Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crispy Kale Chips

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie! Makes the perfect late night snack... completely guiltless!!! :) 1 cup of cooked kale has only 36 calories and 1 gram of fat and provides you with 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber! It has over 300% of your daily vitamin A and 89% of your daily vitamin C!

1 bunch of fresh kale
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash kale thoroughly and tear into bite sized pieces. There is no wrong way to do this... tear, chop... doesn't matter! :) I tend to tear away from the thick part of the stem and toss it out as it tends to be a bit bitter for me. I stick with the leafier part of the kale. Spread kale out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it... you don't want it to brown... just get a little crisp!


Try drizzling with a teeny bit of lemon juice OR balsamic vinegar for a little extra kick!

Some more information about the health benefits of kale...


Less-Sinful Silken Chocolate Trifle

So I'm a bonafide chocolate junkie. I mean the needs-therapy-kinda-chocoholic with a real problem! So I decided that IF I was going to be forced to give in to my weakness on occasion, I at least needed a healthier way of doing it. One of my favorite desserts is silken chocolate pie but the calories and fat grams in a slice of that stuff is frightening! I figured that was place to start... I was amazed with the results of this filling! I guarantee that no one will ever know that it is made with tofu! My husband even ate a helping and said it was really good! He is anti-tofu! :) My daughter went crazy over it too! It is so rich and creamy... the best part is that you don't need a large helping... I mean, a small spoonful is all you need! :) A truly decadent treat...

I started out making a pie but it turned into a trifle... either will work for this recipe! :)

Less-Sinful Silken Chocolate Trifle

18 ounce block of silken tofu (firm will work okay too but not extra firm)
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
3 tbsp honey
12 ounces milk chocolate chips
Crust (I used crushed double stuf oreos but you could use crushed chocolate graham crackers or even a regular graham cracker crust, I would suggest using oreo's the first time as they are far superior... if you are trying to sneak the tofu past your family!)

Start by chopping your tofu into small pieces and put in the blender. Add coffee and blend until smooth.

Melt chocolate chips using a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Once chocolate is melted, add honey and stir. Add chocolate mixture to the tofu mixture in the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into your pie crust or trifle bowl and chill in the fridge for several hours or until set.

Now... here is where you can get creative. I actually thought my filling was going to be too runny for a pie so I decided to put it in a trifle bowl layered with the oreos. It DID set overnight and would have been fine for a pie! The trifle was very pretty though so feel free to get creative with it! You could layer with some fresh raspberries, strawberries or my favorite... cherries! Yum! You could even toss a layer of whipped cream in there for a really impressive presentation!

My next endeavor... key lime pie!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Leftover Lentil Samosas

So, I'm notorius for leftover waste. I'm not a fan of leftovers and my husband pretty much refuses to eat them. I've been trying to be better about not wasting so much and I have to admit, I'm pretty impressed with myself! My fridge is normally filled with those little blue ziploc containers but the last couple of weeks it has stayed nice and neat and I vowed to let no leftovers sit for more than two days!

Today I was pondering what I should do with the leftover Lentils and Rice from my last post. I had a hankering for some Indian food so here is what I decided to do with it. The result was nothing short of WONDERFUL! :)

First I emptied my leftover lentils and a little of the leftover rice into my little food processor. I have a 2-cup processor if that gives you an idea of how much I made. I then added about a 1/4 cup of chicken broth (water or even milk would be sufficient too) and a couple dashes of curry powder. Add the curry powder slowly... you can always taste it and add more if you want more. I then blended it all in the processor until it made a paste. This becomes the filling for the samosas.

I poured enough oil into a pan to come up the sides about 2 inches (I used a small 2qt pan) and turned my heat up to med. I then used store bought wonton wrappers, rubbed a little egg white along the edges, filled with a teaspoon or so of the lentil filling, folded the pastry over and pinched it closed, making a triangle. Now, maybe there is a secret to wonton wrappers but I couldn't keep mine from splitting open in the oil using just one wrapper, so I ended up doubling my pastries (used 2 instead of one thin one), this solved that issue! These take only seconds to cook as the pastry is thin and only needs to be lightly browned... so be forewarned! I highly recommend getting all of your samosas wrapped and ready before you start putting them in oil. Also, just put one in at a time, it just seemed to work better for me!

Drizzle your cooked samosas with a little agave nectar (yes, sounds like a weird combo but it's truly an amazing mix of flavors!) and enjoy!!!! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Vegetable Lentils and Rice

First, let me start this post off with an apology for neglecting you for so long! I have to admit, since spring has sprung and the weather has been so irresistibly beautiful, I haven't spent much time slaving over the stove. We've been planting flowers and playing outside so much that our meals have been pretty last minute and simple lately, not really 'share worthy'! So... I decided that I can't neglect my kitchen any longer!

The recipe that I am about to share is perfect for this amazing weather. Easy, refreshing and filling. But not the bad kind of filling that leaves you feeling like you just swallowed a horse whole! ;)

Note: If you don't own a rice cooker, I HIGHLY recommend you get one! It will be the best $13 (cheap walmart one) that you ever spent if you like rice like I do!

Vegetable Lentils and Rice

2 medium carrots (not peeled or you loose the flavor and some of the nutrients!! ;))
1/2 of a small yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic. minced
approx 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
couple dashes garlic salt
2 cans vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp lemon juice (you won't be able to taste it, it just wakens up the flavors!)
1 cup red lentils (regular lentils are fine too)
2 cups cooked rice (white or brown... your call!)

Drizzle a couple tbsp or so of olive oil into a large pan. Toss in your chopped carrots, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, and garlic salt. Sautee until your onions are translucent. Deglaze your pan with the chicken broth and pour in your lemon juice and lentils. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Then turn your heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes or until your lentils are tender.

Serve hot over rice and enjoy!

Get creative!!! Try adding some curry powder and a can of diced tomatoes for an indian flare and serve over jasmine or basmati rice! OR... add some extra water to your broth and make a soup!