What an incredible spring! It started a bit cool and it does seem like we are just now getting those April showers, but Detroit’s been incredible regardless. The whole city has come to life with outdoors events. This weekend the torch will be passed to The Detroit Festival of the Arts, which is always exuberant. As we always do here, before we get on with the rest of today’s column, we want to remind you all that this Saturday, June 6th Recycle Here! will be on the corner of Russell and Wilkins in Eastern Market.
The city is a complex organism and its health is influenced by many factors. Community art, like community gardens, empower individuals while deepening their connection to others, the environment and every one’s sense of well-being and health. This week, we shift our focus from our little corner of the city in the Market, to our sister community of Old Redford/Brightmoor in Northwest Detroit. This June brings the 20th Anniversary of Blight Busters and a celebration of the vibrant community that has grown up around this grassroots group dedicated to revitalizing the neighborhood.
The corner of Grand River and Lahser is now home to many gems. The Redford Theater, Blight Busters, Sweet Potato Sensations, The Artist Village, and a plethora of murals and gardens are an incredible testament to the heart and soul of this community and their dedication to the people on their block. People in this neighborhood decided to roll up their sleeves, clean up the place, make some art and effect great change. As we look around for examples of sustainable and community-based practices we would do well to hold up Old Redford as a local example.
It’s actually that roll-up-your-sleeves and get it done mentality that now connects us to Old Redford. As our regular readers are aware, we attend a little festival called Burning Man each year and a great deal of our work here in Detroit takes root in the same currents of creativity and community that spawn the Brigadoon-like Black Rock City http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Man in Nevada yearly. Folks who go out to Burning Man tend to excel in that roll-up-your-sleeves attitude. Believe us, to survive in the Black Rock Desert, you have to.
With that connection in mind it seems natural a group of local Burning Man inspired artists and activists (same thing in our book) would look to their kindred spirits in Old Redford to support the creation of a large scale sculpture. And from this, The Detroit Dream Project was born, and for the next two weeks people from across the country will join with the local community to transform an empty space across from The Artist Village, known as Peace Park, into a unique community setting. The centerpiece of the park will be an ornate pavilion called The Temple of the American Dream.
The construction of the Temple Pavilion is being made possible by the local community and a number of organizations. SPARC, a burgeoning non-profit arts organization whose members have experience with large-scale art installations at various events in the city of Detroit and across the country is providing management and technical expertise to the project. They have teamed up with the Motor City Blight Busters, who donated the land for the project, and David Best, who in addition to his nationally acclaimed sculptural work, is a member of The Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF), a San Francisco-based organization with a mission to promote civic participation through the installation of public, interactive art projects. BRAF has contributed to the project’s planning, funding, and design.
We are so excited about the creation of this Temple that we are packing up the Detroit Evolution Laboratory and moving operations to Old Redford from June 10th - 17th. We’ll be assisting to feed the volunteer crew and will also lend a bit of muscle ourselves. We love to build things, deepen our connections to other Detroit neighborhoods, and, in turn, inspire a healthy Detroit. We know that we will learn a great deal from working with the Old Redford community that we can then share with our community. It is inspiring to see these healthy oases popping up throughout the city.
Personally, we’re quite pleased to have a little slice of one of our favorite places in the world here in Detroit! David Best and his teams are well known for creating awe inspiring Temple Structures out on the playa and the idea of being able to frequent a Temple here is amazing! We encourage everyone to support this and projects like it throughout the city. More than that get out and get involved! It’s amazing how art can promote health and wellness at all levels of culture and the more we embrace it the more it will proliferate through our city!
Next week we’ll post Healthy Detroit from the Temple site and include one of the recipes Angela’s putting together to feed the Temple Crew! Have a healthy week and go build something!
For more on The Detroit Dream Project - check out their website here.
© Detroit Evolution Laboratory 2008
We just spoke with Kimberly Hill of the Eastern Market Corporation and we’re pleased to confirm that Shed 2 will be open this weekend! With the Grand Re-Opening of Shed 2 on Saturday and the 42nd Annual Flower Day on Sunday we highly recommend including the Market on your to-do list. We live and work in Eastern Market and the energy and momentum around here recently is inspiring. This Saturday, Shed 2 will shelter the Grown in Detroit urban farmers and new Organic vendors! Sunday from 7 am - 5 pm, this year’s Flower Day will feature, not only flowers, trees and shrubs, but also live entertainment and activities for all ages. We’ll be out and about supporting local farmers, volunteering and the Lab will also be a tour stop on Sunday’s Model D/Inside Detroit Eastern Market Tour.
