Just in time for the big day…

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What a feast!  Our fourth annual Plantsgiving was a success with guests sitting down to with heaping plate-fulls of plant-based food throughout the house.  And who wouldn’t want to be here?  Sarah Pregitzer arrived early with our centerpiece dish…you’ll find October and November recipes below.


Here she is with the finished ‘bird,’ an enormous Hubbard squash filled with a moist quinoa and vegetable stuffing.


A few other beauties predominated.



Time to eat!



Needless to say we are more than grateful for our friends and all this bounty.


And health, of course.



Sheri Orlekoski (right) poses with Shandy Atwood Longcore (left) who brought another beautiful turkey this year (two years ago it was entirely made of vegetables).


And soon, both the birds were sadly no more…



We didn’t forget to say thanks to mom-in-law Marge Gilles for all her help readying the house for supper club this year…

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And have a good laugh about this carefully chosen wine contributed to the table.


As promised, here are the recipes that were contributed last month: October 2015 Supper Club Recipes  And here are the ones left for us on Plantsgiving.

What a great year it’s been.  We’re almost 5 years old!  See you next month at Eastern Avenue Hall everyone!  Happy Holidays.




Catapault Into Spring

Before we begin, here are the April 2014 Supper club recipes I gathered from last month. If we’re missing one you wanted, you’ll have to come and hunt down the cook!

Our alliterative theme for this month, is Food, Friends, Flowers (and Luxurious Lotion) so without further ado…













Week 19

Week nine spiderwort

Week seven fiddlehead

Week six wild geranium
In January, I had a great conversation with Laura Johnson about the skin being the largest organ and how we are as vulnerable to additives passing through the barrier of our skin as we are to ingesting them. This led me to lose the Lubriderm and, in addition to seeking out all plant-based products, reconnect with my friend Mixy Soto, who has finally decided to sell her handmade lotions that are largely organic and all plant-based. She’s just launched her Etsy shop here and Mixy is coming as our special guest and bringing samples. I am so excited! Though her products are good-enough-to-eat, I suggest you stick with the buffet. See you soon! May 21, to be exact!



March is a Memory

Fortunately for us Michiganders, March is over. However, we do have a warm memory of our last supper club at Thought-Design Cooking School. A good time was had by all, and since our driveway was a swamp, it was so much better to be in our home-away-from-home Rockford spot. I hope you follow what Denise and Greg are doing…they have so many cooking, thinking, playing and exercise classes, all with the same goal–to keep your brain fit, active and imaginative. Thank you, Thought-Design.

I have to apologize for being so late. I continue to unbury myself from a heavy workload this past month. I promise to log all the cooking demos in separate easy-to-search posts…soon. For now, let me take you through the evening and invite you to our home once again for another supper club on April 16. If you would like to come, you are welcome. See the details here.

We began the evening with Nancy McQuate’s artistic demo of cashew ranch dressing…

and all the wonderful things to drizzle it on

Next up was Elizabeth Pitzer who graciously shared not only her secrets for making sourdough crackers…

but the starter as well.

Dining was the next order of the evening. Can you blame us? This food was so so good!
Look how everyone’s heads are down.

And who could forget Jeremy’s raw-mazing chocolate cake that you can purchase by the piece at BarterTown. Wow.

The food was good but the company was even better. What a lovely group of people you all are!

Finally, there was a surprise. Kevin Schalkofski presented Roger and me with a ‘watercolor’ landscape of our home. It was actually a photo that he transformed using the Waterlogue App and PhotoShop. It’s hanging proudly in our home as I type this. Thank you so much, Kevin.

Early arrivals on Wednesday can tour the spring ephemeral garden. Bloodroot, trout lily, spring beauty, trillium, mayapple and many more are just beginning to emerge

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In the meantime…


Preview of March Attractions

You will not want to miss our upcoming supper club at Thought-Design Cooking School and fitness center for the mind on Wednesday, March 19 at 6 p.m. Learn more about the details here. So much to learn!  Demonstrations begin promptly at 6 p.m. (we eat at 6:30) and include the following:

Nancy McQuate (on left), yoga instructor and plant-based foodie extraordinaire will demo a ‘Fabulous and Fun Vertical Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing.’
Former science and home ec teacher, Elizabeth Pitzer (on right), will be demonstrating her technique for making delicious whole grain crackers. Elizabeth has graciously offered her yeast starter to anyone who brings a smallish jar. Don’t forget!


