Sunday, February 5, 2017

How to Make Boxed Mac & Cheese a Little Better

I know it is not healthy. I know there are chemicals in that "cheese". But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. So, I sort of make it according to the directions on the box.  BUT to help with the protein, I add a 1/4 cup dried red lentils along with the noodles during the boiling process. Both the noodles and lentils are done within 7 minutes. Meanwhile, either drain a can of diced tomatoes or chop up about 4 plum tomatoes. Five minutes into the boiling process, add a couple of handfuls of chopped kale. Feel free to use spinach too.  At 7 minutes, drain in all saving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water.  Returning the noodles to the pot, add the "cheese" to the noodles/kale/lentil mixture, a tsp of butter and the 2Tbsp milk and 2Tbsp reserved liquid (or all milk or all liquid) and stir. Once it's as well blended as it'll get, add the tomatoes. Put on low heat and cook through until the tomatoes are warm. Top with some fresh cheese. You've added protein and vitamins to an otherwise not very nutritious meal. Bon appetite! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Toasty Roasty Kale

Healthy snacks are important to have and when they are easy to make it is even better.  Toasty Roasty Kale fits in perfectly.  The easy part comes later.  Let's talk about the healthy aspects of kale.  I know, I know.  You are thinking - "Isn't that what they put in salad bars to make them look pretty?"  And the answer is YES!!!

Kale contains substantial amounts of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of nutrition essentials.  In one cup alone you have:
  • About 20% of fiber (diet and digestion)
  • Over 1300% of vitamin K (anti-inflammatory)
  • 10%of omega-3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory)
  • 192% vitamin A (antioxidant)
  • 88% vitamin C (antioxidant, immunity)
  • Plus so much more.  
Kale is consumed all over the world.  There are different varieties.  
  • Curly leaved (Scots Kale)
  • Plain leaved
  • Rape Kale
  • Leaf and spear (a cross between curly leaved and plain leaved Kale)
  • Cavolo nero (also known as black cabbage, Tuscan Cabbage, Tuscan Kale, Lacinato and dinosaur Kale)*
Now, that you know the benefits of kale.  What the heck do you do with it?  KALE CHIPS! Unfortunately, Many of the kale chips you will find in the stores are very high in fat.  They use a lot of oil in the baking and/or frying.  There is absolutely no need for the fat.  In our Toasty Roasty Kale, there are just trace amounts of fat from the spray.  It keeps it very healthy and lower in fat than the store made ones.

Toasty Roasty Kale  

1 bunch of Kale, washed, ribs cut out, and in 1" pieces
Juice of half a lemon
Olive Oil sprayer
Salt 
Pepper 
Seasonings of choice

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place the kale on a sheet pan.  Squeeze the juice of half a lemon, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper plus any other spices you may chose to use.  Toss right on the pan. Level out.  Put in oven for 8-10 minutes.  Check and cook to desired crispiness.  

Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes

Level of difficulty - easy


With the Toasty Roasty Kale you can add any variety of spices to it ~ salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder or salt, onion powder or salt, chili powder, cayenne, whatever floats your boat.  Remember, part of the fun of cooking is experimenting!!  And you can start enjoying them from start to finish in about 15 minutes. 

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/9-health-benefits-of-kale.html
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2