Kari’s recipes feed picky eaters

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By Sandy Bond

Kari Salverson’s job is foremost that of farm wife to Robert and mom to adorable five-year old twins, Addison and Owen. The family raises a variety of crops including corn, soybeans, sunflowers, wheat and small grains in rural Selby just down the road from Robert’s folks, Linda and Doug.
“I’m still a crop consultant with my own company, Angel Crop Consulting,” she said. “But I’ve scaled way back to take care of my family.”
Kari tries to prepare tasty and tempting meals for her family, with an eye toward creativity.
“But it’s tough when you have picky eaters to cook for,” she said.
Both her parents passed away at a young age from cancer, and although not directly attributed to diet, she knows how important a good diet is to overall health.
“While growing up, our family ate a lot of fish,” she said. “I love fish; most particularly the light and flaky kind such as haddock, salmon, and tilapia.”
She chooses naturally raised grass fed buffalo, she said. “However, buffalo is quite dry, so mixing it with a little hamburger makes it more palatable.”
Her “salsa garden,” consisting of Roma and Big Boy tomatoes, onions and green peppers has thrived, even in this unusually hot summer.
“I try to make salsas, spaghetti sauces and brochettes with my veggies that I grow,” she said.
Homemade spaghetti is a favorite meal at the Salverson home.
“My dad, mom and grandmother were actually great cooks,” she said.
The middle daughter of the late Leroy and Lana Gabriel, Kari and her two sisters and brother were raised in Pierre where their dad was employed in agricultural research.
“Because my father always worked for the agricultural industry, it has always been a part of my life,” she said. “My mother’s family, the Thomes of Turton, farmed, and we would spend our summers helping our grandparents with wheat harvest. I knew I wanted to work in the Ag sector, but an internship was key to my choice of profession.”
After graduating from Riggs High School, Kari majored in agriculture with an emphasis in agronomy at South Dakota State University at Brookings.
Angel Crop Consulting was formed 14 years ago while Kari was still a junior at SDSU.
“I was introduced to crop consulting with an internship with Central Crop Consulting, Inc., of Brookings, working under agronomists Rod May and Mark Stone,” she said.
Sparking her career in more ways than she could count, Rod and Mark were her mentors and friends. Without the support of her husband, Robert, and Rod and Mark, Angel Crop Consulting would never have been formed, she said.
Crop consultants began by scouting their client’s fields during the growing season, noting the established crops and any pest populations including weeds, insects, disease and even rodents. The history of the site is recorded, making note of any field uniqueness including manure, and cropping history, and any other factors that might impact fertility. Several soil samples are taken because one field can have up to four different soil types. Samples are sent off to a lab and imbalances in nutrients are recorded and adjusted accordingly.
After the twins were born, she referred many of her clients to her cousin, Evan Salverson of Salverson Seeds and Consulting.
Even if she has put her career on hiatus, she puts into practice what she has learned to their own farm. They have been a totally no-till operation for many years.
She has resumed an old passion, breeding quality quarter horses. Their herd is comprised of Cherry, Skye, Ronnie, Boomer, and Rascal, and Francie, a Flaxen miniature horse. Kari has also resumed barrel racing, a hobby she put on the back burner after high school. A member of the National Barrel Horse Association, she has been working with other local advocates including Stephanie and Bill Bennis of Glenham, to spark a renewed interest in the sport.  The next event is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 17. Spectators are admitted free of charge and there are “jackpots” for the most accomplished riders. There are even categories for the tiniest rider. However, you are urged to “call before you haul” in the event of any changes caused by inclement weather.

KARI’S RECIPES

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion (finely diced)
3 stalks celery (finely diced)
3 carrots (peeled and diced)
2 Tbsp. fresh minced garlic
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
2 cups steamed white rice
16 oz. prepared wild rice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil into a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery and carrots until softened (about 10 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken, rices, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Reduce heat to low.

Cheese Sauce
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (for topping)
Melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper, then slowly pour in chicken broth, whisking continuously. Whisk until thick and nearly boiling, then stir in cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture and then transfer to a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Top with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted through. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

S’mores Granola Bars
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cups granola or uncooked oats
2 cups rice cereal (Rice Chex broken up or Rice Krispies)
1 cup mini/micro marshmallows
1 cup chocolate chips
Heat butter, honey and brown sugar over medium-high heat until they start to boil. Reduce to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add granola, marshmallows and cereals and mix thoroughly. Pour into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan (lightly sprayed with baking spray). Pat down until nice and level. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and press down with spatula. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Cut into bars.
For basic granola bars, omit chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham cereal. You can add pretzels, nuts, fruits, etc. There are so many possibilities!
Just make sure that if your granola has a lot of sugar in it (like my recipes above does) that you don’t use a lot of sugar in your honey mixture or your bars will be too hard. Less sugar keeps them chewy. The original recipe called for twice as much sugar and the first time I made them was a big fat failure. I had to soak the pan with warm water for a couple of hours to get them off. It wasn’t pretty! Less sugar is better. Also, the recipe above is doubled. They are the perfect thickness that way. The first time I made them, they were too thin. Now you can learn from my trial and error!

Orange Juice Cake
1 35 oz. pkg. vanilla pudding
1 18.25 pkg. yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup orange juice
powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large Bundt pan. Combine pudding, cake mix, eggs, and oil. Pour batter in pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until done. Combine butter, sugar and orange juice in saucepan; bring to a boil for 2 minutes. While still warm poke hole in cake with a fork and pour mixture over cake. When cake is saturated, place on plate and dust with powdered sugar.

Three Cheese Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. wide egg noodles
2 Tbsp. onion or
1 8 oz. container cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
1 can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season and brown beef. Cook noodles according to package. Drain beef and add tomato sauce, sugar to the mix. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese. Layer noodles, sauce, cheese mix, noodles and sauce in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Top with Parmesan cheese. Cook until warmed through (about 20 minutes).

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