Detroit Eats: Potato Place

Hello Real Foodies!  Today begins a new series all about quick places to grab lunch in Detroit, and is brought to you courtesy of my hubby, Mr. Real Food. For some background,  my husband is a diesel mechanic/tow truck driver in the city. I pack his lunches most days but once a week he buys lunch (dinner to those of us that don’t work afternoons)  His choices are usually limited by his location at the time he gets a break. We keep an evolving list of places thanks to the amazing ChowDownDetroit. (Seriously, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook you will thank me)  The places Mr Real Food chooses won’t necessarily fall under the category of “Real Food” but they will be small local places instead of a big chain. Detroit is foodie paradise, so follow along with us and learn what it has to offer that is simple and quick!
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Today we are featuring Potato Place. They are located on 107 West Warren in the Wayne State area. They offer a small dine in area and giant baked potatoes with a multitude of toppings. There is also a large pastry selection and hot dogs.

Shown in the above photo are the gyro and the corned beef potatoes. The potatoes were great; soft, crispy skin and the toppings were excellent.  Super filling meal!  Staff was very nice and the restaurant was clean.

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Try it Tuesday – Immaculate Baking Company Crescent Rolls

I thought I would start a new feature about new products I am trying in the world of “natural” foods.  I aim to eat the bulk of my food as whole real foods, but sometimes we eat things with barcodes too!  I am still getting the bulk of my groceries from Door to Door Organics and they are constantly adding new things to their offerings.  I am attempting to add one “new to me” item to each order to expand my horizons.
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Today is all about the Immaculate Baking Company crescent rolls.  I love crescent rolls at the holidays!  I also love crescent rolls for making little rolled sandwiches for my 3 year old, as they freeze so well.  I do not love the usual ingredient list.  For example, here is the ingredient list for Pillsbury crescents:

Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Soybean and Palm Oil, Sugar, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Baking Powder (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate). Contains 2% or less of: Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Mono and Diglycerides, Vital Wheat Gluten, Dextrose, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, TBHQ and Citric Acid (preservatives), Yellow 5, Color Added, Red 40.

And here is the ingredient list for Immaculate Baking Company crescent rolls:

WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, PALM FRUIT OIL, CANE SUGAR, BAKING POWDER (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE), DEXTROSE, SEA SALT, CANOLA OIL, XANTHAN GUM, WHEAT STARCH, NATURAL FLAVOR, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).

CONTAINS WHEAT; MAY CONTAIN MILK INGREDIENTS

The Immaculate brand is certainly not a perfect whole food, but the difference in those labels is pretty dramatic.  Because of the huge difference in ingredients I honestly did not have high expectations for the product to taste the same as the chemical filled rolls that I so fondly devour at Thanksgiving.

I was pleasantly surprised!  The little bites I tried were a yummy less chemical tasting version of the “real” ones.  My son enjoyed them as well, and I feel better giving him this version.

So what is the downside?  The price.  There is a huge price difference between these and the grocery store/Pillsbury version, probably several dollars difference.  I am a former couponer and I can remember getting Pillsbury for pennies.  When I look from that angle it is difficult to see how much they cost.  But, for your money you are also getting a MUCH better ingredient list and is Non-GMO Project certified.

The verdict:

I will purchase these again.  I love to make little rolled sandwiches for my son to keep on hand in the freezer.  I eat a lot of salad meals and at 3 he is just not that into salads.  Super convenient just to give him the “guts” of my salad and defrost a little frozen sandwich.  Now that I have had a closer look at the Pillsbury ingredients I probably won’t be able to purchase them again.  The price is tough, but I don’t buy them on a regular enough basis to worry too much about it.

Disclaimers:  I buy all these things with my own money from Door to Door Organics.  This is not sponsored.  I just like to share!

Real Food to Go 12.2.13

Do we need to discuss that it is December already?!  Time is just flying by!  Thanksgiving was great, I ate ridiculous amounts of food and spent some quality time with my family.  How was yours?

