Crispy Kale Chips

I had heard my sisters in law rave about the kale chips they would make, and how yummy yummy they were.  Honestly, I was a little skeptical at first.  (Sorry girls!).  It didn’t help that my first experience with kale was juicing after Mr. Rodgers and I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead.  I was not a big fan of raw kale juice…even if it was mixed with a little bit of apple haha!  But if you are one of my original, faithful followers you will remember how I did a 180* turn around on my opinion of kale as soon as I made Kale Pesto and put it on a Cauliflower Crust Pizza.  Best meal ever!!  Still…the idea of a kale chip was a little scary for me!

Then I went home for a visit to be with my family when my grandmother died last month.  As we sat down to a usual Family FEAST…(Kirkwoods don’t make meals, they make feasts!)…they began to pass around the kale chips made by my beautiful sister in law Becca, who I lovingly refer to as “Jim.”  Yeah, it’s a long story.  So, I decided to try a few.  I tasted them.  And tried a few more.   And a few more…and was really sad when I realized the bowl was empty because everyone else was enjoying them as much as me!  😦  But even still, I am so happy for the experience, because now I know…I LOVE KALE CHIPS!  I am a “salty” lover, and the crunchiness along with the fantastic flavor that only comes from roasting something in an oven…man!  It was fantastic!!

I am back home now.  And still loving kale chips.  I made them just a week or so ago to go with some Garlic Bacon Butter Fish I made.  (Recipe coming soon!)  So I shall share with you the beauty of these crispy little flakes of loveliness, haha!  They are super easy as well!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bundle Kale leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chile Powder (Just cause we like them with a kick!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse the kale and separate the leaves from any large pieces of stem, tearing into slightly-larger than bite size pieces.  Use a salad spinner to dry, or lay out on paper towels and dab, getting as dry as possible.  It will prevent mushiness!  If you are brave and trust the whole “putting it in the oven will kill any germs” thing, you could skip the rinse part.  🙂
  3. Put kale in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and toss so coated.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chile powder…and really any extra seasonings you may desire if you want to toss in a little garlic or something tasty!
  5. Line a large cookie sheet or two with foil.  Lay out kale chips in a single layer and do not over crowd!
  6. Bake until they reach your desired level of crispy brownness.  I probably got mine darker than most people would enjoy, but I wanted a stinking crunch!!!  Haha!  And they were lovely!!  Start with about 10 minutes and go from there.  🙂

Peectures!

Photo (12)Remove stems, rinse, and dry thoroughly!

Photo (13)Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chile powder, and whatever seasonings you crave!  Simple is delicious…but maybe you will discover something wonderful as well!

Photo (14)Place in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet and slide into your 350 degree oven.  NOTE:  I overcrowded my pan!  Most of them turned out crispy but I had a few mushy ones because they were too close together.  IF IN DOUBT, USE TWO COOKIE SHEETS OR ROAST IN SHIFTS!

Photo (15)Remove from oven…this picture really doesn’t do them justice…they were deeeelish!

Photo (16)Enjoy as a snack, or a side to compliment a lovely protein!!!  Yummy!!!!  Enjoy!!

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Deliciously Roasted Carrots

There was a short period in time when Mr. Rodgers and I had watched the documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and we got all fired up to eat only vegetables.  We were going to be super veggie freaks!  In that short amount of time I went crazy on Pinterest and was searching out any veggie recipe I could find…and being ever so slightly OCD, I had to organize my Pinterest account!  So I made a board for every vegetable I could think about, and then spent hours finding pins to go in them.  Well we quickly got over the “just veggie” stage cause we really love meat, and have found that it really is pretty good for you 😉  However, I still use all those boards and pins that I found on my veggie pin binge!  But months later I was exploring those boards and realized that something seemed to be missing!!

What  could be missing?!  I had broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, squash, bell peppers, asparagus and beans….what more could a girl need?  Then it dawned on me!  Carrots!  Why the heck don’t I have a board for carrots?!  Oh, I know why…I always immediately and exclusively think of carrots as something you eat raw.  My little Grandma Maudie would be so ashamed, because she would cook us a down home Oklahoma style feast every Sunday, and she would ALWAYS have carrots cooking in butter in her nice big cast iron skillet.  Why did it not occur to me that I could cook carrots too?

I’m so glad I had that awakening.  These carrots made me really happy.  I could barely even adapt it, because the blog where I found it already had used agave instead of sugar!!!  Two points for you, familystylefood.com!!  You have my respect.  I just cut out the fresh mint because, as I mentioned in my Quinoa Mint Zucchini Boat post…Mr. Rodgers is DEFINITELY not a fan of fresh mint.  😉

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 bunch carrots with the green tops (baby carrots, or just long skinny ones)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Lime, Juice and Zest
  • 1 tsp Agave
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 2 Green Onions, sliced

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Trim most of the tops off of your carrots, wash them, and put them in a bowl.
  3. Whisk together the remaining ingredients (except green onions) in a bowl and dump them over the carrots.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with foil and dump on your carrots.
  5. Roast about 2o minutes until they are tender and have a little char on them.  Unless you don’t like char, but I do.  🙂
  6. Sprinkle with sliced onions.
  7. Now EAT!  This went great with our grilled chicken and fresh watermelon, and we got to eat it all on the front porch…it was perfect!!!

