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Fermented Food=Happy Tummy

25 Oct

Dinner with the John & Charmaine at Farm Block

 

Hoooooooooly cow. So The Appleseed Collective just returned from a jaunt around Lake Michigan–straight north through the mitten, kissing the shore of Lake Superior (in both Marquette and the beautiful Keweenaw peninsula), then winding through Wisconsin, ending with an 8-hour visit to Chicago and arriving back in Ann Arbor around 5 am. ALL IN ONE DAY! Just kidding. We were gone for about 3 weeks. My apologies for the writing absence, though I hope some of the flickr photos were enjoyed. Our road diet probably differs greatly from what you might think fitting for a touring band. There are definitely groups out there that are pop-tart poppin, Big Mac sloppin, artery cloggin junk food lovers. We are very much not that. Staples of The Appleseed Collective tour pantry include: homemade granola, homemade hummus, sauerkraut, sprouted almonds, yogurt, lentils, veggies, quinoa, and nutritional yeast. Being that we are not yet world famous, we can't exactly request that gluten-free, organic, vegetarian meals be ready and waiting in our hotel rooms, so instead we find a local food co-op and cook our own meals in the homes of our gracious hosts.

We make some pretty epic breakfasts and dinners, trying to repay the generosity shown to us with delicious smells and tastes. One gets very used to eating similar things daily when on the road–the cooler holds sandwich fixings and as much fresh produce as we can stand to carry, and the granola lasted for breakfast til about 4 days from home. We found a few treats, like delicious gluten-free pizza at The Orpheum Theater/Studio Pizza in Hancock, MI, and a whiskey list beyond belief at Fitzgerald's in Eagle River, MI. The gluten-consuming part of the band fell deeply in love with Ray's Polish Fire (hot sauce from the Keweenaw) and Brandon and I found some gluten-free love in the form of chocolat/peanut butter cupcakes at Kavarna in Green Bay, WI. As I read back through this post, I think I can say with confidence that The Appleseed Collective thinks/talks about and eats food about as much or more than we play music on tour.

 

 

There are often meals that I miss while tour, and the following is one of them. The Brinery supplied TAC with a good amount of fermented magic for tour, which we proceeded to plow through since we're all totally obsessed with sauerkraut and pickled vegetables covering all other food items consumed. What we didn't have for the entirety of tour, though, was tempeh. Tempeh is one of my favorite foods. It was only introduced to me within the last year or so, and if you have not yet tried it, stop what you're doing and go get some. Okay actually don't do that yet–finish reading this post and THEN go shopping. In Ann Arbor, I am very lucky to have local tempeh handmade by the folks at The Brinery. They are fermentation WIZARDS over there. Seriously. Do you know how good fermented foods are for you? My stomach and tastebuds both cry like babies when I don't eat enough kraut. Anyways, The Brinery is knee-deep in a Kickstarter project right now, trying to raise funds to double production at their small business. This is nothing but good news, because the more money they raise, the more fermented, probiotic goodness will end up in our bellies. EXTRA BONUS, The Brinery is a local business that supports other local businesses–the cabbage and other produce that goes into The Brinery's products is supplied by nearby growers like Tantre and Frog Holler Farms. So, supporting The Brinery is supporting both your local and inner economy.

On that note, I give you the tempeh reuben.

 

Tis a thing of beauty, is it not?

 

KATIE'S TEMPEH REUBEN WITH HOMEMADE THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING

Note: Next time Brandon makes fermented ketchup and homemade mayo, those things are going in the dressing. However, we didn't have any in the fridge, so I had to go with what was there.

Thousand Island Dressing

1/2 cup ketchup1 cup mayonnaisde

1 cup sweet pickle relish (or chopped Brinery pickles of many varieties! yum)

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

salt & pepper to taste

 

Reuben

2 slices gluten-free bread (I used some tasty millet-flax bread)

1/4 lb tempeh (Brinery, duh. Get hungry)

2 slices Swiss cheese

2 slices tomato

healthy heap of sauerkraut (I used The Brinery's Juniper Orbit)

1-2 Tbsp Thousand Island dressing

 

I begin by cooking my slicing my tempeh into stackable strips and then pan-frying in butter for a few minutes on each side. It's so simple and so tasty, especially when your tempeh is fresh and locally made. Once the tempeh is cooked, remove it from the pan and add more butter. Place the two slices of bread in the pan (at a reduced heat) and place the tempeh on top of one slice. Add the Swiss cheese on top of the tempeh and cover the pan so the cheese melts and the bread browns. Once the desired amount of cheese melting has occured, remove all items from the pan. On the empty bread, spread the Thousand Island dressing. On the loaded side, add on a heap of sauerkraut and the sliced tomato. Assemble your two halves, cut in half if you so desire, and consume ravenously while taking the occasional moment to savor how awesome this gluten-free, vegetarian sandwich is. As they might say over at Audiotree, SHABOOYA!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

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The Most Glorious Farmers Market

4 Jun

 

So I’ve been a little behind since we arrived in Portland. This time I’ll blame it on non-stop adventuring and leaving the iPad in the hotel room safe. However, I have no shortage of things to share with you! I will dedicate this post solely to the Portland Farmers Market because it was wholly incredible. This was definitely the biggest farmers market I’ve been to, complete with any kind of artisan food product you could think of (we were introduced to drinking vinegars), gorgeous organic and local produce (the brightest, sweetest strawberries), a locally-renowned biscuit vendor, and even a few gluten-free bakery stands.

