Eating Healthy Isn’t All THAT Bad!

My husband has some dietary concerns so I’ve spent my almost 34 years with him evolving our meal menus to keep him in good health. In the course of my research and new recipes, we have learned to enjoy a lot of vegetables, etc., we never thought we’d ever find in our kitchen.

When I was growing up, frozen vegetable started appearing in the markets. If you are of an age to have tasted the first attempts a frozen peas, you will understand why a lot of us grew up hating anything with the word ‘vegetable’ in it!

Fortunately, I had somewhat discerning children who usually ate their vegetables without TOO much complaint especially if said meal was followed by cake or ice cream. These days, it is a rush to serving yourself vegetables as my children will take the majority of them. It only took years of me experimenting and finding ways to make the dreaded vegetable portion of dinner tasty.

These days, everyone’s favorite cooking method for vegetables is cutting squash, cabbage, broccoli, etc., into chunks, tossing them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other herbs and spices that sound good to you. (Want a really good source of great herbs and spices? You lay the prepared vegetables out on a parchment paper line baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until there is a slight browning and they are JUST tender. You can have grated Parmesan on the table for a tasty addition.

I never ate Kale until about five years ago. Now it goes into salads, soups, stews, and often gets roasted for a fun, vegetable side dish. Easy, too! Just tear the leaves in large pieces from the woody stem and soak in a bowl of water with a fourth cup of vinegar for about five or ten minutes, rinse, and pat dry. You can do this ahead and roll the rinsed Kale in paper towel, cover in saran wrap, and refrigerate until needed. In a large bowl, toss the leaves with enough olive oil to give it a LIGHT shine. You don’t want to drown it. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc. So many choices to be had from the spice shelf! Arrange the leaves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the leaves are crisp to the touch.

Eating Healthy And Paying Too Much?

Face it, sometimes, eating healthy can up the grocery bill a bit. I notice that these days there are more vegetables than carbs and meat when we check out at the grocery store and we have grown to enjoy the meals that transpire from healthy shopping.

One item I’ve been wanting to try but couldn’t bring myself to put out the cost for has been Kale chips. I’ve seen small bags going for three to five dollars for a handful of the stuff. I’m one of those people who like to solve problems, however, so did some research and discovered that crispy, toasty Kale is easy enough done in the oven. Simple recipe! Clean and pat dry a bunch of Kale and pull the leaves from the woody stems. Toss the stems and tear the Kale leaves into smaller pieces. Put in a large bowl and put in a bit of olive oil – just enough to put a light shine on both sides of the leaves. You soak it in oil, you add calories IF you can eat the soggy results!

One you have your Kale LIGHTLY shining with good olive oil, add a tiny bit of salt, pepper to taste, whatever herbs and spices you have and like in the cupboard and toss to coat evenly. I also like to add a few good shakes of nutritional yeast to the mix.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out the Kale. In a 350-degree preheated oven, bake the Kale for approximately eight minutes or until they are crisp to the touch.

Let the Kale cool a minute and enjoy. We often make a batch for a dinner vegetable. It isn’t much trouble to make for a snack for the children either once you get the process down and second nature to you. And, when you see how much Kale you can make vs. the few shreds you get in a bag at the health store, you would gladly pat yourself on the back . . . if you weren’t already busy eating free Kale chips.