

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