Foods Alive with Flavour

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Spicy Crispy Kale Chips! The Ultimate Healthy Snack.

Spicy Crispy Kale Chips! The Ultimate Healthy Snack.
So easy, so delicious, and so good for you!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Attention Healthy Food Lovers!

Coming this winter...all new recipes, photos, and interesting bits in the "Juicy Foods" blog. 

Join JF Blogger, L.A. as she cooks and eats her way through
the bounty of the seasons. Enjoy your journey from winter into spring with delicious gluten-free healthy food that's quick and easy-to-prepare "from scratch".

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spicy Crispy Kale Chips

Kale! One of the most talked about vegetables in the garden this season. With its extraordinarily rich nutritional profile, kale is enjoying a kitchen-renaissance. Delicious cooked in a variety of ways -- boiled, steamed, baked, or sauteed-- it also makes an incredible snack food. These spicy kale chips are a real easy to prepare, and so tasty, too! They keep really well, staying crispy and flavourful for weeks in an air-tight container (that is, if there are any left to put away). While best made in a dehydrator, these chips can also be prepared in a conventional oven set at a low temperature to protect the integrity of kale's abundant enzymes.
You'll Need: 1 large bunch of kale (any variety); 1/4 cup olive oil; 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds; 1/4 cup water; 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice; 1/4 cup nutritional yeast; 2 tablespoons tamari; 2 - 4 large cloves of garlic, depending on your taste; 1 teaspoon agave; 10 - 12 fresh chives;  habanero or jalapeno pepper to taste .
Method: Wash kale and pat dry. Trim off stems, and remove thick center vein from each leaf. (Set aside for juicing or soup). Cut leaves into chip-size pieces.
Peel garlic cloves and chop coarsely. Cut chives into smaller pieces. Put in blender with all remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Marinade should be pourable, like a thick cream soup. Add more liquid if necessary, and blend for a few seconds more.

Pour marinade into a very large bowl. If you do not have one big enough to hold liquid and the kale pieces, divide liquid and kale into equal amounts and prepare in smaller batches.

Using both of your impeccably clean hands, massage kale into marinade, coating each piece well.  Although this method works best, if you don't want to use your hands, toss kale pieces into marinade with salad servers or two forks.

Spread kale in a single layer on teflex dehydrator sheets, pouring any remaining marinade over leaves. If using oven, place in a single layer on lightly greased cookie sheets. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1/2 hour, then reduce heat to 118 - 120 degrees and continue dehydrating until chips are dry on top. If using oven, bake at lowest temperature possible, keeping a close eye on them.

When dehydrator chips are dry on top, flip them over onto a tray with a mesh screen. Continue to dehydrate at 118 degrees until they are crispy (4 - 6 hours total dehydrating time, depending on kale and weather) In oven bake until crisp, turning chips once if necessary. Watch carefully to be sure they don't burn.
   Remove from dehydrator and enjoy. If you use the oven, let cool for a minute or two (if you can wait that long). Kale chips are a great side-dish, served with soup or a sandwich. They can be crumbled on a salad or casserole for extra zip. We think they taste best placed in a big bowl and eaten as a guilt-free, healthy snack!  Enjoy!

For thoughts about food, and food for thought, visit zen-cuisine

Enjoy the antics of a cute puppy? Check out the adventures of Elsie Mokete Extraordinary Elsie, the Eskie-poo Pup!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Broccoli in Citrus-Avocado Cream with Fresh Sage

This is a great way to eat your broccoli! Lightly-steamed florets are served in a silken orange and avocado cream made with pumpkin seeds and garden fresh sage, garnished with toasted pine nuts. Not only is this dish full of flavour and crunch, but also offers a rich nutritional profile. This recipe is an unusual salad or side dish. Served with rice crackers or crusty bread, it makes a filling meal on its own...and is so easy to prepare!

