Tag Archives: vegetables

Kale Chips

28 Mar

Kale ChipsWhen I was in elementary school, I used to collect pens. Before you laugh and think I was all nerdy, I used to collect the cool ones. Gel, feather-tipped, pastels, fluorescent…you get the idea. I was pretty cool. I don’t know what it is about pens, but even though I don’t collect them anymore (I promise), I still have a strong affinity for them. Once you’ve loved pens, you’ll always appreciate them I guess.

I think that’s true for food as well. And ohmygosh, you guys. After making these kale chips, I’m converted: roasting veggies really does make them delicious! Remember my faaaavorite Roasted Broccoli I posted a while ago? Well these kale chips, my friend, are of that level. And I’d dare to say that it’s even easier and possibly better because I categorize this as a snack food.

And I love my snacks.

Don’t be dissuaded by the way this looks in a bowl. It may just look like a bowl of salad. Very deceiving. These chips are a finger food, no matter how confused you are when you see them in a bowl. They’re light and crispy and roasted to perfection.

Kale Chips

Spread the kale in a single layer on each cookie sheet.

Kale Chips

Bake to crispy, light perfection.

Kale Chips

 

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Roasted Cauliflower with Alfredo and Peas

6 Mar

Roasted Cauliflower with Alfredo and Peas

Did I ever tell you that I hate vegetables? Hopefully I haven’t, because I don’t hate them. But I used to. Oh, how I used to.

As a stubborn, indignant child, I would refuse to eat vegetables at all costs. This would start out as simply as me eating around my vegetables on my dinner plate. Then I would move the vegetables around my plate with my fork. (Because in child’s logic, when you spread them out, they look fewer and farther between, right?) I would sit at the table until everyone else was done and my vegetables were cold. Now cold, they probably did taste almost as gross as I imagined they did.

My utter loathing of vegetables mostly came from stubbornness. But. BUT. I also think there are loads more interesting ways to prepare vegetables than heating up a watery can of green beans (still ick).

Cauliflower is an easy vegetable for me. It’s not a crazy color or a crazy taste. It’s just cauliflower. I was quite pleased when I stumbled upon this recipe because Alfredo is a great addition to most vegetables, and it’s even better that this Alfredo is a healthier version than most out there.

Also, can we talk about roasting veggies for a minute? It makes them soooo good! I don’t know the science behind the roasting magic, but it really does do wonders for vegetables.

Roasted Cauliflower with Alfredo and Peas

Chop a head of cauliflower, and sprinkle with olive oil. Prepare to roast.

Roasted Cauliflower with Alfredo and Peas

Combine ingredients for Alfredo sauce in a small saucepan. Whisk until it thickens.

Roasted Cauliflower with Alfredo and Peas

Heat up those silly frozen peas.

Roasted Cauliflower with Alfredo and Peas

Combine it all in a nice, big bowl. Reserve some of the Alfredo sauce for topping individual portions.

Roasted Cauliflower with Alfredo and Peas

Pat yourself on the back. I feel healthier just looking at this.

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Plantain Tostones

12 Jul

Some people might say I was a picky eater as a kid. That would be putting it mildly. I was stubborn and unyielding. I refused to eat some of the most basic food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, and anything remotely healthy in appearance. What kid doesn’t like STRAWBERRIES or CORN? Well, me.

It’s a wonder I survived at all. I attribute my survival to my mother’s kindness. Most dinners would end with me sitting alone at the table until I “finished all of my food” (which, mind you, normally consisted of the tiniest portions of vegetables and meat you can picture). I would sit stubbornly at the table for at least an hour—sometimes more—until one of my parents would walk by, shake their head in disgust and resignation, and tell me to “just throw away your plate.”

Then I would head to my room and invariably get hungry before bedtime. My mom would save me by bringing me some toast and hot cocoa (something I actually loved to eat). This went on for years.

I look back now and have to wonder why I was so picky. I like to think that I have a sensitive, refined palate, and I was simply prepping myself for the gourmet, tasty foods I crave today. It’s probably that. Or I was just picky. We’ll never know.

This recipe for Puerto Rican plantain tostones is one I refused to eat as a kid. They are even fried, but I still refused to eat them. They are a salty snack (as good as American french fries). Enjoy!

Start with green plantains.

Slice them up and let them sit in salt water.

Fry them in your fat of choice.

Drain on paper towels and flatten them with the palm of your hands.

Fry a second time until golden brown and crispy.

Sprinkle with salt and serve hot. (more…)

Cheesy Cauliflower

7 Jun

Car salespeople are really good at what they do.

Lately we’ve been looking into buying a car. It’s pretty exciting, thinking that in a matter of months I could be driving around in a car made after the 1990s.

We’re in no hurry to buy a car, though, and we have a flexible timeline in place. Try explaining this to a salesperson at a car dealership. You’re suddenly from Mars if you aren’t prepared to buy the first car you show interest in on the spot.

The tricky part is, the more time you spend at car dealerships test-driving cars, the more you are convinced that you need to buy a car ASAP. Suddenly your timeline vanishes and you don’t want to be the sorry sap who misses out on this once-in-a-lifetime car/deal/gift of the earth.

Now would be a good time to take a breather from test-driving and visiting car dealerships. After you step back, the brain washing dissolves and you remember your timeline, you remember you’re in no hurry, and you remember all is well. You also remember car salespeople are really good at what they do.

Sometimes I’m good at what I do. When I first ate this cheesy cauliflower, I fell in love with it. Then I found out what it was made with (mayonnaise), and I felt sick and confused. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some mayonnaise on a BLT or tuna sandwich, but 1 cup of it seemed rather excessive.

Enter plain yogurt. The perfect swap. More healthy and more delicious—it really is possible.

This cauliflower is delicious—a real treat. If your kids say they don’t like any vegetables, then they haven’t tried this yet.

Start with a whole head of cauliflower. Chop off the leaves and thick stem. Then boil for 12 minutes.

Melt butter with chopped onion in the microwave.

Add yogurt and shredded cheese to butter and onion. Mix until smooth.

Spread mixture over cauliflower.

Bake until golden and bubbly on top. (more…)

Garlicky Squash, Zucchini, and Tomatoes

14 May

Not to generalize, but I love mechanics. They are really trustworthy, helpful, honest, and open. They just want what’s best for you and your car. They take extra, extra good care of women. If you’re a nice lady, you can bet that they’ll try to save you as much money as possible.

That’s my experience, anyway. I’m neither bitter nor scorned.

Here’s a little snack you can make after you’ve been to the mechanic. You’ll feel healthy and renewed as you’re chomping on these babies.

This makes a great side to steaks you cook on the grill. Now go eat your summer veggies.

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Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Veggies

4 May

One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. I recently learned that you can make mushrooms out of used coffee grounds. Have you heard about this? Seriously. This is for real.

I don’t recommend expecting your used coffee grounds to start miraculously transforming into mushrooms now that you’ve read this. It takes a little more involvement, but not much.

That intro was just a teaser. This is not a how-to on growing your own mushrooms. Personally, I don’t like mushrooms. But you might. Here’s a recipe full of vegetables (mushrooms, even, if you so choose), chicken, and pasta. This is a low-key, no fuss, quick meal you can throw together whenever you feel like it.  (more…)