Kale Chips

So kale was the new spinach and now I hear that collard greens are the new kale? I cannot keep up. All I know is I love kale and it is chalk full of nutrients! 

Baked Kale Chips
1 bunch Kale, clean, stems removed and tone into 2 inch pieces
2 TBSP EVOO
1 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice
Pink Salt and any seasoning to taste
Preheat oven to 200
In a large bowl, drizzle torn kale with EVOO and Lemon juice and toss around evenly. Add seasonings and give another toss until evenly coated.
Bake on rimmed baking sheet for 30 minutes. Turn and bake another 20 or so. All ovens are different so check on them. 


I change up my seasonings often but try cayenne, homemade ranch, simply salt and pepper, sesame seeds, paprika, and so on. 

This was a perfect afternoon snack when I was craving crunch!
Toss them on your soup instead of crackers or salad instead of croutons if you miss crunch too.

Healthy Superbowl Snacks

Healthy Super Bowl Snacks. Super Bowl Sunday for some people is a day of indulging. You can eat healthy without sacrificing the flavor. Here are a few of my favorites!

Sweet Potato Chips, Blue Cheese, & Walnuts

(Clean Eating Magazine)

2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin rounds (extra thin for crispy or up to 1/4 inch thick for a heartier chip)
1 TBSP grapeseed oil (I used EVOO)
2 oz blue cheese
1 TBSP raw honey, melted in small pan
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375. Toss potato slices with oil and spread out on parchment lined pan. Bake in a single layer, turning once, until lightly browned and cooked through. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine walnuts and cheese. When potatoes are cool, top with cheese mixture, drizzle with warm honey, and garnish with parsley.

These were so delicious! I will keep trying different variations of this.

Colorful Bell Pepper Nachos

4 bell peppers, cut into chip size pieces

1/2 cup of cooked and warmed ground turkey with my homemade taco seasoning, (recipe in my blog)

1/2 cup pepper jack almond cheese, shredded

1/4 cup cilantro

1/2 avocado, diced

shredded lettuce, sometimes I mix in shredded spinach for added nutrition.  My family never seems to notice or care.

home made salsa or pico

Cut the peppers into chip size pieces

Top with cheese of your choice ( I use pepper jack almond cheese)

Pop the peppers and cheese under the broiler for a 2-3 minutes

Then top them with warm taco meat and all of your fresh toppings and serve them with salsa.

This really satisfied my craving for nachos.  Sometimes it just takes tricking your brain to get over those unhealthy cravings we have.  Remember take these techniques and change them to your items you have on hand or to your personal taste.  Eating healthy should taste good to you.  What one person likes, someone else might not.  You will never stick to eating healthy if you don’t like what you are eating.

 

Crispy Sweet potato chips with ranch guacamole = DELISH!

2 sweet potatoes sliced thin
1 TBSP EVOO
1 TBSP Chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Bake at 425 (I use conversation bake on my range) for 20 in single layer minutes turning once half way through. Let cool on paper towel.

I made a quick ranch avocado dip to serve with the chips
1 avocado
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP home made ranch seasoning (click here for seasoning)

If you eat dairy, mix in greek yogurt to make it creamy. I love it without too.

Mashed it all together until creamy.
I am avoiding dairy but if you eat it, you could add Greek yogurt or sour cream to make it more creamy, use lime instead of lemon and add cilantro. Ranch and avocado are both favorites of mine so this was the best of both worlds.

Grilled Pizzas

Love making pizzas for appetizers. Get creative with healthy toppings. These are two of my favorite.

 

You cannot go wrong with stuffed mushrooms for the big game. I love these and created them with all of the veggies I had so use what you have and change it up. 

Gluten Free Stuffed Mushrooms

2 10oz packages baby bella mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice)

1 TBSP Olive Oil

6 green onions, chopped

2 zucchinis, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

Himalayan Pink Salt and Pepper to taste

4 slices of cooked Applegate Turkey bacon, chopped

2 large leaves of kale, cleaned, removed from stalk, and chopped

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup gruyere cheese, grated

1/4 cup fresh parmesan, grated (more to top them if you would like)

 

Preheat oven to 350. Clean the mushrooms and remove the stems. Dice the stems and add them to a large sauté pan with the olive oil on medium heat.  Add the zucchini, onions, peppers, garlic, and seasonings and sauté for about 6 minutes.

