Category Archives: Spotlight on…

Spotlight On: Drought Juice

I first met various James sisters at a health expo a few years ago, where I was tabling for my personal chef business, Fresh Chef Detroit and their big logo mirror for Drought struck me from across the way. Relatively new to juicing at the time, I made it a point to head over and have a chat.  We’ve continued to cross paths in the years since and they have done nothing but impress me — as sisters (who clearly work well together), women and entrepreneurs. They’re doing it right.

My family cannot get enough of their juice. We moved dangerously close to Drought’s Royal Oak location right about the time it opened.

They released a video today. Check it out, then check out their juice. (And when you do, post a picture on Instagram, tag them and hashtag it #DROUGHTout for a chance to win a free juice every Friday!)

Here’s the video, produced by Gentlemen.

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Spotlight On: Door to Door Organics

IMG_2264A few years back I attended a screening of the movie May I Be Frank and Door to Door Organics had a table there. I had heard of them but never used them — the discount code I was given that night made me give it a try. I’ve used them on and off since (you can suspend your order anytime — one of the many bonuses to using them).  I’ve recently started up the service again and I’m so glad I did — it makes my Mondays so much easier!

If you’ve never heard of Door to Door, you should visit their site to see if they deliver to your area. You pick what size box you want, whether you want fruits, vegetables or a mix and how often you would like to receive a box. I used to get a small mixed box every other week. Now I get a “bitty” mixed box every week.

Here’s how it works. A few days before your delivery day, you get an e-mail with your weekly order. If there are things on there you don’t like or know you won’t use, you can swap them out! You can also add all kinds of things to your order in addition to produce, including items from local bakeries and businesses, meats (if you’re into that kind of thing), fish, dairy, crackers,  Almond milk and so much more.

The website has recipes that are really helpful and they regularly have little coloring contests for kids and other fun things they do. Customer service is amazing. When I was pregnant I went through a mango phase. My box showed up and my mangoes were all brown and funky inside. Not only did they immediately e-mail me back when I contacted them, they threw an extra mango in my next box for good measure.

I know it sounds like they must be paying me, so I must say I have zero affiliation with them other than being a customer. It’s just a solid business that makes my life so, so much easier. My box comes on Monday. I have until noon Sunday to add to or change my order so I just try to brainstorm about what I want to make for dinner before then. I scrape by eating whatever we have at home on Saturday and Sunday (and avoid the dreaded weekend grocery store trip!) knowing I can get any essentials I need on Monday from Door to Door. So, tomorrow I will put out last week’s empty box and wait for it to get swapped out with a full one.

I mention them often in my posts and photos so I thought I would explain for anyone who may not be familiar. As a current customer, I can send you a code for $15 off your first box! Send me a message via my Facebook page (HERE) with your e-mail address and I’ll have a code sent to you ASAP. Have a good week!

Spotlight on…Nutritional Yeast

A few months ago, a friend asked me to do a post on nutritional yeast and I’m finally getting around to it! I finally bought some a few weeks ago and cracked it open recently and sprinkled quite a bit of it on yet another version of the soup I keep making. That’s when another friend said, “Doesn’t that give you yeast infections?”

I decided it was time to get to work. I liked that I was getting the whole B complex of vitamins and then some, as well as some protein (2 g. per Tablespoon) and fiber (1 g per Tablespoon).  And it thickened up my soup nicely.

But the yeast infection thing — total deal breaker if it’s true. The good news? It’s not! At least as far as I can tell from the various sites I visited.

Here are a few things I learned:
• Yeasts are a fungi — like mushrooms. It’s cultivated for its nutritional content and some consider it the same as fruits and vegetables.

Though there are many different companies who make nutritional yeast, I have Bragg brand, pictured above. Here’s what its Web site says about how they cultivate it:

Bragg derives its primary grown nutritional yeast from pure strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown on mixtures of beet and cane molasses in combination of nutrients.  When the fermentation process is complete, the yeast is harvested, thoroughly washed and cleaned, and dried on roller drum dryers.  This special and unique drying process is the secret to the wonderful flavor of Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast.”

• Nutritional yeast isn’t “alive” like that used in bread or beer making. It also doesn’t contain candida (the yeast involved in infections). ALSO, yeast infections happen because of a bacterial/pH imbalance. Nutritional yeast doesn’t affect that. Just unfortunately has the same name! Also, because this yeast isn’t alive, people who have trouble digesting yeast generally have no trouble with nutritional yeast. However, if you are allergic to yeast, you shouldn’t eat it.

• Vegetarians and vegans are generally lacking in B vitamins because they’re found in animal products. So, that’s one big way nutritional yeast can help supplement a vegetarian and vegan diet.  It’s said to help immunity, help lower cholesterol and have cancer-fighting properties.

• Among the ways people use it, I’m just starting to try, but here are a few I stumbled upon on various sites: In mashed potatoes, on pasta dishes, on popcorn,  in sauces, gravies and stews, on rice, on vegetables, in soups… basically anywhere! It’s got a mild flavor and some tend to use it like they do parmesan cheese (which I can kind of see), but really I think it’s its own thing.

I’m going to keep trying it out and see how I can use it. Please comment and let me know how YOU like using nutritional yeast!

A morning surprise

Aren’t these purple bell peppers beautiful? Maybe it’s just because I haven’t seen one before, or because they’re so far outside of the normal “vegetable colors” (right, other than eggplant), but I was so happy to come up on these guys at one of my favorite area specialty markets.

A bit of research reveals little, only stating that the color, in addition to green, can be red, yellow, orange, white, purple or rainbow depending on when it’s harvested and whether it was deliberately harvested to have a tendency to be purple.

Now That’s Firm Tofu: Rosewood

I’ve mentioned that I think I could eat curry just about every day and never get sick of it, and that’s still true. When I make it, I prefer to buy the already-cubed tofu, because I feel like it just stays together better in curries and stir fries.

When that’s not available, I use your standard extra firm tofu… but I’ve always thought it wasn’t exactly FIRM. Like, by definition, it’s usually not really firm at all. And it’s supposed to be extra firm.

I stopped by Holiday Market in Royal Oak Sunday and grabbed a kind of tofu I don’t remember seeing before: Rosewood.  I didn’t think much of it or have very high hopes, but figured I might as well give it a shot.

Much to my surprise, it’s firm. FIRM firm. I forced D to indulge me and come to the kitchen so I could show him my discovery while making curry Tuesday night. He didn’t get nearly as excited as I did, but indulged me nonetheless…

Eating some leftovers the next day, it was just the same firm tofu I’d added to the pot and hadn’t broken apart at all, like other “extra firm” tofu out there. I had never heard of the company, but it turns out Rosewood is right in Ann Arbor and makes a ton of soy and other natural products out there. I’ll be keeping my eyes open and I’ll definitely be buying Rosewood firm tofu again (and again, and again)!