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My Favorite Plum Market Salad

Plum Market in Ann Arbor . . . 

is one of my favorite places to visit when I go home.  What’s not to love?  The produce is great–much of it is local, the beer and wine selection keeps my interest, the sushi is fresh and wonderful and the deli is awesome!  I’m a deli girl.  I’ve worked in deli’s off and on for many, many years in my younger days and it is my favorite kind of work.  Intense, changes daily, everything is fresh and you get to look over the counter and SEE the person you are feeding.  That connection is primal.  (ok, maybe it’s just that way for me . . . )

 I’m a traveling Vegan

Well, I’m actually a traveling Mom who happens to be Vegan!  My first big trip with kids was in 2002–my son was 18 months and I was pregnant with baby #2.  We “all” flew to Florida and stayed on Santa Maria something–near Bradenton.  It was an amazing trip.  Rental Car with a car seat, renting a tiny apartment with a pool!  The rental company hooked me up with another rental company for a crib and toys!  I rented toys!  

  1. Who rents toys?  (me, a new mom and I didn’t want my baby to be bored!)  Laughable when I think of it now!
  2. The apartment with a heated pool was amazing–waking up for a 2 am feed under the stars poolside . . . 
  3. Having my kid ride in a Kelty hiking backpack in the airport!

Soon after that trip I bought my cabin.  Then it was going to the cabin EVERY chance we had!  (ok, not much has changed there.  Even though it is 400 miles away, it will always be home of sorts.)  

Where am I going with this story?

Oh yeah, now, when we travel home from Ann Arbor or when we pass through Ann Arbor or . . . if we have a hotel room in Ann Arbor, we always stop at Plum Market.  It is local, organic, veggies, everyday!  And you KNOW how that gets me excited.  We can all get the food that will be best for us on our travels.  

The Food Bar

The Food Bar is absolutely amazing!  They also have a salad bar with all the normal stuff . . . but the hot bar had lots of Indian food, Greek Food and Classic American Food (my kids don’t eat that–not because of me, but because they don’t like it.)  If my kids are given the choice of Marsala vs. Fries–they chose Marsala.  What’s great about the food bar?

  1. Everyone gets what they want to eat.
  2. They get to try new foods a dab at a time.
  3. It is cheaper than a restaurant.
  4. It is faster than fast food and so much better for you!

My Plum Market Favorite Salad

 

 

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IMG_1937

Looks ARE Everything

Looks ARE Everything

It’s not only true about book covers and first impressions BUT food as well.

World Record Holder for Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Well, this might be unofficial, but I am fairly certain that I have made more than the average number of peanut butter sandwiches in my life!  (and I have a good 40 more years of churning out peanut butter sammies for my kids, grand kids and their kids!)  I have two kids who have at least one PB Sammie a day–quick math, that is 730 a year not including the snacks of “fold overs” or warm, toasted English muffins with oozing peanut butter!  

I make Boring look Amazing

Part of my job as a Vegan Mom is creating a beautiful plate of veggies and fruits arranged among favorite foods.  I make food look fancy.  When food looks fancy . . . you can’t help but eat it!  This is an example of a typical PJ Sammie being transformed by my culinary artistry.  

Food as Art

Take some time and make the boring look fantastic!  Real foods have more colors and textures than you can imagine.  Use that to your advantage–slice and dice in a new way to create beauty–not just dinner.

Think of your kitchen as a food art studio . . . 

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baked potato

Asian Inspired Baked Potato

Asian Inspired Baked Potato

I have a busy family.  4 kids in multiple overlapping sports, music lessons and concerts, homeschooling 2 kids, running two businesses . . . feeding everyone is tricky.  Feeding everyone healthy meals is even trickier!  I feel it is a priority to eat whole foods as close to their natural state as I can.  

Introducing the Baked Potato

 A baked potato can be kind of boring BUT when you have a baked potato bar at the end of the week . . . using all the leftovers . . . I was feeling like a genius and Rock Star rolled into one!  

On this particular night I made:

  • Asian Inspired: peppers, onions, broccoli, mushrooms and carrots with super simple Teriakyi sauce (if you want the recipe you can email me)
  • Taco Potatoes:  These are vegetarian–cheese, salsa and sour cream 
  • Classic: Earth Balance vegan “butter” with salt and pepper
  • Loaded:  butter, sour cream, bacon bits, two different kinds of cheese–absolutely not vegan at all.

 #veganRenee Cooking Tip

  1. Plan on having baked potatoes later in the week or on the weekend if you want to use leftovers.
  2. Make just one kind of Baked Potato–Taco Inspired Potatoes have a wide variety of ingredients to make everyone happy!
  3. Use your crockpot to cook the potatoes during the day.
  4. Have fun with this!  Create a buffet style set up and let everyone build their own potato!

 

 

Be Blessed as you create inspired meals for your family!  

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