Restaurant review: Reverie Cafe + Bar, Minneapolis

Reverie menu | Kale and Ale

Reverie counter and menu

I recently visited Reverie Cafe + Bar in Minneapolis,  a casual all-day café with a coffee shop vibe. It’s an all-vegan establishment except for milk for coffee, and the newest kid on the block for veg food, located at the intersection of Franklin and Nicollet. The cafe opens at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 on weekends, closing when the show that night is over, 1 a.m. at the latest.

While the menu isn’t large, it’s flavorful and touches the basics. The menu evolves, focusing on flavorful and filling soups, salads, sandwiches and appetizers.

Reverie Jackfruit Cubano | Kale and Ale

Reverie Jackfruit Cubano

I was excited to try the jackfruit Cuban, which was very good, but Aaron’s seitan BBQ had a nice zingy kick that made me slightly question my meal choice, but neither would steer you wrong. The fact that the menu is changing and expanding is great, as it’s a reason to go back and try more. And the local beer options are plentiful, so it was great picking new beers to wash down the delicious food.

Fellow blogger and vegan Laura at 1 Girl 2 Cities recently posted a dessert from there that looked a-mazing!

Reverie has #vegan chocolate peanut butter truffles OMG

A post shared by Laura VZ (@1girl2cities) on

 

If you have been to Reverie, please share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to know what you got and thought. I can’t wait to go back!

Pulled Pork Stuffed Avocado

Pulled Pork Stuffed Avocados Herbivorous Butcher | Kale and AleThis weekend I made pulled pork stuffed avocados, and they were a tasty, vegan and gluten free success. Yes, you read that right. That’s because my pulled pork is made of jackfruit, a popular food that had The Guardian asking last year if it’s the next big food craze, and includes a recipe on how to prepare it.

Pulled Pork from Herbivorous Butcher | Kale and AleJackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, native to South Asia and is a popular food in tropical regions around the world. Often sold in the U.S. in cans at Asian markeets, it is becoming a popular substitution for meats. My pulled pork (with gluten-free chipotle sauce) came from the first vegan butcher in the U.S., Minneapolis’ own Herbivorous Butcher. If you haven’t been and you are in the area, GO! If you aren’t in the area, COME VISIT! If neither of those is possible, you could substitute with real pork (if you eat pork), this jackfruit recipe, this seitan reipce, this stewed carrots recipe or this eggplant recipe.

OK, so now we know what jackfruit is and have a pulled whatever planned. This recipe works because there aren’t many ingredients, it’s quick to assemble (perfect for a weeknight), has fresh flavor and feels more difficult/fancy than it is.

Sauteed avocado | Kale and Ale
Seriously, the flavor is popping, thanks to unexpected surprises like giving avocado a saute in coconut oil to enhance the buttery flavor and a crisp texture, and a tangy vinaigrette to balance the smoothness of the pork and avocado. This recipe really involves heating things through and blending the vinaigrette, and then stacking for a flavor explosion.

Pulled Pork Stuffed Avocados Herbivorous Butcher | Kale and Ale
Pulled Pork Stuffed Avocados
Print Recipe
This meal is quick to pull together on a busy night and features bursts of flavor.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Pulled Pork Stuffed Avocados Herbivorous Butcher | Kale and Ale
Pulled Pork Stuffed Avocados
Print Recipe
This meal is quick to pull together on a busy night and features bursts of flavor.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Pulled Pork Avocado
Cilantro Vinigrette
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Use a cast-iron skillet if you have it, it will help the avocado to get the best crust.
  2. Season the avocado to taste. Put it into the heated skillet, browning a few minutes per side. When done, set it on paper towels to drain excess oil.
  3. Turn the heat to low. Saute the onions until translucent, about three minutes.
  4. Add the pork to the pan and heat through. Set aside.
  5. For the vinaigrette, place all items in a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Place two avocado slices on a plate, add half the pork mix and top with cilantro vinaigrette. You will have leftover vinaigrette, which is delicious with corn chips.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Cookbook Review: Party Grub, Thug Kitchen (With Recipe)

This post contains affiliate links, where I may get a small portion of sales to fund this blog.

