Manataka American Indian Council

Proudly Presents






Dream of Wild Health

Six talented Native youth leaders from Dream of Wild Health created this salad using ingredients important to their Native American cultures as well as vegetables grown at their Hugo, Minnesota, farm. The youth promoted this salad at Minnesota Twins baseball games as part of a healthy food initiative called Roots for the Home Team that encourages local youth groups with entrepreneurial projects.

Cherry tomatoes are delicious in this salad, but if you can find ground cherries at a farmers' market or grow your own, they are amazing! Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.

For the salad:

*    4 sprigs fresh thyme

*    1½ cups whole wild rice

*    3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

*    1 cup cooked black beans (if using dried beans, 1/3 cup dried yields 1 cup cooked)

*    2 bunches (about 8 cups) kale

*    1 cup baby tomatoes or ground cherries, rinsed and halved

*    ½ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese or parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

*    Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice)

*    1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest

*    ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

*    ¼ teaspoon salt & freshly ground black pepper


1.    Cook the black beans. Either soak beans overnight or use the quick-boil method. Then, add beans to a pot of fresh water, and boil until done, about 1-2 hours. Set aside to cool.

2.    Meanwhile, cook the wild rice. Rinse the rice well in a bowl of cold water and drain. Add rice, vegetable broth, and thyme to a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let the rice stand in the pot, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and fluff the rice with a fork. Set aside to cool.

3.    Wash the kale and remove the ribs. Thinly slice the kale into ribbons. Using a salad spinner, spin until most of the water is gone.

4.    In a large serving bowl, add the kale, a drizzle of olive oil, and a little salt. Massage the kale until it starts to soften and wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

5.    To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper, and ¼ cup of olive oil.

6.    To serve, add the wild rice, black beans, tomatoes or ground cherries, and sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle the dressing over top and toss to combine.

Dream of Wild Health

Makes 12 muffins

*    1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal

*    2 tablespoons maple syrup

*    2 eggs

*    1 cup whole-wheat flour

*    1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

*    1 cup buttermilk

*    ¾ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

*    2 teaspoons baking powder

*    1 teaspoon baking soda

*    1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (if frozen, thaw)

*    1¼ teaspoons salt

*    ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

*    1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

*    ¼ cup canola oil

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350° F. Spray muffin liners with cooking spray and place in tray. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oil and maple syrup until a thick slurry forms. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and then whisk in the buttermilk and sour cream. Pour the wet egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture, and then, using a rubber spatula, fold together until all of the cornmeal is completely incorporated.

Fold in the corn kernels and the sage until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. The batter will be thick and pasty. Fill muffin cups half full. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. The cornbread can be stored, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to two days or in the freezer for up to two weeks. If muffins have been frozen, put them directly into the oven for 15 to 18 minutes at 300° to thaw.

Intertribal Agriculture Council

Blueberries have and continue to be a major food source for Great Lakes Region Indian communities in the summer; peaches don’t have the history or tradition but grow especially well in the tribal regions on the eastern side of Lake Michigan.

*    1 cup blueberries

*    1 cup diced peaches

*    1-2 cups diced tomatoes

*    2 minced green onions

*    1 lime

*    Salt and pepper to taste

*    1-2 cloves minced garlic (optional)

*    1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional)

Another simple recipe: Simply mix the ingredients and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Shared by First Nations Staff Member Jona Charette (Northern Cheyenne/Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa)

DRIED BERRIES (Traditional Northern Cheyenne berries such as chokecherries, buffalo berries or wild blueberries)

After picking the berries, put them, including the seeds, in a blender or food processor and blend/process into a pulp. (Traditionally, the berries were pounded, including the seeds, to a pulp with a formed rock).

Form the pulp into patties, cover them with cheesecloth and lay them out to dry, turning occasionally. (Traditionally, they were dried in the sun).

*This process takes about two days. The patties may be stored in a tightly covered container for future use and can be used to make berry sauce. 

First Nations Development Institute