my perfect food prep plan (with Door To Door Organics – Ohio + a GIVEAWAY)

Disclosure: Door to Door Organics – Ohio approached me with an opportunity to share information about their organic products and delivery service. In return, I received an account credit for their home grocery delivery. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As someone who spent many years eating any low calorie (read: chemical packed) food available on the market, the older, wiser me started to take a closer look at how I was fueling my body — namely with what ingredients. Just around that time, I was introduced to Door to Door Organics and it’s changed how I select, purchase and consume food.

door to door organics order screen

In case you’re not familiar, Door to Door Organics partners with farmers to bring fresh, organic produce and Good Food groceries right to your doorstep. They believe that food should be good, quality is a must, flexibility is key, that eco-friendliness is something to strive for and in free delivery for their customers.

I started receiving weekly shipments last May and immediately could tell the difference between the regular produce I had been purchasing at the grocery store and their organic offerings. I quickly realized that customizing our order was a breeze (no more mangoes for me, not my cup of tea!) and I could add things like meats, seafood, dairy and other local goods quite easily.

But the fresh veggies and fruit arriving every Wednesday is what I look forward to most as they’ve given me an inspired approach to cooking. I have always adored having my Sunday afternoons to spend in the kitchen trying new recipes and setting us up for success in the week ahead. It’s something I have done for years and just realized there was a term for what I was doing: food prep. (#duh Alicia!)

DTDO cutting board

I noted before the importance of food prep for my weight loss/maintenance success. It makes it incredibly easier to make a better, healthier meal or even snacking decision when there are plenty of organic options around — instead of what seemingly looks like to be “better for you” yet uber processed options. And as I refocus on how I can be the best version I can be physically, time for food prep is becoming an important part of my schedule — thus the importance of Door To Door Organics’ products on my porch and in my fridge.

My tips for a perfect food prep plan include:

  • Survey your surplus. What did you receive in your DTDO box this week? Is there anything left from the previous shipment that needs to be cooked? Can any of those items go together into an interesting recipe? Examples: my zoodles with grape tomatoes and my mini turkey zucchini meatloaves.
  • Herbs and spices are your friends. Salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, sage, rosemary… the list goes on and they are all in my kitchen cabinet. Don’t be afraid to use these — seasoning is a good thing!
  • Garlic and onion are DTDO must haves. One or both of these are always in my weekly box because they are key in adding so much flavor to the cooking process.
  • Make a mass amount of a protein for the week. I love this bulk cooking session to make sure Hans and I have an entree option ready. Baking chicken in the oven is an easy breezy way to make sure you have a healthy option available for lunch salads and sandwiches, plus quick and easy weeknight dinners.
  • Don’t over think it. No one is expecting you to make a 20 course, white tablecloth, fine dining meal during food prep. But with a little bit of effort, pairing fresh ingredients and adding the just right amount of extras, you’ll be surprised just how far that time dedicated to food prep will go.

Before you know it, your stovetop, dinner table and fridge will look like this and this and this:

DTDO food prep collage

Want to get cooking with some free Door to Door Organics goods? Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway as I’m giving away two $50 shop credits to two lucky readers this week on the blog. (You can be a new to the program or an existing customer of Door to Door!) Giveaway is open thru 11:59pm on Monday 2/15 — winners will be announced Tuesday morning. Submit your entries today:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Learn more about Door to Door Organics – Ohio by visiting their website and following their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. Again many thanks to the DTDO team for making this post — and a healthy lifestyle — possible!

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#asseeninColumbus: our Saturday out and about in Old Worthington

This weekend, Hans and I did something that we don’t do far enough of — we took a day-long road trip. With some much to see in our region, we took advantage of a schedule free weekend and made plans to meet up in Worthington (a suburb of Columbus, Ohio) with our long time friends Erin and Brian. (You may remember them from various food adventures over the years here on the blog!) But after Tuesday’s paczki post, I couldn’t leave Cleveland without an early morning visit to Michael Angelo’s Bakery for some quality pastry for my transplanted Northeastern Ohioan gal pal.

