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I thought everyone knew about Kale chips….the best snack ever…however, the other day I was chatting with someone and she did not in fact know how to make this delicious snack. Kale chips have all the guilty crunchy salty pleasure of a potato chip but all the nutritious benefits of kale.  Plus, they are super easy to make!

Ingredients:

Kale- whatever you’ve got (ideally  a bunch since they shrink down).

1 tsp Olive Oil

pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2, Wash and dry kale (salad spinner works great).

3. Spread out the kale leaves and cut off the leaves from the middle stem.

4.  Coat leaves with olive oil spray or use 1 tsp to coat leaves in a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt.

5. Spread out leaves on parchment paper or tinfoil and bake for 10-15 minutes until darker green but not burned.

Serve hot and be amazed at how quickly this health food gets goobled up.  Great for kids too!

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Since spring is playing peek-a-boo with us….its time to get ready for an easy spring salad!  I like to add no-fat feta from Trader Joe’s for a protein kick in there as well.

From the American Institute of Cancer Research.

A versatile salad like this one is perfect for those who want to add cancer-protective foods to their diet, but are just starting to transition from a meat-based plate. Tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion make an excellent side salad or use them as a meal base by adding a lean protein like low-fat cheese or chicken.  An added bonus: tomatoes are rich in the phytochemical, lycopene, which scientists believe may play a role in protecting against prostate cancer.

Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Parsley and Mint
4 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, parsley and mint. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil and mustard. Add to tomato mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 60 calories, 3 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 2 g fiber, 45 mg sodium.

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As promised in last week’s Healthy Meal Planning post, here is the White Bean & Kale Ragout recipe that is one of our meal-time staples.   You can do it with the sausage or not, with the zucchini or not and I like to serve mine with a sprinkle of parmesan on top.  Remember to make extra and pack it for lunch or freeze!

Serves 4 (serving size 1 ¾ C each)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ C Chopped Onion
2 (4 oz) links of chicken/turkey sausage, cut into ½ inch slices*  (OPTIONAL)
1 Zucchini, quartered and cut into ½ inch slices (about 2 cups)
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed
6 Cups chopped trimmed kale (about ½ pound)
½ C Water or Low-Sodium Vegetable Stock (good for flavor if omitting sausage)
2 (16 oz) cans Cannellini/White beans, rinsed & drained or 4 cups pre-cooked homemade
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes (low sodium, or NO salt), undrained
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Sauté onion and sausage 4 minutes or until sausage is browned.

3. Add zucchini and garlic, cook 2 minutes.

4. Add kale and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 467 calories, 10.2g fat (6.5g if no sausage), 28.5g protein (with sausage), 15.4g fiber
764 mg sodium

Cooking Light, January 2005

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Kale Ceasar Salad

As a follow up to my last post on Eataly and their love of vegetables- I wanted to post a recipe that highlights one of my favorite leafy greens that also happens to be one of the healthiest foods out there.  It is a great source of Vitamins A and C and also a delicious mouthful of potassium, calcium, iron and folate. The best part of this recipe is that the creaminess of the casear dressing makes this dish popular for those that would normally steer clear of anything so healthy sounding!

Recipe adapted from Tartine Bread (Chronicle Books)
Yield: 6 to 8 generous servings

INGREDIENTS

Croutons:
Four 1-inch slices day-old country bread (ideally whole wheat), torn into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
½ teaspoon herbes de Provence (optional)

Kale Caesar:
3 garlic cloves (freshly minced or from a jar of minced)
6 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets (or 1-2 Tbsp of anchovy paste)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 large egg yolk ( I like to boil for 45 sec just to be safe first)
Salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil (I use half this but this is his recipe)
2 heads (about 1 pound) black kale, center stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil, a pinch of salt and the herbes de Provence, if using. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake, turning the croutons midway through, until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.