There’s another important new healthy option in Detroit to share this week. Wheelhouse Detroit has opened for business! The Wheelhouse is located in the Rivard Plaza on the Detroit RiverWalk and offers bike rental, service, tours and retail items to keep you on the road. This is a great way to take in the RiverWalk or explore downtown. We’re extremely pleased to see the Wheelhouse emerge and encourage everyone to spread the word and go rent a bike!
One of the hot items this Saturday at the Market will be fresh picked Michigan Asparagus! Angela has been anxiously awaiting the return of asparagus since last season. We’ve been known to simply lightly steam a whole bunch for dinner, but we’ll include a fantastic recipe that will perfectly highlight this divine vegetable. Enjoy!
Asparagus-Mushroom Quiche with Brown Rice Crust ~ serves 6-8
This “egg” quiche made with blended tofu and cashew cheese bakes up fluffy, golden brown, and beautiful! The crust is incredible, and can be used as breading or crumbles as well. I recommend using a spring-form pan for easy serving, but you can use a pie pan just as well. I love to serve it with some mixed greens for a perfectly satisfying meal. Try baking some in a small ramekin for egg muffin sandwiches!
3 c. brown rice, cooked with 2 tsp. sea salt, 1 tbs. oregano and 2 tsp. garlic powder, then chilled
2 c. bread, cubed (try using sourdough, rye, multi-grain, or spelt or Ezekiel bread for gluten-free folks)
3 tbs. oil (to aid in blending)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs. oregano – thyme, parsley, marjoram, sage, or any other favorite herb can be used, fresh or dry
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the rice, bread and spices in a food processor. Turn on and slowly add the oil. Blend until rice and stuffing/bread are completely combined and slightly sticky, so you can form a ball and it holds together well but isn’t too sticky. Wet your hands and press mixture up the sides and into the bottom of a lightly oiled spring form pan. Place pan into oven at 350 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes, checking after 15. When the crust begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, you’re ready to go. Remove pan from oven and set on top while preparing the filling. Keep the oven on.
1 batch cashew “cheese” (recipe below)
1 – 16 ounce block of firm tofu
1 c. fresh Michigan asparagus, cut into ½-1 inch pieces
1 c. portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 c. baby spinach, chopped
½ c. red onion, finely chopped
1½ tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbs. vegan Worcestershire sauce, or 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Make the cashew cheese - Blend the water, lemon, garlic, salt, and cashews. You may have to stop the blender a couple times to stir the mixture and aid in the blending. If your blender is having a hard time, add a little bit of filtered water to assist, but try not to add too much because you want the mixture to be thick. Set aside.
Blend the tofu in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the “cheese”, turmeric, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce/or/apple cider vinegar, and blend until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the spinach, mushrooms, red onion, broccoli, and any other veggies you have to the bowl. Stir to combine, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Pour the mixture into the prepared crust, and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes, and continue to cook in 5 minute increments until the top is golden brown. Take the quiche out and set on top of the stove, let stand for about 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
This mock cheese is amazing! I use this in replace of ricotta in lasagna, stuffing for manicotti, cheese for my veggie burgers, base for an awesome spinach and artichoke dip, in various egg dishes like we have above, the list is endless. It’s a great tool to use while transitioning to a vegan cruelty free lifestyle!
1 c. water
Juice of 1 lemon
2-4 garlic cloves, minced (depends on how much you love garlic!)
1-2 tsp. sea salt
3 c. raw cashews or macadamia nuts
© Detroit Evolution Laboratory 2008
We’re very pleased to remind everyone to bring their recycling to Eastern Market this coming Saturday May 3rd! The drop off point is at the corner of Russell and Wilkins and is open between 9 am and 1 pm. By utilizing this drop off you’ll be encouraging the powers that be to make it a weekly occurrence. With Summer on it’s way wouldn’t it be nice to get your recycling and market shopping done in the same breath? It’s a great way to save on gas, keep it local and interact more directly with our community.
Speaking of local, May 17th marks the return of the Grown in Detroit urban farmers to Eastern Market! Urban Agriculture in Detroit has gained national attention, most recently from Oprah, and this is your chance to directly support the heroes on the ground of this movement. You’ll find the Grown in Detroit tables in the newly remodeled Shed 2. We actually prefer Grown in Detroit produce to organic as we can talk directly to the farmers about their growing practices, find out what their soil is like, and ask what type of pesticides, if any, they use. Local farmers tend to use higher quality standards than most organic farmers, but most importantly you can connect a face and a local plot of land to your food! Local produce is also much more sustainable, as the cross-continent transportation of food burns incredible amounts of fossil fuel. By supporting our local farmers we’ll inspire an increase in production and help to grow a healthy Detroit.
