K is for Kale Chips

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I happen to love kale – cooked, raw, roasted, you name it. But even better, my kids like it, especially when it’s served up as kale chips. Why is this a survival tip? Because if on those busy days, when you’re putting some crappy, less-than-healthy food on the table out of necessity because you are a) late; b) on your way to a baseball practice; c) desperate; or d) all of the above, you can assure yourself that you’ve served one food with some redeeming qualities.

And they’re easy. Here’s the recipe.

  • Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.
  • Wash and pat dry one bunch of kale. Any kind will do, but I like to use the Lacinato (or Dino) kale because the curly kale can be a little like choking down a hairball if it gets too crispy.
  • Slice lengthwise to remove the stems, then slice across so you get pieces that are roughly chip-sized.
  • Toss them in olive oil – I usually find that somewhere between 1 and 2 TBSP of olive oil will work depending on how large the head of kale is.
  • Spread them out on a cookie sheet – you may need two. If you can keep them to one layer, they cook faster.
  • Sprinkle on a little sea salt.
  • Put them in the oven for 25 minutes, then check them to see if they’re crispy. The water content of kale seems to vary a lot, and I often have to put them in for another 10 minutes or so. If I want them crispier after that, I just turn the oven off and let them sit in there as it cools.

That’s it. Then you serve them up. And just for the record, it’s not just my kids who seem to like them – I even get requests for “those green things” from the friends who visit!

Tomorrow…L is for Lavendar Oil

 Read the series at A is for About

Fifty shades of oatmeal

IMG_0624We’re still experiencing some mighty cold mornings around here. Today it’s a cool 3 below, cold for March. We should be well on our way to spring by now, don’t you think?

On these blustery days, I take my solace in a steaming bowl of oatmeal. I’m partial to hot cereals and grains of all kinds, but my favorite is still reliable, old oatmeal.

I happen to think it’s the world’s most versatile food. It is the little black sweater of breakfast foods. You can dress it up in all kinds of ways.

To prove my point, I thought I’d share 50 ways to eat oatmeal. The list could darn near get you through a whole Minnesota winter! If these combinations aren’t sweet enough for you, just add a little maple syrup.

  1. Walnuts and homemade strawberry jam
  2. Strawberry jam and flax seed
  3. Strawberries, butter, and maple syrup
  4. Almonds, shredded coconut, and pineapple
  5. Pineapple, almonds, and banana
  6. Banana, walnuts, and maple syrup
  7. Bananas, diced apples, and walnuts
  8. Diced apples and sugared (or spiced) pecans
  9. Diced apples and brown sugar
  10. Diced apples and chia seed
  11. Diced apples and pomegranate seeds
  12. Sunflower seeds, bananas and maple syrup
  13. Pineapple, coconut milk, and almonds
  14. Pineapple and blueberries
  15. Blueberries and maple syrup
  16. Blueberries, raspberries, and fresh cherries
  17. Fresh cherries and walnuts
  18. Fresh cherries and a little cream cheese
  19. Flax seed, raspberries, and maple syrup
  20. Blackberries, raspberries, and maple syrup
  21. Almonds, pomegranate seeds and maple syrup
  22. Pecans, cinnamon and brown sugar
  23. Pecans and sliced peaches
  24. Pecans and diced apples
  25. Sliced peaches and brown sugar
  26. Sliced peaches and sliced cherries
  27. Walnuts and flax milk
  28. Trail mix and flax milk
  29. Cocoa powder, walnuts, and maple syrup
  30. Cocoa powder, coconut milk, and almonds
  31. Raisins, walnuts, and maple syrup
  32. Dried cherries, walnuts, and maple syrup
  33. Dried cherries and raisins
  34. Pomegranate seeds and mango slices
  35. Sliced pear and a few crumbles of gorgonzola
  36. Sliced pear and walnuts
  37. Diced, dried mango, dried cherries and walnuts
  38. Fresh mango slices, shredded coconut, and maple syrup
  39. Fresh mango slices and almond milk
  40. Crumbled bacon and maple syrup
  41. Crumbled bacon and chopped dates
  42. Blueberries, pecans, and flax seed
  43. Butter and brown sugar
  44. Fig preserves and pecans
  45. Fig preserves and banana
  46. Diced dried mangos, raisins, and chopped walnuts
  47. Peanuts and a spoonful of blackberry jam
  48. Sliced breakfast sausage and maple syrup
  49. Sliced breakfast sausage and diced, red pepper
  50. …and of course, milk, raisins, and brown sugar – the old standard

I don’t think I doubled up any of these, but I’m sure I missed someone’s favorite combination. Anyway, these should get you started on the road to oatmeal nirvana.

Have a great breakfast!