Healthy Detroit – Flowers, Bikes & Asparagus!

Healthy Detroit – Flowers, Bikes & Asparagus!

By Angela Kasmara & Greg Newsom

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.

Cashew “Cheese”:

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