And finally, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, we are sharing Angela’s recipe for one tasty batch of Sangria … it includes kombucha, an intensely healthy tonic, but one sip and you will be sold! Enjoy and have a healthy week Detroit!
Angela’s Special Sangria ~ serves 4-6
This drink is refreshing, tasty and good for you! Kombucha is a fermented green or black tea that is a wonderful health tonic, providing a great source for beneficial bacteria, amino acids and more. Learn more about its benefits at www.gotkombucha.com. The fizz of kombucha is a great healthy substitute for the club soda or pop that is typically in sangria. Use the berry-flavored types of kombucha - such as cranberry or grape - they mask the vinegar taste. You can also make this drink without the wine, just use your favorite fruit juice and you have a great non-alcoholic fruity punch!
4 c. vegan wine, red or white – you can also use non-alcoholic wine, or any type of fruit juice
1 bottle kombucha in any flavor
1 c. pineapple or other fruit juice
½ c. fruit juice concentrate, such as pomegranate or cherry
1 c. pineapple, cubed
1 c. strawberries, top cut off and halved or quartered
1 c. mango, diced
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or punch bowl; chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Pour sangria and some of the fruit into a glass filled with ice and serve.
© Detroit Evolution Laboratory 2008
We do hope that you had profitable Moop adventures and interactions with your fellow Detroiters in the past week! A twist on Moop hunting that we failed to mention last week is the found art aspect. One person’s MOOP is another person’s treasure and we are always amazed by some of the rather creative things that we find. Last week, while MOOP hunting in Eastern Market we came across a gem. Angela picked up a folded piece of paper with some handwriting on it. Usually these pieces of paper are just grocery lists thrown to the curb but this turned out a little more intriguing.
It turned out to be a jumbled joke or poem of sorts. Most interesting was that it was written on the back of an auction invoice from Hanseatisches Auktionshaus in Bad Oldesloe, Germany. Maybe it was a rough draft of a poem, we don’t know and it really doesn’t matter. Underneath the imprint of a boot you can make out the majority of the text and certainly glean its gist. We think it comes alive if read doing your best William S. Burroughs.
The Lie Clock
St. Pete - huge wall with
clocks - why?
Lie Clocks - everyone on
earth has a lie clock -
every time you lie the
hands on the clock move.
“Oh very xxxxxxx* - man
said - whose clock is that -
Thats Mother T. -
the hands never moved -
she never told a lie.
Incredible said the man
whose clock is that one
That’s Abraham Lincoln’s
clock. the hands moved
only moved twice - indicated
he told two lies his entire
Where Kwame Kilpatrick clock
my brother Andrew has
it in office -
he’s using it as a ceiling fan.
So there you have a one of a kind piece of art found on a mid-day Moop hunting excursion. As we noted last week, be careful of what you pick up. But, by all means, if a piece of Moop draws your attention feel free to explore. In this town you can never know where the next great piece or art (or evidence) may come from! Maybe folks will stop dropping their Moop if they think someone is reading it!
Of course, we didn’t forget about last week’s promise. Here is a decadent yet healthy sugar-free no-bake recipe to reward your diligence with Moop. Angela couldn’t resists calling them Moop Balls as she tossed together ingredients she had laying around to make them. Enjoy and have a healthy week!
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Moop Balls – about 24 to 30 balls
I used a raw cacao syrup in this recipe. Raw cacao is chocolate in its purest form. With its natural caffeine, mood-enhancing, and anti-oxidant properties, it’s a great healthy way to satisfy any sweet craving, while avoiding the crash that soon follows with refined sugar. The brand of syrup I used is Healthy Addictions – Raw Cacao Chocolate Syrup and is made with raw cacao powder and agave nectar. Agave nectar has a low-glycemic index so it’s safe even for diabetics to use! Here’s their website for more info: www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com.
If you can’t get cacao syrup, don’t worry … just melt ¾ c. of your favorite vegan dark chocolate in a small saucepan over LOW heat, stirring constantly. (This is assuming you don’t have a fancy double boiler for such purposes) Add ¼ c. agave nectar to the chocolate before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
1 jar peanut butter (I would use crunchy for texture, but creamy would do!)
