Recipes

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Kale Chips

Prep Time: 5 min.   Cook Time: 10 minutes 

Kale chips are an unexplained phenomenon in my house. My kids LOVE kale chips and any friend that comes over devours them too. They are very easy to make, just be careful at the end of the cooking time that they don’t burn or turn brown. Kale chips will become a staple snack in your house and you’ll be proud to be one of those people at the grocery store with kale in their cart.

Ingredients:

  • One bunch of curly kale - preferably organic
  • 1 TBL Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Remove leaves from center stem (tear off with your hands) and break into 1-2” pieces
  3. Rinse with cold water
  4. Spin dry in salad spinner or pat dry with paper towel.
  5. Place kale pieces in large bowl and add the EVOO. Massage onto the leaves with your hands until lightly coated. Add more EVOO if needed. 
    Tip: Have your child massage the EVOO onto the kale leaves. Using both hands, gently rub the oil onto the leaves so they are shiny with no dull, dry spots. 
  6. Spread kale on a baking sheet in a single layer (make a couple batches if necessary or use leftover leaves to make a Kale Salad – see recipe below.)
  7. Sprinkle kale with salt or any other spice mixture of your choice.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. If chips are still partially soft at 10 minutes, shift around the leaves so they’re not flat on the pan, shut off the oven and then leave the pan inside the oven for a few more minutes or until completely crisp. 

Store any leftovers (unlikely) in a sealed plastic bag to enjoy later.

Kale Salad

I usually make a kale salad using the other half of the kale bunch that was washed and prepped but didn’t get made into chips. It’s quick, easy and very nutritious.

Directions:

Place kale leaves (removed from stem, torn into 1-2” pieces, washed, dried, and lightly coated with EVOO) in a salad bowl. Add 1 tsp. lemon juice, ½ tsp. balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper to taste. Toss and enjoy.

OPTIONAL: Sprinkle with dried cranberries and pine nuts for an extra sweet and crunchy topping.
 

Caprese Salad
Prep Time: 10 min.   Serves: 4

This salad is super easy to make and looks beautiful. It’s especially delicious in the summer with farm fresh tomatoes and basil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz. package of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 TBL Italian salad dressing or balsamic vinegar
  • 5 Basil leaves torn into small pieces or cut into ribbons

Directions:

  1. Slice tomatoes and arrange on a platter
  2. Top each tomato slice with a slice of mozzarella
  3. Drizzle with Italian salad dressing or balsamic vinegar 
  4. Top with basil leaves
  5. Garnish with black olives, whole or sliced, if desired.
  6. Serve immediately

VARIATION: Use cherry tomatoes, instead with bite size pieces of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves (optional) on toothpicks and drizzle with the dressing or balsamic vinegar.
 

Roasted Vegetables
Prep Time: 10 min.   Cook Time: 25 minutes

Roasted vegetables are a staple side dish in our house. Any combination of vegetables works well - mix it up each time with different veggies or stick with your personal tried and true combination.

Ingredients:

  • A variety of vegetables to fill one roasting pan – about 2 lbs. or 6 cups.
  • 1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp.)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Optional: Sprinkle with fresh herbs or spices such as rosemary, thyme, sage, or a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. 

The vegetables below are great for roasting - choose a few from this list.

Red potatoes
sweet potatoes
red, orange and yellow sweet bell peppers
cherry tomatoes sliced in half (or whole grape tomatoes)
carrots
butternut squash
mushrooms
zucchini
yellow squash
beets
onions
radishes
and a few garlic cloves for added flavor

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry vegetables and then cut into equal size pieces, about 1”- 2”.
  3. Place vegetables in a bowl and toss with EVOO, salt & pepper.
  4. Spread vegetables onto a large baking sheet or roasting pan in a single layer - do not overcrowd the pan because the vegetables will mostly steam instead of roast.
  5. Cook uncovered in preheated 450 degree oven until tender and lightly brown, about 25 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking.

TIP: For vegetables that generally take longer to cook such as carrots, butternut squash, and potatoes, cut into slightly smaller pieces so they cook at the same rate as the softer vegetables.

Basic Smoothie

Makes four 8 oz. servings

There are books upon books of smoothie recipes out there but all you need to know is the basics and you can create hundreds of recipes on your own. Use this recipe as a general guideline and then customize it based on your own personal preferences, the number of servings you need, and the ingredients you have on hand You’ll feel like a mad scientist every time you make a smoothie and your kids will benefit from your delicious experiments. Try using all the colors of the rainbow in your smoothie.

First add SOLID ingredients to the blender.