You'll need: broccoli with stalks; 1 orange; 1 avocado; 12-14 orange cherry tomatoes; 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds; 2 tablespoons raw pine nuts; 2 leaves of fresh sage; 2 tablespoons filtered water; sea salt to taste.
Method: Wash broccoli and shake dry. Cut tops from stalks. Separate florets into bite-size pieces. Lightly steam until just tender. Rinse in cold water, drain. Place in a large bowl.

Wash and quarter orange tomatoes. Add to broccoli florets. Cover and set aside.
Place water, pumpkin seeds and salt in blender. Peel, pit and chop avocado and add to blender. Add peeled and chopped orange  sections, sage leaves, and salt to taste.
Blend at medium speed until a thick smooth cream is formed.
Lightly toast pine nuts over low heat until fragrant and shiny. Add pine nuts to broccoli and tomatoes, reserving 1 teaspoon of pine nuts for garnish.  Add citrus-avocado cream to vegetable mixture, and gently combine. 

Place broccoli mixture in a serving dish, and sprinkle with reserved pine nuts and a sage leaf. Enjoy!

For contemplative thoughts about food, visit zen-cuisine!

To see the Adventures of Extraordinary Elsie the Eskie-poo Pup, click here!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zesty Zucchini Chips

Summer time and the zucchini are abundant. Such a versatile and and flexible vegetable. This easy recipe makes zucchini chips that are anything but flexible. They are crisp and crunchy...everything a really good snack should be! Who'd have thought zucchini could be even better tasting than potato chips--not to mention healthier. Chips are great with just a little sea salt, but they really shine with a bit of seasoning. Flavour  any way you like.
You'll need: Zucchini; sea salt; herbs and spices.
Method: Wash zucchini. Cut into very thin slices with a knife, mandolin or a food processor. (I use a ceramic knife) Lay slices on a sheet and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. (Salt will draw moisture to the surface so spices stick better)

I use dried lemon thyme on one batch of chips. You can season one side and leave the other plain, or flip chips over and dust second side with topping.

A second batch is sprinkled with salt and a spicy mixture of cumin-coriander-marjoram-chili powder. Let your taste buds inspire your imagination!

Place seasoned zucchini chips in a dehydrator at a low 'living food' temperature. Dry until crisp, turning once if necessary. Store chips in an airtight container...if there are any left to make it into a container! Zucchini chips can also be placed on trays, covered with cheesecloth and put in the sun to dry. An oven at its lowest temperature with the door ajar also will dehydrate chips. Enjoy the bounty of the summer's garden!
Some innovative chefs have turned their vehicles into giant sun-dryers. They park in the sun with the windows cracked open a bit, placing cheesecloth-covered trays of zucchini chips on the seats. It's a fun 'yummy' activity for kids (and adults) at the cottage.

For thoughts about food, visit zen-cuisine

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Citrus-Mint Summer Strawberry Jam: Easy No-Cook Version

Summer time and the strawberries are so ripe and juicy. Now is the perfect opportunity to preserve some of the sunshine for colder months ahead. This delicious, no-cook Strawberry Jam is sure to light up a Winter's day. It's bright colour and zesty flavour is pure joy in a jam jar!
You'll Need: 1 pint ripe strawberries; 4 cups granulated sugar; 1 /4 mint leaves, finely chopped; zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon; 2 tablespoons lemon juice; 1 package liquid pectin.(Makes 5 cups of jam)

Method: Wash ripe strawberries and hull. Mash a handful of berries at a time with a fork, or potato masher. Measure 1 3/4 cups of mashed berries into a large bowl.

Wash fresh mint and chiffonade, cutting into very fine pieces. Add to mashed berries.
Carefully measure and add 4 cups of granulated sugar to berries. Mix mint and sugar into berries. Stir well until sugar has dissolved into mixture. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

 Zest 1 orange and 1 lemon. Chop zest into very fine pieces. Stir fruit peel into berries, mixing well.