Today I am bringing you another episode of “what the hubby eats” with a few meals from local toddler and myself thrown in.  In a perfect world, we would all be eating the same thing and I wouldn’t feel like I am constantly making food.  Right now it just isn’t feasible.  My husband is working borderline ridiculous shifts at work, I’m eating lower carb and local toddler is just eating…everything under the sun.  Our meals are usually similar but one of these days all of our paths will merge!

Anywho, let’s get down to the food!

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Grilled turkey and cheese sandwich, some (still somewhat frozen) lentil soup, and a spinach salad with walnuts, dried cherries and pepitas.

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Believe it or not, there is chili under that brown rice!  I made a giant crockpot of chili and we ate this several times and stashed some in the freezer.  I also threw in some organic tortilla chips (Costco) and a few corn muffins (just Jiffy mix, but I’m working on making my own!)  Rounded out the meal with some roasted broccoli!

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Sometimes we actually dine out!  We went out for Chinese food and ended up with a ton of leftovers.  Packed him leftover sesame chicken, fried rice and more of that yummy roasted broccoli so we could pretend it was a healthy meal!

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Local toddler is a little obsessed with dipping things so I have two pictures from a “dip dip” lunch I made him.  This was cut up bell peppers and carrots with some leftover marinara sauce and red pepper hummus.
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This is round 2 of the “dip dip” lunch.  Organic strawberries and banana with half maple yogurt and half home canned applesauce.  Delightfully demolished by the kiddo.
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Not this exact meal, but a good idea of how I typically eat.  A large spinach salad with some chicken mixed with a little safflower mayo on top and a hunk of a sweet potato.  Not super exciting but tasty nonetheless.

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Local toddler and I very occasionally eat out for lunch and I do eat carbs some days without guilt.  We split a bacon, egg and red pepper sauce ciabatta one day.  This was “brunch” time so I added in a coffee for me and in the background are his milk box, a fruit/veggie pouch, pretzels and some Annie bunny cookies.

 

What has been in your lunchbox lately?

Real Food to Go 11.25.13

Welcome to my Real Food to Go series!  Here I chronicle what I pack for my husband for his lunches.  It will also give you a good overview of what we make in an average week for our meals.

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We have been trying to increase our salmon intake and these wild salmon burgers from Costco are delicious.  I also packed some Alexia sweet potato fries and a baby spinach salad.

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Speaking of salmon, here was another salmon day!  some wild smoked salmon along with a bagel and cream cheese.  I think these bagels were from our trip to the Whole Foods in Detroit, and the cream cheese is the 365 house brand.  Also packed an apple, some smoked hunters sausage and a Chobani yogurt.

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This meal got sent a few times and never photographed!  I made a crock pot roast (hunk of grass fed beef, carrots, potatoes, garlic, onion and Celtic sea salt) that fed us for a few days!

What are you packing this week for lunch?  What are some of your favorites?

Food Haul 11.22.13

 

Oops, the week of no pictures!

I went to Aldi this week to pick up a few things.  No luck finding anything organic except baby spinach yet.  I have heard that Aldi is going to have a permanent organic line so I am excited to learn more.  I picked up baby spinach, mini bell peppers, mini cucumbers, some crescent rolls (ugh, I know they are terrible non-food items but they were calling to me!) steel cut oats, and bread.  I believe I spent $15 but local toddler absconded with the receipt.

We went to Costco last week but for the life of me I can’t remember what all we bought or how much we spent.  I know there was Wild Planet tuna, organic tortilla chips, Chobani yogurt, Naked juice and some lunchmeat.  I’m sure there was more I am not remembering.  Probably $100ish.

Starting to think about Thanksgiving!  I am probably in charge of bringing sweet potatoes because that is what I always bring!  I keep chipping away at my recipe and tweaking things every time I make it.  I probably won’t get it made in time to share before Thanksgiving but I will have it up before Christmas!

