kale

The Randomness

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That’s kind of how I feel right now. Shell-shocked!

Life has been crazy lately. My already jam-packed schedule pretty much exploded for the month of June and the beginning of July. We’ve had a lot of changes at my work and there’s been retirements and new staff and I was whirling around in a tornado of taking care of that. I was in charge of training the new hire (who is totally awesome, by the way) and at the same time training my co-pilot (Ashley, who is also amazing) AND I got myself a little promotion too! I will be working temporarily in a new position. My current position has been in administration and this new opportunity is more in line with what I was originally interested in doing for a career when I first came to this office.

I’m really, really excited about the opportunity. It’s for 90 days and could be up to 6 months, not quite sure yet. I love the team that I am joining and words cannot describe just how thrilled I am to learn this new job. So I’ve been kind of overwhelmed the last few weeks with all of this stuff. Trying to coordinate and train the new people, go to all the meetings I’m involved with AND somehow fit in my training.

As you can imagine, I’ve been mighty tired. I also don’t know how this will effect my blog. I usually write my posts at home or on my lunch and breaks during work but I often brainstorm throughout the day. I get ideas and such and will kind of jot things down. I don’t see that happening for awhile now! I will be too busy. But I’ll do my best to keep a somewhat normal blog schedule. ūüôā One thing that has definitely been falling by the wayside is reading other blogs and commenting on posts. I will be catching up on everything very soon!

My garden! It’s been doing fairly well. The kale is pretty much gone. I started seeing some aphids, despite planting marigolds in the beds to keep them away. I tried some natural remedies to get rid of them but it didn’t work. I chopped that down and I’m hoping they will grow back without the aphids. The rest of the garden is good–tomato plants are huge but no blossoms yet. The jalapenos and pepper plant is starting to get little peppers. My flower garden is doing well too.

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I recently had a lunch date with Michael. Since he started working downtown we talked about getting lunch together and never did. Partly because I only take a 30 minute lunch and partly because I almost never eat lunch out during the week. This week we met up at E-San on SW 10th and Washington. He’s been raving about it for months as his favorite Thai cart. He likes it because it’s easier to order gluten-free and it tastes great.

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I got what Michael recommended, the¬†Pad Mamoung. ¬†It was a stir fry and SPIIIICY! Even ordered as a “medium” spicy. It had¬†fresh mango with bell peppers, broccoli, onions, Thai basil and chili sauce. You can get chicken or tofu or just the veggies. I got the chicken. It was delicious–surprising in flavors. The sweet mango was such an odd flavor combined with spicy chicken and the veggies but I liked the combination!

We sat in the nearby park and ate our lunch together. The food was good–the wait for the food was not great. My recommendation is to order ahead of time and call them so it’s ready when you pick it up. The line was incredibly long and after ordering it was nearly 30 minutes before we actually had our food. Anyway, I ate about half and saved the rest for lunch the next day.

The kitties are doing well. Fat Kitty is still fat. Maya is still shy. But here is a cute photo of them waiting for me to get home from work:

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What you don’t see in that picture is Michael also waiting for me to get home so we could watch more episodes of Homeland. He’s totally cracked-out on the show and we’ve stayed up way too late lately watching it!

Finally, Michael and I booked our trip to LA! I am SO excited and a little overwhelmed with booking it on my credit card! Thankfully I should have it all paid off by the end of August when we go, but still, seeing that number was a little overwhelming. So we are staying three nights in Hollywood and then 2 nights in Santa Monica right by the pier. I have a list of things to see and do–most of it is free, which is awesome–but if you have any other “must sees” please tell me!

That’s about it for now. What’s going on in your life?

The Wonderful World of Kale

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This post is about various kale recipes and preparations I’ve tried. Why? Because I have a crap-ton of kale in my garden maturing all at the same time! Not that I’m complaining. I was super bummed when my kale was destroyed by aphids last year.

Kale is so good for you, too. It’s low in calories, high in Vitamin K, C and A. It’s an antioxidant and it has calcium. It’s also tasty and incredibly versatile.

One morning for breakfast I sauteed some kale in coconut oil and seasoned with a little salt, pepper and paprika. I topped the bed of kale with two fried eggs and called it good. I was surprised at how tasty it was! It might make a regular appearance in my breakfast rotation.

There’s of course Kale with Bacon (everything is better with bacon, right?). Kale sauteed with onions or shallots is great and easy. But the best use of kale, so far, has been the¬†Cheesy Kale Chips¬†I discovered last summer. They are massively addicting and all my neighbors were begging me to make them some! It was also a good snack that you didn’t have to feel guilty about eating in massive quantities. ūüôā

Thankfully the wild bunnies that frolic in our yard have not discovered our veggie garden. How is that possible? For three years our garden has been bunny-free. ¬†And he’s been eating our weeds! YAY!

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Anyway, here are a few more recipes I’ve discovered or created lately:

Sauteed Kale with Pistachios

Simple ingredients: 1 garlic clove minced, 1 bunch of kale, 1/4 cup chopped pistachios, Grapeseed oil, Salt and pepper to taste. Cook down the fresh kale in a skillet with the grapeseed oil until wilted.

I had the kale with blackened salmon (one of my favorites) and some raw peppers with ranch dressing (I was craving it). It was really good!

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Sautéed Kale with Smoked Paprika Recipe

Ingredients: fresh kale, coconut oil, chopped onion, dash of paprika and dash of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. I tried cooking the kale with coconut oil spray this time and it worked really well.

My dinner was Israeli Couscous with the kale and topped with a spicy bratwurst. Mixed all together it was a spicy, flavorful dinner.

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Gluten Free Baked Macaroni with Kale

This was Michael’s creation. He got some gluten free macaroni and mixed it with a can of season tomatoes, spicy sausage, a ton of kale from our garden and mozzarella. He baked it in a big pan and the second I walked into the garage I could smell it baking in the oven. The aroma of spicy sausage, garlic and red sauce is one of my favorites.

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The gluten free macaroni was ¬†little weird in texture. I’m not sure what it was made out of but it wasn’t the brown rice noodles I got for the spaghetti (seen below) and those GF noodles were great.

Gluten Free Spaghetti with Kale

I have so much kale in my garden I’m getting mighty creative! This time: spaghetti with kale. I bought some gluten-free spaghetti noodles from Trader Joe’s for my man since he’s trying to do the GF thing for good now. It was brown rice noodles and they actually tasted pretty good! There wasn’t a lot of flavor but the texture was exactly like regular spaghetti noodles.

I sauteed some diced onions in a pan with grapeseed oil and added the kale. I let it cook down then added the marinara sauce from a jar. I added two cloves of minced garlic and some extra herbs to it and let it just simmer while I cooked the pasta.

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It was delicious! I loved the texture and flavor that the kale added to the dish. This is a keeper!

I’m going to try adding some kale to some post-workout smoothies soon. It’s been way too long since I’ve enjoyed my protein shakes! I think the kale would work great.

QUESTION: What is your favorite way to prepare/eat kale?