Kale Chips: Not Meh

The highlight of my Sunday morning is reading the “Meh List” in the New York Times magazine.  The meh list is a weekly compilation of things, people and places that are neither here nor there–just so so. I have been trying to come up with an item I can submit and on my list of possibilities was kale chips. Well I recently made them and and as it turns out not only are they not “meh” they have some sort of mystical quality. They were so good that I barely remember eating them!

Ingredients:

  • One bunch kale leaves, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Red Pepper
  • Salt

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 300
  • The best way to get crisp kale chips is to make sure they are completely dry. After I ran the kale pieces through a salad spinner I laid them out on a kitchen towel and rolled them up.

  • Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a plastic bag and shake.
  • Lay across a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt.

  • Bake until crisp @ 20-25 minutes.

Kale “croutons” in sweet potato soup

Advertisements

Paleo: Banana Sweet Potato Muffins

I recently discovered coconut flour and am exploring ways to use it. Coconut flour is very in high fiber, low in fat and is naturally sweet. I am very happy to find another healthy gluten-free flour to add to my repertoire! I am not usually a fan of coconut but the flour is very mild.

I made these muffins with ingredients on hand and the result was surprisingly good. Even my daughter liked them–she noted the flavor was like banana bread but the consistency was different. And so goes gluten-free baking. For this recipe you can also use three bananas instead of the one sweet potato and chocolate chips instead of raisins.

These are great with scrambled eggs or a snack you can grab on the go.

Ingredients:

  • One sweet potato (cooked)
  • Two very ripe bananas
  • Two eggs
  • One cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • One teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

Steps:

  1. Mash bananas and sweet potatoes together
  2. Add rest of ingredients, combine with hands
  3. Bake in muffin cups @ 325 for 20 minutes

Happy Baking-Julie

Energy Bites: Raw Paleo Nut Balls

I love the idea of energy bites: mini meals that pack a punch.

I got the idea to make these from the peanut butter candy my Mom made for my sister and I when we were kids. She would mix peanut butter, evaporated milk and honey. My sister and I shaped the “dough” into little sculptures then ate our creations.

I love almond butter and I used almond flour instead of evaporated milk to make it dairy free. Then I added all sorts of goodies. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • Honey to taste

Steps:

  • Combine almond butter, almond flour and chia seeds. Mix with hands.
  • Combine rest of ingredients.

  • Roll into balls and store in fridge.

Go nuts!-Julie

Farmer’s Market Breakfast

I had a great trip to the farmer’s market yesterday with my daughter (she was in it for the sorbet). I got a squash I have never seen before and didn’t write down the name (pictured below). If you know what it is, please let me know! It tastes like a cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin. I also got a wonderful fruit and nut mix. The best part was the dried fruit had no additives, sulfates or sugar.

Breakfast can be a challenge on a restricted diet and I was looking for a different way to incorporate vegetables in the morning. I came up with this recipe and was very pleased with the results. You can substitute with any squash you have: acorn, butternut or pumpkin. A sweet potato would work nicely as well.

Unidentified Squash.

Ingredients:

  • Bright orange squash
  • Almond milk
  • Nuts and dried fruit
  • Cinnamon

Steps:

  1. Cut squash in quarters and bake uncovered in pan with a bit of water until you can slide a fork in (I did 450 for 30 minutes)
  2. Scrape out insides and refrigerate if not eating right away
  3. Place about a cup of squash in a bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes (if cold)
  4. Add almond milk, stir, and heat another minute
  5. Top with nuts, fruit and cinnamon

This recipe can also be done on a stove.  Enjoy!-Julie

Make Your Own Granola

So many store bought granolas are full of added sugar and/or oils. Making your own granola is so easy, fun and totally customizable. My daughter and husband were very interested in the process (although my husband may have been just making conversation). In any event, it is very healthy and great to make with kids.

These instructions are based on a recipe from Elana’s Pantry a wonderful gluten-free blog I have been reading for years. If you are looking for some new ideas go check out her blog!

Here is how:

Ingredients:

  • Three cups nuts (previously soaked if desired)
  • One cup seeds
  • One cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dried cherries etc)
  • Half cup water
  • One tablespoon flavored extract
  • Spices to taste (pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg etc)
  • Salt to taste

Steps:

  • Add water to fruit until plumped and process together in food processor
  • Remove fruit mixture and add nuts and seeds
  • Process nuts and seeds to desired texture
  • Put fruit, seeds and nuts into large bowl. Add flavor extract, salt, and spices and stir to combine.
  • Lay mixture on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in oven at 225 for @ 40 minutes. Turn oven off and leave in overnight so it dries completely.
  • Break up and store in glass jar.

Enjoy!

Listen. Kelp Noodles.

Due to some recent health issues I am currently grain-free. So a kelp noodle is sounding pretty good to me about now. Plus I have read “kelp noodle” and “life changing” in the same sentence more than a couple of times lately. A sea vegetable in the form in the noodle is big in the food allergy world. Big!

The best use of kelp noodles I have seen so far is here from one of my favorite blogs Healthy and Holistic.

I am going to be experimenting with them all week. They can be used as a substitute in a regular noodle dish, in salads or added to soups. They don’t need to be cooked.

Last night I made a simple chicken broth with them. Here is the recipe:

Chicken Broth with Kelp Noodles

  • Simmer water, chicken bones, onion, garlic and salt over low heat 2-3 hours.
  • Strain broth.
  • Add kelp noodles.

Would love to hear if/how you are “kelp noodling”it! -Julie

Oooh La La White Bean Salad

I spent many years scribbling down recipes and filling many journals. It is so wonderful for me to be able to write my new recipes in a blog: to share them with others and for my personal records.

This recipe idea came from my friend Carol who taught me how to cook beans and made it seem so practical and easy. This is a recipe I threw together for dinner at the pool as it is light, filling and the longer it sits the better.

Oooh La La White Bean Salad

Steps:

  1. Rinse and soak dry white beans overnight
  2. Cover in new water –a few inches above beans
  3. Add garlic, salt, and chopped onion
  4. Boil until beans are soft–adding water if necessary
  5. When beans are cooked and most water is absorbed–combine with olive oil, chopped tomato, more salt and fresh basil

Enjoy! 

Vegetables Can Make a Hearty Meal

Perhaps I should mind my own business: but I would love to see more people eating vegetables for a main course. Everyone knows it is important to eat a lot of vegetables–the issue is learning how to prepare them in a way that feels satisfying. I made this for dinner tonight and it was very tasty–I’m still stuffed!

Hearty Vegetables Over Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • Green and yellow summer squash, thickly sliced
  • Green beans
  • Crushed garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Lasagna Sauce (recipe below)

Steps:

  1. Saute green beans in olive oil, salt and a little water for a few minutes–set aside
  2. Saute rest of ingredients-leave some basil aside
  3. Cook over low heat until squash is fork tender
  4. Serve over green beans with fresh cut basil on top

Lasagna Sauce

 Layer tomato sauce, slices of summer squash, pesto, goat cheese, basil and sliced tomato. Top with olive oil and a dash of salt. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

I hope this recipe inspires your wild and crazy vegetable adventures!-Julie