I double dog dare you not to like these! Whenever I give presentations on ‘super foods,’ I bring these snackers along and everyone leaves a huge fan. No surprise here, I like mine a little spicy but feel free to add whatever seasonings you have on hand. (Curry powder is also excellent). I understand if your skeptical about trying these (hot, crispy lettuce!?) but trust me on this one. What’s the Pringles jingle? Once you pop, you can’t stop?
Crispy Kale Chips
1 bunch kale (about 1 lb)
2 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or chili powder (if you like it spicy!)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional, but nice cheesy flavor)
Preheat oven to 300 F. Wash and thoroughly dry kale, remove the large center ribs and stems; tear into bite size pieces. In a large bowl add the oil, cayenne pepper, nutritional yeast, pepper and salt. (Be careful about adding too much salt- a tiny amount goes a long way with these. You can always salt more after their cooked.) Using your hands or tongs, toss the kale with the dressing making sure each piece is coated.
Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the kale onto the baking sheet, being sure not to crowd it. If it is piled up upon each other, the bottom pieces will turn out soggy.
Bake for 10-15 minutes checking often. The cooking time is really important on these chips. If you don’t cook them for long enough, they will be wet pieces of kale. If you cook them too long they will burn. I start checking after 10 minutes and pull the crispy ones out as they are done. For really large pieces, you may need to go longer.
1/8 recipe: 48 calories., 1.7g fat., 7 g CHO., 3g protein
That’s it! If you can eat just one, please let me know your secret. Confession time… I usually end up eating a quarter batch as they are coming out of the oven.
As promised from my quick comment last week, I want to discuss Genetically Modified Organisms and why I wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole.
Let’s get some terminology down first. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, an organism that has been changed using genetic engineering. GMO’s are used in research, agriculture, and gene therapy. While some research methods may use GMOs for positive outcomes, the ones found in are food supply are not.
What I want to discuss starts with a company called Monsanto. The largest application of GMOs in food is done by making crops resistant to pesticides and/or produce pesticides from the inside out. Most of these GMO seeds are owned by Monsanto. The most popular example is “Round Up Ready Corn Seeds” which, as their name implies are resistant to round up pesticide spray. Spray the plant insensibly with round up, kill everything else around it and keep the corn plant. Yes, genetic engineering is a very powerful technology.
1. Safety: There are very few authentic studies done on the safety of GMOs. For one, the FDA does not require testing when a gene is transferred to a plant that is a common allergen. The fact that my specialty is in food sensitivities, I find this to be alarming. If you are allergic to soy, you may not know that the corn you’re eating has been implanted with soy genes. I have clients who tell me that when they eat food in other countries, their allergies/sensitivities disappear or lessen. When they eat the exact same item in the USA, they have a reaction. So is an apple really an apple? If it’s genetically modified, probably not. GMOs are not required to pre-market safety testing (like other food additives are). In the United States most soybeans, cotton, and corn are genetically modified.
2. Labeling: Unfortunately, as of now, companies doesn’t have to state that their product contains GMO’s. Most soybeans are genetically modified. Unless it says ‘Organic Soybeans’ or Non-GMO soybeans used, I would bet that it is a genetically modified organism.
3. To me, the most important: the environment. Besides the monopoly that GMO seeds have on the small farmer (check out Food, Inc. for more on that). GMOs also have an damaging effect on cross-pollination. The inability for plants to cross pollinate creates super weeds which then creates the need for more toxic pesticides to be used to kill them. It also severly limits biodiversity, we do need weeds!
For more information check out these publications:
Farmageddon: Food and the Culture of Biotechnology (Brewster Kneen: New Society Publishers, 1999)
Genes in the Field: On Farm Conservation and Crop Diversity (Stephen Brush: Lewis Publishers, 1999)
Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating (Jeffrey Smith: Chelsea Green, 2003)
I took liberties in calling this “pesto” but I figured any sauce that contains a whole lot of basil could count. This is great for weeknights since it comes together really easily. I used a pressure cooker for my rice/barley to make preparation a bit simpler. Leftovers taste great too!
Barley & Brown Rice Pesto Salad
Cook barley and brown rice using stove-top or pressure cooker methods. Drain both grains after cooking and rinse with cold water. This helps the rice and barley from congealing together when cooled.
Combine the pesto ingredients (except oil) in a food processor or blender. Pulse together until ingredients are finely minced or pureed together. Slowly drizzle in oil or broth until pesto sauce forms.
Dice the cucumber and bell pepper. In a large bowl combine the diced vegetables, barley and brown rice. Add the pesto and toss to coat! Taste best at room temperature.
Serves 6: Calories: 214., 8.5g fat., 5g protein
Confession time: we probably eat stir-fry at least twice a week. It’s a great way to pack a ton of vegetables into a meal and the warm, spicy sauce tastes like comfort food to me. I recently made this for our stir-fry night and it was a big hit. I used seitan in this recipe, but you could substitute any protein you have on hand.
Sweet and Sour Stir Fry
1 lb seitan, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups sugar snap peas, halved
3 carrots, sliced
2 tbsp. oil or vegetable broth
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. corn starch
3 tbsp. ketchup
3 tbsp. maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
1/4 cup water
Mix together the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce and set aside. Heat a large skillet or wok to medium heat. Add 2 tbsp. broth or oil. Once heated through, add the garlic and quickly toss for 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and stir.
Add the seitan to the garlic oil and fry for 5-6 minutes until the seitan cooks through and has a nice crust on it. Add the carrots, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for another minute. Turn the heat down to medium low and add the sauce. Stir and let cook for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Serves 4. Per serving: 240 cal, 7g fat, 33g protein