Monthly Archives: October 2015

We CraVe Detroit

Chef Jared DelarioOver the past few years I’ve enjoyed getting to know the Southeast Michigan area. Before I started blogging about all of MI I had only visited the Detroit area for business. There’s so much going on there!

The pop-up supper club, We CraVe Detroit is one thing now happening in the area. I heard about it through a colleague, Chef Jared Dellario; he has cooked professionally for the last 13 years in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Las Vegas, New York, Ann Arbor, and now in Metro Detroit. I originally met him when he was the chef at Casa Bolero in Kalamazoo.

We CraVe Detroit create the pop-ups all around the Detroit area. The venues, menus, and chefs all change depending on the event. “We love to connect people, and this is a great way to do that,” said cofounder Vera DeVera. She partners with Craig Dalrymple who is originally from Western Michigan. CraVe comes from a blending of their first names. (So cute, right?) They previously lived in San Francisco Bay area where they organized pop-ups since the early 2000s. The dinners are held twice monthly; locations vary.

I attended a dinner in mid-October at a private home in Bloomfield Hills. It was a deconstructed craft beer dinner with Michigan beers and local food from Detroit Eastern Market and Kalamazoo People’s Food Co-op. And, the food was delicious. Chef Jared was able to adjust the menu to suit my plant-based diet. See the posted photos; below them is the original menu. If you have diet considerations check with We Crave Detroit before ordering tickets.

Click here to see what they have coming up!

purple cauliflower

purple cauliflower

Go ahead, put beer in your squash and bake it.

Go ahead, put beer in your squash and bake it.

Last of the MI blueberries on risotto.

Last of the MI blueberries over risotto

Apple dessert!

MI apple dessert

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Here’s the original menu from the October dinner.
Amuse: “Starter Wort” Maple Creek Micro Greens tossed in Citrus Emulsion, Berkshire Bacon, Bosc Pear with English Style Pale Ale

1st Course: “Yeast and Malt” Fish and Chips Rosemary Pomme Frittes, Amber ale, and Malt-battered Perch

2nd Course: “Mash Making” Red Devil Squash, Serrano and Thai Chile Hybrids, Pineapple heirloom tomatoes, Sweet Onion Marmalade, Zingerman’s Great Lakes Cheshire cheese with Reduced Wheat Ale

3rd Course: “Sparging & Boil” Blueberry Duck Duo Confit Duck Confit and Grilled Breast Over English Hops and Lemon Balm Risotto with IPA Blueberry Compote.

4th Course: “Cooling” English Shortbread Sandwich Ginger and Vanilla Shortbread Cookies, Cinnamon Basil Gelato, and Vanilla Stout Cream Sauce

EarthKeeper Farm in the Fall

fall 2015Last autumn I visited the three-generation homestead of EarthKeeper Farm located ‘on the ridge’ near Grand Rapids. I’d met farmer Andrew Bostwick at the Fulton St. Farmers Market; I’ve been purchasing his produce for a couple of years. After writing a conventional apple blog series last year, I went to the farm to explore organic apple farming.

The farm is certified organic and biodynamic by the Stellar certification body. This is the second part of a two-part series. The first was posted last spring; it describes their growing and labor practices.

They grow 50 crops (280 varieties) including garlic, carrots, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, rutabaga, cabbage, broccoli, melons, onions, garden transplants, flowers and herbs. This fall they are selling produce at the Fulton St. Farmers Market in Grand Rapids. Over the winter, they often sell at Sweetwater Farmers Market in Muskegon. However, this year they are not planning on it. So, visit them at Fulton St. until Thanksgiving.

For the fall trip, I specifically went to learn about home cider making. They had a new hand press, and they and their neighbors, family, and friends used it on a regular basis during apple time. They don’t have a commercial space, so they cannot sell the cider. It’s too bad, because it’s has an amazing fresh taste. (Apple slices also dehydrate well and are such a treat over winter.)

Their apples are heirloom Jonathans, planted in 1940s. The cider tastes like an apple fresh from the tree – which of course, it is. It’s a pretty simple process. The apples are sorted, and the ones with no damage (normally about 20% since they are never sprayed with pesticides) are sold at the farmers market for general eating. The others are used as home apple sauce and cider.