 

 

Pictures!!!

 

 

 

 

Cumin Carrots 2

 

Preheat your oven to 400.  Wash your carrots and trim the tops a bit!

Cumin Carrots 1

 

Whisk together everything except the green onions.  Pour over carrots (in a large bowl…or you can do it right on the pan like I did but it left me with a mess on the pan which I don’t like ;))  Toss to coat.

Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and have a little bit of char!  It makes them taste yummy and look grilled!

Cumin Carrots 3

 

This is why you cover your pan in foil. 😉

Sprinkle with green onions and serve!  So yummy!!

Cumin Carrots 5

 

I think they’re kinda pretty, but maybe I’m biased 😉

Cumin Carrots 4

 

See how there is just a touch of char, but the beautiful orange color is still shining through?  Perfect!

Cumin Carrots 6

 

Welcome to our little picnic, where these tasty little carrots didn’t last long!  Perfect summer evening!!!  These nights make me so happy!  But not half as happy as this guy makes me, all this cooking and sunshine would be nothing without him…

Cumin Carrots 7

 

Heheheee.  Eating him some carrots!  Yeah!!!

 

Alright, that’s it folks!!!  Enjoy your carrots, mamma always told me they make you see better.  Maybe if you love these as much as I do and eat them lots…you’ll get X-ray vision!  SWEET!

Quinoa Mint Zucchini Boats

Mint.  I’ve decided you love it or you hate it.  I really do like it.  My husband really doesn’t.  Usually I use his reaction as a gauge as to whether or not I should blog about a meal.  The day I made these, I broke that mold.  I wasn’t going to share this recipe with you all, because he so desperately did not like them.  But then I realized something.  Just because my husband doesn’t like mint, does NOT mean that everyone else in the world hates it too.  In fact, a lot of my followers are foodies with fancy tastes (go you!), and they love fresh herbs and more “grown up” tastes, so they would probably love this!  Yes, I consider goat cheese and mint to be grown up food.  Says the girl that used to eat a box of corn dogs a week.   😐  Don’t judge me!  Praise the Lord my husband inspired me to start eating healthy or I’d probably have had a heart attack by now!!

Anyways!  Back to my boats 😉  I thought these were tasty!  I made them as a side dish for a roasted chicken I made…but between the protein packed quinoa and lentils, they were hearty enough for me to warm one up for lunch the next day!

So.  If you love mint.  And goat cheese.  And quinoa.  And PARMESAAAAAN. (I love parmesan).  Then this recipe is for you my friend!  Read on!  And make this for your friends and they’ll think you’re all fancy pants!!!  😉

Adapted from greatist.com

Here’s what you need: (To make 4 boats)

  • 2 Medium to Large Zucchini
  • 2 C Cooked Quinoa
  • 3-4 Handfuls Spinach, Roughly Chopped
  • 6-8 oz Goat Cheese, Chopped/Crumbled
  • 1 C Cooked Lentils
  • 1/2 C Fresh Mint Leaves, Chopped
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Do your prep!  Make sure you have your quinoa and lentils cooked.  Chop your spinach and mint, and make sure your goat cheese is in small pieces!
  3. Wash your zucchini and cut in half lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds so you have “boats.”
  4. Heat up a grill pan.  Brush zucchini with some oil.
  5. Grill zucchini, preferrably covered, until you have nice grill lines and they are starting to get tender.
  6. While zucchini is grilling, mix all other ingredients except for Parmesan in a large bowl.
  7. Remove zucchini from grill and place on a baking sheet.  Fill generously with the quinoa/lentil mixture.
  8. Top with Parmesan, put in the oven, and cook until it is warmed through and the Parmesan is melty and browned!
  9. Take out.  Serve.  Look fancy.  🙂

 

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure you have cooked quinoa and lentils.  Chop  everything.  Wash your zucchini and cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.  It should look kind of like this!

 

Mint Zucchini Boats 1Mix together everything else EXCEPT the shredded cheese.

Mint Zucchini Boats 3Yum!  Now grill your zucchinis!  You can do this on an outdoor grill too, I just didn’t have one yet when I made these 🙂  You’re just looking for them to be starting to get tender, but still able to hold together.

Mint Zucchini Boats 2Place them on a cookie sheet…

Mint Zucchini Boats 4Grill lines, yeah baby!  Fill generously with the stuffings…

Mint Zucchini Boats 5Top with Parmesan to your tastes….

Mint Zucchini Boats 7Bake until everything is heated through and the Parmesan is getting melty and browned.  Serve along side a protein, or just eat them for a snack or even lunch!

Mint Zucchini Boats 6Pretty!  I hope you enjoy this!!!  Let me know if you try it, and what alterations you make!!