dsmWeekly: March 16, 2022
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March 16, 2022

Moving through these late days of winter, and looking forward to spring, now is the perfect time to dream and plan your outdoor spaces. Add functional charm to your home with an arbor, pergola, or gazebo by the award-winning designers and builders at Silent Rivers.
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The Thai Buddha bowls from Sivid include leafy greens, spiced chickpeas, quinoa and other vegetables for a healthy and protein-packed meal.

Plant-Based Fare With Asian Flair From Sivid

Writer: Karla Walsh

Americans’ health—both mental and physical—received a one-two punch during the pandemic. “A lot changed all at once,” Jen Baccam says. “I noticed stress-related changes in others as well, and I felt as if I needed to do something to [help] support the community.”

So to support her own well-being after noticing a pattern in her family’s medical history, including several cancer-related deaths in recent years, Baccam began experimenting with more plant-based recipes at home. Each time she shared them with even “the most devout meat eaters,” they piled on positive feedback. “I became hooked! I [asked] myself, ‘Maybe I can make a difference?’ ” she recalls.

Enter Sivid, a pre-order food brand she launched in spring 2020. Sivid means “life” in Tai Dam, a Laotian and Thai language, and so many of the dishes Baccam creates for her weekly rotating menu are inspired by her own life.

“My grandma passed away last year from stomach cancer. She was the only grandparent I had left; she was 96 and full of life,” Baccam says. “Vegetables were always the highlight of her dishes.”

If you haven’t ordered anything from Sivid yet, Baccam recommends starting with the Thai Buddha bowl, which includes spinach, spiced chickpeas, roasted vegetables, quinoa, vegan peanut dressing and cilantro. It’s “a rock star dish,” she says. “It fills you up and you’ll feel great afterwards.” Other recent fan favorites include Brussels sprouts with tamarind and miso aioli and Buffalo Jackfruit Alfredo. (Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that’s seasoned, sauced-up and used as a substitute for shredded meat in this and many vegan recipes.)

Interested in sampling Sivid? Order online by Sunday for pick up on Tuesday at the Mickle Center (1620 Pleasant St.). Or if you’d prefer delivery, you can tack that onto your order, and for $10, Tasks by Taylor will bring your week’s menu to your door.

See menu sneak peeks and more about Baccam on Instagram @foodbysivid and by visiting
You have two chances to see Jahja Ling as guest conductor for the Des Moines Symphony this weekend. Photo: Roger Mastroianni.


Guest Conductor Brings Beethoven to Des Moines

The Des Moines Symphony this weekend will welcome guest conductor Jahja Ling as he leads the orchestra in Shostakovich’s dramatic Fifth Symphony at the Civic Center. Ling was the first and only conductor of Chinese descent to hold a music director position with a major American orchestra (the San Diego Symphony) before retiring in 2017 to focus on guest conducting.

The program will begin with American composer John Harbison’s “Remembering Gatsby,” followed by pianist Janice Carissa performing Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. Carissa, a rising star in the music world, has captivated audiences in venues such as the Sydney Opera House, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and more.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available through
the Des Moines Symphony website. Livestream tickets are also available.
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Hoops and Hops (Thursday through Saturday; hours vary): Join the fun watching the NCAA Tournament and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at Cowles Commons for the fifth annual Hoops and Hops. The free event will also include music, food trucks, large-screen TVs, and beverages from the Iowa Craft Beer Tent and Iowa Distilling Co.

Stacey Kent at Noce (Friday, 7 and 9 p.m.): Civic Music Association will present Grammy-nominated Stacey Kent at Noce. The acclaimed jazz singer has sold more than 2 million albums worldwide.

The Great DSM Hot Air Balloon Hunt (Saturday 6-7 p.m.): Several hot air balloons will light up the night, glowing near retailers, restaurants and attractions downtown to encourage residents to support local business while taking part in the hunt. Exact locations of the balloons will be announced Saturday; find clues on the Greater Des Moines Partnership's Facebook page.

Comedy XPeriment (Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.): Comedy XPeriment, a Des Moines improv troupe, will return to Stoner Theater in the Des Moines Civic Center. The troupe specializes in improv based on suggestions from the audience. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

The Tea Room Spring Flower Show (Sunday, 1-4 p.m.): Get ready for spring at a free open house at the Tea Room (713 Walnut St.) to view local flower vendor displays and arrangements. The event will also feature door prizes, giveaways, vendor discounts and cocktails.
Zoo’s lantern festival: Blank Park Zoo's Wild Lights Festival is returning. Starting April 1, the fest will feature over 40 larger-than-life illuminated lanterns of endangered animals, Asian mythical creatures and more. Each display is designed and fabricated by artisans. The festival will run through May 30, showing nightly Wednesdays through Sundays starting at 7:30 p.m. For more information and to get tickets, visit the Blank Park Zoo website.
Recommended reading: AViD kicks off with Brad Meltzer speaking at the Central Library Thursday at 7 p.m. Meltzer, best-selling author of a dozen thrillers and several nonfiction books, will discuss his latest novel, "The Lightening Rod." Then, gear up for the DSM Book Festival March 26 by reading these five books by headlining authors Imbolo Mbue, Dawnie Walton, Stephanie Land, Angeline Boulley. (So far, we’ve read Walton’s “The Final Revival of Opal and Nev” and surely recommend it.) In addition to author talks, the festival will include writers’ workshops, hands-on creative activities, local food vendors and a bar. For the full lineup of events, go to the webpage.
Mythical theater: “Hadestown” premieres March 22 and will run through March 27 at the Des Moines Civic Center. Winner of eight Tony Awards, the acclaimed show intertwines two mythic tales: that of Orpheus and Eurydice, and of King Hades and his wife, Persephone. But tickets are going fast; visit to get yours. Read more about why Jeff Chelesvig, president and CEO of Des Moines Performing Arts, is so keen on “Hadestown” in this dsm story.
New shows: Hoyt Sherman has announced three additions to its summer lineup: Grammy-winning singer, actor and composer Lyle Lovett and his Large Band on July 21 (tickets on sale Friday), blues legend Buddy Guy, and comedian and actress Chelcie Lynn. Named one of Variety’s 2021 Top 10 Comics to Watch, Lynn will bring “The Tammy Tour” to the stage on June 11 (tickets). Buddy Guy, an eight-time Grammy-award winner, will perform June 15 (tickets).

Fundraising gala: There are just a few days left to get tickets for the Young Women’s Resource Center’s annual gala. With the theme of “Growing Locally,” the event will be April 9 at 6 p.m., featuring silent and live auctions, a wine pull and dinner. The program will also honor Renee Hardman and Sydney Moore with the 2022 Louise Rosenfield Noun Visionary Award and 2022 Louise Rosenfield Noun Impact Award, respectively. A live auction will conclude the evening. Find more info and buy tickets here.

Corn tortillas with blackened fish and cabbage slaw, homemade by Nela Blanco. Photo: Duane Tinkey

A Tico Take on Latin Cuisine

Writer: Lisa Holderness Brown

Nela Blanco talks about gallo pinto with such animated adoration that it’s hard to believe she’s talking about a pot of humble beans and rice.

“In Costa Rica where I grew up, you can’t live without this traditional dish of long-simmered black beans combined with leftover cooked rice and Salsa Lizano,” Blanco says of the staple to Ticos (the nickname for Costa Ricans). “We eat it for lunch and dinner and even heat up leftovers for breakfast. It brings me back home.

“And if you plan on making it ahead, don’t add the onions until just before reheating, because they make the dish bitter,” she adds. Read the rest of the story, and find Blanco’s recipes, at
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