I love Thug Kitchen, a duo of vegans who were writing a blog a few years ago and got a book deal. They use salty language and flavorful recipes to get their message across that vegan food doesn’t have to be boring or only for certain people:

“Everyone deserves to feel a part of our push toward a healthier diet, not just people with disposable incomes who speak a certain way. So we’re here to help.”

Their second book “Party Grub” is, not surprisingly, a slam dunk, just like their first book “Thug Kitchen.” I own both and they are among the first cookbooks I reach for when looking for recipes and cooking inspiration. The first book has solid recipes, and the second book is all about party and social gathering food. While I love light meals and apps, I was surprised to find the book contains a lot of  dishes that are hearty, meal-worthy fare. There are more than 100 dishes for any time of celebration or get-together, and the pages are packed with mouth-watering fare and fun tips.

I’m always looking for a good vegan cheese, and their Queso-ish Dip is a great creamy dip for Mexican flavors, with tomatoes making it seem kind of creamy, flavorful and chunky with a little kick all at once.

Thug Kitchen Queso-ish Dip Recipe | Kale and Ale

Thug Kitchen Queso-ish Dip

When I ate the enchiladas (with the easiest homemade sauce I’ve ever made) I had to remind myself they were vegan, I totally forgot! That’s a ringing endorsement right there, since I love the cheese to hold everything together. And they were so filling, stuffed full with goodness and the flavorful sauce.

The book features chapters on brunch grub, small bites, salads and sides, potluck necessities and desserts and drinks, so the entire range of party food is covered. This book has a variety of flavorful dishes and makes me want to grab a group of friends and get in the kitchen and cook and eat.

Thug Kitchen Loaded Nachos Recipe

Thug Kitchen was kind enough to share a recipe from their new book with Kale and Ale readers! They let us in on how to make loaded creamy nachos with the dip I preview above. Remember, there is salty NSFW language, but it’s worth it to get to the loaded nachos.

Reprinted from “Thug Kitchen Party Grub” by Thug Kitchen. Copyright (c) 2015 by Thug Kitchen. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.


Thug Kitchen Nachos Butternut Squash Queso
Loaded Nachos
Print Recipe
OK, this is less of a recipe and more of a recommendation for you to get your shit together and make some fucking nachos. A plate of these gorgeous motherfuckers just screams party so much that it was almost our cover shot. We give you an idea below on how to pile your shit correctly, but take the damn queso and run with it. #nachobusiness
Servings
4 to 6 people
Servings
4 to 6 people
Thug Kitchen Nachos Butternut Squash Queso
Loaded Nachos
Print Recipe
OK, this is less of a recipe and more of a recommendation for you to get your shit together and make some fucking nachos. A plate of these gorgeous motherfuckers just screams party so much that it was almost our cover shot. We give you an idea below on how to pile your shit correctly, but take the damn queso and run with it. #nachobusiness
Servings
4 to 6 people
Servings
4 to 6 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. You know how nachos work, so you can pile this shit on however you like and leave off or add whatever the fuck you want. We like to put the warm chips out in a thin layer on a tray or giant plate. A huge pile of chips where you end up with a shit-ton of dry chips at the bottom is a fucking bummer. Thin layer is the way to go.
  2. Scatter the black beans and cabbage over that, then drizzle the queso all over the chips. Glob on nice spoonfuls of guacamole and salsa all over the platter then sprinkle with the jalapeno and cilantro. Drizzle over some hot sauce if you roll like that.
  3. Serve that shit right up to the happy crowd.
Recipe Notes

* Warming not required, but this shows commitment to the nacho cause. Just throw the chips in a microwave for a few seconds, or cover and put in a 250°F oven for 10 minutes.

