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Thank you to everyone who came out this January for our Culture Kitchen Russia event! It was a pleasure to have Ellie cook with us earlier this week, showing us how to make Solyanka, a Russian soup that features some uncommonly used soup ingredients, such as pickles. If you're looking for a hearty soup with unique flavor, this one's for you! You can find the complete recipe below.

While the original recipe for the dish features many different meats, Solyanka can be made vegetarian friendly by substituting different kinds of vegetables to add substance to the soup. Some suggestions are mushrooms, carrots, and red bell peppers.

Once again, thank you Ellie for teaching us not only how to make Solyanka, but also about Russian culture. As always, make sure to keep an eye out for our next Culture Kitchen event to learn about a new culture and recipe!

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breast or low-fat beef (best meat for Solyanka is beef ribs)

  • 4 oz beef snack bites or any small smoked sausages

  • 4 pcs wieners/sausages

  • 3 pickles, diced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1/2 can black pitted olives

  • 5 spoonfuls of tomato paste

  • ½ of a lemon

  • Dill

  • Salt

  • Water


  1. Start by adding the chicken breast or beef to a sauce pan, along with 4 cups of water.

  2. Now add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan. When it is hot, add the sausages and beef snack bites. Fry them in olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then reduce the heat, and add the fried smoked meats to the saucepan with the broth and chicken breast.

  3. Using the same frying pan, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Now sauté the diced onions, diced pickles, and olives in olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring until the onions and pickles are soft.

  4. Next, add the 5 spoonfuls of tomato paste and half a cup of water from the saucepan to the frying pan with the onions and pickles. Stir and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer the onions and pickles for 10 minutes, then pour the mixture into the saucepan with the Solyanka.

  5. To the saucepan, add salt and cook for another 10 minutes.

  6. At this stage, you can take out the boiled chicken breast or beef out of the broth and cut it into pieces before returning it to the saucepan.

  7. Serve the Solyanka with lemon slices and dill.

  8. Enjoy!

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What a great month for Culture Kitchen! Not only did we get to learn a contemporary Hopi recipe, but we also learned it just in time for the holiday season! The Hopi Omelette is a dish that can be modified in countless ways and is perfect for creating a nutritious meal for a large group of people! It is also affordable (depending on the price of eggs), accessible, and gluten free! Our guest chef Somana guided us through this recipe seamlessly, and put together a beautiful plating of the dish as shown below!

The main ingredients of Hopi Omelettes are eggs and blue corn meal, both filling and nutritious. Somana encourages those who make the dish to add whatever seasonings or ingredients that align with their taste, such as jalapeños, green chiles, or diced vegetables. If you don't have any of these additional ingredients, there is no need to worry, as the dish is equally delicious in its simplest form!

The ingredients and instructions are listed below! This dish is an excellent way to get a taste of Hopi cuisine and culture, which is largely under-appreciated and under-represented in modern cuisine. If you make the dish, let us know what you think, and as always, stay tuned for our next Culture Kitchen!

Hopi Omelette

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 dozen eggs, warmed to room temperature

  • 3/8 c. Finely ground blue corn meal*

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • Salsa or green chile of choice to serve

  • Bread of Choice (toast, tortillas, tamales, etc)

*Blue corn meal can be found at most natural food stores and occasionally at Walmart*


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Beat 10 eggs until light and frothy.

  3. Gradually add blue cornmeal to eggs, while continuing to beat. Add seasonings and stir in.

  4. Slightly stir 2 remaining eggs and fold into mixture.

  5. Heat a heavy skillet or 13x9 pan with deep sides, coating it thoroughly with cooking spray or melted butter.

  6. Pour egg mixture into hot pan and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking until eggs are firm but still fluffy (15 - 20 minutes).

  7. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa or green chiles & a bread of choice.


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It was great to spend another Culture Kitchen cooking with an amazing guest chef! This November, we spent the evening cooking with Sam who taught us how to make Fesenjoon, a Persian stew that combines the flavor of walnuts and pomegranate molasses to make a delicious sweet and sour flavor. The walnuts release their natural oils throughout the cooking process, adding a deep and rich profile to the dish. This one is definitely a must try! You can find the complete recipe below.

Pomegranate molasses can be a difficult ingredient to find, but if you live in Flagstaff, you can find it sold at My Pita Wrap off of Milton and University. It can also be found in various stores in Phoenix. Other than that, the remaining ingredients are all affordable and accessible! You can even switch out the chicken for a non-meat product, such as mushrooms or tofu, making the dish vegan friendly!

If you enjoyed this event, or want to attend future ones, make sure to subscribe to our mailing list or follow us on social media! We look forward to seeing you at the next

Culture Kitchen in December!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 cup of ground walnuts

  • 9 oz (250 grams) chicken breast or thighs

  • 4 tbsp sweet pomegranate molasses (or sweetened pomegranate juice)

  • 2 tbsp sour pomegranate molasses (pomegranate juice)

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

  • 1 medium-sized onion

  • Salt

  • Rice as a side (recommended)


1. Sauté the ground walnuts in a medium pot on low heat without oil. Stir frequently. Be careful not to burn the walnuts. Once sautéd, slowly add 2 cups of boiling water and cover. Let simmer on low for at least 2 hours, making sure that there is enough water in the pot so that the mixture doesn't burn.

2. When the walnuts are close to being done, sauté the diced onion with a small amount of oil until golden. Add the chicken and salt to liking. Continue cooking the chicken with the onion until the chicken is a little over halfway cooked.

3. Add the chicken and onion to the main pot. Stir to combine.

4. Add the pomegranate molasses to the pot. If you are only using sour molasses, try adding some sugar to balance out the flavor. If you are only using sweet molasses, you could add pomegranate juice to give the dish some sour flavor. It is important to taste the sauce to make sure it is made to your preference.

5. Let cook for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the mixture, ensuring that there is enough broth so that the sauce does not caramelize. If the mixture looks like it is too thick or reduced, add water in 1/3 cup increments.

6. After the 30 minutes, try the sauce again and make any desired adjustments.

7. Serve over rice, and garnish with pomegranate seeds (optional).

8. Enjoy!!!

If you make this dish, let us know what you think!

Feel free to leave a comment or post a picture of your final dish.

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