Kale Chips

Kale is a super food.  It is one of the best foods that you can eat.  So why is kale so important?  It is high in Vitamins C, A, and K, contains phytonutrients, can help prevent certain types of cancer, and even helps to lower cholesterol levels.  Yup, I’m pretty sure kale deserves to wear a super hero cape. If you are anything like me, I didn’t know a whole lot about kale, but I was willing to try it.  One way to get a tasty introduction to kale is to make kale chips.  They are easy, quick, fun to do, and have endless seasoning possibilities.  Here is how we make kale chips in our house. Ingredients: Kale – any variety will do, just make sure that the leaves are firm Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) Spices – we like chili powder or garlic powder/sesame seeds Sugar (optional) Instructions: Preheat your oven to 375.  If you have the option to use convection go ahead and use that, just make sure that the final temp is 375. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Wash and dry your kale before tearing it into chip-sized pieces. In a bowl, mix your kale with a tiny bit of EVOO.  The key here is “less is more”.  Don’t let the leaves get saturated otherwise your chips won’t get crispy. Add any seasoning(s) you would like and mix again. If you find that you don’t like the aftertaste of the kale chips you can add a tiny bit of sugar to your mixture.  By tiny bit, I mean that when I make kale chips I never use more than a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar total for 3-4 large cookies sheets worth of chips. Spread your kale in a single layer on the chip making sure to unfold any pieces that are bent.  If you skip this step your chips won’t be crispy. Pop the cookie sheet into the oven for 3-5 minutes.  Check the chips frequently.  In fact, I usually stand right in front of the oven since the cook time is so short.  This allows me to monitor the chips – burned kale chips are not tasty!  Depending on how much EVOO you used, whether or not you are using convection, and how dry you got your kale at the beginning, cooking time will vary.  Just be vigilant. Enjoy! Here...
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Zucchini Mini Muffins: Cooking Light Magazine

I was flipping through a recent Cooking Light Magazine and saw these mini zucchini muffins.  They are nutritious and easy to make.  Of course, I used the excuse that we had some leftover zucchini in the fridge that I didn’t want to waste.  Needless to say I jumped right in.  The original recipe is listed below as well as the modifications that I made. Ingredients: Original Moira’s Modifications 1 1/3 C All Purpose Flour 1/2 C Packed Dark Brown Sugar 1/4 C Packed Light Brown Sugar (that is what I had in the pantry) 1 t Baking Powder 1 t Cinnamon 1/2 t Salt Salt omitted 1/4 t Allspice 2/3 C Shredded Zucchini 3 T Canola Oil 3 T Coconut Oil 2 T butter, melted 2 T 1% milk 2 T Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk 1 t Vanilla Extract 1 Large Egg, lightly beaten Cooking Spray Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a large bowl. Combine zucchini and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring batter just until combined. Divide batter evenly among 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Nutritional Information per Serving (2 mini muffins): based on original ingredients Calories: 146 Fat: 6.1g (Sat. 1.7g, MonoUnsat. 2.9g, PolyUnsat. 1.2g) Protein: 2.3g Carbohydrate: 20.8g Fiber: 0.7g Cholesterol: 21mg Iron: 0.9mg Sodium: 160mg Calcium: 41mg Moira’s Notes: The dough will be pretty dry.  It takes a little work to get all of the flour mixture worked into the wet ingredients, but it will work if you are patient. The muffins end up being pretty moist especially considering how dry the dough is. I used a 1 T cookie scoop to fill my mini muffin pans, which made 21 muffins. I used the Convection Convert feature on our oven and the muffins took 12 minutes and 30 seconds to bake fully.  Make sure you keep an eye on your muffins so they don’t get dried out. Before you offer your friends and family any muffins take some for yourself!  My son nabbed three out of my hand before I was able to actually eat...
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Perk Up Your Wilted Lettuce

This spring we have gotten a LOT of lettuce in our CSA box.  In our first box, at the beginning of May, we received 3 heads of lettuce.  This trend has continued each week.  Unfortunately, not all of the lettuce fit in the produce drawers of our fridge so I put the excess on a shelf in the main compartment of the refrigerator.  Much to my dismay, the next day I opened my fridge to find an abundance of wilted lettuce.  I couldn’t believe it.  I felt silly for leaving it on the shelf and sad to have wasted so much good produce. Well, luckily, you can find the answer to so many problems on Google.  So, one computer and about five minutes later I found the solution.  If you have wilted lettuce just pop it in a bowl filled with cold water and squeeze fresh lemon juice into the water.  Put the bowl filled with water, lettuce, and lemon juice in the fridge.  After a couple of hours you should have nice crisp lettuce worthy of a wonderful salad. After discovering this trick I haven’t had to throw away any lettuce due to wilting.  I have even discovered that you can leave the lettuce in the water until you are ready to use it.  So, make sure that you tear your lettuce into the size you prefer before you put it in the water.  This will save you some time down the road.  ...
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Typical Meals in the Hanna Household

As a health coach I pay a lot of attention to what we eat in our house.  The old adage, “Practice what you preach” is alive and well in our family.  We try our best to live a healthy lifestyle, but don’t always succeed and we certainly have times of indulgences.  So what do we plan for dinners in our house?  Take a look below for most of the dinners we have eaten in the last month: Warm Quinoa Salad with roasted shallots and butternut squash (vegan) Ziti with red pepper and walnut sauce (vegan) Brazilian black bean stew (vegan) Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup (vegan) Black bean quesadillas and avocado (vegetarian) Homemade veggie pizza with whole wheat crust (vegetarian) Mushroom and Asparagus Barley Risotto (vegan) Mushroom-Spinach Stuffed Shells with Salad (vegetarian) Veggie Calzones (vegetarian) Pesto Roasted Salmon with Israeli CousCous Seared Scallops and barley pilaf with dried cranberries and pecans Salmon Florentine Orange Salmon with Apricot Horseradish Salsa Proscuitto Wrapped Cod with Wild Rice and Edamame Tortellini-Spinach Soup Wheat berry salad with grilled chicken Rotisserie chicken with peas and wild rice Panzanella with Chicken Sausage Chicken, Apple, and Caramelized Onion Sandwiches with Parsnip Fries BBQ Chicken with sweet potatoes and grilled corn Turkey Pot Pie Turkey Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans Turkey-And-Rice Stuffed Peppers Fillet Mignon and salad with goat cheese and caramelized onions Homemade bolognese sauce with whole wheat spaghetti and salad French Onion Soup Lentil Soup with Peas and...
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