Autumn 2014 update

Hellloooo! And a huge thank you for reading, and sticking with me. First, I’m sorry I have been MIA for many months, but summer (and now fall) has flown by. I looked back on how little I’ve blogged these past few months, and I’m disappointed. But this post will tell you a little about what I’ve been up to and why I’ve been missing. And, I really hope to post at least a few times a month in the near future. And I think that might be possible, so please stay tuned and continue reading.

When I looked back at my posts and realized the last time I blogged with regularity, it was week two of my CSA. And my 18-week CSA ended this Wednesday. Sad, because I haven’t blogged for four months, and because my produce is gone. But there was a lot of produce, in beautiful fall colors, this week.

Last #csa of the season. Look at all that fall color!

A photo posted by Valerie (@kaleandale) on

 

Not knowing how long summer or fall would last, I have taken advantage of outdoor activities, such as Valleyfair amusement park, the Minneapolis Sculpture garden, and Oktoberfest.

Spoonbridge and the city.

A photo posted by Valerie (@kaleandale) on

 

I also went to “The Book of Mormon” and the club made famous by Prince, First Avenue, to see La Roux.

ValFirstAve | KaleAndAle.com

My first time at First Ave!

 

As if all this wasn’t enough, I have had friends in town, and I’ve gone to visit my family in Iowa and road tripped to Milwaukee for my cousin’s wedding, with a stop in Madison for a vegetarian lunch at the Green Owl.

Green Owl Madison | KaleAndAle.com

Vegan schnitzel at the Green Owl in Madison, Wisconsin.

Uber Bar Milwaukee | KaleAndAle.com

It was a wise choice to hit up Uber Taproom and Cheese Bar while in Milwaukee.

 

When in Rome …. #MrAndMrsTwiggy #Milwaukee #Brewers

 

A photo posted by Valerie (@kaleandale) on

 

Although I haven’t been sitting still, the real reason I haven’t blogged is because I haven’t been cooking as much as I like, and I just haven’t had any more hours in the week to blog. That is because a month ago I closed on my first house. So, now I’m a homeowner! I spent Friday cooking my last CSA veggies in my new kitchen, and it was wonderful. And after I finish this blog post, I’m going to make some energy bites. And I’ve been busy raking, painting, moving, getting situated and taking a lot of trips to home stores. And it’s been crazy and exciting. So, as I have time to cook, I hope to get back to blogging more. And as the house comes together, I hope to share some pictures and stories of it with you. Thanks for sticking around and reading this post, even though it’s been long overdue. And cheers to the blog and a healthy life!

Popping bottle at my new house. #homeowner

A photo posted by Valerie (@kaleandale) on

Chipotle fauxfritas

Homemade Chipotle sofritas burrito bowl. | KaleAndAle.com

Homemade Chipotle sofritas burrito bowl.

I’ve already shared my love for Fauxpotle, my name for homemade Chipotle burrito bowls. So when I had the new vegan protein, sofritas, I wanted to make it at home asap. And asap turned out to be about 10 days after I had it.

Chipotle sofritas are, according to the Chipotle website, “organic tofu from Hodo Soy that we shred and then braise with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos and a blend of aromatic spices. The result is a delicious, spicy tofu that will give vegans and carnivores something they both will love.”

I was in Denver, the home base of Chipotle, so I made a point to stop at the restaurant and try the meal. I actually hopped with excitement when I saw it on the menu. It hasn’t made it to Minnesota or Iowa, although I have heard it will eventually be nationwide and a rumor has it it might make it to the Twin Cities in October (please don’t tease).

Homemade tofu sofritas filling. | KaleAndAle.com

Homemade tofu sofritas filling.

Sofritas were so good, filling and—perhaps most importantly—spicy! My eyeballs were feeling the heat when I had a sofritas burrito bowl with hot sauce, and that is hard to achieve based on my high tolerance for heat. I wasn’t even out of Colorado when I searched online for a make-at-home version of Chipotle Sofritas. I found what I was looking for in this Copycat Chipotle Sofritas Recipes, and I was easy to make and worth the effort. I actually might make double next time and freeze some. This was so good and a great addition to my current Chipotle Fauxfrita bowl.

Are Chipotle Sofritas available where you live? What are your thoughts on the protein?

Healthy blended fruit drink

If today isn’t the perfect day in Minnesota for a relaxing, healthy frozen cocktail, I don’t know what kind of day is. Summer is here, and it’s perfect. Just the right amount of breeze, warm, sun beating down. This is the one day of the year I’m waiting for.

And if this day is perfect in Minnesota, this frozen blended drink is needed all points south, asap! I love how simple this is to make, how it’s so basic in a whole foods kind of way, and how refreshing and satisfying it is.

Healthy blended fruit drink | KaleAndAle.com

Healthy blended fruit drink

For the base, I used a frozen fruit blend of mango. pineapple and strawberries, but you can use whatever you like or have around. And the coconut water keeps it refreshing and beachy without weighing it down with calories or density. Just these two ingredients, plus rum, equal a light, healthy blended fruit drink. The recipe below makes one drink.

Healthy blended fruit drink

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups frozen fruit
  • 3 ounces rum
  • 8 ounces coconut water

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

CSA Week 2 (and July Fourth)

Week two of my CSA was good, but I didn’t get a picture of the food. I get my share on Wednesdays, and Thursday I went home for the holiday weekend, so I took my food with me, still in the state it was delivered to me. But that means I did get to share it with my mom, who looooves asparagus, so we both win!

Roasted radishes and asparagus | KaleAndAle.com

Roasted radishes and asparagus with eggs

I recently heard about roasted radishes, so just quickly roasted the radishes and asparagus and had with some eggs for a varied meal. This method seemed to make the radishes less peppery, and gave them a little different flavor. Have you had them that way before? What other ways do you like to eat radishes?

I’m excited for this next week, as I’m expected to get chives and potatoes. Oh, my! Also, we are getting more peas. What do I do with all these things?!?

Post-race bomb pop - KaleAndAle.com

Post-race bomb pop!


I love the Fourth of July so much; it’s great weather and a happy time with important people. After starting my day with an 8k and homemade patriotic tank top, I relaxed. Later, I went to a minor league game, where the mascot was in his most patriotic outfit as well. Hope you had a wonderful, relaxing Fourth!

CSA week 1

CSA Week 1 2014 | KaleAndAle.com

CSA Week 1 2014 – So excited!

My CSA is back! Not only is my CSA back, but this is my first week of my CSA in a different region. That means new foods, a different schedule, all kinds of new things, including a new farm, Culinary Delights. I’m excited to see what the season holds.

Right away I had to adjust to new food. Asparagus, not a favorite, was in the basket. At least I share the basket, so I can share and trade going forward, but I made the best of it by roasting it and promptly sticking it between bread and putting cheese on it. But I ate the asparagus!

Basil plant | KaleAndAle.com

Basil plant, so cute.

Also in the basket was:

  • Radishes (red and white)
  • Lettuce (green and red)
  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb
  • A basil plant to be potted
Strawberry rhubarb chia seed jam | KaleAndAle.com

Strawberry rhubarb chia seed jam

Right away I knew I would enjoy the food as salads. Seeing the strawberries and rhubarb made me want to make jam, so I made this simple strawberry-rhubarb chia seed jam this week, and have been enjoying it with peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast. It’s a perfect balance of sweet-tart.

Do you have asparagus recipes that make it taste less asparagus-y?