Celebrate your Michigan pride – the tasty way! We Michiganders all have our favorite local food and drinks, whether it's classic Better Made chips or newer Detroit finds like Beau Bien jams. To honor Michigan Week in May, though, why not take a treat crafted in southeast Michigan (or a bit beyond) and transform it into something entirely different – a flavorful feast that'll give kids and parents a fun, "Pure Michigan" culinary experience? Get local with these delicious recipes including Simply Suzanne Michigan spinach salad, Hudsonville Ice Cream cookie sandwiches and Sweet Sass baked beans!
Simply Suzanne Michigan Spinach Salad
Detroit based Simply Suzanne creates sweet and savory granola – and just launched a new line of Live Simply Trail Mix. This versatile treat also can be used in breakfast parfaits or, if you use the original version, even as a crumb coating for chicken! You can find it at local Meijer and Kroger stores.
In this salad recipe, fresh from founder Suzanne Vier, the addition of her So Very Cherry granola replaces croutons – and provides a healthier substitute with the fiber, anti-oxidants and iron found in the sweet and savory spice mixture in the granola. "We love this salad," Vier says. "It's easy, healthy and, most importantly, very tasty!"
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Servings: 6 (generously)
- 8 cups baby spinach (or mixed greens)
- 1/2 cup Simply Suzanne So Very Cherry granola to taste
- 10 Tbsp. pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
- 12 grape tomatoes or 2 small tomatoes, quartered
- 8 Tbsp. blue cheese, crumbled to taste
- Salt and pepper
- Your favorite homemade vinaigrette
- Place the baby spinach or greens in a bowl or dish. Add salt and pepper to greens and toss.
- Sprinkle remaining ingredients over the greens.
- Add vinaigrette. Toss lightly and serve.
Hudsonville Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
This chilly sweet favorite has been crafted in Holland, Mich. for more than 80 years. It recently was named the official ice cream of the Detroit Tigers (try its a fantastic new flavor to go with that, called Tiger Traxx!) – and also the official ice cream for Pure Michigan, with Pure Michigan Caramel Apple. With this recipe, the blend of its yummy ice cream and homemade cookies is irresistible.
Suggested cookie/ice cream combinations:
- Chocolate chip cookies filled with Tiger Traxx or Vanilla Bean
- Sugar cookies filled with Cake Batter or Blueberry Cobbler
- Chocolate cookies with Strawberry Chocolate Chunk
- Peanut butter cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Twister
- Oatmeal cookies with Black Walnut or Black Cherry
- Snickerdoodles with French Vanilla
- Or any combination you like!
- Bake your favorite cookies (homemade or cookie dough).
- Let the cookies cool and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Soften your favorite flavor of Hudsonville Ice Cream.
- Scoop a generous portion of ice cream onto one cookie.
- Take a second cookie and push down on top of the ice cream.
- Roll the sides of the ice cream in your favorite ice cream topping – chocolate chips, chopped nuts and sprinkles all work.
- Place the finished ice cream sandwiches in the freezer to harden for at least an hour; then, enjoy!
Sweet Sass Baked Beans
Amp up your next batch of beans with Sweet Sass, a tantalizing flavor sauce made in Livonia, Mich. This palate-pleasing recipe hails from founder Mike Campbell (whose son was a fussy eater when he was young!). Sweet Sass is gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free, so it's ideal for dipping, drizzling, grilling and cooking food for kids with allergies. Its original Straight Up, Hickory Kick and the new Garlic Fix are available in many Michigan Kroger stores, Hiller's Markets and other grocery stores.
- 2 cans northern beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz.)
- 1 1/2 cup Sweet Sass Flavor Sauce (original)
- 2 Tbsp. molasses
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
- Clean and drain beans.
- Mix tomato sauce, Sweet Sass, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chili powder and hot pepper sauce.
- Add beans.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for at least 1/2 an hour, or until bubbling and hot.
- Serve hot or cold.
- Optional: Add sauteed onions and/or cooked meat (bacon, ham, etc.).