Kale Chips

I don’t know if you can even consider this a recipe.  Kale chips are SUPER simple (and fast) to make, and require only a few ingredients.  They’re healthy and crispy and might even trick your kids (and yourself) into thinking they’re indulging in a yummy treat!

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Ingredients:

Kale

Olive oil

Salt

… that’s it, that’s all!

Optional add-ins:  Cayenne pepper, black pepper, flavored oil, drizzle of Caesar or Ranch dressing, parmesan cheese… the list could go on and on.

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325, and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Wash kale well, making sure to remove any dirt hiding in the leaves.  Shake off excess water, and begin tearing the leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding the main stem/rib.  (*2-3 large leaves will fill a baking sheet, and this will make 2 cups or so of kale chips, so tear accordingly.  I usually make a couple batches if I want to feed more than just myself :).)

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Place kale on the baking sheet.  Drizzle on about a teaspoon of olive oil (a little bit goes a long way).  Toss with your hands until the olive oil is evenly distributed on the leaves.

Spread the kale into a thin layer on the baking sheet (The thinner the better, as they’ll crisp up more evenly.  The photo below would NOT be considered a thin layer…).

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Sprinkle with salt.  (Again, a little goes a long way.  The kale will shrink down, so you don’t need much salt.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the leaves have crisped up and JUST start to turn golden brown (they’ll continue to crisp when they come out of the oven).IMG_4646

Remove from oven and allow kale chips to cool for a few minutes.

Munch away!

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Ratatouille

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Mmm… piping hot veggies that have been stewing together, soft and almost creamy in texture… the perfect healthy comfort food side dish.  My rendition is not QUITE as delicate as Remi’s in Ratatouille :), but I’m sure it’s equally as delicious.  I love recipes where nothing has to be exact.  You can quick-chop all of the ingredients, throw them into a pan, cover, and forget about them for a while.  I almost didn’t want to include “dimensions” for the vegetables – it’s such an easy dish to put together, and is probably impossible to mess up.  So, go, release some stress and chop up some veggies for a while…

Ingredients:

1 large onion, roughly chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4″ cubes

2 bell peppers, chopped into 3/4″ pieces (I used red and orange to add some color, but use whatever you’ve got on hand)

2 small zucchini, halved and chopped into 1/2″ pieces

1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (if they look extremely juicy, drain out a little of the liquid)

a few pinches of salt

a few good turns of the pepper mill

generous pinch of dried thyme

generous pinch of dried basil

Pulling it all together: 

Start by heating a large pan or pot (something with a lid) over low-medium heat.

In a splash of olive oil, gently saute the onions (you’re not looking for color here, so if they start to brown, turn the heat down).

While the onions are cooking, chop the garlic and remaining veggies and set aside.

Once the onions have softened, add the garlic and cook for a minute or so.

Turn the heat down to low, and add the remaining veggies, salt, pepper, and herbs.  Cook until the veggies start to soften.

Add the can of diced tomatoes, juice and all.  Stir well.  Cover the pan, and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes or so.

Serve it up as a side dish as-is, or serve it over pasta or rice as a main meal if you’ve got veggies on the mind (a little parmesan sprinkled on top wouldn’t hurt either 😉 ).  Enjoy!

Makes 6-8 servings.