Garden and CSA Update: End of Season

 

CSA week 16 2017

CSA mid-October 2017. All those colors and fall flavors!

I’ve been horrible about posting garden and CSA updates this year. But really, especially regarding the garden, it’s been a lackluster year. August was cool and shady, and my plants stalled in growing. My CSA is good, but the shares have gotten smaller and the price has been going up a little each year. I still wanted to share what I have, and after this week the CSA will be over and the garden will be pulled up, so I’m enjoying what I can for the time.

If you live in the Twin Cities and have a CSA you like, please let me know!

Do you have a garden? How did it do this year? Looking for tips if you have had success with the lack of sun.

Garden October 2017

Sad, under-producing garden, October 2017.

2015 In Review: Food

2015yearinreviewfoodThis is the first in a series this week featuring highlights from 2015. Today I take a look at food and recipes I’ve enjoyed this year. Wednesday we look at some of the active things I did this year, including my amazing summer trip that I never got around to blogging about. We look at drinks Friday, so come back all week, and share your highlights of each topic in the comments!

The first half of this year it was quiet on the blog, and I’m moving away from so many recipes on the blog, instead focusing on a healthy, balanced lifestyle blog. With the addition of buying a house late 2014, my eating out budget and time has decreased. But I still love to eat and make every meal special and count. Below are some of my food highlights from the year.

Restaurants

When in Seattle in March, the person working the desk suggested a new restaurant nearby known for its craft cocktails and innovative good. With a focus on unique drinks and the catchy, appropriate name Damn the Weather, I was in love. Later this year it was named a top 50 new restaurant in America by Bon Appetite magazine.

Closer to home, I had heard only great things about the chef-driven tasting menu at Travail. I went for my birthday and loved every minute of it. It was like performance art, dinner and a show. I thought being a vegetarian meant I would miss out on some things, but that wasn’t the case, so it was great. Read about my experience.lSns8u

Recipes

I’m moving away from so many recipes on the blog, but when I eat I’m focusing on eating meals with fewer animal products and less gluten. Two of my favorite recipes I’ve made this year include a tofu scramble that doesn’t make me miss eggs at all and pizza using zucchini slices as the crust for a less-guilt alternative.

Tofu scramble breakfast | KaleAndAle.com

Tofu scramble with hash browns, apple slices and can’t forget the coffee.

Events

This year I made a point to go to the Minnesota State Fair, and food and drink was the main attraction. I tried all the specialty beers I had hoped to sample, but of course my first stop was for cheese curds.

All in all, it’s been a tasty, successful 2015, and I’m a happy girl. What are your food-related highlights of 2015?

Buffalo chickpea patties

Buffalo chickpea patty KaleAndAle.com

Buffalo chickpea patty

franks redhot wings sauce buffaloThis patty is a long time coming. I have had this idea bouncing in my head for so long, but I can’t only blog about my love of Buffalo wing flavoring, specifically Frank’s Red Hot Wings Sauce (or, can I, you guys?!). Anything I can put it on or in is made a lot better. I love this spicy stuff, and I wanted to make a patty that proves you don’t have to eat chicken to have a fun Buffalo patty. This burger does, indeed, hit all the hot spots!

I used chickpeas because (besides being my favorite base) they don’t have too much a taste, so they would work well, though I could see kidney beans working too, if you had them on hand. I added all the regular players in a proper Buffalo chicken meal (sans chicken): Carrots, celery, blue cheese, hot wing sauce, plus onions and bread crumbs for texture, taste and to hold the patty together and help soak up the sauce. Which brings me to another point, you need a balance of sauce to dry ingredients, Not enough dry and it won’t hold together. Buffalo chickpea patties cooking KaleAndAle.com

These burgers really don’t need any topping, as it’s all incorporated into the patty. To keep things light and crisp, I ate my burger on a bed of lettuce (OK, with cheesy beer bread, you got me, this was a whole comfort food meal).

Buffalo chickpea patty

Makes 5-6 patties

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 carrot, diced or shredded
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese (can substitute some for mozzarella or cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup hot wing sauce
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients. except the oil.
  3. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set. When the mixture is set, form 5 to 6 patties. If the mixture seems too wet or hot when tasting it, add a little more breadcrumbs so the mixture is moist but sticks together.
  4. Put two tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil heats up, turn it down to medium.
  5. Place the patties in the skillet, cooking about 6 to 8 minutes per side, until browned.
  6. The center will be moist, but if you need to cook the patties a little longer to firm up in the middle, place on a baking sheet in a warm oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. When cooked through, place the patties on a plate with paper towels to absorb any extra oil.

Friday links

Hey folks, haven’t done a Friday links for a while (seemed like too much of “what to eat now” and “summer this and that” anyway). Have you missed this segment? Well I was in Iowa and posted in-depth information about community supported agriculture programs, which is featured heavily on this blog, while I was gone.