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 |

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


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


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 |

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 -

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 |

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 |

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 |

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?

DIY flag tank top

DIY flag tank top |

The finished product

A few weeks ago, I mentioned in this blog post that I want to make a flag tank for my Fourth of July 8k race. This weekend, I made said flag tank, and share it with you. I haven’t washed this and am not sure how it will hold up, but my goal is to wear it July Fourth. Anything beyond that is gravy.

DIY flag tank top supplies |

Getting the supplies together

Working on the tank |

Full concentration to cut messy stars.

I wanted this shirt to have a somewhat random and messy look, so if I did mess up it wouldn’t be a huge deal or stick out too much. I put on the shirt and measured where I wanted the blue star field to end and the red and white stripes to start, and used painter’s tape to divide the fields. I then cut  out stars of various sizes and taped them on. Be sure to put something between the shirt, so the paint doesn’t bleed through to the back.

Using a sponge and fabric paint, I painted around the stars once, then made a second layer on areas I wanted to touch up, letting it dry fully between rounds. I then put red paint on the long side of the sponge and made two layers of vertical lines. The end result is what I had in mind, and I have a hair tie with ribbons to give some flair up top.

As far as the running and training for the 8k, it’s not going that well, but I am getting stronger. This race certainly won’t set any personal records, but it has gotten me back into running every two or three days, so that is great.

What festive plans do you have for July Fourth?

North Shore and Duluth, Minn., area vegetarian food

North Shore from Two Harbors, Minnesota.

North Shore from Two Harbors, Minnesota.

After a daylong bus trip in March to Duluth, Minnesota, I wanted to explore more on my own when it was nice. So I spent a long weekend in Duluth and the North Shore on Lake Superior. It was a great time to explore and sample the area, so quiet and relaxed. And if you are a faithful reader of this blog, you know I plan my trips around food and drink. This trip was no exception!

I drove up to Duluth, which I assumed was pretty much Canada (South Florida Val talking), but learned it’s less than halfway from the Twin Cities to Canada. The heeeckk??!! Still, by the time I got there, it was time to eat.

Vegan omelet and red flannel hash at the Duluth Grill.

Vegan omelet and red flannel hash at the Duluth Grill.

First stop, Duluth Grill. This is a diner with tons of homemade food (including condiments); has a large, creative breakfast menu; and grows a lot of food on its property in really unique locations, making the most of the space. Case in point: They are getting ready to start growing fruit-bearing trees on a mound of dirt in the parking lot! I had the vegan omelet with red flannel hash (check out the menu to find out more, it’s worth a look!), and it was really good and filling. Which was good, because I did a lot of walking that day.

Draft beer flavored Jelly Belly

Draft beer flavored Jelly Belly

Speaking of walking, I stumbled upon an old-time candy store, where I purchased some Jelly Belly’s in draft beer and Tabasco flavors. They were a little too realistic tasting. I’m not saying if that’s good or bad, that’s for you to decide. I also found a really unique T-shirt store, The Medium Control, that reminded me of Raygun in Des Moines. And after walking around Leif Ericson Park (a nice park, but too early in the season to enjoy the rose garden), I headed to Fitger’s Brewhouse for a beverage. I sampled their chili beer and, while it was possibly the best chili beer I had tasted, I wasn’t sure how a pint would feel in me, so I opted for a pale ale.

While on the North Shore, in addition to enjoying the view (above), I got to check out two state parks: Split Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls. Both are worth the drive from the Twin Cities!

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry Falls State Park, leading to Lake Superior.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

After all the exploration, I needed a filling dinner. New Scenic Cafe certainly fit the bill for that!

Rugbrod at New Scenic Cafe

Rugbrod at New Scenic Cafe

Spring veggie ragout at New Scenic Cafe

Spring veggie ragout at New Scenic Cafe

Another restaurant that focuses on local cuisine, the menu changes with the seasons and slants toward the Minnesota heritage. For example, I had a rugbrød appetizer, a dense Danish bread. And my main dish was phenomenal, a spring veggie ragout of seasonal veggies in beurre blanc with a latke and gnocchi. To drink, I had a Borealis Fermentary beer, a very small brewery in the area.

A great wild rice burger at Lighthouse at Emily's

A great wild rice burger at Lighthouse at Emily’s

Before heading back, I had to get a wild rice burger, something I kept seeing on menus in the area. (When in Rome, as the saying on “Anchorman” goes.) Before hitting the road I stopped at Lighthouse at Emily’s for a burger and Castle Danger beer (my favorite beer from my first trip). It was a well-seasoned burger with a good texture. I left full and ready to hit the road, proud of the variety of food and drink I experienced in the North Shore.

Have you been to any of these places? What did you think, or what would you recommend in the area?