February 25, 2012

Heart Lecture & Your New "Junk" Food, Day 3: Chips!

Well we made it through our first cooking class with only one minor injury.  Let me explain......

Ann and I were asked to cook for a lecture on "Preventing a Heart Attack" by Dr. Harvey Hahn this week.  It was an amazing lecture, full of information that everyone should know.  

Dr. Hahn is a cardiologist and a former carnivore gone vegan.  There were many stunning pieces of data accompanying his lecture (which you may have already heard after reading The China Study or watching "Forks Over Knives"), but I think one of the most stunning parts was his case study.  This man in his late 30s had high blood pressure, was 40 pounds overweight, had high cholesterol, etc., etc.  After going on a plant-based diet, he lost the weight, went off all of his meds, and his blood work was all completely normal.  He's also a cardiologist.  Yup, the case study was of himself.  

Dr. Hahn is just one of many, many examples of how plant-based diets can treat and prevent disease.  This truth is finally becoming more and more widely known and accepted - because it's getting more and more difficult to deny the overwhelming evidence:  Plant-based diets reduce your risk of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.

So anyway, we (and by "we" I mean "me") made several goodies for the lecture for people to sample - it was a crazy day of prepping lots of yummy food including kale chips, sweet potato & black bean quesadillas, spinach lasagna, oil-free salad dressing, and raw brownies.
Not amused at Ann taking a picture while both me and my kitchen are a disaster..... 

As for the injury part - well while we were making our spinach lasagna, Ann had to run across the street quick to pop the neighbor kid's kneecap back into place with spinach on her hands.  All in a vegan-nurse's day's work........

So when we were finally done, and all kneecaps were back to where they should be, we left the sink full of dirty dishes and food processors and Project Kale was on their way!

Food packed and ready to go!

When we got there, we had to put everything into sample sized cups - a tedious task, although we laughed and had fun because, well, that's just what Ann and I do when we're together!
Excitedly distributing kale chips

We set out our goodies, along with lots of other vegan goodness that others brought, and listened to Dr. Hahn's awesome lecture:

Recipe below

Recipe here

Recipe here

Recipe below

Recipe here.



Dr. Hahn rocked!!

Thank goodness there were leftovers - and enough food for us to chow down on.  'Cuz we tore up the Bibimbab......plus it was fun to try to say.  It was a plant-based feast and it was awesome.  

Next up, we'll be cooking for kids - stayed tuned for more details on this fun event!

So let's get back to our theme this week - "JUNK" FOOD!

I saw a recipe online for microwavable, oil-free potato chips.  I immediately thought it sounded insane, but I wanted to give it a try.  Sometimes, you just want something crunchy to munch on, but not all that oil and salt that will undo all of the good choices you have been making.  

So here are a couple of options for healthy chips - Kale Chips and Microwave Potato Chips.

Kale chips are apparently an acquired taste.  I loved them right away (ate the entire pan the first time I made them).  However, some people need to taste them a few times to really enjoy them.  And maybe they just won't be your thing - that's cool.  You can make the Potato Chips instead.  But they're worth a shot because they're ridiculously easy to make and super, duper healthy.  

So here's a couple of chip recipes (along with the 3,2,1 Dressing recipe) for your munching pleasure.....plant-based junk food is the best junk food.

Love & Kale,
Ali

                               ________________________________________________

Kale Chips

Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • A touch of olive oil or water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Lemon zest 
  • Other seasonings as desired:  garlic powder, Old Bay Seasoning, cayenne pepper, chili powder, curry powder, etc.
Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash your kale, de-stem the leaves and break into uniform size (don't have to be OCD like me, but just try to get them all to be about the same size so they cook evenly).
  3. Put kale onto a non-stick baking sheet and spray with a little bit of olive oil or water.
  4. Sprinkle just a touch of salt and your seasoning, if using.
  5. Bake for 7 minutes, turn the pan once, bake for 7 more minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and toss with a little lemon zest.  Enjoy!
Put your kale leaves onto a baking sheet, spray with oil and season

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 13-14 min, turning the pan once 

Toss some lemon zest on top and serve!



Microwave Potato Chips
I got the idea from this amazing site.  I made salt and vinegar chips by dipping my potatoes in apple cider vinegar before cooking.  This recipe was much more time consuming to me than I thought it was going to be.  Mostly just because you can only microwave a few chips at a time, and so to make a whole plate of chips, you need to do it in shifts and it just seemed like it was taking forever.  But the result was very, very tasty!  I will be making them again, but will be sure to have some things to do while they cook instead of staring at the microwave, waiting for it to beep.....

Ingredients:
  • 1 russet potato, washed (you could probably use a sweet potato!)
  • Parchment paper
  • Non-stick spray
  • Salt
  • Other seasonings as desired:  Vinegar, Garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, etc.
Instructions:
  1. Thinly slice your potato with a mandolin thingy.
  2. Spray your wax or parchment paper with non-stick spray or oil (see below to see what happens when you don't).  Place slices on the paper, on your microwave tray.  Make sure they're not touching each other or they'll stick together (again, see below)!
  3. Sprinkle with a little spray of oil, if desired, salt and whatever seasoning you want (I dipped mine in apple cider vinegar for vinegar chips - the flavor ends up being very mild, so they would still be kid-friendly).
  4. Microwave for about 5 minutes, until you see dark spots start to appear.
  5. Let stand for about a minute, then microwave another 1-2 minutes until they look golden - but not really dark!
  6. Take them out and eat them!  Enjoy!
That's pretty much all you need!

I didn't spray the paper and made them a little too thin the first round....



....so they stuck to the paper. Sigh.

Second trial I dipped them in vinegar - yum.

I also sprayed the paper with oil first - to prevent sticking.

Turned out great!  This batch was just a little too dark, but still yummy and crunchy!!

Here is the oil-free dressing recipe that was a huge hit at the lecture!  This amazing recipe is so easy, a monkey could make it.  Plus, it's super healthy containing virtually no fat, no oil, and amazing flavor.  I make a big batch and keep it so I have some dressing all week.  Plus, you can play around with the ratio to adjust to your taste!  I got the recipe from the Forks Over Knives book.

3,2,1 Dressing

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Garlic powder, optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions:
  1. Throw everything in a bowl and whisk together.  DONE - enjoy!


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