Because I think all posts need a photo, here is a random collage of food from the conference I attended at The Henry in Dearborn.  Everything they fed us was delicious and the hotel is art gallery beautiful!

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What is “your dish?”  That one thing everybody raves about and begs you to bring?

What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?  I really love the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing all mixed together.  It is the only time my food is allowed to touch!

Let’s be Social Butterflies!

Just a quick note to let all the real foodies know that I use several social media outlets.  It takes a long time to pull together blog posts, but I love to post small things that are on my mind.

Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RealFoodInARealWorld

I love Facebook because I am able to post long thoughts and photos, but only about 30% of my “audience” sees the posts because Facebook wants me to pay to “boost” my posts.  This blog is not monetized, which is to say that I pay to run this blog and do not receive any money from advertising or kick backs.  I blog because I love to write and share ideas with like minded people, this is not a source of income for me therefore I will not be paying any “unnecessary” fees.  I need that money to buy good food!

Find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RealFoodKelly

Twitter is forever a mystery to me.  I’m on it fairly often, but I am definitely not an aficionado.  Feel free to come watch me stumble my way around retweets and links I find interesting!

Find me on Instagram at http://instagram.com/realfoodkelly

Instagram is neck and neck with Facebook for my favorite!  I’m fairly new to Instagram but I love sharing photos.  I’m usually there daily posting a random snippet of my life.  It is usually food, but I also chronicle other areas of my everyday life.  It is a really fun way to see everyday life in a new way.  I highly encourage you to check it out, ridiculous hashtags and all.  Don’t worry, I don’t really understand hashtags yet either!

Come stumble around the internet with me!  I love chatting with all of you and learning new things.

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Real Food to Go 11.18.13

Happy Monday!

What is new in your world?  I got this fancy new phone that I’m learning how to use (Samsung Galaxy).  It takes amazing photos but I have to relearn editing and blogging.  I do 90% of my blog from my phone because I am always on the go with my kiddo.  I *think* I have learned enough to get me back to blogging!  Today is some more lunches!

 

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Leftover cold pizza is one of my favorite food groups.  This was a simple pizza I threw together one night when I realized we had nothing planned for dinner.  It was Trader Joes dough from my freezer, Target organic spaghetti sauce used for the sauce, some cheese from Whole Foods and Organic Prairie uncured pepperoni from the freezer.  We are indifferent about the Trader Joes dough, I need to get around to making some homemade dough and stash in the freezer.  I also threw in a PB & J sandwich, an apple and a spinach salad with some pepitas and dried cherries.

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Spaghetti nights are a toddler favorite.  Some Field Day pasta from Door to Door Organics, jarred organic sauce from Target, breaded chicken, and a spinach salad with some trail mix and pepitas and dried cherries.

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This lunch was repeated a few times!  When I make stir fry, I always make enough for like 10 people.  This was a simple stir fry made with Applegate organic hot dogs, every veggie in the house and some Soy Vay Teriyaki sauce.  Botan sticky rice keeps the hubby happy.  He said the protein shake was terrible, but I am guessing it may have been because it was vanilla and boring plain.

Food Haul 11.8.13

How is it November already?! Thanksgiving is coming up so quickly! I love Thanksgiving but I can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by.

This week is just Door to Door Organics. Lots of goodies to share though!

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The Challah bread from Zingermans is a thing of beauty. It is pricey, but makes the best French Toast you have ever eaten in your life. We are obsessed with this bacon from Smoking Goose! Just a fair warning, if you eat it you will never EVER be able to eat regular grocery store bacon again. Completely worth it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! The eggs are from Creswick Farms and the milk in glass bottles is from Calder Dairy. Grabbed some maple Brown Cow yogurt and the always tasty Garden Fresh Gourmet wild mild fresh salsa. I also needed some Tofutti sour cream and cream cheese. I don’t typically like most dairy imposters but those two things are so delicious! Somehow the Zingermans brownie escaped being photographed, but I snuck one of those in the order for local hubby.

