Co-op cook inventive, spontaneous - Press-Republican: Lifestyles

Co-op cook inventive, spontaneous

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Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012 3:26 am

PLATTSBURGH — Autumn, the season for soup, found Kim Cummins chopping and slicing away at the North Country Food Co-op in Plattsburgh.

Every Wednesday and Friday, she’s on the store’s second level creating fresh wraps and soups. Her creations include Hello Weekend Wrap and Party Vegetable Soup with Rice Noodles.

The wrap’s base is quinoa and couscous.

“We have a vegetable slaw made with seasonal ingredients — carrots, cabbage and apples,” Cummins said.

She’s not the measuring kind of cook. She throws about 2 cups of quinoa and 1 to 1 ½ cup couscous in a stainless-steel pot.

“I let the quinoa boil until the little tails come out. I threw in the couscous until it’s done. I think this is the easiest way to cook quinoa.”

After mixture is done, she drains it and lets it sit. In the food processor, she throws in carrots, beets, cabbage, kale or pea shoots, the latter two from Fledgling Crow Vegetables of Keeseville.

The contents, enhanced with curry paste, are pressed into a Maria & Ricardo sundried-tomato wrap.

“I love these wraps. They’re really large, and they don’t tear easily.

The soup also has a curry base.

“We have carrots, onions and celery. We also have potatoes and cabbage. I sauté them to bring out the flavors in this pot.”

In a smaller pot, soup stock boiled down.

“It has the same thing but also some garlic. I just kind of wing it.”

She took culinary courses in high school. As an adult, she’s more experimental, throwing in this and that.

“I added a little curry now, a ¼ cup. I will add curry paste, coconut milk and frozen peas to add some color.”

She has made wraps and soups at the co-op for two years now. During the summer month, she switches to salads.

She offers gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options, which appeal to the co-op’s clientele.

“A lot of our customers have food allergies and have a hard time finding food, especially grab-and-go style.”

Her philosophy is simple: good ingredients equal good food.

“Sometimes, you have to supplement with other things, like frozen vegetables, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.”

She loves how many different vegetables can be combined in soups and wraps. People may not ordinarily eat beets, but she can include them in a wrap and people will eat them.

“It’s fun to invent and find out something new,” Cummins said.

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