2. Make the dressing: Place the garlic, anchovies and lemon zest in a mortar and pound with a pestle to make a thick paste. (Alternatively, pulse them together in a blender.) Add the egg yolk, a pinch of salt and a few drops of the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. While stirring, (or with the blender motor running), add ½ cup of the olive oil, one drop at a time, to create a smooth emulsion. Stir (or blend) in the remaining cup of olive oil in a slow stream. (The dressing will thicken.) Periodically add the remaining lemon juice. When all the oil is incorporated, season the dressing to taste with additional salt and lemon juice. Add water as needed to thin the dressing to desired consistency.

3. Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss the kale with the croutons. Add the dressing to taste, reserving any extra for another use. Add the Parmesan, toss again and serve immediately.

To download this recipe, click here.

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As a follow up to my Pantry post, I wanted to add this simple “Pantry Pasta” recipe to your healthy home-cooking repertoire.  You can throw it together with only ingredients in your pantry (white beans, artichoke hearts,stock, wine and sun-dried tomatoes) as long as you have a lemon.  Ideally serve it with something fresh too, like a simple arugula and tomato salad or a heap of garlic spinach.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat linguine pasta
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (drain as much oil as possible first and then blot with a paper towel after chopping)
  • 3/4 cup sliced marinated artichoke hearts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine pasta, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook the onion 4 minutes, until tender. Mix in the thyme, and continue cooking 2 minutes, until onion is golden brown.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the saucepan. Return the onion and thyme to saucepan, and stir in the white wine. Cook until reduced by about 1 tablespoon. Mix in the stock, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking 10 minutes, until reduced to about 3/4 cup.
  4. Mix the sun-dried tomatoes, white beans and artichoke hearts into the saucepan, and cook just until heated through. Toss the cooked pasta into the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper.

Adapted this recipe from All Recipes, but they use fresh tuna instead of white beans and I lowered the amount of oil a bit.

Let me know what you think!

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Earlier in the week I profiled the “Engine 2 Diet” (read my thoughts here) which is basically a low fat vegan diet.  I especially liked the recipe portion of the book for the section on dressings, sauces and dips.  I am sharing the “Healthy Homemade Hummus” recipe with you as it makes an easy spread for sandwiches or dip for crudite and is impressively low fat since it does not have the standard olive oil or tahini.  You can make a double batch and eat it during the week as this will keep for about 5-7 days.

Ingredients:

1 Can Chickpeas, rinsed, drained

2 Cloves Garlic, chopped

2-3 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium Tamari

3 Tbsp water or vegetable broth

Directions:

1. In a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients into a thick paste, using a small amount of water or broth as necessary to achieve desired consistency.

You can customize by adding one or more of the following variations:

2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded, chopped

1 roasted, seeded and chopped red bell pepper

1 C dark or kalamata olives

1 bunch fresh mint

1 bunch fresh spinach

1 cup roasted eggplant

 

Download the recipe here or on our resource page!

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Finally a vegetarian dish you will be proud to bring to the party!  This nutritious dish is packed with protein and iron from the Quinoa (an ancient grain that is great for everyone from the gluten sensitive to the picky toddler).

Serves 8ish

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Butternut Squash (about 1.5 lbs), peeled, halved crosswise, and de-seeded
18 Fresh Sage Leaves, plus 1 tsp finely chopped sage
½ Onion, cute into ¼” dice (about 3/4C)
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 C Quinoa
2 C low sodium Vegetable Stock
1 ½ Ounces Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
1 tsp Coarse Salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
Vegetable Oil cooking spray

Directions:
1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with 1 tsp oil.
2.    Cut five ¼” thick rings of butternut squash, dice remainder of squash into ¼” pieces. Toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Place squash rings on one sheet and diced pieces on the other sheet. Sprinkle all squash with 12 sage leaves. Bake until tender and just golden, 15-20 minutes.  Let cool completely. Keep oven on.
3.    Heat remaining teaspoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until translucent (3-5 minutes). Add quinoa and stock and bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat. Let stand covered for 2 minutes.
4.    Stir together quinoa, diced squash, chopped sage, parmesan, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
5.    Coat a 9” plate pie plate with cooking spray. Arrange 6 sage leaves face down in plate; top with squash rings. Press quinoa mixture on top.
6.    Bake 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Serve wedges warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from Martha Stewart.

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