Tag Archives: kale

Chipotle Kale Chips

Soon after I took on a raw client for Fresh Chef Detroit, I bought an Excalibur dehydrator. Some research revealed it’s a favorite of raw chefs, including Ani Phyo.

Tonight I swiped a recipe from one of Ani’s cookbooks, “Raw Food Essentials,” and made delicious chipotle kale chips. I think these are going to become a staple around here. I think this will be my new favorite snack!

The recipe is simple:

• 1 head of kale
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 3 Tbsp. agave
• 1/2 tsp. sea salt
• 1/2 to 1 tsp. chipotle powder

1. Wash kale and rip/cut into bite size pieces.

2. Toss with other ingredients in large bowl. My head of kale was small, so I should have used less oil and agave. They’re still DELICIOUS, but a little sticky. Next time I’ll start small, depending on how much kale I have.

3. If you have a dehydrator, spread pieces on 2 dehydrator trays and dehydrate for about 5 hours at 104 degrees. If you don’t have a dehydrator, bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them — you don’t want them to burn!

They are spicy and sweet and crunchy and chewy and delicious. Way better than any potato chip I ever had (for real). Give it a try. You won’t be sorry!

Yukon Gold and Spinach Masala

I saw this recipe from Vegetarian Times pop up on my Facebook news feed today and it just so happened I had almost all the ingredients! So, I decided to throw it together even though I already loaded the fridge for the week. It was quick, (as in about 20 minutes), easy and tasted fantastic.

I added about half a bunch of kale in with the spinach it calls for and served it over quinoa instead of rice, but any combo of greens I imagine would be good. I didn’t have any cilantro on hand, so I omitted it, but I think it would add to it nicely if you like cilantro.

If you like Indian food, even a little bit, you should try this. I think it’s going to become a staple around here — and I’m sure it will be a little different each time depending on what veggies I have in the refrigerator.

• 2 Tbsp. canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
• 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 c.)
• 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced, about 1 1/2 c. (I only had one small onion, but look forward to more next time)
• 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
• 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
• 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
• 1 tsp. ground coriander
• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 can coconut milk
• 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
• salt and pepper, to taste
• 1/2 c. water, divided
• 1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
• 1 Tbsp. lime juice
• 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
• cooked rice, quinoa, etc. to serve with

1. Steam potatoes in steamer basket over simmering water 10 minutes, or until just tender.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute eight minutes, until golden and soft.

3. While that was cooking, I employed my new favorite small appliance, the Black and Decker Food Chopper. I tossed a few cloves of garlic, about a 3-inch piece of ginger and a chopped jalapeno in there and let ‘er rip until they were all minced. I bought this about a week ago and it’s the best $20 I’ve spent in a while — with all the garlic I mince at work, I swear it saved me at least 20 minutes on Monday.

4. After the onions are sufficiently cooked, add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant.

5. Stir in coriander, cumin and turmeric.

6. Add steamed potatoes and saute 1 to 2 minutes to coat with spices.

7. Add coconut milk and 1/4 c. water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 5 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.

9. Stir in spinach and/or other greens, garam masala and 1/4 c. water and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until greens are wilted.

10. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Service over rice or another grain.

Kale Chips

The first time I heard of kale chips, I thought something like, “Wait — what? Who? How? Huh?” Some months later, I decided I needed kale chips in my life. They were a big hit at our pre-Christmas holiday party and I decided I should just buy kale and make them all the time.

A true testament to the deliciousness of a kale chip was the fact that I scraped myself off the couch on New Year’s Day to make them. After a three-day bender (well, girls night out followed by getting engaged and celebrating too much followed by NYE) I knew I needed some vitamins and nutrients vs. the grease (like real chips) my brain said I wanted. It totally worked. I got the goodness my body needed and I got the crunch my bad habits needed.

Skeptical? Give it a shot. You’ll spend a couple of bucks on a head of kale and you’ll be surprised.

• kale
• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• coarse salt

1. Wash and let dry one head of kale.

2. Cut leaves from thick stem and cut or tear into bite/chip-sized pieces, placing them in a good-sized bowl.

3. Drizzle in olive oil. I usually drizzle about half of it, then toss kale and drizzle the rest. You’ll think 1 Tbsp. isn’t enough for all that kale, but you’ll be surprised — it totally is.

4. Sprinkle with sea salt or another coarse salt (pink Hawaiian sea salt I got as a baby shower favor recently was delicious!). You can do this once they are on baking sheets or while tossing.

5. Spread on 1-2 baking sheets (depending on how much you have) in a single layer, but don’t sweat it if there’s a little overlap. They shrink a bit while baking.

6. Bake at 325 or so for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges of the kale begin to brown and the pieces are crispy.


Miso Soup

Last night I posted the recipe for a yummy miso dressing I made. To go with it, I made a very simple miso soup, which might replace Tom Yum as my go-to soup when I’m sick.

But first, let’s chat about miso for a minute. I’ve been eating miso soup for years — first because it would be given to me free before my sushi arrived. I don’t know if my tastes have changed (well, yes they have changed since I was a meat-eater, obviously, but I’m not sure if that’s the culprit here) or whether I was just not getting the greatest soup, but I used to not be the biggest fan of miso. It has such a mild flavor, I don’t really know what I didn’t like about it. Fortunately, that has changed.

There are many different kinds of miso, but the basics are that it comes from fermented soybeans generally. Though it’s pretty high in sodium (don’t worry — a little goes a long way — only a couple of tablespoons in 4-5 servings of soup), there are many health benefits.

Miso contains protein (about 2 g. per Tablespoon), dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, B12, zinc (great for immune function), copper and manganese.

