Category Archives: Food Activism

Ann Arbor Vegan Dining at Jazzie Veggie

Ann Arbor Food

Mum Season: It is officially Fall

Keeping with my Vegan theme for the week, I attended my second Vegan Meetup event in Ann Arbor. It was at Jazzie Veggy on Main Street.

They do a lot of “faux meat items,” which are big hits with the Vegan set. There was “chicken” nuggets, soy sausage, “meat balls” with spaghetti, and more. I am looking to transition out of eating gluten, which means that most of the faux meat is off the menu.

They offered some fun apps of sweet potato fries and Plantain Chips.

We had the Krab cakes, very tasty, the veggie enchiladas and carrot cake.

Ann Arbor Food

Mushroom Sandwich

Ann Arbor Food

“Krab” Cakes: Very Yummy, I must have

Ann Arbor Food

Enchilada w/Spanish Rice

Ann Arbor Vegan Meetup at Zingerman’s Road House

Ann Arbor Food

Smoked Potato and Avocado Soup: Tomatillo and Avocado broth w/smoked potatoes

Today was my first day eating completely vegan. I have been looking into going Mostly Vegan for a while and when I found Ann Arbor’s vegan meetup group was hosting an all vegan meal at Zingerman’s Road House, I jumped at the chance.

The meal was great. The soup was rich and satifying. And the beans and rice were excellent, smokey and flavorful with local shiitake mushrooms.

Ann Arbor Vegan Meetup host dinners out once a month to a local restaurant.

Ann Arbor Food

Chef Alex of Zingerman’s Road House visits the Dining Room

Chef Alex came out before the meal and talk to us about the menu offerings. Many items came directly from the restaurant’s garden. You can’t beat that. I can eat like this everyday.

Alex said something that really stood out. He said that he had wanted to cook an all vegan meal for some time, but until now there was never a group large enough to do it.

Most restaurants will not go out on a lim to offer many vegan choices because the number (dinner tickets) are not there to make it worth while.

With that said, chef are a creative lot and many would jump at the chance to challenge themselves to export vegan. Showing up with 60-70 vegan dinners ready to eat might be the best strategy to get a great vegan meal from an award winning chef.

So here is what we had. (Soup or salad, choice of entree and dessert $25)

Ann Arbor Food

Pickled Watermelon Salad w/ arugula

Ann Arbor Food

Roasted Squash-Eggplant Crispy Lasagna w/ roasted tomato gravy (Entree one)

Ann Arbor Food

Quinau Pilau w/Curried Squash Slaw (Entree two)

Ann Arbor Food

Sea Island Peas and Dirty Mushroom Rice (Entree Three)

Ann Arbor Food

Chocolate Beet Cake w/Fresh Berries

Ann Arbor Project Grow Community Gardens 40th Anniversary Bash

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor’s Project Grow Community Gardens caped off another season with their 40th Anniversary Bash for over 100 follow gardeners.

Like always, the p0tluck featured some great eats with lots of fresh veggies from the garden and cuisine that reflected the diversity of gardeners in our community.

Notable favorites of mine was the veggies pakora, lentils with mixed greens, my foccacia bread, dueling quinoa dishes, ginger top pickles and hot blueberry and apple crisp and more and more. And did I mention we had a whole roasted pig and crispy duck.

Thanks everyone for a great party and a great year.

Check out the pics.

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Garden Season: At 100 degrees

Ann Arbor Food

Chard

Man. It has been a crazy hot year for gardening.

I got in late this year, but it worked out because I was able to get a two garden plots at the new Project Grow Gardens on Platt Rd.

This week’s Harvest will be kale, chard, collards, arugula, radish and basil. It will be my first official harvest of the season.

I am looking forward to green beans and spinach if it does not bolt.

Ann Arbor Food

Radish

Below is a close up of my garden set up. I tend to favor a simple design of slightly raise beds 2-3 feet wide. I plant in 1, 2,  or 3 rows per bed depending on the plants.

When planting seeds, I use chop sticks to mark my rows.

A basic rule is that a seed package will provide enough seed for a 1, 2, or 3 rows the length of one of my arms span for a good seeding.

For bigger plants like cabbage, broccoli, kale and tomatoes, I plant in two rows with each plant places off center from from the row over. (see the Kale pictures, which might be hard to see because they are now bushy.

Sometimes I use straw in my rows, but most of the time I don’t and hoe the weeds (It has been, so hot that I am a little behind as you can see.)

Row by Row: Turnip, Mustard, Arugula

For those who have read about my potato fiasco last year, I am back to the traditional method of digging a trench and hill up with dirt.

Ann Arbor Food

Potatoes beds and seeds

Happy Hill-ed Potatoes

I will be posting other garden designs from follow community gardeners soon.

So What am I growing?

