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Simple Snacking: Kale Chips

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Kale chips are a wonderfully healthy & tasty snack. You can season them with just about anything: garlic powder, sea salt, nutritional yeast, etc…

Steps:

– Preheat oven to 350F

– Get a bunch of kale, wash well, & remove the stems by just tearing the leaves with your hands.

– Toss kale in a bowl with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

– Place kale single layer on a baking sheet.

– Bake until crispy. About 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on it!)

– Remove from oven & let cool.

– Toss back in bowl with seasoning of your choice. (I used nutritional yeast.)

That’s it! How simple is that?

*Tip: Crumble some kale on warm miso soup or on a salad for some added crunch!

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Here are some links with info on kale if you’d like to know more about this über nutritional veggie!

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/kale.html

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale

http://www.kalenutrition.net/

Happy Eating!

– Lesley

Mini Eggplant Pizzas!

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We love pizza! The boys ask for it just about everyday, but I compromise & serve it once a week. The problem? It’s just so darn messy to make the dough! I needed an easier solution for days when I don’t feel like dusting the whole house due to an indoor flour storm. (Seriously, I’m a bit of a mess in the kitchen. It happens when I get “in the zone”.) So, I found a big ol’ eggplant in my refrigerator just waiting to be sliced. I had seen recipes for eggplant parmesan but had never tried it. It was all an experiment & I was afraid of how they would turn out since I didn’t use eggs or cow’s milk for the breading.

However, they were so good! I mean, really, they came out delicious! My “tasters” liked them so much I could barely snap any pictures before they were all gone! They’re crunchy & a perfect size for little hands.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Eggplant
  • 3/4 cup Flour (any type will do)
  • 4 tbsp Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 2 cups Bread Crumbs
  • Garlic Powder to taste (appx 1 tbsp)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Pizza Sauce of choice
  • 1 cup Dairy-Free Mozzarella Style Shredded Cheese (Daiya Foods)

Steps:

  • Combine ground flax & almond milk in a bowl & set aside.
  • Place flour in a bowl & season with salt & pepper.
  • Place bread crumbs in a bowl & season with garlic powder.
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Peel eggplant & slice into 1/2″ thick circles.
  • Coat 1 eggplant circle at a time in flour covering both sides & then dip in the almond & flax bowl. (Allow excess to drip back into bowl.)
  • Coat in bread crumbs & place on a non-stick baking pan.
  • Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until circles are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven & top with pizza sauce & shredded cheese & bake until cheese is melted.

The hubby & I used them as a side to our three bean & veggie soup instead of bread…

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You can also top them with bruchetta, hummus, pesto or even guacamole! The possibilities are endless. If you happen to make this recipe, let me know how you enjoyed it! I’m sure you could also try this recipe with zucchini instead of eggplant. I just so happen to have one in my fridge. Hmmmm…

Happy Eating!

– Lesley

Baked Black Bean Croquetas

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I love it here in Vancouver. The people are friendly, the mountains are amazing, & the gorgeous summers are for enjoying the outdoors. However, the rainy, winter days (that sometimes last weeks!) are awful! They’re cold & gloomy. It’s been like this for days! Needless to say, I’ve been missing Florida & all it’s sunshine!

Anyway, I felt like making something that would remind me of home in South Florida & my Cuban roots. How about croquetas (croquettes)? Perfect. Now, the challenge was to make them healthy & vegan. (Crazy the work I’m willing to do to satisfy a craving & not feel guilty!)

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They don’t look as pretty as the ones at the Cuban bakeries in Miami, (how do they get them so perfectly shaped?!) but they are very, very tasty & easy. Also, since they’re healthy, you shouldn’t feel guilty about eating 2 or 3…or 4 or 5…

Ingredients:
– 1 can (14oz) Organic Black Beans – drained & rinsed
– 1/2 tsp Cumin
– 1/2 cup Chopped Tomato
– 1/4 cup Onion
– 2 tsp Minced Garlic
– 1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
– 1/4 cup Fortified Nutritional Yeast
– 1/3 cup Cooked Quinoa (room temp.)
– 1/3 cup Bread Crumbs
– 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Steps:
– Preheat oven to 425F
– Place beans in bowl & mash with fork or potato masher.
– Combine cumin, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, nutritional yeast & quinoa. Mix well with mashed beans.
– In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs & evoo.
– Divide the bean mixture into croqueta shapes & press firmly onto breadcrumbs, turning to coat.
– Place croquetas on non-stick baking sheet & bake until golden brown. About 25 minutes.

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* Serve with salsa of your choice or guacamole…yum!

If anyone has a tip or an easier way of forming the mixture into the croqueta shapes, please share!

Happy Eating!

– Lesley

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