Kale Chips

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Okay, I’m jumping on the kale bandwagon too!  I know I’m a little late, but I was so happily surprised by how well these chips came out, I had to post about it.

 

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Besides being a superfood filled with nutrients, this is also very easy to make.  Just 4 easy steps!  Start with washing and cutting the kale into bite-sized pieces.  Make sure to dry thoroughly as well.

 

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Spread out the leaves on a large sheet pan, with no overlapping pieces.  Drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

 

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Once thoroughly coated, lay flat and throw it in the oven.

 

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The oven does all the work.  Here are your crunchy, flaky chips that are also good for you.  Doesn’t get any better than that!

 

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Tear the kale leaves from the thick stems, then tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner and lay flat on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake until the edges are brown, but not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

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Beet Greens with Bacon

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My last post showed how I roasted beets, now this post deals with the other half; the beet greens.  These greens are  probably the most beautiful greens because of the red veins running through each leaf.  Aren’t they pretty?

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If you have any reservations about eating beet greens, let me just say that bacon is involved!  Does that make it better?  Oh, and garlic takes it over the top.

Notice that I cut my bacon across the slices, right out of the package.  It’s a quick and easy way to cut bacon into even pieces.  Each cut comes out to about one slice of bacon.

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Start by sauteing the bacon until some fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy.  Then add in the chopped garlic.  After I took this picture, I added garlic chile sauce, cider vinegar, water and sugar.

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Add in the cleaned and chopped beet greens.  Saute with a spatula until the greens are wilted and tender.  Add salt to taste.

Sorry this shot is a little blurry.  I was so overcome with excitement over the smell that I couldn’t hold the camera still!

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The beet greens tasted more amazing than I expected.  The slight bitterness paired with the smokey bacon and robust garlic is a perfect mouthful!  This would make a great side dish to any beef or chicken entree.

Sauted Beet Greens with Bacon

1 pound beet greens

3 strips bacon, chopped (or a tablespoon of bacon fat)

1 large garlic clove, minced

3/4 cup of water

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 teaspoon garlic chile sauce

1/6 cup of cider vinegar

salt

Wash the greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain greens and wash a second time. Drain greens and cut away any heavy stems. Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

In a large skillet or 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned on medium heat (or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat). Stir in garlic. Add water in a gentle stream to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and garlic chile sauce. Bring mixture to a boil.

Add the beet greens and gently toss in the garlic mixture so the greens are well coated. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for      5-10 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in vinegar. Add salt to taste

Roasted Beets

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I’m going to be honest, I’ve never eaten a beet that didn’t come out of a can.  Isn’t that terrible?  I had no idea what I was missing.  Beets are amazing!

I’ve never cooked beets before, but when I went to a local vegetable farm in my neighborhood and saw these beautiful babies and I just had to have them.

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Here’s what the true color of the beet looks like after you peel off the outer skin.  Isn’t that beautiful?

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And, they’re even more beautiful on the inside.  Those rings give the beets such a unique look.  After cutting these up, I’m glad that I wore an apron!  I can see why beets were used to dye fabric.

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After seeing the red mess, I decided the cleanest way to toss these in oil, salt and pepper was in a plastic big.

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After they’re well coated, toss them on a sheet pan and bake them until tender.

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I don’t know what happens to vegetables when they are roasted in the oven, but something amazing takes place in there.  These beets come out moist, tender and packed full of  concentrated sweet beet flavor.

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So, the next time you come across some beets that call out to you, please pick them up and treat yourself to fresh roasted beets that will change the way you think about this simple vegetable.

Roasted Beets

6 large beets

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Peel and cut beets into one-inch pieces.  Place cut beets into a plastic bag and add the oil, salt and pepper.  Toss in the bag until beets are well-coated.  Spread out onto a sheet pan and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apple and Bacon

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I know that I’ve already posted a brussed sprout recipe, but this one is soooooo much better.  This is the more mature, gourmet version of the simple roasted brussel sprout.  Basically, it was just too good to not post again.  I hope you think so too!

 

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The brussel sprout has got to be the coolest looking vegetable ever!  Doesn’t this remind you of some kind of Dr. Seuss creation?  Well, I think they’re pretty neat looking, but even better tasting, if you know how to treat them right.

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The cleaned sprouts are cut and waiting next to its friend, the green apple, both ready to be transformed into something wonderful!!

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You will be amazed at how the brussel sprout is transformed into a glorious creamy and crunchy mouthful.  The apples add sweetness to balance the bitterness of the sprout.  The bacon of course gives the salty smokiness that we all love.  This is definitely a marriage made in brussel sprout heaven!!

 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apple and Bacon

3 pounds brussel sprouts

1 apple, diced

4 strips bacon, diced

3 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

Start by cutting each brussel sprout off the stalk or trimming the ends if you buy them off the stalk.  Give them a good wash, peeling off any outer leaves that don’t look so great.  Cut them in half and place onto a large cookie sheet.  Then dice up your choice of apple and add to the sheet pan.  It could be green or red.  Also dice up the bacon into half inch strips.

Next, sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper on the veggie and fruit.  Carefully, lay the pieces of diced bacon on top then roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes on the top rack of your oven until the sprouts are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  Be sure to toss a few times during cooking.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

 

I know what you’re thinking!  I thought it too.  Why in the world would I want to eat brussel sprouts?  It’s every child’s nightmare to have to sit in front of a plate of brussel sprouts and be told you can’t get up until you clean your plate.

Well, these are not your mother’s yucky boiled sprouts.  These turn out amazingly buttery soft with a hint of cabbage flavor and smokiness from the charred outer leaves.

 

 

Are you ready for the world’s easiest recipe?  Four ingredients never tasted so good together;  brussel sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper.  These basic steps work for any type of vegetable you would like to roast.

Clean and cut the vegetable,  sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven.  I have roasted carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower in the same way.  They all turn out wonderfully because it brings out the natural flavors and sweetness of any vegetable.

 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

20 large brussel sprouts

3 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

Peel off limp outer leaves of brussel sprouts.  Cut the stem a bit and cut them in half lengthwise.  Place them on a sheet pan in 1 layer and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.  Roast in the oven on the top rack for 25-30 minutes, until browned and tender.

 

 

Red Corn…………Yes I said RED Corn!

Yes, this is a real edible ear of corn.  I was surprised when I saw red corn for the first time.  For the last 35 years of my life I’ve only eaten yellow or white corn.  This red corn really rocked my normal corn-eating world!

I wanted to make some kind of fancy recipe with it, but I stopped myself.  I really just wanted to taste the true flavor of this oddly-colored corn.  I simply boiled it and rolled it on my stick of butter with some salt.  The difference in taste is very subtle.  It’s a bit more woodsy and creamier than regular corn.  To be honest, in a blind taste test I don’t think I could pick out the red corn.

Where was this corn on the 4th of July?!  I could have made a really cool looking corn salad to match the holiday colors.  I guess I’ll have to wait til next year.

Here is a better picture of the corn with a truer color.  I had the midday sun in the kitchen and it threw off the hue.