I still have some investigating to do with the many different types of miso, but I really liked the milk and not-to-salty flavor of the mellow white miso I used in this very basic recipe for miso soup. I imagine I will try many variations of this, including different greens, perhaps some soba noodles and something to spice it up a bit.

Here’s a good start!

• 4 c. water
• 2-4 Tbsp. miso paste
• sliced green parts of one bunch of green onions
• 1 pkg. extra firm tofu, pressed (I used my wonderful TofuXpress — which is PERFECT for something like this — for about 30 minutes before cutting)
• a couple of handfuls of steamed kale

1. Boil 4 c. water and place miso in a separate bowl.

2. Once water is boiling, take a bit of the boiling water and whisk into miso until not lumpy (this is much easier than trying to incorporate it to the whole pot and get lumps out).

3. Remove water from heat and pour miso mixture into it.

4. Slice tofu into very small squares. I ended up using pretty close to an entire package, adding it a few minutes before serving.

5. Add sliced green onions and any greens you might have — I think spinach and watercress  or herbs would be good too. Since I had steamed kale for another dish already, so I grabbed a couple of handfuls of it, chopped it up and tossed it in.

It was smooth and not too salty and I think the combo of tofu-onion-kale was perfect. I can’t wait to mess with it and see what I come up with!

Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh

I’ve never cooked tempeh before and I’ve only eaten it once or twice. Basically, D doesn’t like “fake” meat, so I assumed he wouldn’t like it because it’s kind of “meaty.” Then I saw some at the store and decided “screw it,” and bought it anyway. I decided to slip it into a dish and we’d see what he says. Like when someone swears they don’t like Chinese food, then you make them sweet and sour tofu and they love it. Or when you’re sure you don’t like green olives, but when presented with tomato juice and vodka, it changes everything (that would be me).

But I digress…I did a quick search for tempeh recipes and quickly came upon one that sounded unique — something that’s neither Asian or Mexican (which seems to be happening a lot lately). I stumbled on the recipe on the blog 101 Cookbooks, which had gotten the recipe from Australian cookbook author Jude Blereau.

The recipe definitely was a success! We both loved it (D was glad I decided to ignore his imaginary tempeh aversion!) and it was so nice to have a completely new flavor going on. The recipe calls for one 10 oz. package of tempeh and I had two 8 oz. packages on hand, so I just decided to go for it and throw both in. This was fine, but I really should have also doubled the orange glaze/sauce. The flavor was there and it definitely seeped into the quinoa I served it over, but you can never have too much sauce, right? The more the merrier I say.

It was really easy and really delicious. I’ll definitely make this again soon.

OH — not sure what the heck tempeh is? Check out www.tempeh.info — but don’t be afraid. There’s talk of fermentation and mold, but it’s made out of soybeans, just like tofu. It’s a great source of protein, is great for digestion, heart health, it’s said to ease menopause symptoms and so much more. And don’t be afraid if it’s a little black or looks moldy — that’s normal.

On with the recipe!

• 1 c. freshly squeezed orange juice (4 big navel oranges did it for me)
• 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
• 2 tsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
• 1 1/2 Tbsp. mirin
• 2 tsp. maple syrup
• 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
• 2 small garlic gloves, crushed
• roughly 10 oz tempeh or extra firm tofu
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1/2 lime
• a handful of cilantro leaves

1. Put the orange juice in a bowl. Squeeze grated ginger or the bowl to extract the juices (I used cheesecloth, but you can just use your fingers/hands obviously), then discard the pulp. Add the maple syrup, tamari (I used soy sauce), mirin (oops — I forgot to buy some at the store! Since it sits somewhere between sake and rice vinegar, I used rice vinegar, then put a little extra syrup in for sweetness), ground coriander and garlic. Mix and set aside.

2. Cut the tempeh or tofu into thin-ish bite-sized pieces, patting tofu dry with paper towel if that’s what you’re using. I was using tempeh, so I cut the entire block in half lengthwise (so I had two long, thin rectangles), then cut it into triangles, to mimic the picture on 101 Cookbooks.

3. Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the tempeh in a single layer and fry for 5 minutes or until golden underneath. Then flip and cook the other side for 5 minutes (this was the only other problem with doubling the tempeh — there wasn’t room for all of it to fry at once, but I worked it out).

4. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a thick glaze. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over it from time to time (I mostly just stirred it up/flipped the tempeh around from time to time…). Again, I wish I had doubled it considering the fact that I used 16 oz. of tempeh. But for 10 oz., I’m sure this amount of sauce is perfect.

5. Serve it drizzled with any extra sauce, sprinkle with cilantro and squeeze a wedge of lime over it before eating. I served it over mixed quinoa (half traditional, half red), which was delicious and perfect! My friend Erin schooled me on quinoa when I told her about this dish. I knew it was delicious and had a lot of protein, but did you know quinoa (pronounced keen-wah, by the way) is the only non-animal complete protein containing all essential amino acids? It has more protein than any of its grain counterparts and is supposed to digest easier than other grains. (And it cooks in about 15 minutes, versus the 45 rice takes — I like that!)

I had some kale on hand, so I served this with some kale on the side…with a ridiculously good peanut sauce. I’ve tampered with the recipe a bit since I posted it (essentially adding 1/2 to 3/4 can of coconut milk), but I first came upon this kale-peanut sauce combo thanks to my friend Angela at our first cooking club gathering. Since there are some similar flavors going on in both dishes (ginger, soy, garlic, rice wine vinegar…) I decided to go for it. I mean, you can’t go wrong with peanut sauce in any situation, I say.

I’m officially a tempeh convert… in fact, I’m off to make a new recipe now — stand by!