Kale chips

My aunt loves these healthy chips and now we do too. I’ve seen lots of recipes and finally had a chance to try one. There are several variations where you can add different flavors like teriyaki or parmesan. I kept this one simple – salt and pepper.

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and patted dry
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the stems and any tough pieces from the kale leaves. Then cut or tear the kale leaves into one-inch pieces.

Coat the kale in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Spread kale in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the kale gets crispy. Keep an eye on the oven so the chips don’t burn.

Crunch on!

*Dairy free, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian

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Turkey Crockpot Chili

Sheldon Cooper would say this isn’t really a chili recipe because it has beans, but thats what I’m going to call it anyway. Sorry Sheldon.

I love an easy crock pot recipe, especially a hearty warm one like this on a cold night.

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can beans (red kidney beans work well)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 package frozen veggies (I like carrots, corn, green beans)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-4 tsp chili powder depending on how spicy you like things
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Cook the turkey in a pan first. Then put the browned turkey and everything else in your crock pot. Cook on low for about 8 hours and dig in. Its good by itself or over rice.

*Gluten free, Dairy free

Herb Ice Cubes

If you’re like me, there is usually a big difference between how much of an herb a recipe calls for and how much you have in your garden or batch from the market.

What do you do with the rest? One new trick I’ve learned is to make the herbs into ice cubes.

Chop your herbs and add to an ice cube tray. Cover with olive oil and freeze. Once frozen,  pop the cubes out of the tray and add to a labeled freezer bag.

Just add one or two for your next recipe.

I’ve heard this works best for hardy herbs like oregano but so far I’ve only done it with parsley.

Sea Scallops in White Wine Sauce

The anniversary tradition in our house is cooking a fancy dinner. This year we decided to try sea scallops in white wine sauce over pasta. It was a delicious idea.

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb sea scallops (one bag of frozen sea scallops, thawed)
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley (minced)
  • Cracked black pepper

Make your pasta separately at the same time as the scallops and sauce.

Heat olive oil in a pan over high heat. Sea scallops in hot oil for one minute each side. Add 1/2 cup of white wine and reduce to medium heat. Simmer the scallops for about 2 minutes and remove from the pan.

Add the rest of the wine, lemon juice, and garlic to the pan. Increase heat to high and reduce the sauce by half. Add the butter and parsley.

Stay tuned for a trick to save the rest of that parsley you didn’t use.

Add the scallops and sauce over pasta. Add cracked black pepper to taste.

Happy anniversary!

*Dairy free

Sausage and Sweet Pepper Pizza

The Jeopardy decision jingle plays in my head whenever I’m trying to figure out what to make for lunch during the week. In my opinion, leftovers make the best lunches.

I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker and knew it would satisfy my lunch time hunger for the week. My version also makes two pizzas but I took a few short cuts – like store bought pizza crust.

  • 2 pizza crusts – store bought or you can make your own
  • 3 Italian sausages (sweet or spicy, I used sweet)
  • Tomato sauce (small can)
  • Clove of garlic
  • Oregano
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 bell peppers (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
  • Olive oil
  • Cracked black pepper

First, take your sausage out of the casing. Brown the sausage in a pan. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

While the sausage is browning, mix the garlic and oregano into the tomato sauce and spread over the pizza crusts. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.

When sausage is completely browned, add to the pizza. In the same pan, cook down the red onions and bell peppers for a few minutes. Then add them to the top of the pizza.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and cracked blacked pepper.

Put both pizzas in the oven for about 20 minutes (may be different directions on your store bought pizza crust). I switched the pizzas on the racks about half way through the cook time since things on the bottom rack tend to not get as crispy.

Cut into slices and enjoy! The pizza freezes pretty well too and made a great lunch at work.

I broke all the healthy rules on this one so no diet designations today. It does has vegetables though, right?

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Fall is here. There is a nip in the air and the leaves are starting to turn shades of orange and red. Its time for all things pumpkin. This is my new favorite healthy snack. Its simple, delicious, and has my favorite fall flavor – pumpkin.

  • 1 cup yogurt (regular or Greek)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix everything together, chill, and enjoy.

The original recipe was posted by Baked Bree. She’s right, its good with apple slices and graham crackers. I’m thinking it would also be a great sauce over vanilla ice cream.

 

Happy fall!

*Gluten free, Vegetarian

Mole Rice

As soon as I saw this recipe at the Tasty Kitchen Blog I knew I had to try it – I mean it has chocolate and bacon, how could it be anything but amazing.

Like the Lucky Lentil Soup, its not the most photogenic meal but its so good that doesn’t matter. Plus its one of those recipes you can make all in one pan – a big plus for me, who usually dirties every pan in the house when trying a new recipe for the first time.

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 strips bacon (chopped for quick cooking)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups mushrooms (sliced or roughly chopped)
  • 3-ish cups broth
  • 6 ounces (small can) tomato paste
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate (chopped or as chips/morsels)
  • 1 cup rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Green onions and parsley for garnish (optional)

First you want to toast your spice mix. Add the oregano, cumin, allspice, and sesame seeds to a skillet and heat for 30-35 seconds over medium heat. Set your spices aside for now.

Cook your bacon until crispy and set that aside too.

In the bacon fat (of course), cook down the pepper, onion, and red pepper flakes until soft. Add the garlic toward the end so it doesn’t burn. Once the mix is all softened, add the mushrooms and cook  down until those are soft too.

Increase to high heat and add broth, tomato paste, chocolate, and your toasted spice mix. Bring to a boil. Add the uncooked rice and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30-35 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir as needed so it doesn’t stick. Add more broth if needed, I used about 3 cups over all adding more as it was absorbed by the rice.

When the rice is tender turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes. Dish up and add your crispy bacon bits for savory, bacony, chocolaty goodness in a bowl.

On a side note the word mole (pronounced mo-lay) reminds me of my favorite fish, the Mola mola, or sunfish. I have a feeling my food and marine biology interest won’t cross paths too often so I wanted to share.

*Gluten Free, Dairy Free, could be Vegetarian and Vegan if you use vegetable broth and leave out the bacon.

*Photo from Daniel Botelho at National Geographic, via Facebook.