Tag Archives: eating more vegetables

Easy Kale chips

The word kale used to make me shudder. The way my mother served it when I was a child was to blame. My memory of it was a bitter, boiled, unseasoned soggy mess that pooled discolored water on your dinner plate which floated over and infiltrated the other foods, a further insult to trying gag the vegetable down. It was a LONG time before I went near the stuff again. It’s good I did because kale is nutrient packed (high in fiber, Vitamins A, C and K with lesser amounts of protein, Vitamin B6, calcium, folate, magnesium, copper, potassium and iron) and it does not have to be disgusting!

Kale is a cool-weather annual and tastes best in season. My opinion is that kale grown in warmer weather is more likely to be(come) tough and bitter. It should be a beautiful deep green. If it’s yellowing it’s old.

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I took a kale chip recipe and simplified it. I am ALL for short cuts in cooking. First I wash the kale. I use my salad spinner and break it up into roughly bite-size pieces, tearing off the toughest, thickest stems closest to the bottom. If you want an extra step, you can first put the kale pieces in a mixing bowl but I put them directly onto a large cookie sheet. I add a capful of canola oil, a capful of cider vinegar, a bit of cayenne pepper and a little coarse sea salt and mix them up so that all the kale is coated. Adjust the seasonings to your taste; I love spicy/hot but if that’s not for you, just eliminate the cayenne. I’ve just discovered the easiest way to mix is by hand (it keeps the kale from leaping off the cookie sheet) but a spatula works too.

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I cook the kale in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes, stirring a few times. The goal is crispy but not burnt so it’s important to keep an eye on it. A higher oven temp speeds things along but necessitates more stirring as we aren’t aiming for carcinogenic kale chips.

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Kale clearly has high water content  – see how much it cooks down (and don’t look at my discolored pan)

Now I’m not gonna kid you. These aren’t anything like potato chips but they DO have a delicate, satisfying crunch. Completely different from steamed kale, say. This is now my favorite way to cook kale.

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Isn’t that pretty? And nothing is floating around!

 

Healthy, Easy Tomato Juice

I got this idea from someone else’s recipe and then doctored the ingredients just a bit. Tomato juice in the store is usually loaded with salt. You can make your own delicious, healthy version with a can of tomato paste. I got a can of store brand for .50. (If you like this drink, I suggest grabbing a bunch of cans when they’re cheap or on sale.)

The label on the can I bought listed Vitamins A and C, as well as protein, iron and fiber. (Looking online I see that a name brand tomato paste also includes potassium so it’s safe to assume that’s in there too.)

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Put the tomato paste into a blender with water. I filled the blender to the top line, 6 cups. Then add a splash of lime juice. Any kind will do but I had a fancy-pants brand which is really tasty.

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Finally, add just a bit of fresh ground pepper and blend all the ingredients. There’s 150 calories in a single can of tomato paste so a one-cup drink of this juice is under 30 calories. And good-for-you calories at that.

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Store the extra in the fridge and drink or freeze within a few days since there’s no preservatives.

Pretty and tempting

Pretty and tempting