Kootenai River Kitchen brings healthy food from around the world

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  • Photos by TANNA YEOUMANS Kat Cassidy is the proud owner of the new Kootenai River Kitchen.

  • 1

    Hot Gaspatcho soup topped with sour cream and avocado.

  • 2

    Every day has a special dish; this one was a chicken fajita rice bowl.

  • Photos by TANNA YEOUMANS Kat Cassidy is the proud owner of the new Kootenai River Kitchen.

  • 1

    Hot Gaspatcho soup topped with sour cream and avocado.

  • 2

    Every day has a special dish; this one was a chicken fajita rice bowl.

BONNERS FERRY — As local businesses change, new entrepreneurs arise. Soul Shine moved out of their original space and paired with Under the Sun, leaving the former location vacant.

Kat Cassidy has been a professional in education over the years, and had hit a roadblock when it came to finding work as a teacher or substitute teacher.

“I have been applying everywhere, but believe it or not, education is very tough. I would be lucky if I got an interview with eight years of teaching experience,” said Cassidy.

After throwing down the chalk, so to speak, Cassidy decided to jump on an opportunity to work at a deli on Schweitzer.

“I love to cook, and it is something I have always done since I was even a kid,” said Cassidy. “I took home economics in high school, and that was it. I have collected recipes ever since.”

After finding a job as a Foreign Exchange Coordinator, Cassidy found it opened up the opportunity for her to travel around the world and feed her the knowledge and experience that has eventually led her to this new venture in life.

“Initially, when I saw that it was available, I was thinking of definitely doing organic, and definitely having baked goods,” said Cassidy. “There has become more and more of a need as people needing gluten free or choosing to eliminate it from their diet to see if it makes them feel better. I have just decided to focus on gluten free as much as possible.”

Cassidy’s angle is to bring worldwide cuisine to Boundary County in the healthiest ways available, and in turn, hitting a niche market in the area when it comes to serving not only organic food, but also providing options for those on special diets.

“I do have some products that are already made, so I don’t have to worry about the cross contamination between the flours,” said Cassidy. “I only do gluten free flours, such as coconut, rice, oat, anything not wheat unless it is pre made.”

Cassidy’s brother in law has been a service member in the military for years, which inspired Cassidy to look into the food that other cultures make. Her outlook is to bring the cuisine of the cultures that she has visited to Bonners Ferry, and in turn allowing her customers to sample traditional foods from around the globe, especially after her travels as a foreign exchange coordinator.

Cassidy offers organic wheat bread with some of the items on her menu, not only maintaining a supply for those of all diets and taste palates, but having a variety of healthy options for a meal out.

“There are people that want ‘real food’ such as sandwiches, and with gluten free being very limited, and me being the only person, I am very limited to what I can do. I am going to get there,” said Cassidy optimistically, “I was also recommended to do juicing, so I have some pears and am preparing to do that and protein shakes.”

She also has plans to bring in an espresso machine to serve the Kicking Horse Organic coffee in addition to Kat’s KRK organic tea blends, organic Chai Tea, and organic hot chocolate.

The Kootenai River Kitchen serves those of many tastes and portion sizes. The ordering system consists of a brochure type menu with checkboxes. The front page of the menu tells customers about the nature of the business, and upon opening the first leaflet, the eye is greeted with ordering directions and the option for food to go or served in house.

In addition to the daily specials, there are soup of the day options in cup or bowl size, a house made garden burger, crustless quiche of the day, salads, sandwiches, wraps, desserts, and an array of additional ideas that Cassidy has the inkling to test out. All of the take out containers are biodegradable and environmentally healthy.

With the focus on serving good food that is good for you, Cassidy holds up a newly founded standard of eating out by providing options that may be more frequent in areas of larger populations for this quaint community in the far north reaches of Idaho to have access to.

The Kootenai River Kitchen will be open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. They can be found on Facebook under the Kootenai River Kitchen name, and the phone number is 208-295-2185. The cafe is located at 6428 Kootenai St. in downtown Bonners Ferry.

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