  1. FOR SWEETNESS
    Frozen or fresh fruit… about 1 ½ cups
    Choose any fruit that you like such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pineapple, pitted cherries, mango, cantaloupe or a combination of several fruits. I like using frozen fruit but if there are berries or melon in the fridge that are close to being past their prime, I’ll use those as well.

      

  2. FOR CREAMINESS
    Banana and Avocado… 1 small banana, peeled and ½ avocado
    Banana - I prefer the creamy texture of a fresh banana, but either fresh or frozen works well. You can omit this ingredient if you don’t like bananas. To freeze a banana, just peel and break into about 4 pieces and freeze in an air tight bag or container.
    Avocado - add half of a ripe, or almost ripe, avocado. Just cut avocado lengthwise and scoop out flesh from one half. You can’t taste it and it makes the smoothie extra creamy. If you don’t have an avocado you can just omit.
    OPTIONAL: Yogurt (1/2 cup) adds a creamy texture too, but is not necessary especially if you’ve already added banana or avocado. Vanilla or plain yogurt work well.

     

  3. NUTRITIONAL BOOST
    Veggies, Nuts or Seeds
    Frozen Vegetables – ½ cup. Add frozen broccoli, chopped spinach, kale, or even bok choy – it won’t add any flavor to the smoothie because it’s frozen. Think green, the sky’s the limit!
    Add 1 TBL walnuts or cashews, almonds, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, wheat germ, oats or lemon flavored fish oil for an extra nutritional boost.

     

  4. FOR FROSTINESS
    Ice Cubes
    Add about 4 ice cubes for a frosty smoothie, especially if you used fresh fruit instead of frozen.

Next, add the LIQUIDS, just enough to almost cover the solids (eyeball it, you don’t need measuring cups. For planning purposes, you’ll need about 1 ½ - 2 cups of liquid, more or less depending upon how much fruit you added and how thick you like it.) Use one or any combination of the following:

  1. Milk:  Any non-dairy milk substitute like almond, rice or coconut milk.  Regular milk works too. 
  2. Juice: OJ, POM®, etc. or a little bit of each.
  3. Water: Filtered water, coconut water or a splash of (cold) green tea.

BLEND and enjoy!

Rainbow Smoothie

Makes four (8 oz.) servings or two large (16 oz.)

This is one of my family’s favorite smoothie recipes, it contains all the colors of the rainbow so it’s super healthy. Feel free to substitute, augment, or omit any ingredient to suit your taste – it’s impossible to mess it up. Rest assured your kids will only taste the fruit in this smoothie – the other ingredients are undetectable!

Add the following to your blender:

  • Frozen fruit (or a combination of fresh and frozen):
    ½ cup strawberries (about 5)
    ¼ cup blueberries
    ¼ cup of mango, peaches or cantaloupe.
  • 1 small banana, peeled– either fresh or frozen
  • ½ of an avocado - either fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup of frozen broccoli pieces (or frozen spinach, bok choy, cauliflower...) because it’s frozen it won’t add any flavor
  • 1 TBL walnuts (optional) 
  • 1 TBL ground flaxseeds or flaxseed meal (optional)
  • 4 ice cubes
  • ½ cup of coconut or almond milk (cow’s milk works too)
  • ¾ cup of orange juice

BLEND and enjoy! (Add more juice or milk if smoothie is too thick.)

TIP: Stock your freezer with a bags of strawberries, blueberries, mango, broccoli, cauliflower, chopped walnuts and any other ingredients you like so you can whip up a smoothie at a moment’s notice.

 

Glowing Green Smoothie

Makes 2 (8oz.) servings - perfect size for Nutribullet
 
The color of a green smoothie may take getting used to for some kids (and adults).  I used to serve it in a solid cup with a cover but then after having a few - and really enjoying the taste - my kids didn't care what color it was.  I like to use mango or any other light colored fruit when making a green smoothie because it keeps the color a nice bright green.  When you mix strawberries or blueberries with green, the color turns brown / pea-green and although it still tastes good, it's not as pleasing to the eye.
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup of mango chunks (pref. frozen) - peaches, pineapple or green grapes work well too.
  • 1 cup of packed baby spinach
  • 1 TBL wheat germ, ground flax seeds or nuts (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups of LIQUID -I usually use all water, but you can combine: 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup almond milk, and 1/2 cup OJ or any similar combination and then slowly ease into using all water for future smoothies - it just won't be as sweet.  Add more liquid if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
  • A few ice cubes if you like it frosty (optional)
Blend and enjoy!