Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sauteed Kale

Greg and I have been on a kale kick, especially Greg.  He requests it.  It seems to be our preferred leafy green these days.  We have it at least a couple times a week.  I like to serve salmon over a bed of sauteed kale, or just as a side dish with anything and everything.  And a bonus, it lasts longer in the fridge than spinach.  
The next part of this post is a trial, I usually talk very little about nutritional components, because I hate preaching, but I'm going to give y'all a little nutrition tidbit on kale.  Let me know what you think.

Kale seems like just another leafy green, but it's actually related to broccoli and other veggies like cabbage and brussel sprouts. I always shoot to include some sort of leafy green in my diet each day because they are such nutrition powerhouses.  

A cup of raw kale has all kinds of goodness in it:
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • 15% DV of calcium & B6
  • 40% DV of magnesium
  • 180% DV of vitamin A
  • 200% DV of vitamin C
  • 1080% DV of vitamin K (Whoa!! Careful if you take blood thinners!)

Wow, eat some kale everyday with a balanced diet and you can throw out that multivitamin!  It's always better to get our nutrients from real food anyways!  
How can it be such an awesome food? 
There has to be a catch right??  
Actually there is.  Kale contains oxalates, which interfere with calcium absorption....BUT this is actually good news because you can.....
Here's one of my favorite ways to eat kale (PS: Kale has stronger cholesterol lowering capabilities when it's cooked).

Wash kale thoroughly. Remove the center stem and chop kale.

Saute onion, garlic and red pepper flakes briefly.  Don't let garlic burn.
Add broth, bring to a simmer.

Add kale, cover and allow to simmer until wilted.
I like mine slightly crispy.

I top mine with sea salt, pepper and a little balsamic vinegar!

Sauteed Kale
Makes about 3-4 servings

2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup broth (or water)
1 bunch of kale, stem removed & chopped
*sea salt, pepper & balsamic vinegar optional for serving.

Heat oil over medium heat, add onion, garlic, & red pepper flakes.  Before garlic browns, add broth and bring to a simmer.  Add kale; cover and cook until wilted and liquid has cooked out.
*I like mine still slightly crisp and I top it will balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vanilla Spice Coffee Creamer

I have been religiously making my own coffee creamer ever since I wrote this post a couple weeks ago  If you haven't checked out my original post on homemade coffee creamer, be sure to give it a look-sie.
After a couple weeks of drinking this goodness and I've decided to experiment with a new flavor.  I've also decided that the original recipe may not have been creamy enough for many of you, especially if you are weaning yourself off of that nasty, thick, syrupy crap from the store.

Store bought creamer officially grosses me out!  I hate to be the nutrition freak that tells you to read your labels, but if you haven't read your creamer label yet, I DARE YOU!  You'll be confused and disgusted....there's no cream to be found in most of them.  Ok I'm going to shut up.

So here's a new recipe that does a few things.......:
A) It makes more creamer!  Between Greg and I, we've been going through it like toilet paper!  It's that good.
B) It is creamier, with a few additional calories & fat, but very little (see nutritional info in original post).
C) It has more flavor!!  I added cinnamon and more vanilla to this for a chai inspired flavor.

If you are feeling extra wild, sneak a sip of while it's still hot.  It's SO yummy alone, too!

Here goes:

Vanilla Spice Coffee Creamer

1.5 cups half & half
1.5 cups lowfat milk
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (the real kind, please!)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Bring all ingredients to a simmer, stirring often.  Remove from heat and cool.  Remove film off top, if one forms. Pour into a mason jar or other container to store in fridge.  Splash into your coffee and enjoy!

PS...I totally recycled the last photo from the original post.  Please forgive me.
xoxo, D

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My last post was a crazy good recipe for making Homemade Coffee Creamer, so I figured what could possibly go better with coffee than some delectable, chewy, scrumptious, perfectly-perfect chocolate chip cookies?
Everyone has their favorite style of chocolate chip cookies and many of you probably have a recipe that you always follow.  I always follow good-old Betty Crocker, because that's what my Mom does, BUT let me tell ya, this recipe just slid into home base and there's no going back, baby.  Sorry Betty and Mom, but this is the new chocolate chip recipe.  
Have an open mind and give it a try.

There is an unusual ingredient in the recipe for these especially chewy cookies, I'll see if you notice what it is.

You should probably make these when you are going to have company, unless you want to eat the whole batch.  Yup, that's how good they are.  NO joke.

Ultra-Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
(inspired by Apple A Day Blog)

3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips (depending on how many chips you like, I prefer less chip and more cookie)

Preheat oven to 350*  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (PLEASE go buy parchment and USE it if you haven't don't this yet.  It makes perfect cookies.)
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Mix in dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
Drop dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet, bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly gold.  Don't overcook!
Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Later this week, I'm going to post about my trip to LA last week.  Lots of Disney, family and beach time.
Enjoy your coffee and cookies.