michael angelo's paczki

After a quick two hour drive (the time flew by as we flew down I-71), greetings via hugs and paczki thank yous and a cup of joe at their beautiful house, we kicked off our Worthington visit as all Saturday morning gatherings with friends should — with brunch. In our planning, Erin suggested a handful of restaurant options in the Northwest quadrant of Columbus. Hans picked The Worthington Inn, a spot Erin and Brian had been for dinner plenty of times, but never brunch.

food worthington inn

The guys took advantage of the Bloody Mary Bar, featuring your choice of 15 specialty garnishes combined with locally produced Watershed Distillery vodka — so I knew it was going to be good! As for food, orders of the buckwheat crêpes (with house-smoked salmon, Boursin , micro cress, tomato and fresh fruit), the french toast special (with rum soaked apples, caramel and whipped cream) and two orders of the Eggs Benidicto (poached eggs, black bean cakes, avocado, tortilla, chorizo and Colorado & cilantro sauces) arrived and were happily consumed til our bellies were full. Combined with great service, we were pretty pleased with Erin’s suggestion and Hans’ selection!

After brunch, we had some time to wander around the Old Worthington shopping district. My eye took us to some really neat shops:

worthington

Swoonful gifts at Igloo Letterpress: Igloo’s known for their stationary products and services (including classes on-site) and I found myself lusting over the paper goods and all the gift offerings in their shop. I went home with the above pictured Ohio leather notepad holder — an early Valentine’s Day present to myself as my husband egged me on to purchase it that afternoon.

House Wine: A modern, super sleek wine shop, where they emphasize making wine buying fun, simple, and interactive. The spot featured price options for all budgets, wine knowledge for all levels and plenty of opportunities to enjoy ourselves on location with wine tastings and off site with suggestions on how to pair wines with cuisine at home. I imagine several CLE folks that I could spend hours with here!

RIDEhome: From their website, RIDEhome is “a Community Bike Shop focused on helping every family member enjoy the pleasure of riding a bicycle as much as we do… and offering a great cup of coffee as you linger in the store.”  Can you see why I didn’t want to leave?! The cup of coffee I grabbed for the road was the perfect pour over, leaving us ready to roll out of town.

While meeting up with friends and exploring a new-to-us neighborhood was quite the unexpected adventure, we had a very specific reason for heading south this weekend. Click on over to my Instagram to meet the recent addition to our family — you’ll get to know him better on the blog soon!

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#CLEfood: where to find pączki on Fat Tuesday

Consider the Polish pastries known as Pączki. Every Winter these incredible pillows of dough and tasty fillings make their grand return to the Northeast Ohio area in time for one last indulgence before Lent begins.

packzi

If you’re not familiar with these traditional Polish pieces of bakery, the most important note is that they are far more than a jelly donut. Not only is the recipe different, they hold a very specific place in our hearts — and our stomachs.

Many consider my fair suburb the hub for pączki in Greater Cleveland. While I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, we’re lucky to have bakeries serving these delicious offerings all over town. So for your convenience, here’s a small listing of recommendations on where to get your pączki fix a week from today:

Looking to make your pączki consumption more of a group outing? Check out these events next week:

Paczki Eve Party at Platform
Monday, February 8th from 4PM-10PM
at Platform Beer Co. (4125 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44113)
Combining paczki, pierogies, polka and Platform Beer Co. beer, this is one heck of a way to spend your Monday night. Join Platform for its first ever “Paczki Eve Party” and bring the family as it’s a kid-friendly event.

PĄCZKI DAY 
Tuesday, February 9th from 6AM-5PM
at Rudy’s Strudel and Bakery (5580 Ridge Rd, Parma, Ohio 44129)
Leave it to Rudy’s to really make Fat Tuesday a celebration. Not only will the polka be going strong with live music and dance instruction, brewers from the Brick and Barrel will compliment the more than 25 flavors of pączki including an entire line of savory pączki to choose from all day long.

EDITED TO ADD: Paczki & Cream
Tuesday, February 9th from 11AM-10PM
at Mitchell’s Ice Cream – Ohio City Shop & Kitchen (1867 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113)

Talk about indulgence: Rudy’s Packi PLUS Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream all in one glorious pastry/dessert combo? Fat Tuesday doesn’t get any better.

So what makes these desserts different than donuts? See how they are made via this WKYC video from Rudy’s Facebook page.

Where will you be getting your pączki from this Fat Tuesday? Leave your favorite bakery in the comments below…

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