 

Brandon and I were looking for a tasty, healthy, gluten-free breakfast and after many tasty samples and laps around the market, we first stopped at Pure. They were sampling both fresh-pressed almond milk (which had a nice hint of cinnamon) and an apple-mint-kale juice. Both were delicious, but the green juice won out and we got a bottle. We’re suckers for kale at any time, and the fresh mint flavor was to die for.

 

Just a few stands away we found Eatin’ Alive, purveyors of delicious raw (vegan and gluten-free) food. They had a totally awesome custom-made bike cart made by Rejuiced Bikes which held totally awesome raw goodies like kale and beet crisps, strawberry rhubarb strudel, zucchini lasagna, and more. After sampling almost everything, we ended up with a bag of “pizza” crisps (sundried tomato, etc.), a small jar of dandelion pesto, and a “falafel” wrap (sunflower seed patties and veggies in a collard green wrap). The pizza crisps were a perfect match for the dandelion pesto–the salty, thicker crisp held up to the sweet and slightly bitter flavor of the dandelions. And the faux-falafel was impeccably light and delicious, paired with a sesame tahini dressing alongside shredded fresh vegetables. We’ll definitely be making wraps with greens when we get home, so keep an eye out for those.

 

After forcing all of our companions to sample our breakfast, we set out to see the second half of the market (it was so big we had to explore it in rounds). Aside from the sheer size of the market, the most memorable part for me is the kindness of the people working there. We talked for a while with Emma, who had recently dubbed herself the Swedish princess of cheese (she had acquired a crown of fresh flowers, been dubbed royalty by a Swedish friend, and was working at a lovely cheese stand). We also established that she and I were twins since we had matching Birkenstocks.

A side note about footwear in Portland: I had no idea I would fit in so well wearing my clogs! There must be a bit about clogs on Portlandia…there must!

 

Moving on, we quickly found Divine Pies. These gorgeous little pies are gluten and dairy free, raw, and whole food. Made with a crust of local hazlenuts, they have a selection of their own twists on classic flavors like chocolate mint cheesecake, key lime, rosewater cardamom cheesecake, and more. With the owner’s recommendation, we decided to share a strawberry pie. The filling was light and smooth, and just sweet enough with fresh Oregon strawberries. The crust, loosely made with finely blended hazlenuts, was a perfect companion for the sweet center.

 

We tried tons of tasty treats (I couldn’t resist the alliteration just now) and I had to resist buying something at every gluten-free bakery. The sheer existence of their booths was too exciting for my g-free tummy and tastebuds. The rest of the weekend continued to center around food (as is par for the course for my foodie family). I’ll save the rest of our adventures for later, though. We’re in the airport now, waiting to head to San Francisco, where the fun continues. See you later, Portland!

 

A Taste of Summer Camp

26 May
pre-summer camp hotel snuggle

 

So I’ve totally neglected to write from the road, which is why I downloaded this fancy iPad app in the first place. I totally forgot to take pictures (let’s chalk it up to being a newbie at this) of the impressive treats we took to Summer Camp Music Festival: multiple coolers full of yogurt, veggies, berries, and homemade hummus…the many containers of Appleseed’s own granola…20 pounds of homemade salsa…it was wonderful indeed and far healthier than the free food we found awaiting us at the festival (though perhaps I should do a post with tips for being gluten-free in places where your biggest options appear to be burgers and chili fries).

super cute but not gluten-free!

 

As artists, we were provided with food by the festival. However, as is true to festival food, the healthy options were limited. Brandon and I ended up ordering the portobello burger (ended up being sliced portobellos) and grilled red peppers on a bed of spinach (an easy way to make an otherwise off-limits sandwich gluten-free). It was actually pretty tasty. They threw on some cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes and we managed to avoid the cheeseburgers and hoagies otherwise on the menu. Brandon, Ben, and I had to come home after just one night performing at Summer Camp for other engagements. After scrubbing the thick coating of dirt off our skin, Brandon and I wandered downtown to Mark’s Carts and had some delicious (gluten-free) Pad Thai from The Lunch Room. It was a great way to come home.

* * * * *

The Appleseed Collective are expert snackers. We love festivals and we love food. We’re excited for all the organic and local produce found at places like Hollerfest and Harvest Gathering (awesome Michigan festivals you should check out!)

We’ll share some tour snack recipes soon, but for now, what would you take on the road?

setting up camp
dressin up in our dressin room

 

 

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