Apr 252013
 

Kale chips are all the rage these days! And why shouldn’t they be? They’re healthy, super delicious and crispy, and don’t take very long to prepare. Anil and I love spicy foods, so instead of the traditional way of preparing these, we decided to add some kick. Kashmiri chili is the perfect addition to these spicy kale chips since it adds a lot of warmth, but not necessarily heat.  I’ve tried many different recipes out there, but had to experiment with the time and oven temperature. This is what I eventually came up with:

Ingredients

A large bunch of organic kale (baby kale works just as well)

Extra virgin olive oil – the best quality you have

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Kashmiri chili (optional) – found at many Asian / Indian grocery stores

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Directions

1. Thoroughly wash the kale and remove the leaves from the stems. Put on a large, dry, and clean kitchen towel for a few hours, or, if you have a salad spinner, spin away to remove all water.

2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

3. In a large bowl, toss the kale with a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt, cracked black pepper, and Kashmiri chili, if you have it on hand.

4. Place on a large baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 20-25 minutes. If you like the spicy kale chips to be more crispy / crunchy, go with 25 minutes and a slightly more brown color. If you prefer them less crispy, go with 20 minutes and the edges just starting to brown. Serve warm with just about anything, though we recommend a nice, cold beer!

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 Posted by at 12:43 PM
Dec 042011
 

As my fellow busy girls know, short-cuts are your best friend when you’re short on time. A few weeks ago, I really wanted to make samosas, but had no time to make the dough from scratch and had a ton of farm-fresh kale on hand that I really needed to use up. My solution: puff-pastry sheets and potato-kale filling! Although less authentic than the original version of the Indian samosa, it worked out fantastic. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients
(for 16 samosas)

2 puff pastry sheets (found in the freezer section of your grocery store)
2 medium organic Russet potatoes
half a bunch of organic kale
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of coriander powder
2 teaspoons of red chili powder
2 teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste
2 tablespoons of olive oil (more as needed)
salt to taste


Directions

1. Take the puff pastry sheets out of the freezer to allow them to defrost. Boil potatoes (you can leave the skin on) and lightly mash them so they form small bite-size chunks. Wash and cut the kale into bite-size pieces as well.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan and saute the kale for about 10 minutes, or until soft.

3. Take the kale out and set aside. In the same oil, add the cumin seeds and fry for about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the ginger-garlic paste and the rest of the seasonings. Stir and add in the kale and boiled potatoes. Add salt last and saute for about 10 more minutes to allow all flavors to blend.

4. Turn off the heat and move the skillet to allow the filling to cool. Cut the puff pastry sheets into 8 triangles, as shown in the picture below. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

5. Make cone out of each triangle and spoon enough filling in so that the samosa will close without breaking. You can add a tiny bit of water to the edges of the triangles so that edges will stick more easily.

6. Place each samosa on a parchment lined backing sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite chutney!

 

 Posted by at 1:47 PM
Dec 042011
 

Here’s another recipe that I found online and thought was worth re-posting. It’s delicious for breakfast or as a snack and contains tons of great vitamins, fiber, and nutrients. Instead of using regular flour, I opted for the gluten-free kind since I sometimes cut out all gluten products for a week. I find that going gluten-free for periods of time gives me more energy. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using regular flour. Since I did not have dates on hand (which the recipe requires), I chose to use prunes instead. The results were fantastic, even without the dates. I added some extra cinnamon to the recipe as well. If you don’t have ground cloves or nutmeg on hand, you can use pumpkin pie spice as well, which is an excellent substitute. Here’s the full recipe…let me know what you think!

 Posted by at 11:24 AM
Jun 042011
 

If you’re looking for an easy snack or light meal, rustic bruschetta is great because there’s no measuring required to make this traditional appetizer taste good! Here’s what I like to whip as a light dinner or lunch when I’m too tired to cook:

Take a loaf of French or Italian bread and cut it into small logs.  Brush half the loaf with good quality extra virgin olive oil and lightly rub with a clove of garlic. Take two medium tomatoes, remove the seeds and dice the tomatoes along with some fresh basil leaves and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Toast all the bread until the crust is crispy, but bread is still soft. Top half the loaf with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with some finely grated Parmesan cheese.

Spread the other half of the loaf with Mascarpone cheese and sprinkle with some dried oregano, dried basil, and crushed red peppers. Be sure to spread the cheese right after taking the bread out of the toaster, so that it melts into the bread (yum!).  Serve warm with a glass of vino and enjoy!

 

 

 Posted by at 8:58 PM
Sep 122009
 

I know the combination of chocolate and zucchini sounds weird to a lot of people, but this is probably the best bread I’ve ever eaten. It beats the banana-walnut-chocolate chip bread that I often bake. I got this recipe from the Producebox and will make it as long as I can find zucchinis!

Ingredients

3 large eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, shredded (this is about 1 medium zucchini)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa or Ovaltine
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
Cooking spray or butter to grease pans

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Directions

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. Combine dry ingredients, add to zucchini mixture and mix well. Pour into two greased 8x4x3 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the breads comes out clean. Enjoy!!

 Posted by at 5:05 PM
Aug 312009
 

There’s lots more to love than just cheese on this toast! Super quick to make and sure to satisfy, any time of the day.

Crisp Cheese Toast

Ingredients

A few slices of bread (Publix Chicago-Italian bread works the best!)
A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
A few thinly sliced onion rings
A slice of American and Pepper Jack cheese for each slice of bread
1 medium tomato, chopped with seeds and liquid removed

Directions

Top each slice of bread with cheese first, then onions, tomato, and cilantro. Spray a grill pan or plate with cooking spray and grill two slices on top of each other (to make a sandwich). Turn over to brown both sides. This works best in a George Foreman grill, but a grill plate or pan works fine as well. Serve for lunch or as a hearty snack.

 Posted by at 7:51 PM
May 102009
 

This cucumber sauce can be used on grilled meats, inside pita sandwiches, or on top of meat or veggie kabobs. The mint in this sauce adds a nice, refreshing touch.

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Ingredients

1.5 cups of plain yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon of powdered mint leaves
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
A few sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped

Directions

Chop the cucumber and cilantro and add all ingredients together. Mix well.

We usually make our own yogurt, which comes out thicker and
richer than store-bought yogurt. I’ll be sure to post the recipe for this sometime soon!

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 Posted by at 2:49 PM
Mar 252009
 

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This makes a great weekend lunch, or a light snack when shared. Unlike traditional taco salad, this recipe does not feel heavy, but fresh and healthy instead. If you use a Goya Sazon seasoning packet, be aware that this does contain a small amount of MSG. Look for MSG free taco seasoning instead if you want to do without.

Ingredients (for two people)

4 taco shells, broken into chips-sized pieces
1/2 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can of sweet whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
a handful of cilantro, chopped
1 packet Goya Sazon seasoning (any kind) or half a packet of taco seasoning
two cups of shredded lettuce
shredded cheese (optional)
a few spoons of your favorite salsa
a squeeze of lime juice

Directions

Break up the taco shells and put in the toaster oven until warm and crispy. Mix the black beans, corn, tomato, cilantro, seasoning, and lime juice in a bowl. Mix in the shredded lettuce and top taco shell pieces with mixture. Top with salsa and cheese, as desired. Enjoy!

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 Posted by at 7:47 PM
Mar 252009
 

This is a wonderful pot luck dish and goes great with grilled foods!

Ingredients (for about 10-12 people)

5-6 baking potatoes, boiled and smashed OR
2 packets of Betty Crocker roasted garlic mashed potatoes and 1 more baking potato,
boiled and smashed
1/2 jar of beets
1/2 jar of cubed pickles
1 cup of mayonaise
1/4 cup of yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons of dill, dried or fresh
2 teaspoons of garlic powder, if not using the Betty Crocker mix
Some chopped English cucumber and / or slices of boiled eggs for garnish

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Directions

Boil the potatoes and / or cook the Betty Crocker potato mix according to directions. Smash the potatoes until smooth, with some small chunks of potato remaining. Allow to cool and refrigerate for about an hour.

Take potatoes out of the fridge and mix in beets and pickles until the potatoes turn pink evenly. Mix in the mayo, mustard, dill, and garlic powder, if needed, until all ingredients are well blended together. Chop up some English cucumber or boil a few eggs and slice. Garnish the salad with chopped cucumbers and / or boiled eggs. Serve cold.

 Posted by at 7:37 PM