Linda Squires (on right below), who eats gluten-free and who recently began practicing chiropractic again after leaving a thriving practice in Boston, will demo arugula pesto over rice-based pasta. In addition to being a great chef, Linda is a gifted healer. Learn more about her practice here
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Shane Van Oosterhout (shown here hugging Shandy!)will demo tofu in Indian-spiced tomato sauce. In addition to being a master gardener, multimedia artist and accomplished cook, Shane has recently launched a social media business. You need his services!
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Shane will be ably assisted by …Kevin Schalkofski (shown here with Katie Aschenbach)
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Emma Gasinski and Bryan Smigielski (on left below) will demo a versatile tofu scramble. If you haven’t learned to make this dish, you really need to. Emma is studying yoga and physical therapy and Bryan is a philosophy grad from GVSU.
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Vegan Gruyere and Beet Carpaccio

Below, find the fun sort of things I do in my classes

Oh, Miyoko! Our supper club guests were swooning over your version of vegan gruyere… I demoed it, but all the credit goes to you. I will add that if you want to make this exactly like what you tasted at Thought-Design, folks, use 2 T of South River Chickpea miso and you’ll need to learn to make rejuvelac, too. It’s not so pretty, but it is tasty!


So if you want something really pretty and really delicious, try the roasted beet carpaccio I brought. I garnished it with beluga lentils (you can use du puy!) and an almond ricotta. I put the overlapping flower shapes on squares of wax paper and then composed the salad on site. Voila!

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Here’s how you do it…
Salt-roasted Beet Carpaccio with horseradish ricotta and French lentils
(serves 4-6)

1 box Kosher salt
3 medium beets, rinsed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put a layer of salt, ¼ inch deep in a loaf pan. Place clean beets on salt. Do not let them touch.
Pour salt over beets until covered.
Roast in oven for about an hour. Remove pan from oven and let sit until cool.
Peel off skins and slice beets thin with a mandoline. Place them in an overlapping flower pattern on wax paper to keep until ready to assemble.

2 cups water
1 cup du puy lentils, rinsed and drained
1 veggie
bouillon cube (preferably no MSG)

Put all ingredients into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and quickly lower to barely a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes and remove from heat. Let cool 15 minutes.

Horseradish Ricotta
1 cup whole, blanched almonds, soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp. horseradish, or to taste
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ tsp. sea salt
Several grinds fresh pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor and run until it has reached a consistency you like. You will probably have to stop and clean the sides with a spatula a few times.

To assemble:
Lay each beet ‘flower’ on a salad plate. Spread ¼ cup ricotta in the center and sprinkle with drained lentils. Garnish with sunflower shoots of flat-leaf Italian parsley.

Morgan’s maple-roasted almond butter

Morgan Doane shared a quick and easy–and delicious–way to make maple-roasted almond butter at our February supper club. Check out the directions below!


Maple-roasted Almond Butter
16 oz. raw almonds
2-3 T maple syrup
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix raw almonds together with maple syrup and pour onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, pulling the sheet our every five minutes to stir. Allow to cool slightly—not too cool or they will be hard to handle. Pour almonds into the food processor and begin to process. This can take a long time (10-20 minutes) depending on the size of your processor and your motor. Stop every so often to scrape down the sides with a spatula. The almonds will go through many stages, including coarse sand, sticky dry mass, clumping mass and finally smooth butter. When is begins to move from clumping together to smooth butter, add the cinnamon and salt. Process until fully incorporated.

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Geoff Fields’ Mushroom Poblano Gumbo

Well, I was tempted to call it ‘Yumbo,’ but that’s so corny and Geoff is so serious!

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Seriously. This was delicious! Thank you, Geoff. Here is a man who takes his recipes very seriously. Recently, he wrote to us–

Disclaimer: I have always known enthusiasm is my strong suit, maybe to the point of excess. You have been warned…

So permit me to say that I have been working on a recipe for the PBSC next month that is, appropriately, fitting for St. Patrick’s Day. I made the second test batch tonight, and I can say beyond a moral certainty that I would eat this stuff every week. It’s the best vegan recipe in my playbook – at least judged by originality and taste – and I cannot wait to have you guys try it.

How cool is it that friends come up with this idea like “Plant Based Supper Club” so that people like me, and others, can spend a cold winter night imagining a recipe for the next get-together? My compliments to you both.

Peace, GF

So here’s the recipe in all its earthy glory…Geoffs Gumbo Recipe