Add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 package of liquid pectin to berry mixture. Stir gently for about 3 minutes.

Ladle jam into clean, freshly washed jars. Leave 1/4 inch space at top. Put on lids. Let jam sit at room temperature for 24 hours to thicken. Wipe jars, and label. Eat right away or refrigerate or freeze.
Thaw frozen jam in fridge. Jam will be at its best for 3-4 weeks in the fridge and 10-12 months in the freezer... if it lasts that long! 
For more thoughts about the art of cooking zen-cuisine 
For cute puppy pics and dog-talk, visit Extraordinary Elsie!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Easy Asparagus, Chive and Ripe Olive Pizza

This delectable pizza tastes like Spring! A light an crispy crust forms the perfect base for an unusual topping-- a flavourful balance of Parmesan and mozzarella  cheeses, chives, asparagus and ripe olives. Oven-baked, this healthy pizza makes a great lunch or snack. Pull some fresh asparagus from your garden patch or the produce stand, and enjoy this easy Spring recipe.

You'll need:
For the crust: Your favorite yeast or quick-bread or pre-made pizza crust. (I'm using a gluten-free yeast-raised bean and rice flour mixture)
For the Topping: 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated; 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated; 4-6 asparagus spears; 10-12 chives; 5-6 ripe olives (I used sun-dried red); 1 tablespoon olive oil; cayenne pepper powder sea salt to taste

Method: Prepare the pizza crust according to chosen recipe. Roll out or press into pizza pans.
Wash asparagus spears. Using a vegetable peeler, hold stalk by tough end, and peel off long strips. When you reach the core, set it, and the tip aside.  Discard tough stem end. Put the peeled strips in a large bowl.

Finely chop tips and inner core of asparagus stalks. Chop chives into tiny pieces or snip with scissors. Add to asparagus strips in bowl.

Remove pits and cut ripe olives into small pieces. Add to asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper. Drizzle olive oil over top. Toss well to coat with oil.

Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the pizza crusts, and then cover with grated mozzarella.

Spread asparagus, olive and chive topping evenly over pizza crusts. Bake in a hot oven until crust is crisp and topping is lightly browned.

Remove pizza from oven. Cool slightly, slice and enjoy!

For thoughts about meditation in the kitchen, visit zen-cuisine: a mindfulness blog

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Potato Patties with Chive-Yoghurt

These tasty potato patties are made with fresh garden chives--the first cut of this spring season. The potatoes are partially cooked ahead of time, and refrigerated until ready to use. The recipe is quick and easy to make. Served with a zesty chive and yoghurt topping, they are a welcome addition to any meal...and make a nice snack on their own.
You'll Need: 
For Potato Patties:
2- 3 large potatoes; 1 bunch fresh chives; 1 teaspoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons rice flour; salt and pepper to taste. Oil for frying.
For Topping:
1/4 cup thick plain soy, goat, or Greek-style yoghurt; 1 tablespoon chopped chives.

Scrub potatoes and steam or boil until partially cooked but still firm. Drain and allow to cool. Refrigerate until well-chilled, or overnight.
Grate potatoes and place in large bowl.
Wash chives and pat dry. Slice into small pieces. Set 1 tablespoon aside for topping.

Add olive oil, chopped chives, salt and pepper to potatoes. Sprinkle with rice flour and stir gently to combine. Shape into small patties with moistened hands.
Fry patties in light oil over a medium heat, allowing them to brown well on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper.
Once excess oil is blotted up, set cooked patties on a tray in a warm oven until all are ready to serve.

Make the topping by folding reserved chopped chives into yoghurt. The topping can be made first, and flavours allowed to blend.

Serve warm potato patties with chive and yoghurt topping. With a salad, or a bowl of soup, they make a filling meal. Left-over patties (if you should be so lucky) are great cold with jam or maple syrup! Enjoy.

For thoughts about food, visit zen-cuisine blog