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In the bitty box this week I got zucchini, avocado, kale, pie pumpkin, potatoes, bananas, apples and lettuce. The warehouse had strawberries out when I picked up my boxes. Local toddler has been begging for strawberries forever but they are so pricey this time of year. I was really jazzed to see them there, thanks Door to Door Organics! He also picked up a green mango that he is completely obsessed with and won’t stop talking about.

Oops, I lied.  I also ran over to Aldi and picked up a container of organic baby spinach and three avocados.  I spent $5 and some change.  I spent $58.99 at Door to Door this week, so my total spending this week was around $64.

How about you?  Try anything new this week?

 

 

Whole Roasted Butternut Squash

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If you love butternut squash but hate the effort it takes to cut, I have good news!

You don’t have to!

We love butternut squash but I have nearly severed a finger trying to cut them in half. I have good knives, but some squash are super hard. A few years ago somebody told me I could roast it whole and I have never looked back!

Preheat your oven to 350F, although I have used other temperatures and the squash was fine (just check for burning if a higher temp)

Wash your squash and make two large slashes in the skin. They don’t need to be deep, just enough to let some steam escape.

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Place your squash in a pan. I typically cover a 9×13 dish in foil because I hate washing dishes. There may be some sticky residue after roasting.

Roast for approximately one hour. Time will depend on the size and density of the squash. It’s fairly forgiving, I just poke it every once in a while. When I can poke a fork or knife easily into the flesh I know it is done.

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Remove from oven and set aside to cool. I set mine on top of my oven to cool enough for me to lightly handle

Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds to discard and then scoop flesh from skin.

Done! You can puree if you like a smooth texture. You can season to your liking. We like ours plain, I think the roasting process makes it delicious.

Real Food to Go 11.4.13

Happy Monday!

This week in lunch was a little hit or miss. We had to skip our Door to Door Organics order last week because our budget got lean for a little while. Real life happens to all of us! I had to try to get creative with what we had in the house. Most blogs would call that an “Eating from the Pantry Challenge” but I will be straight with you and say we were short on funds and it wasn’t that exciting! Thankfully I hoard keep a lot of food in the house.

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This one looks kind of boring but tastes delicious!  I typically make brown rice, so local hubby is always excited to find white rice in his lunch.  The chicken was baked in a big pan with some sea salt and Apolonia Oily Greek dressing.  The juice is a mixture of all the produce that was going south.  It is beets, carrots, romaine lettuce, ginger and apple.

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This lunch got repeated a few times!  Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (my aunt made grape jelly from fresh organic grapes my parents picked while vacationing up north) apple, Doritos stolen from Local Toddlers Halloween stash, Greek yogurt with some Germack Motown Mix to add in, and a spinach salad with some walnuts and dried cherries and Apolonia pink creamy Greek dressing.  Door to Door Organics hasn’t had the creamy Greek available for a few weeks and we are now out, there may be an uprising!  The bread was in our freezer from Costco, it is Sara Lee Whole grain white or something like that.  It’s not that great for you, but I just can’t seem to get into the habit of making bread and I don’t have a perfect recipe.

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Lunch fail.  I made really soupy oatmeal in the hopes that it would reheat well.  It did not.  Local toddler and I ate this fresh and it was pretty amazing.  It was oatmeal with walnuts and apple celebration salad.  I also packed a banana with peanut butter, some Calder Dairy milk and Grass Fed whey protein and an Emergen-C packet because we are all fighting off a cold (and winning!) (Side note, I don’t think Emergen-C is considered “real food” but we had it in the house and I am determined to keep us healthy)

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Just had to throw in a toddler lunch to complete this post.  Banana slices with roasted and salted pepitas, cranberries and raisins on top of peanut butter.  This is a light lunch for him, but I thought it was pretty.

Any hits or misses in your lunch?

Do you make bread?  I’d love a perfect recipe for sandwich bread, I even have a bread machine!  Mine are always crumbly.

What do you make when the budget gets tight?

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