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Crunchy Kale Chips

I only had kale chips once…and it’s quite a while ago. One of my best friends made kale chips and brought them to the beach. My last beach trip before moving to the (Wild) West.

Those chips were amazing…and I kind of had always wanted to make some. Well…today after making the Tropical Green Smoothie for breakfast and roasting the spaghetti squash seeds…it seemed perfect to also make kale chips.

Here is what I did:

1. From the kale leaves, we had bought from Whole Foods, we had about 6 or 7 large kale leaves left. I washed the leaves thoroughly and even more thoroughly dried them using a kitchen towel. I tore the leafy part away from the stems and discarded the stems. Then, I tore the leaves into large bite-size pieces.

2. Once the leaves were torn, in a bowl I added 1 ½ teaspoons of olive oil to the kale pieces. I used my hands to make sure that each leaf was slightly coated with olive oil. (Make sure to not drown your kale with too much oil. This will result in kale chips that are soggy.)

3. I sprinkled the kale with Himalayan Pink sea salt and mixed the leaves one last time.

4. Then I spread the kale evenly on two baking sheets making sure that the kale leaves were not laying on top of other leaves.

5. Then I baked the kale leaves at 300 F for about 10 minutes. I briefly removed the baking sheets and used a wooden spatula to move the leaves and turn them. I replaced the baking sheets and continued baking for another 15 minutes before pulling the baking sheets out of the oven.

6. I left the kale chips to cool on the baking sheet.

7. Enjoy   =)

(P.s. I was not going to make Hans try these. The chips have just been sitting on the counter–benefit of living out West, because the kale chips actually are staying crisp and crunchy. And guess what…Hans has been sneaking a kale chip here and there when passing the plate.)

Note: Perfect for people who need to increase their salt intake due to low blood pressure (like me). These chips can be made with varying amounts of salts. I guess I will make these kale chips more often, as I can make sure to increase my salt intake without adding fat that would come from eating most store-bought salty snacks.

Kale chips_3_small

 

 

Health benefits of kale:
* It is low in calories but rich in protein, fiber, folate, omega-3 fatty acid, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, and zinc.

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Butternut Squash Kale Quesadilla

We enjoyed the butternut squash risotto a lot, but what else to make with the left-over butternut squash? Inspiration came from the Pioneer Woman http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/01/butternut-squash-kale-quesadillas/.

I love quesadillas. I love butternut squash. I love kale. And I love melted cheese. However, I would have never thought that a combination of all of these would taste good. Was I wrong.

So slightly modifying the recipe by Pioneer Woman, here is what I came up with.

Ingredients (1 large serving or 6 appetizer-sized servings):
1 cup of sautéed butternut squash (peel and cube butternut squash)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt, pepper, and chili powder, to taste
2 large kale leaves, stalks removed and leaves torn
2 large tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheese (more if needed), I like to use Mexican cheese blend

Preparation:
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste. Cook for several minutes, gently turning frequently. Cook until the squash is deep golden brown and tender. Make sure to not over-cook, squash should not be falling apart. Remove squash and set aside.

2. Add torn leaves to the same skillet. Toss the kale around and cook it for 3-4 minutes. Add the sautéed squash and heat through.

3. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 325 F. Arrange the first tortilla on a baking sheet (I used the round one for making pizza) and spread the butternut squash kale mixture on the tortilla. Sprinkle the butternut squash and kale mixture with sprinkled cheese. Layer the second tortilla on top. Bake in oven for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted. I like “baking” quesadillas. It allows the tortillas to get hot and the cheese to melt, without adding fat (and their associated calories) by sautéing tortillas in a pan with butter.

4. Enjoy! =)

Butternut Kale Quesadilla_8_small

 

Why should you eat this?
* Kale is a super-food. It is low in calories, but rich in vitamins K, A, C, and B6. It is also packed with lots of manganese, copper, fiber, iron, calcium, etc. Read more here: http://www.wholeliving.com/134250/power-foods-kale and http://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-kale/

* Butternut squash is another super-food. It is rich in vitamins A, B6, and C. It is also rich in fiber and antioxidants. Read more here: http://www.wholeliving.com/134734/power-foods-butternut-squash