2 c. brown rice crisps cereal
1 c. raw cacao chocolate syrup
1 c. sliced almonds (maybe try pecans or walnuts)
2-3 tbs. filtered water to aid in blending if needed
½ c. vegan chocolate chips (optional but tasty)
Place all ingredients in a food processor and thoroughly combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl and chill for 30 minutes. Remove and roll into 1 ½ inch balls, placing them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer to chill, about an hour if you can wait that long. Otherwise, just eat the dough … it’s Vegan!
© Detroit Evolution Laboratory 2008
Southeast Michigan is known for its unpredictable weather, and this spring has been no exception. This past week, while the temps were up and the sun shining, we decided to get out and start hoofing around the city instead of burning fossil fuels. Of course, with the snow gone, traversing the city on foot reveals a real issue, there’s trash everywhere down here! Those living in the Downtown areas see the constant presence of the Clean Downtown trucks and workers. They do a great job in the areas where they’re dispatched and we really appreciate them, but in our opinion they need help. City clean up days are scheduled throughout the spring, summer and fall in many neighborhoods, but again, this is a huge problem. Our concern is that, though a day or two a year makes a dent, it doesn’t address the overarching issue. We need to change the way we think about how we handle our “trash.”
Every year we go out to an event called Burning Man and while there’s a great deal of spectacle surrounding this arts festival, one of its most appealing foundations is its Leave No Trace philosophy. The event is a week long and held in an extreme desert environment about 2 hours north of Reno, Nevada. The desert is protected by the Bureau of Land Management, who issue land-use permits to the event organizers every year. If there is any “trash” left on the event grounds or any destruction to the land, the permit for the next year won’t be granted. This yearly clean up is impressive without even mentioning the number of attendees. Burning Man has been held in the desert for over 18 years and last year we we’re joined by 47,000 others! Yes, there are groups that stay on after the event and focus on clean up, but the reason why the event is able to continue on is because the majority of the participants embrace the idea of Leave No Trace.
The Burning Man participants have created their own memes to encourage others to leave no trace. One of the most brilliant is the term MOOP, which refers to Matter Out Of Place. Moop replaces terms like “trash” and “waste” and takes it down to a simple expression that this item doesn’t belong in this space. It doesn’t place value or lack thereof on the item and allows us to reframe our relationship to items that are discarded. Plus the term MOOP itself is fun to roll off the tongue and creates phrases like, “hey buddy, you Mooped,” and “Oh My! I’m Mooping all over the place!” People at Burning Man are also encouraged to educate others about Moop. If someone is seen dropping a cigarette butt or other careless acts of Mooping they are soon approached by someone who explains the meaning of Leave No Trace. People take it seriously and a great number attending carry around bags to pick up Moop or return to their tents proudly with pockets full of Moop they’ve collected. Smokers even carry around tins to ash and collect their butts in! It’s pretty impressive and we think that it makes sense to encourage this type of thinking in New Detroit.
So, this past week, we decided to begin walking daily from Eastern Market up to the thankfully now open Urban Bean Co. at Grand River and Griswald for our post-yoga espresso. (Please note that even though UBC touts that they stock “all the stuff that is legally bad for you", they do offer an organic espresso and soy milk!) In the spirit of Leave No Trace we’ve been taking a handful of plastic shopping bags with us on these excursions for Moop collecting. Our first day out on Gratiot we filled up eight bags of Moop before hitting Broadway! And though we weren’t being flamboyant about our morning activity, we did feel a great many eyes upon us as the rush hour traffic into the city buzzed by. Quizzical looks and a few gracious smiles have greeted us from passers-by. Our point is, that our actions were noticed and maybe, just maybe, they will strike a chord in some folks and inspire them to take up similar activity or possibly change some of their disposal habits.
The next time you’re taking a walk in the Spring sun or are running out of the office for lunch, we encourage you to grab a plastic bag, a pair of gloves and pick up some Moop! (For safety’s sake we must mention that you need to use great caution when picking up Moop. If you can’t see exactly what it is don’t pick it up! There are enough pieces of paper and junk food wrappers to keep you busy!) You’ll get extra points in our book if you do this where others can get a gander at your actions. Explaining the concept of Moop is a great way to start up a conversation and spread the meme!
To reward you for your Moop reducing efforts this week, we’ll return with a sweet, decadent and healthy recipe from Angela!
© Detroit Evolution Laboratory 2008
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