Homemade Kale Chips

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I am not vegan. I am not gluten-free. However, being omnivorous, I enjoy all these things. Back in the years I worked for Whole Foods Market, one of my favorite indulgences (as a price point, not calorie/junk indulgence) was Brad’s Kale Chips, not known as Brad’s Crunchy Kale. The product is amazing, healthy, all-natural, and most importantly, tasty. No offense to Brad, they are pretty darn easy to replicate.

I cannot take credit for the recipe I am going to share, but I will show you step by step in this video how easy they are to make and how little equipment is really needed (no need to invest in a dehydrator!)

Recipe can be found at Kitchn 

PS- the “ranch” version I made is not vegan. Please double check ingredients if you’re using a ranch dip/dressing packet. Buttermilk is one of the key ingredients in ranch dressing, and packets usually have some form of dehydrated milk solids.

Vegan Creamed Kale

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Months ago I tried a vegan version of creamed kale and it stayed with me – I really wanted to replicate the side dish. In usual fashion I bought too much kale recently and pondered what to do with it, so I decided to take a stab at it. I picked apart some recipes on Pinterest and came up with my own.

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The first thing you need is your cream sauce. I do not know why these ingredients combined together mean magic, but they just do:

VEGAN CREAM SAUCE

1/4 cup homemade cashew butter
1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (I prefer almond breeze)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes (I use red star)
Nutmeg, Salt and Pepper – to taste

In a medium sized saucepan, melt the cashew butter over a low flame – do not allow to scorch. Add almond milk and whisk mixture together until well incorporated and smooth. You can raise the heat to medium and add yeast flakes and seasonings – adjust to your liking. Personally, it needs a good amount of salt. Cool and set aside to use in recipes immediately, or you can refrigerate for up to one week – makes a great pasta sauce as well!

VEGAN CREAMED KALE

1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 cups baby Kale
1/2 cup – 1 cup Vegan Cream Sauce

Over high heat, heat coconut oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Add onions and lightly saute, until softened and slightly translucent. Add garlic and kale and mix with onion. Lower heat and cover skillet for about two minutes, allowing the kale to steam. You can steam longer if you prefer softer vegetables. Remove lid and add cream sauce, mix until all the kale is coated and hot, about one minute. Serve with your favorite vegan entree or just enjoy on its own!

Fudgy Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

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This week I am doing a cleanse and am trying to eat a little cleaner while I pop a ridiculous amount of pills and supplements that are supposed to help me detox. One of the things I had in excess in my inventory is Vega One Nutritional Shake in French vanilla. It’s a pretty sweet supplement with lots of protein, greens, vitamins, and fiber. While you can mix it with just water, it’s a little blah and gritty on its own. I have tried the French vanilla with fruits like berries and grapefruit, but the vanilla flavor overpowers and the flavors don’t really complement each other. Instead, I now take more of a dessert-like approach with bananas and cacao. The results are a dark chocolate fudge-like treat that is actually pretty good for you and under 300 calories – perfect for meal replacement. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

BONUS – this smoothie is vegan!

To make the smoothie - 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder, 1 scoop French vanilla Vega One, 1 banana. Blend with a handful of ice until smooth.

To make the smoothie – 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder, 1 scoop French vanilla Vega One, 1 banana. Blend with a handful of ice until smooth.

COST PER SMOOTHIE (per inventory, the Vega One and Cacao Powder have a high retail value when purchased full price)
$3.46
Vega One – $1.82
Banana – $.19
Almond Milk – $.82
Cacao Powder – $.63

Quick Peanut Soba Noodles

I’ve been counting calories lately and overall looking for more balanced nutrition. A friend suggested I give up carbs, especially wheat, but I’m not quite ready. This afternoon I wanted something satiating, slightly comfort-foody, and of course quick. As usual I raided my pantry for what I had, which this time included one neatly wrapped bundle of Blue Dragon Soba Noodles (Japanese-style noodles made in China, but I digress). I checked the nutrition facts and a serving was a whopping 436 calories. However, the serving suggestion was 1/2 of a package, or 125 grams. Using my handy food scale, I weighed out one bundle, about 75 grams. Sounded like a better serving size to me!

Noodles alone were not going to cut it, so I wanted some sort of sauce. I do love me some peanut noodles, so I decided to modify the peanut sauce I often make when I am cooking Asian meals. I was pretty happy with the results and the whole lunch only took me about 15 minutes to prepare. Overall, I am happy with the nutrition of the dish, except it is a bit high in sodium due to the soy sauce I used. I may try to omit the soy sauce and add a bit of water to thin the sauce.

Quick Peanut Soba Noodles

406 calories, 66 gr carbs, 10 gr fat, 13 gr protein, 787 mg sodium, 11 gr sugar

  • 1 bundle soba noodles (about 75 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon raw sesame seeds
  1. Boil soba noodles according to package instructions, drain
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients, reserving sesame seeds, until well blended
  3. Mix peanut sauce with warm noodles, top with sesame seeds
  4. Eat up!