Add the kale and cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat

Add tomatoes, cheese, cooked turkey bacon, and bread crumbs and stir all together.

Gently stuff each mushroom as much as you can and leave a mound at the top. Top with a little more cheese if you would like too. Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

I had stuffing leftover and will use it in another way or make more mushrooms.  I think this stuffing would be great as a crepe stuffing, a large portabella stuffing and then grilled, jalapeno stuffing, and so on.  Get creative.  Use what veggies and cheese you have. You could use a hot pepper instead of a red pepper for heat, use spinach instead of kale, white onion instead of green, seafood or turkey pepperoni, sausage, or regular bacon instead of turkey bacon and so on.  Remember to experiment and have fun in the kitchen.  I make things up as I go and change them every time.

 

Most importantly, remember that you are there to enjoy the game and your company, not just the food.  Fill up on healthy food and just have a few indulgences if you want. 

Vitamix Special

I know it is a huge investment but Vitamix has just offered me a deal to pass on to you if you shop reconditioned machines through my link www.vitamix.com/?coupon06-008336 and enter my code 06-008336. Not only will you get this great deal if you use my code, you will also get entered into my next favorite things drawing and get free shipping ($25 value). The reconditioned machines still come with 5 year warranty, cookbook, and DVD. I know this is a huge investment, but I wanted to share it if you are interested. NO PRESSURE at all! 

Now though the end of February, Vitamix is offering these deals!

Temporary reduction on Standard Reconditioned Machine pricing:
• Standard Variable Speed: $299 (add $20 for Brushed Stainless)
• Standard Programs: $349 (add $20 for Brushed Stainless)
• Standard 2 Speed: $279

Every customer who purchases a Standard Variable Speed or Standard Programs Reconditioned machine will be entered into a drawing for the following prizes:

• 10 Vitamix Machines
• 50 Extended Warranties
• 140 Smoothie Cups

My Vitamix is my favorite kitchen tool by far!

Also, a few of you requested my vitacost link to save $10 off your first order. So many of the smoothie ingredients are at a much lower price on this website. https://www.vitacostrewards.com/jdHhLwU and enter my email address leanbydrea@charter.net if it asks.

Water Water Water

I got this great tip to share with you all from one of my awesome cleanse clients. Stick 8 mini post its on your screen at work and is you drink each of your waters, pull one off. A great way to keep track of your water intake when you are busy at work. Thanks Amy for the great suggestion. Find a way to get your water everyday and see and feel the difference!

 

More about the benefits of water coming soon!

Sesame-Orange Chicken in Slow Cooker and Cauliflower rice


Sesame-Orange Chicken in Slow Cooker

(Adapted from Against All Grain, Danielle Walker)

2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs 
1/3 coconut aminos
1/3 cup raw honey
2 TBSP fresh squeezed orange juice
Zest of half of an orange
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp of fresh minced ginger(or 1/2 tsp ground ginger) 
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
2 Scallions, sliced
Garnish
*Toasted sesame seeds or cashews 
*Cilantro 

Place chicken thighs in single layer in slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Ensure even coating. Cook on low for 4 hours (mine was done before that). Skim fat off of the top. Transfer chicken to cutting board and sauce to stove to simmer for 20 minutes until reduced by half and thickened. Cut chicken into chunks and keep warm. Pour sauce back over the chicken and garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds. 
Serve over brown rice or cauliflower rice. 

Clean, simple, and delish! 
My whole family liked this.

 
I served it over cauliflower rice
Cauliflower Rice 

1/2 head Cauliflower, chopped in rice size pieces
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TBSP Coconut Oil
1/2 cup chicken broth (gives it flavor and the brown rice color)
Pink salt
Fresh cracked pepper

Sauté the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add “riced”cauliflower and sauté another 4-5 minutes. Add chicken broth and steam covered for another 5 minutes or until broth is absorbed. Sprinkle with chives, green onion, or cilantro if you like. 
*You can use Olive oil or sesame oil and you can also use water instead of broth or skip that step if tender.
*I like the flavor of onion and garlic but you can make it plain if you prefer. 
Remember, make cooking fun and not stressful. You do not have to follow recipes, just follow techniques and create your own.

 
I love using cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes, roasted, and as a pizza crust.