Hand pressing apples is a pretty simple process – and a good ABS work out. After the apples are picked, sorted, and rinsed they are sent through a grinder that chops them up as they land into a bucket lined with a netted bag. The contents are divided by plastic screens to aid in the pressing process. Then the apples in the bucket are pressed by cranking down a round wooden board. Out drops the golden juice.

I’m totally spoiled with the fabulous fresh taste! This is too bad, because the hard winter damaged the trees, and so there were not enough apples to sell this year. They will be spending time this winter planning some additions to the orchard.

Visit them at Fulton St. Farmers Market until Thanksgiving. They are there on Saturdays from 8am to 3pm, and occasionally Fridays during peak season. Read my Spring post about the farm here.




Hearty Red Lentil Soup

spice red len soup vegsIt’s last call for the Michigan summer veggies now that the temps have chilled. The first hard freeze is due any time now. So, grab the vegetables from your local farm stand, and make this warming soup! Pick up a few extras, because tomatoes and green peppers are so easy to freeze. Then, you can make this soup with MI vegetables this winter. (Just core the tomatoes and cut the green peppers into strips and lay them both on a cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen solid. Then, pull them out and store them in the freezer in freezer containers.)

1.5 cups dry red lentils
4 cups water
4 Tbl cooking oil
1tsp mustard seed (brown or black)
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tea salt, or to taste
½ cup chopped carrot
¾ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped tomato
Additional water to thin if necessary

Rinse and drain the lentils and cook with the 4 cups of water until soft (about 15-20 minutes).

Heat the oil in a soup pot, and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Cover the pan! When the seeds pop, add the other spices and the vegetables and sauté until soft.

Add the cooked lentils and additional water as needed for desired consistency. Simmer another 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

This recipe was originally printed in the Kripalu Kitchen cookbook. We’ve been making it for several years and have made a few adjustments to suit our taste. Give it a try!

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spice red lentil soup

RAW Corn Tortilla Chips

Crunchy, salty snacks are my kryptonite! I work to create healthy recipes to replace packaged, over-processed snacks. I’ve been playing around with raw food bread, crackers, and tortilla chips for a while. I’ve been happy with my results and am sharing my raw corn tortilla recipe with you. I make up a big batch and store them in the freezer. When guacamole time comes around, I pull some out and thaw them in the dehydrator for a few minutes. Then, I have an easy nutritious snack or lunch.

These can be made with fresh or frozen Michigan sweet corn. There’s still fresh MI sweet corn at the Fulton St. Farmers Market! To freeze the corn, just cut it off of the cobs and put the kernels into freezer containers. These will keep well in the freezer for months. Then, just thaw and drain the corn before mixing up the chips.

1 1/3 cups sunflower seeds, soaked 3-4 hours
1 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
2 Tbsp water
1.5 cups raw corn kernels (about 2 cobs); if frozen, thaw and drain
1 jalapeño pepper, coarsely chopped; seeds optional
3/4 cup flax seeds, ground – yields about 1 cup (store whole seeds in the freezer and grind as needed)

1. Soak sunflower seeds in water for 3- 4 hours; rinse and strain. (NOTE: I get mine from Hampshire Farms who sells through the Detroit Eastern Market and the Royal Oak Farmers Market.)
2. Grind flax seeds into a powder in clean coffee grinder or Vitamix dry container (Seeds also available from Hampshire Farms.)
3. In food processor, process all ingredients, except flax. Add flax and process again. The mixture will become a sticky, wet, dough.
4. On a dehydrator tray with silicone sheet, spread mixture out evenly using a small offset spatula.
5. Score into triangles.
6. Dehydrate on 115 degrees for 4 hours.
7. Flip chips over on tray with mesh sheet, and gently remove silicone sheet.
8. Dehydrate on 115 degrees for several hours or overnight – until fairly crispy.

These are easy to store in the freezer and thaw portions for just a few minutes in dehydrator. Serve them with freshly made guacamole for a delicious, raw treat.


In the dehydrator!

Into the dehydrator


raw corn chips

Finished chips