It is a crisp (read: freezing) yet sunny (for once) day Thursday in late January when I climb out of my taxi to the home of Robert Morton, Power Supply partner, which is the burgeoning company which prepares fresh Paleo meals and delivers them to more than 30 CrossFit gyms around the DMV region and Baltimore. As a total newbie to the Paleo universe (and no, I don’t do CrossFit either) but as someone fully interested in eating whole healthy truly organic foods which are good for my wellbeing (as we all should), I know as the tall and lean Robert greets me at the door, that this will be a memorable educational experience. By the way, the company just celebrated two years and even proudly marked delivering its 150,000 meal, so they are obviously feeding a need that is desired in the market.
This afternoon is meant for me to learn about the Paleo lifestyle and to witness (and taste) some dishes being whipped from scratch by chef Rachelle Slotnick, the mastermind behind the numerous Power Supply meals. Rachelle hales from a formal culinary training atÂ Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and after she left the restaurant world (Augustines, the Modern,The Jefferson, Keswick Inn) she made the decision to take her passion and talents to more intimate gatherings as a private chef and full service caterer in DC. Rachelle is quiet, serious, professional and all business- you have to be when wielding knives and dealing with high heat, boiling water, spitting oil, chopping, dicing, and plating up one creative concotion after another to an amateur such as me. All the while she smoothly explains they why and what, multi-tasking like the pro she is.
Robert’s background is marketing and executive leadership for companies like Motley Fool and Blackboard. One might wonder what qualifies this techie genius man to be well equipped in the world of Paleo. Easy answer. In 2010 he discovered CrossFit and Paleo and boom! He got in the best shape of his life, which included the huge feat of losing a whopping 40 lbs. With that life changing experience, he knew his life’s calling was to help others live in a better way. He is also now a Level 1 CrossFit trainer and working on a CrossFit Kids certification. He’s a dad of three lovely girls, whom “love eating Paleo” he laughs and tells us.
The only one missing that afternoon is the founder of the firm, Patrick Smith the energetic serial entrepreneur, whose elaborate CV includes organizing the TEDx Potomac event and the successful DC Lean Startup meetup, leading the Adrenaline Group and building and exiting Market Hardware. He combined his love for food and fitness with his extensive professional knowledge to launch Power Supply in 2010.
As Rachelle takes out trays filled with an array of bright and colorful raw vegetables and fruits, little containers with a variety of spices and herbs (a staple of Paleo), clear chambers with lean boneless skinless chicken breasts and another with salmon, bowls of eggs, small pots of olive pomace oil and more, I am in awe. She tells us that we will be making chicken salad, orange salmon, roasted potatoes, zucchini spaghetti and dips, sauces that will taste unbelievable, but are 100% Paleo.
For the common person, Paleo can accomplished easiest by “shopping on the outer ring” of the grocery store. Stay away from the processed food and look for the fresh, picked from the earth and trees. They even go as far as to drink coconut milk and use almond butter. Robert and Rachelle share secrets on how to make your own almond butter.
As Rachelle works, I ask Robert how he can eat in restaurants and observe being Paleo. Now, he says, it’s not as challenging as it was in the past, as he can always order chicken or fish. “The best fast food though, is Chipotle. I order the bowl of chicken salad.” Paleos aren’t big on rice, but if you need to sway, brown rice is fine if you soak it overnight, or quinoa can be forgiven. Think fruits, nuts, lots of them. The company sources locally (Grayson’s and Smith Meadows) for animal proteins and Robert says that one next step for Power Supply is co-education. “It’s about how we think about grass fed meat. We need to work together, talk to our audience, how to eat better, how to choose the highest quality ingredients.” In changing the conversation about food, Power Supply has developed a QR code so that their clientele can offer feedback right away. “What recipes are working, what aren’t, what we can add, delete, modify, we can find out immediately.” That technology is there for the use of both customer and the company, chef and marketing, and operations can take that information and continue to be better.
“All of the meals are designed to be re-heated, so when the CrossFit patron picks them up, it’s convenient, not complicated,” Robert says. By now, we’ve seen Rachelle feed us the best chicken salad (she makes her own mayonnaise with 2 yolks, lemon juice, olive pomace oil in a blender) I’ve ever had. Since Robert is a fit fanatic, he can dig into his plate wholeheartedly, knowing its taking care of his protein and energy needs. “We plan meals out a few weeks in advance,” says Rachelle as she plates up the orange salmon. “This is because we need to coordinate with sourcing.” They are constantly experimenting and pull ideas from other Paleo focused sites. It’s all about creativity, sharing and incorporating the best, highest quality natural ingredients, while using herbs and spices generously.
For newbies to the Paleo / Power Supply world, you don’t need to be a convert immediately, you can start to take things out of your diet and see how you respond, then add other items on. Simply, think fruits, veggies, high quality fats (nuts) and lean meats. “This is about making sure the customer embraces this choice of lifestyle, not to force them into something that won’t stick. If they are a part of making the choice, then they will continue with Paleo. We allow them to modify, it’s important to empower them.”
Some of the other amazing recipes I learn are: Coconut Lime Chicken Tenders with Thai Coleslaw, Fajita Beef Sofrito with SautÃ©ed Onions and Peppers, Chestnut Stuffed Chicken Roulade with Spiced Butternut Squash. I mean, this is NOT diet food people. It’s not even just about the food. It’s food that will change your insides and your outsides. It’s a philosophy, an approach to your life.
Along with making the community better by nourishing their bodies and minds, Power Supply also donates 1% of their proceeds to local charities.
By the time my two hours are over in the Morton kitchen, I’m stuffed and have met the Morton daughters who at their young age have not only embraced and love the Paleo way of eating, have even contributed to ideas to improve taste (get them early, I say). I leave satiated in body, mind, heart and soul.
So, how do you become a Power Supply client? Power Supply offers three day and five day meal packages for lunch and dinner. Prices range from $35 to $120 per week. Customers can sign up for one-time or recurring meals. Deliveries are made on Monday and Thursday. To sign up for their weekly menu email and to order PowerSupply meals, please go to http://dc.mypowersupply.com/.
Here are some of the recipes of the day. Enjoy and be well.
” The Anything Chicken Salad”
1.5# chicken breast, poached and pulled
1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
2oz lemon juice
1t garlic powder
1/4 red onion, minced
You’re choice of any dried nut and fresh or dried fruit–add as many or as few as you’d like:
1/4 cup grapes
1/4 cup diced green apple
1/4 cup pinepple
2 T pistachios, chopped
2 T slivered almonds, toasted
2T chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried apricots
Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
2 medium sweet potatoes cut into wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T garlic
1 t cinnamon
Toass in olive oil and roast in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Flip the potatoes and roast for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 T coconut milk
1t minced fresh basil
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cayenneÂ power
1/2 t garlic powder
Chipotle Orange Salmon
4- 6oz salmon fillets
1t orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
2 T chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, blended
1 T olive oil
1/2 t garlic, chopped
Sear the salmon in a pan – 2-3 minutes ballpark but look for a nice brown color on the salmon before flipping. **The fish will release from the pan when its ready to flip. Dont rush it and break the fish**
MixÂ with the orange zest, juice, garlic, and chipotle peppers in a bowl to coat.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until salmon is at desired doneness.
place the rest of the glaze on the salmon and bake for another 3 minutes in the oven.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.