The Local Beet: Contributors

Melissa Graham

Melissa Graham

Melissa Graham, a former attorney, is the founding Executive Director of Purple Asparagus, an award-winning 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to educating families about all things associated with good eating, eating that's good for the body and the planet. Though its Delicious Nutritious Adventures program, Purple Asparagus has taught thousands of parents and children about healthful, sustainable eating in schools, community centers, and farmers' markets throughout Chicago and the suburbs. Melissa speaks and writes regularly on child nutrition and sustainability both in the Chicago community and online, blogging at Little Locavores, as The Sustainable Cook on The Local Beet, and as a regular contributor to Kiwi Magazine’s KiwiLog and Williams-Sonoma’s Blender blog. In recognition of her contributions to the Chicago community, the Chicago Tribune awarded her a 2011 Good Eating Award, an honor previously bestowed to Rick Bayless, Alinea chef Grant Achatz, and First Lady Michelle Obama. The International Association of Culinary Professionals recently honored Melissa and Purple Asparagus as the Culinary Youth Advocate of 2012. Melissa resides in Chicago with her husband, Mike, and 8-year old son, Thor, in a rowhouse built in 1896.

Posts by Melissa Graham:

Recycled! – One Great Idea – French Fried Blog Post: French Fry Stuffing

Cohabitating: Fried Green Tomatoes and Stewed Field Peas

I Take Comfort in My CSA

How I Make My Lemonade Pink (and Encourage Better Snacks for the Kids)

Supermoms Against Superbugs

An Open Letter To My Marvelous Mother

Staking My Reputation: Best Steak Sauce Ever

Eggscellent – Natural Eggs and Natural Egg Dying

The Compost Chronicles: Urban Composter

Cook a Rainbow with Your Kids

Make Family Dinner a Healthy Habit in 2012

Cold Weather Recipes – Kale

Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas from the Sustainable Cook

Ummmmm…Donuts: Chocolate Glazed Pumpkin Donuts

A is for Apple-licious

Eat Your Greens: Collard Green Spring Rolls

Eat, Drink and Support Purple Asparagus and Local Foods

The German Turnip: Kohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw

CSA’s and Chard Fatigue

Kid Eats at Sable Kitchen and Bar

Strawberries: Salsa Style!

The Asparagus are Still Here

What to Preserve Now: The Sweetest Vegetable – Rhubarb

Meet Best Selling Author Mark Kurlansky Tomorrow

Crowd Sourcing Wonderful Watermelon Recipes

Meatless Monday: Local Potato, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pie

Team Pork Fat: Victory at Kenmore Live

Chizakaya: A Local Delight

Superbug and the Morality of Eating Confinement Animals


Happiness is a Full Pantry: Baked Spaghetti Squash

In Praise of the Braise: Butternut Squash Rosemary Puree

Harvest’s Farewell: Moroccan Spiced Corn Chowder

Watch What You Eat! First Ever Chicago Food Film Festival

Be a Sustainable Cook! (Cont.)

Be a Sustainable Cook


You Say Tomato, I Say Yum: Tomato Soup from the Garden

Purple Asparagus Benefit This Sunday

Garden Fresh Gazpacho

Summer’s Blushing Maiden: Apricot-Lavender Jam

Book Signing with Grace Young, author of Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge (7/24)

Local Snacking for Kids

Action Required: Child Nutrition Act

A Seasonal Delight: Fried Squash Blossoms

A Yearful of Blueberries: Blueberry-Corn Muffins

Chefs Move to Schools: An Unvarnished View

Call to Action: Comment to FDA on Suggested Rulemaking that Could Weaken Oversight over Antibiotic Use in Livestock

See Ya Spring: Chartreuse Pickled Asparagus

The Trash to Table Challenge: Transforming Trimmings, Scraps and Leftovers into Delicious Dinners

Sunchoke Gratin for Rob

A Bluesy Evening to Support Academy for Global Citizenship

What To Preserve Now, Part I: Ramps

A Taste of Summer: Peach-Prosecco Pops

A Walk on the Wild Side with Crescent Dragonwagon, Nettle Pesto and a Blog Giveaway

What’s on Your Plate: Screenings Presented by My Foodshed and Purple Asparagus

Gold Standards for Schools

Cheating from the Freezer

Purple Asparagus at Urban Ag Green Room Session at Uncommon Ground

Thanks Local Beet Readers!

No Duh, New York Times

A Bridge from Winter: Sorrel and Sunchoke Soup

Eggscellent! Egg Labelling and Natural Egg Dyes

Greens from Green Youth Farm

Clean Greens: Sorrel

Waste the Whey? No Way!

Market Report: Spring Greens

Disposition Changing Dinner at Custom House Tavern

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month

Winter Market Update

Take Action: Deadline for Submitting Testimony on Obesity Initative Today

Growing Healthy Kids

Winter’s Ugly Duckling

Toil, Toil, Boil and Bubble: Burdock – The Witch’s Root

Lusciously Local Layers

A Bitter Fruit: A Child’s Plea to the City

A Puff of Air

Later, Tater

A Little Something to Snack on

Winter CSAs and Gluten-Free Lasagne

The Beet Eaters

Rooting for the Rutabaga

A Cake Fit for a King

The Sardine Man Cometh

Gone Fishin’

A Snowy Day Strata

A Christmas Star

Merry Christmas

Dear Santa:

The Sustainable Cook’s Holiday Gift Guide PLUS BLOG GIVEAWAY!!

Happy Hanukkah!

Just Call Me Sunny

Travels of the Heart

Eat Your Vegetables!

Comfort Me with Persimmons

Thanksgiving Countdown: Giving Thanks

Sequels (Cold Winter Recipes – Mustard Greens)

Cold Weather Recipes – Pumpkin Waffles

The 61st Street Farmers Market – STILL OPEN!