Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kale Chips

More Kale this week! Several of my friends suggested that I try and make Kale chips. Kale Chips I was told are suppose to be so delicious they will take the place of potato chips. Well, I do not eat potato chips but I thought I may as well give Kale chips a try!!!!

First batch I burned. Oops. So for my second attempt I drizzled olive oil on them, cracked some sea salt over them, stuck them in the oven and watched them like a hawk. Score! Nice and crunchy. It was more roasted than crispy, but the oil and salt were finger-licking good. Way better for you than chips!


  • The Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

The Directions:
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. ith a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

I have already been told I need to try Cheesy Kale Chips. Maybe next week!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Homemade Gnocchi Attempt #1

Did not turn out to terribly for my first attempt but I know they can be better and I think I have found a new recipe to try next time!!! :)

These were delicious though. My 2 1/2 year old just gobbled them up.

The Ingredients:

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups brown rice flour
1 egg
sea salt & pepper

The Directions:

Mix sweet potato, egg , salt and pepper. Add Brown Rice Flour. Mix with fork. Your dough should be slightly sticky, but workable. Transfer to a work surface, and make ropey tubes, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about a half hour. Next, cut the ropes into 1 inch pieces and score with a fork.To cook, plop into boiling water wait until they're trying to escape the pot.

Browned pecans, pesto sauce and a little parm

Sweet Potato

Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

  • Tonight we picked up our food share!! I love making salads on the day of delivery!!!! :)

Lettuce is FRESH!!! Today's salad had spring salad mix, strawberries, snap peas, cucumber and sprouts. I also grilled tofu in soy sauce, sea salt and pepper.

The dressing I made tonight was AWESOME!!!! :)

  • The Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp RAW Agave Necter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

The Directions:
Whisk together the vinegar, honey, olive oil, and soy sauce until the honey has dissolved, and the dressing is smooth.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Meatless Monday

Quinoa Cakes Attempt # 2

These vegetable-packed baked quinoa cakes are excellent served hot or at room temperature. Make smaller cakes and serve them as appetizers at your next party, if you like.

Mine are not as pretty this time around. My ice cream scooper broke and I have to improvise! They were still delicious!!! I did make some changes to the recipe! Added more veggies to the cakes!

The Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2/3 cup grated carrots
2/3 cup seeded and grated zucchini
1/4 cup alpha sprouts
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup raw cheddar cheese
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive Oil
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice

The Directions:

Bring quinoa and vegetable broth to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside off of the heat for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa with garlic, carrots, zucchini, spinach, zest, flour, baking powder, raw cheddar, sprouts, and salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet on the stove. Scoop mixture onto hot pan. Let cook for a minute and then smash down into a patty. Cook for 5 minutes and then flip and cook other side.

Stir together dill, yogurt and lemon juice in small bowl, then spoon over warm quinoa cakes.

Creamy-Avocado Dressing

This dressing was amazing!!!! Very quick and easy!

The Ingredients:

green onions, trimmed
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup orange juice
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

The Directions:
Add all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.

Serve with a delicious Spring Mix Salad, Strawberries, Almonds and Asparagus.

Balsamic Asparagus

Throughout the summer I am going to be mentioning my food share. We buy our food from a local food share where weekly we go and pick up delicious fresh vegetables with no added chemicals. I will hopefully be adding some pictures of vegetables that grow from my own personal garden. This is my first year gardening so things may or may not grow but looking forward to seeing what happens!

This past week we got a beautiful bunch of asparagus.

Here is what we did!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°.
Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Place in a jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar; sprinkle with salt, garlic, and pepper, tossing to coat. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, turning once.

Roasted Vegetables

At least once a week my family have roasted vegetables. It is quick and easy! There are so many different ways to make roasted vegetables. It is a nice refrigerator clean out method!

This weeks Roasted Vegetables

The Ingredients:
Fresh Oregano
Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Pepper

The Directions:
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Chop all vegetables. Items that tend to take longer cooking chop smaller and those that don't take as long can be left a little larger. I use a large cookie sheet covered with foil to make clean up easier! :) Pour Coconut Oil (Olive Oil) over all the vegetables. Add salt, pepper and oregano. Cook 10 minutes and check on vegetables. Sometime you will need to add more olive oil if the vegetables look like they are drying out too much. Cook until your vegetables are nice a roasted!

Note - Parsnips become sweet when roasted! It really brings out the flavor!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quinoa Cakes Attempt 1

We love quinoa because it's like a protein and starch in one.

Tonight for dinner we had Quinoa Cakes, Pan-fried Zucchini and leftover Greens and Beans. The quinoa cake recipe that I used was good but I am not sure if it was because of my pan but the cakes did not turn out like the pictures I saw on other blogs. I have found another recipe that we will probably try out later this week and I will let you know.

The flavor of the Quinoa Cakes was delicious. Don't get me wrong. They just crumbled when flipping.