Green beans
5 kinds of Kale
Collards
4 Kinds of Potato (Salad, Fingerling, yukons
Sweet Potato
Watermelon (baby and large)
Cantaloupe
Cucumbers (Pickling, standard, english and Armenian
Mustard Greens (Mizuna and Purple)
Arugula
Spinach (If it does not bolt)
Onions
Eggplant (Japanese and Large Purple)
Peppers (Red sweet, Cayenne
tomatoes (Not sure, I inherited some of Project Grows plants…20 plants)
Radish Three Kinds (breakfast, red ball, diakon)
Turnips (Big and white Japanese)
Kohlrabi
Broccoli
Cabbage
Winter Squash (Butternut, Buttercup, acorn)
Flowers (Mix)
Herbs (Parsley, rosemary, thyme, hyssop, basil,
Giant Snow Peas (If they grow in this heat)
Beets
Corn
Chard
Celeriac
Radicchio
Carrot

My Garden. It goes all the way up the hill 25 x 60

Ann Arbor Food

Kale: Dino, White, Red Russian, Green, and Curly,

Bona Sera Kickstarter

Please help support Bona Sera’s Kickstarter to help them start up their new place.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/164888723/bona-sera-above-ground/widget/video.html

Ann Arbor Wood Fire Pizza Cart

Nick Wilkinson A2 Pizza Pi Wood Fired Pizza

Nick Wilkinson, an Ann Arbor native started A2 Pizza Pi (as in the symbol for pi), a wood fired pizza food cart. You can find him manning the wood fire oven at Mark’s Carts.(directions)

This the second season for the Mark’s Carts and the first season for A2 pizza Pi.

A2 Pizza Pi Ann Arbor Wood Fire Pizza

Nick got help starting his business by running a successful Kickstarter.com fund raiser raising over $10,000. I contributed to his fundraiser, which include a pizza for my support.

Nick strives for locally sourced organic ingredients for his pizza including local flour, sausage, fresh herbs and veggies.

He features seven different pizza, but will customize.

A2 Pizza Pi Wood Fire Pizza Menu

The pizza I tried was a Margarita with the addition of sausage.

Wood Fire Sausage Pizza

The heat of the oven gets around 700-800 degrees, which makes for a thin crust pizza cooked in a little over a minute.

Nick At the Oven

An interested feature to his oven is that he uses wood, which has been infected by the Emerald Ash Borer. The wood can not be taken outside of the area and it can only be disposed of by burning.

Ash Wood with Emerald Ash Borer groves

Mark’s Carts
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Pizza
Price Range $ (0-10)
Hours
Tue – Sat: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Specialties

Lunch
Dinner
Services

Walk-Ins Welcome
Good For Groups
Good For Kids
Take Out
Outdoor Seating
Parking
Street

Contact Info
Phone 1 (734) 834-9775

Eat Your Garden Veggies

Garden season is here again and that means veggies.

One of the good things, yet challenges with gardening is the amount of fresh veggies that seemed to all come in at once.

I have been thinking about this dilemma ever since I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) and I found myself with a random section of veggies that I had to figure out what to do with.

I needed a way to get a variety of veggies into my meals before everything went bag (and to make room in the frig for the next CSA BOX)

Out of this came what I call: 

Gardeners Essential Veggie Recipes/Techniques.

I felt all gardens needed to know them to best use their veggies. The list is not complete, but here is a start.

Recipe will follow in later posts.

Cole Slaw

Veggies: (Cabbage, carrot, radish, onion, scallion, beets, turnip, apple etc…)

Cole Slaw is not just green cabbage and mayo. In fact, you don’t need to use mayo at all. I prefer an Asian slaw made with a soy vinaigrette. The great thing about a slaw is that it will keep for a few days and you can use a food processor to prep the veggies.

Curry

Veggies: Root veggies especially potato, squashes, green beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, onion, peppers, broccoli, spinach and leafy greens, mushrooms

There are a number of types of curry like Indian and Thai. Serve over rice, with meat, seafood or in a soup

Pizza

Veggies: Tomato, onion, pesto herbs, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, spinach, etc…

Pizza is one of those great way to sneak veggies into a meal for kids

quiche

Veggies: Spinach, dark leafy greens, broccoli (kale, collards, mustard greens, beet greens, chard), onion, tomato, root veggies, peppers, corn etc..

Quiche is a two-fer because it also allows you to use up all of those eggs on a CSA or if you have chickens. They also freeze well. They are a great way to use up all of those dark leafy greens you have especially late in the season when your kale is on the tougher side.

Roasted root vegetables

Veggies: Potatoes, Onion, garlic, carrot, celery root, sweet potato, radish, turnip, squashes, parsnip, parsley root, beets, rutabaga, pumpkin, corn

Roasted root veggies make great leftovers, so make a big batch. They can be a huge mix of veggies. I rarely use just one veggie anymore. This is my go to when the veggies start pouring in. And it works with a ton of meals like chicken, steak, fish, tofu, sausage etc.

Stir Fry

Veggies: broccoli. carrot, celery, peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, cauliflower, cabbages, eggplant etc..

Stir fry is similar to curries. It is served over rice or noodles. A huge number of veggies can work in one dish. The trick is timing when you put in the veggies, so they are done at the same time.

It can be all veggie or served with beef, fish, chicken or tofu and top with nuts and seeds for a more satisfying vegan meal.

Salad Dressing

Veggies: Fresh Raw veggies, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, in slaw, etc…

Lets face it. Most of our fresh veggies are going to be washed, cut and eaten raw, so having a list of some basic salad dressing and stocking the frig is an order of the season. A basic vinaigrette of good olive oil, vinegar (or citrus) salt, pepper, red pepper flake and fresh chopped herbs is my go to.

Mashed Veggies

Veggies: Root veggies

Mashed veggies are an alternative to roasting. The veggies are boiled until tender and mashed. You can selected a combination of veggies or just one. Add butter, salt and pepper and a touch of maple and honey and you are good to go.

Others:
Omelettes
Pot Pie
Soups