Category: Vegetarian/Veg Option

Jul92012

Baked Kale Chips

Baked Kale Chips

Several months ago I finally gave in to a super special Pinterest trend and made baked kale chips. People were saying they were a great substitute for potato chips (they’re not), and that you could eat them by the bushel (I certainly can’t).

However. They are good.

But just don’t compare them to potato chips. People saying that sweet potato fries taste better than regular french fries got me to try those, and to this day I give a serious side-eye to anyone else who makes that claim.

But kale chips are good.

Baked Kale Chips

You don’t even need to haul out any heavy equipment. Just tear curly kale into a salad spinner, rinse it, and spin it.

Baked Kale Chips

If food is prone to fly out of bowls and around your kitchen when you try to mix it, stuff the kale into a food bag and dump in a tablespoon or so of olive oil and some sea salt and shake, shake, shake.

Baked Kale Chips

Dump onto a baking sheet (I like to line mine with foil because I am lazy).

Baked Kale Chips

Bake at 350° for about 12-14 minutes or until the edges start to just get brown. I like mine a little on the crispier side, so 14 minutes is about right for me. Just try not to undercook it because it gets chewy.

Your kitchen will smell weird.

Baked Kale Chips

That’s it. Dump it in a bowl and chow down until you get sick of it and have to pass it off to the kids.

Mar202012

TWD: Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve never made Irish Soda Bread before — because this was one of the easiest things I’ve ever baked. No kneading, no waiting, nothing. Where have you been all my life, Irish Soda Bread?

Though this was a project for this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie, I think it’s going to become a staple at my house.

This week’s recipe is hosted Carla and Cathleen.

Irish Soda Bread

Four ingredients and one hour. That’s it.

Irish Soda Bread

These days, any recipe that says to just plop the dough into a pie plate to bake is already a winner in my book.

Irish Soda Bread

It came out beautifully golden and moist, and reminded me of baking powder biscuits.

The loaf pulled double duty as we snacked on it throughout the afternoon (it was really good with jam), and then I buttered it up and served it with split pea soup for dinner.

Mar122012

Easy Pasta Salad

Easy Pasta Salad

Though it’s a very low number, there are a few meals that the girls and I love that Mike isn’t crazy about. These end up being the dinners that I make when he’s out of town for work so I don’t feel guilty about making him eat something he doesn’t like (not that I would, but sometimes it’s been so long since we’ve had one or another that they end up on the menu anyway!).

One of those meals is, to my amazement, pasta salad.

I mention this because he actually used to love it as much as we did. He’s explained that the combination of the oil and vinegar dressing, the cheese, and even the tomatoes just, well, got old. And while I understand tastes changing, this made me sad for one reason: I thought for sure I’d be making it a lot less!

However, he’s been in charge of a gigantic project at work for the last year or so which involves travel to their out-of-state locations. For those nights, I tell the girls to come up with the dinners that they miss, and that’s what we have.

So this past weekend was one of those occasions, and the votes were unanimous: I was making pasta salad!

I started making this about 12 years ago, when the twins were babies, because I could get it done early in the day and have nothing to do in the evening, when the crazies seemed to hit everyone. (Now that I think about it, my hmm… over-reliance? on this easy meal could be one of the reasons Mike got tired of it!)

Easy Pasta Salad

I always double the recipe when I make it because it makes the perfect lunch the next day, too. I finally ended up using my last two boxes of free pasta from last spring!

Easy Pasta Salad

I also just use packaged provolone. You can buy it at the service deli in a big block, but I actually like using the pre-packaged slices. It cubes up just fine, and truth be told, the dryness of the provolone can get a little boring in big chunks, so being able to break them up a little bit is nice.

Easy Pasta Salad

Good-bye, free pasta.

Easy Pasta Salad

Like I said, if you’re feeding more than three people, double the below recipe if you’d like leftovers. (I don’t double the cheese, however, and there’s still plenty of it.)

Heather’s Easy Pasta Salad

1 16 oz package of penne
1 c halved cherry or grape tomatoes
6 oz provolone cheese, cut into cubes

2/3 c vegetable oil
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
3 tsp dried basil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tb Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp onion powder

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In a blender, combine oil, vinegar, basil, garlic, mustard, salt, sugar, and onion powder until well blended.

Pour dressing over pasta and add the tomatoes and cheese, stirring gently until just combined. Refrigerate until serving (at least four hours).