Quinoa Cakes:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. fresh minced oregano (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
2 egg whites

Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve, rinse under cold running water for one minute, until water runs clear.
Add stock to a small pot, bring to a boil, add quinoa.
Turn heat to medium, partially cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Turn heat off, let quinoa sit for 5 minutes (water should be evaporated)
Add remaining ingredients to a mixing bowl, whisk to combine.
Add cooled quinoa, mix to distribute spices and egg well.
Heat electric skillet over medium-high heat, or around 375*
Scoop quinoa mixture out with an ice cream scoop into mounds on the skillet (I got 6 cakes)
Press down with a spatula, cover and cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.

Pan-Fried Zucchini

1 tbsp. EVOO
1 lb. small zucchini, cut into rounds
Salt and black pepper

Add oil to skillet over high heat, add zucchini, salt and pepper.
Sauté' for 5 minutes, until browned and softened.

Strawberry Avocado Salsa

Once again, Thank you food share for DELICIOUS strawberries.

My family loves strawberries and we love avocados. So my thought... Why not mix the two for a healthy snack! This turned out wonderfully!

  • The Ingredients:
  • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peeled avocado
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

The Directions:
Add all ingredients into a bowl and toss gently.

**This time I did not have red onion. I just used strawberries, avocado, lime juice, cilantro, and a little sugar.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Greens and Beans

Thank you to my food share we have a gorgeous bunch of kale.

Kale is so good for you! Kale is king. Along with broccoli, it is one of the nutrition stand-outs among vegetables. It fights fat through its ability to mingle in a variety of roles -- in side dishes, combined in main dishes, or in Salads.
For a green, kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and to keep you full for a good amount of time. Kale is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A andcalcium. With a combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, kale is a dieter's dream food.

Health Benefits of Kale
Though greens in general are nutritious foods, kale stands a head above the rest. Not only is it one of your best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants
believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases, it also provides other important nutrients.

In addition to beta-carotene, kale posses other important
: lutein and zeaxathin. These carotenoids help keep UV rays from damaging the eyes and causing cataracts.

According to recent research results, kale is an incredible source of well-absorbed calcium, which is one of the many factors that may help prevent osteoporosis. It also provides decent amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium.

The manganese in kale helps your body's own antioxidant defense system, superoxide dismutase, protecting you from damaging free radicals. Its folate and B6 team up to keep homocysteine levels down, which may help prevent heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis bone fractures.

Greens and Beans
The Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Chopped Onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (Optional)
Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 cups kale, washed, stems trimmed and chopped
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained (I used dried beans)
3/4 cup chicken stock

The Directions:
Heat Olive Oil over medium heat in a large Dutch Oven.

Add onion and garlic slices. Saute until tender about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and salt and pepper; stir until fragrant. Add the kale and let saute until it cooks down slightly. Add the beans* and the chicken stock.
Cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
* Tip if you are making your own beans. Soak beans over night. Drain water and cook in water, salt and bouillon cube. Cook on medium heat until beans are tender.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Brussels Sprouts

When my husband and I first were married I tried making brussels sprouts several times and he just was not a fan. So I quit making them for him but continued to make them for myself. I love brussels sprouts for many reason. I love the taste but I love vegetables! Brussels Sprouts have a lot of great health benefits. CHECK THEM OUT!
Health Benefits:
  • A cup of Brussels sprouts contains 1122 IU of vitamin A plus 669 IU of beta-carotene, both of which play important roles in defending the body against infection and promoting supple, glowing skin. The Vitamin A content of Brussel sprout is slightly lower than that of broccoli, but their protein content is higher.
  • Brussel sprouts is one of the vegetable that has a highest content of vitamin C. Four ounces of uncooked Brussels sprouts contains about 100 mg of Vitamin C and when it is cooked thoroughly, it will contain about 40 mg of Vitamin C. Vitamin C supports immune function and the manufacture of collagen, the protein like "cement" that supports and holds the body tissues and organ together.
  • Brussel sprouts contain sulforaphane a powerful phytonutrient that boosts the body's detoxification enzymes, therefore helping to clear potentially carcinogenic substances more quickly.
  • Brussels sprouts supplies 93.6 mg of folic acid, a nutrient that is essential for proper cellular division. Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy has been linked to several birth defects because without folic acid, the fetus' nervous system cells do not divide properly.
  • A cup of Brussels sprouts contains more than 4 grams of fiber, which aids elimination by forming a soft, bulky stool that is easily passed.
  • Brussels sprout juice is beneficial for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
  • Brussels sprouts contain higher antioxidant than that of red cabbage.
  • Brussels sprouts, provide humans with protection against inflammatory diseases like arthritis.
  • Brussel sprouts are high in protein which makes is a healthy substitute for meat.
I have mastered a way of cooking my Brussels Sprouts where my husband and 2 1/2 year old will eat and enjoy them. It is simple!

The Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds Brussels Sprouts
3 Tbsp good Olive Oil
3/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Some times I cut the Brussels Sprouts in half. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. I check on the Brussels sprouts around 20 minutes, shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.
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