Cheesy Kale Chips

With crunch time upon us students in the fast approaching end of the term, I find myself procrastinating by writing about the delicious snack I made yesterday with some kale that was about to go bad. It amazes me how often I check my email and facebook in attempts to escape the gruelling task of writing term papers. I know that nothing interesting has happened in the past 20 minutes, but I insist on taking that micro study break, while sabotaging the time I could be spending doing something more fun.  Anyway, here is the recipe I made for cheesy kale chips, inspired by a recipe in Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen. I feel as though I have been posting way too many of her recipes, so I modified this one enough to be quite different. She just has so many brilliant recipes! I made healthy fudgey brownies last week that were excellent, and a mango coconut quinoa breakfast cereal that was scrumptious. No joke, get this cookbook, right now.

Ingredients for the cheesy-ness
3/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 4-5 hours
lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (I didn’t put this in this time, but oh my glob it would make them even better)

Ingredients for the chips
A bunch of kale

In a food processor I pureed the cheesy ingredients. I de-stemmed the kale (very important: the stem is quite bitter) and chopped it into chip-sized bits. I covered the kale leaves in the cheesy-goodness, then baked the chips at around 200 degrees Farenheit for an hour. It is important not to burn the chips, so keep an eye on them, and you also want them to be crispy and not wilted. The time and temperature may vary, but that was generally what I did. Also, I did not add all the cheese, so depending on how cheesy you like the chips, it may take longer to bake. I will add more cheese the next time I make these.

They were gone within 24 hours.


Asian Millet Salad

There’s nothing like a delicious salad for lunch that has you coming back for more. This salad definitely owes a lot to the dressing, which is from Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen, but the rest of the salad was created by me. I have been experimenting with millet, and wound up with a lot of leftovers last night. I decided to base this recipe off my everything salad. This is jacked with protein, from the millet, spinach, beans, edamame beans, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds.

Ingredients for the salad
1 cup millet, cooked to a rice-like consistency and cooled
1/2 red cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup spinach, shredded
1 cup black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup edamame beans
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Ingredients for the dressing
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/8 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/4 jalapeno, diced

After lots of chopping, dicing and shredding, I mixed all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then in a small bowl whisked the dressing ingredients, then tossed it with the salad. SO GOOD.


Cauliflower Risotto

Cauliflower is a vegetable I do not eat very often, but I have come across a lot of interesting ways of preparing it – it can apparently be used to make a delicious cream-less cream sauce, substituted for potatoes, and imitate the creamy deliciousness of risotto. I was quite intrigued by this recipe for cauliflower risotto in Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It has no rice in it! Cauliflower is the main event in this show, and definitely succeeds in pretending to be a carbohydrate. 

Cauliflower is high in calcium, potassium, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9. It is good for digestion, inflammation, and fights diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Per cup it provides two grams of protein. Even though it can be expensive at the grocery store, this white veggie has a lot of health power.

Ingredients for the purée
2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
3 shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock

Ingredients for the risotto
1 1/4 cups cauliflower, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup shallot, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

I started by making the purée. I added all the purée ingredients in a small pot to simmer for 10 minutes, then blended it in a blender until smooth. I put it aside for later.

Next, I made the risotto. Using a food processor, I pulsed about 3/4 of the cauliflower on the chop setting to make a course, rice-like consistency. The remaining amount of cauliflower was cut into small florets.

I heated the olive oil in a small pot and sauteed the shallots until golden. Then I briefly cooked the cauliflower florets for only a few minutes. I added the reserved purée to this mixture, along with the lemon juice, and salt and pepper. This cooked for another 3 minutes. Lastly, I added the rice-like cauliflower and removed the risottos from the heat.

In case you are wondering what to eat with this dish, I made some garlic bread and tofu to go with it. For the tofu I pressed out the water, cut it into little pieces, dunked them in flour, then coated them in a batter (equal parts beer or water and flour) then fried them in some oil. They really mimic chicken and accompany the risotto very nicely.

Sorry for the bad-quality of the picture. I always like having a picture to show to give an idea what the dish looked like when I made it. Enjoy!