Saturday

What's low-glycemic, locally sourced, gluten-free, dairy-free, processed sugar-free and a symbolic rejection of colonial systems of oppression? The recipes in Sean Sherman and Beth Dooley’s new cookbook "The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen," of course.

 Sherman is Oglala Lakota and the founder of the Minneapolis-based catering company, the Sioux Chef, which aims to revitalize North American indigenous cuisine. Dooley is a food writer, chef and the author of several cookbooks.

"The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen" is "showcasing that no matter where you are throughout North America, there’s this beautiful indigenous backbone of food systems there," Sherman told "The Larry Meiller Show" on Wednesday.

Sherman grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. There wasn't much local or native food though, he said.

"When I was growing up, I should have had a lot more indigenous foods, but because of how things went down when people were put on reservations, we lost a lot of our food ways. So, I grew up with more government commodity foods," Sherman said.

Although Sherman grew up with traditional foods like wild prairie turnips (timpsila), chokecherry and hunted meats, "there should have been a lot more knowledge" about native foods than there was, he said.


Sherman set out to change that with the Sioux Chef, his food truck and his cookbook. Sherman has cut out colonial ingredients. That means no refined sugar, no dairy, no wheat flower — and even no chicken.

The result is recipes like a salad of griddled squash, apples, wild greens and toasted walnuts, cranberry sauce with maple syrup and cider, homemade acorn, hazelnut and squash flours, sorbets made from wild rice, squash, raspberry and corn and stocks from corn cobs and wild rice.


If any of that sounds too fancy or quirky for you, don’t be fooled. You’ll find many of the ingredients featured in “The Sioux Chef” in your own backyard — literally.

"The cookbook opened my eyes to everything that’s right outside my kitchen door," Dooley said. That includes rose hips, cedar, juniper and dandelion, all ingredients that Dooley found right outside her house.

If you don’t have a yard, don’t fret — the cookbook has substitutes that are easily found in grocery stores, particularly for meats that may be difficult to get your hands on if you don’t hunt.


"We’re not trying to cook like it’s a timepiece; we’re not trying to go back to 1491 or anything like that. We're just utilizing all this knowledge of the past and applying it today, but kind of challenging ourselves to cook with only indigenous ingredients — because obviously people have lived here for thousands of years and didn't need dairy and wheat flour and processed sugar, (or) beef, pork (or) chicken," Sherman said.

In other words, here’s to a turkey-full — but creamy mashed potato-free — Thanksgiving.
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