** Or a 15-ounce can of beans, rinsed and drained.

*** The Mid-Summer Salsa from our first book would be dope here.

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Mint chocolate cocoa and tropical Eco Lips balm

I received four complimentary samples of Eco Lips balm to review for my blog. I was already a fan of the company and, as always, opinions are my own. Contains affiliate link.

Hot cocoa Eco Lips Kale and AleI’m a dry person. When we are talking wine or humor, it’s enjoyable. When we mean my skin and lips in a Minnesota winter, it’s anything but enjoyable. And with the high this week hovering around zero degrees, having chapped skin is a real concern.

As I get older and have moved back to a climate lower in humidity, I’m spending more time, resources and thought into my skincare routine. This includes avoiding dry lips.

I’m always hesitant of new lotions and balms, as many dry out my already cracked skin. I need something super hydrating yet not seeming too medical. I’m becoming more mindful of what I’m using, and being natural is important to me. Eco Lips fills all these needs, and then some.

Eco Lips Kale and AleThe company is based in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I had the opportunity to stop in and talk with them a few years ago, and I love that what drives and motivates the company is their passion for good quality products. According to its website, Eco Lips has been first to market with several innovative organic lip care products and packages. It doesn’t test its products on animals and offers clearly marked vegan lip balms. A fun feature is that anyone can create his or her own lip balm at My Eco Lips.

The vegan lip balms go on smooth and stay put for a while, which is great because I always want to feel balm on my lips. The flavors are fun, consisting of lemon-lime, superfruit, mint and unscented. All flavors taste and smell real, like the flavorings and ingredients are real, taking me to a warmer climate (until I bundle up to step outside). I’m really happy with the products, their commitment to a quality item and supporting a hometown company. Purchase Eco Lips.

To compliment the tropical flavors of the balm while warming up in the winter, a great mint hot chocolate pairs well to stay warm but drift away to a warmer place.Hot cocoa ingredients Kale and Ale

Mint chocolate cocoa
Print Recipe
The addition to mint (real or in schnapps form) is a nod to a warmer location while warming up in the cold winter months.
Servings
1 person
Servings
1 person
Mint chocolate cocoa
Print Recipe
The addition to mint (real or in schnapps form) is a nod to a warmer location while warming up in the cold winter months.
Servings
1 person
Servings
1 person
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar I used a sugar substitute to save calories, amount to sub will be listed on package
  • pinch Salt
  • 6 leaves mint torn in half or bruised
  • 1 cup milk I used coconut (which makes it vegan), use any style you prefer
Optional
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients except milk (and any optional items) into a sauce pan and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring to make sure there are no clumps.
  2. Heat over medium, stirring, until hot.
  3. Take out mint leaves. Pour the hot chocolate into a mug and add any optional ingredients, if using.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Recipe: Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries

Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries | Kale and Ale

Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries

I really love cranberries, especially fresh, but I don’t seem to eat them except around the end of the year. Since I see them in the store at a great price, I grab them without knowing how I will use them or what I’ll make. Enter a food I’m trying to eat more of: Brussels sprouts.

RELATED: Make cranberry salsa out of leftover cranberry sauce.

Brussels sprouts can be bitter and cranberries are tart, so there is a balsamic and maple syrup glaze to bring a nice balance to all the flavors without one overpowering any of the others. The beauty is this only takes about 30 minutes start to finish, or even less if you are like me and bought a bag of shaved Brussels sprouts.

This is a healthy, flavorful side dish that brings together the flavors and colors of the season.

Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries | Kale and Ale
Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries
Print Recipe
A healthy, flavorful side dish that brings together the flavors and colors of the season.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries | Kale and Ale
Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries
Print Recipe
A healthy, flavorful side dish that brings together the flavors and colors of the season.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Spread the Brussels sprouts evenly on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly crispy, stirring halfway through.
  3. Place cranberries in a baking dish. In a small bowl mix maple syrup and vinegar together and pour over cranberries. Put it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, stirring and cook for 5-10 more minutes, until sauce thickens and cranberries open.
  4. Mix together Brussels sprouts and cranberries and top with nuts or seeds, if using.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe