Crispy Kale "Chips" taken from steamykitchen.com
The biggest secret to getting the kale super-crisp is to dry them in a salad spinner. If there is moisture on the leaves, the kale will steam, not crisp. Also, do not salt the kale until after they have come out of the oven. If you salt beforehand, the salt will just cause the kale to release moisture…thus steaming instead of crisping. I’ve also found that the convection setting on my oven works really well too – I set the convection on 325F and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Have fun with this recipe, I sometimes mix the salt with Cajun or Creole seasoning.
4 giant handfuls of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces and tough stems removed (about 1/3 pound)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt or kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the kale leaves into a salad spinner and spin all of the water out of the kale. Dump the water and repeat one or two times more just to make sure that the kale is extra dizzy and dry. Use a towel to blot any extra water on the leaves. Place the kale on the baking sheet.
3. Drizzle olive oil over the kale leaves and use your hands to toss and coat the leaves. Bake in the oven for 12-20 minutes until leaves are crisp. Take a peek at the 12 minute mark – the timing all depends on how much olive oil you use. Just use a spatula or tongs to touch the leaves, if they are paper-thin crackly, the kale is done. If the leaves are still a bit soft, leave them in for another 2 minutes. Do not let the leaves turn brown (they’ll be burnt and bitter) Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and serve.
T3, El3, Er3, Ch3
Actually, Ellie's direct quote was, "Mom, these are SO yummy that I want you to make them 100 times a day!" Later she suggested that we should make a new house out of kale chips so she could always, always eat them. So yeah. You better try them.
Corn pudding in acorn squash taken from 101cookbooks.com
Also, (important!) depending on the size of your squash you might have quite a bit of filling leftover - I ended up with double the amount I needed. That being said, I kept Karen's original milk/egg ratio intact here. I poured my leftovers into a buttered ramekin and baked that alongside the squash for a nice, light corn-flecked pudding. Or alternately, you might use a second squash.
1 small (2 lb.) acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon clarified butter or olive oil
1 cup milk
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (or more if you like)
1/4 teaspoon anise seed, chopped
1/2 cup chopped scallions
a tiny pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup grated white cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees with a rack in the middle.
Rub the orange flesh of the squash with the butter/oil. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. You will want it to sit flat (and not tip), if you are having trouble just level out the bottom using a knife. If the squash is tilting on the pan, the filling will run out - bad news. Cover the squash with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the squash starts to get tender.
In a bowl combine the milk, eggs, corn, anise seed, half of the scallions, nutmeg, and salt. Fill each of the squash bowls 3/4 full (see head notes about using leftovers). Carefully transfer the squash back to the oven without spilling (tricky!). Continue baking uncovered for another 30 - 50 minutes, or until the squash is fully cooked through, and the pudding has set. The amount of time it takes can vary wildly depending on the squash and oven. At the last minute sprinkle with cheese and finish with a flash under the broiler to brown the cheese. Keep and eye on things, you can go from melted cheese to burnt and inedible in a flash. Serve hot sprinkled with the remaining scallions.
Serves 4 - 6.
T2, El2, Er1, Ch2
The pudding took longer than expected to cook through, and then was insufficiently flavorful to diffuse yumminess into the squash. I love the idea of roasting soup inside acorn squash, but next time I will try a flavor-packed chili or curry.
Fennel Cucumber Salsa from allrecipes.com
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1 large fennel bulb, diced
- 1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup pickled banana peppers, diced
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the cucumber, fennel, avocado, red onion, banana peppers, cilantro, honey, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Allow mixture to sit 20 minutes before serving.
Brussel Sprout Pie from Inspired Vegetarian
Roasted turkey hoisin wraps from enlightenedcooking.blogspot.com
Hoisin sauce is the Chinese equivalent of bbq sauce—it adds tremendous flavor to these wraps, giving them a taste similar to Peking duck. You’ll find it where soy sauce is shelved in the grocery store.
2 cups roasted turkey cut into strips (I bought a 1/2 pound piece from the deli—unsliced—then cut into strips at home)
5 tablespoons bottled hoisin sauce, divided use
2 medium-size flour tortillas (regular or whole wheat)
1/2 of a seedless cucumber, roughly cut into thin strips
4 green onions (scallions), trimmed and roughly chopped
2 packed cups prewashed baby spinach
Combine the turkey and 2 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat 30 seconds until warmed through. Place the tortillas on a dinner plate and heat in microwave 15-20 seconds until warm.
Spread the tortillas with the rest of the hoisin sauce, then use to wrap up turkeywith the cucumber, onions and watercress. Cut in half and enjoy while still warm. Makes 2 servings.
T2, El2, Er1, Ch1
Okay, these looked so good I impulsively went to the store just to buy some turkey, and getting off my lazy rear with all the kids for extra groceries is a big deal for me. However, after checking my hoisin sauce's ingredients, I disapproved, but it was too late. Also, I couldn't find roast turkey, so I bought one of those whole roasted chickens. I didn't use enough hoisin sauce. Chicken itself doesn't taste great to me anymore. And I used sprouted whole wheat tortillas, which weren't quite pliable enough to hold together. So... the recipe itself it probably great, but my tweaking rendered our experience less so.
Pineapple quinoa pilaf
I based my pineapple salsa off of the following from allrecipes.com, and then mixed it into quinoa and seasoned to taste.
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons shallots, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup diced pineapple
- 2 large plum tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 (6 ounce) fillets salmon
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- lemon pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, shallots, and sugar. Stir in the pineapple, tomatoes, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- Place salmon in a 9x13-inch pan. Pour chicken broth over the top, and sprinkle with lemon pepper.
- Bake in a preheated oven until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with salsa on the side.
Eggplant marinara in whole wheat pitas
T3, El3, Er3, Ch2
Asparagus cream crepes
The first time I made this, I roasted the asparagus with butter, salt, and garlic powder until yummy-looking. I mixed about 4 oz cream cheese with 4 oz mozzarella cheese and some parmesan and seasonings and spread that inside whole-wheat crepes, and filled with the asparagus. Too hard to eat-- the asparagus is especially tricky to bite through for kids.
So, my second time (when I didn't have cheese-loving guests to satisfy), I used only the second half of the cream cheese bar with some non-dairy milk, garlic, and seasonings. I chopped the asparagus and stir fried with mushrooms. Obviously, not as cheesy, but still very yummy, although still hard to eat as the veggies didn't stay in at all. Overall, I love the concept of savory-filled crepes. I will keep experimenting, next time sans cheese completely.
Oh, and I used the whole-wheat crepe recipe from enlightenedcooking.blogspot.com
T3, El3, Er3, Ch1 (E&E LOVE asparagus plain, so adding cheese makes 'em go crazy!)
Cheesy Spinach Filo Roll taken loosely from Inspired Vegetarian
1. cook 1 lb spinach until wilted; drain excess liquid
2. saute 1 chopped onion until soft, remove from heat and add spinach
3. add 6 oz ricotta cheese, plus feta or parmesan or whatever cheese you have, plus some seasonings of choice
4. layer five filo sheets down, brushing with oil or butter between each layer
5. spread the filling, leaving a 1 inch border, then roll it up and brush top with more oil
6. bake, seam side down, at 375 for 30 min until golden brown
T3, El3, Er3, Ch3 (I made this when Bob and Mom were in town, and it certainly had enough cheese in it to please all. It's not something I would make for just my family, but was a special treat.)
Coconut panna cotta
Total time: 15 minutes, plus 4 hours chilling time
Note: From "Hawaii Cooks," by Roy Yamaguchi (Ten Speed Press, $32.50)
-2 envelopes granular gelatin
-6 tablespoons water
-2 cups coconut milk
-1 1/4 cups heavy cream (I used coconut cream, which is so wonderfully thick)
-3/4 cup sugar ("stevia in the raw" is my new fave sweetener-- somehow it's all-natural, not sure how...)
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-Fresh fruit, diced, for garnish (I used fresh pineapple and raspberries with a little canned peaches and fresh mint leaves, but of course any tropical-ish fruit will do)
1. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the water until softened.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. Place over medium heat and warm until hot to the touch (about 110 degrees). Add the gelatin and stir until dissolved.
3. Pour into 6 (6-ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, or until set.
4. Serve garnished with fresh fruit.
T3, El1, Er3, Ch3 (Turns out Ellie doesn't like coconut. Weird. Anyway, it's basically jello, but a very healthful version. Yes, I realize coconuts are loaded with saturated fat, and I happen to still believe they are fabulously healthful! I try to consume coconut in at least one form every day.)
Lemon Cream sauce from Inspired Vegetarian (which is a remote cookbook I own but generally do not recommend-- too fancy aka exorbitant for my tastes)
1. combine 1 c broth (even water from cooking veggies will do) and 1 T cornstarch or flour and bring to a boil, stirring until sauce thickens slightly; add 2 t sugar and remove from heat and cool slightly
2. beat 2 egg yolks with juice of 1.5 lemons and stir gradually into sauce
3. cook over very low heat, stirring all the time, until sauce is fairly thick --don't overheat or it will curdle
4. remove from heat, still stirring a minute, and add salt and sugar to taste
T3, El3, Er3, Ch3 (My kids will eat anything over pasta. I love the idea of a creamy lemon sauce, but I think I'll try a more straightforward one next time.)
Gluten Free BBQ Sauce from Elanaspantry.com
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup shallots, minced
1 (7 ounce) bottle Bionaturæ Organic Tomato Paste
1 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Warm oil in a saucepan over medium low heat
- Add garlic and shallot; cook until soft
- Add tomato paste, orange juice, vinegar, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper
- Simmer over low heat 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often
- Baste over fish or chicken
- Refrigerate and allow to marinate for 1-3 hours
- Grill and serve
T3, El3, Er2, Ch2
I added sundried tomatoes and used this sauce with beans and fresh raw veggies rolled in tortillas. It was plenty sweet, although lacks any of the smoky flavor of traditional barbecue sauces. But with no expectations of barbecue flavor, it makes a great naturally-sweetened tomato sauce.