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Baked Kale Chips

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Posted by Mariah | Posted in 21-Day-Adventure Cleanse, Appetizers & Sides | Posted on 29-01-2012

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Black bean veggie burger served with a generous portion of baked kale chips.

Alright, I know what kale chips sound like. And these are baked kale chips, no less. But you’ve got to believe me when I say, they’re awesomely delicious! And much easier to make than baked potato chips or even sweet potato chips. Better yet, served with a healthy dipping sauce, they are indeed kid-friendly.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of curly-style kale (about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 or 4 shakes of sea salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry kale well.
  3. Pull the large leaves off of the thick stems of the kale.
  4. Tear kale into large, chip-sized pieces.
  5. Toss with oil, vinegar and salt.
  6. Optional: sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  7. Arrange on 1 or two baking sheets in a single layer. TIP: Use parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until kale is crisp and slightly brown. Your chips should be very light and crispy — be sure to bake longer if they aren’t.
  9. Serve with a dipping sauce of choice — ketchup, healthy ranch, BBQ — and your favorite sandwich!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

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Posted by Mariah | Posted in 21-Day-Adventure Cleanse, Main Dishes, Meal Ideas, Pastas | Posted on 14-05-2010

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Broccoli pesto pasta may just be my favorite vegan dish! When you add broccoli to the pesto mix, it takes on the texture of grated Parmesan cheese, and is wonderfully flavorful. Even if you’re not vegan, with this recipe, there really is no need to add the extra fat, salt and cholesterol found in cheese.

I was inspired to make this dish by a series of broccoli dishes featured in the April edition of Vegetarian Times. I decided to make my normal pesto recipe and just add broccoli. I combined the pesto with spaghetti noodles knowing I’d have a better chance of getting the kids to try it since they innately love “basketti.” Everyone — hubby, kids and I — loved it.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts (toast in a skillet over medium heat until golden-to-dark brown)
2 cups broccoli florets, steamed until bright green, but not mushy
1/4 cups plus 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cups fresh basil, tightly packed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 package of thin spaghetti (vegans, look for egg-less pasta; for a healthier pasta, I like Barilla Plus Pasta), cooked al dente

Directions:

Pulse ingredients (except pasta, of course) together in a food processor until smooth. Combine pesto with pasta. Garnish with additional broccoli florets if desired. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Broccoli Mashed Potatoes

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Posted by Mariah | Posted in 21-Day-Adventure Cleanse, Appetizers & Sides | Posted on 18-04-2010

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I know what you’re thinking. Here she goes again, trying to sneak veggies into food where they don’t belong.

Wrong. Broccoli makes mashed potatoes taste even better than regular. Don’t believe me? Well, then take the mashed potato challenge, my friend, and find out! Bonus: this recipe is CHEAP and EASY. :)

I recently became vegan after reading The Kind Diet, so I’m offering two versions of this recipe (and probably any recipes that call for dairy here on out). For those die-hard mashed potato traditionalists, you get your old standby recipe with added broccoli. For those of you who are vegan or allergic to dairy, I offer an even MORE delicious version of the tried and true. My kids sampled both and hands down liked the vegan version better. So there.

Seriously, though, little kids love this recipe, because it’s, well, green and funny looking. We like to call it Ogre Food around here (it’s probably Shrek’s favorite food). In fact, this would be a great dish to serve at a Shrek-themed birthday party … hmmm ….

Give it a try and let me know how you like them!

Ingredients:

4 large russet mashed potatoes, peeled and cut into four pieces
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 clove garlic (optional, but if you like garlic, just go for it)

Dairy Version:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup half and half (less for stiffer potatoes, more for fluffy)
Salt and pepper to taste

Vegan Version:
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/4 to 1/2 cup hazelnut milk (I do NOT like the taste of soy milk, so I prefer hazelnut … less for stiffer potatoes, more for fluffy)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Measure 1/4 cup butter and/or buttery spread and milk and/or hazelnut milk and put into a large glass serving or mixing bowl; set aside.
  2. Put potatoes and garlic in pot and cover with cold water (about two inches above potatoes).
  3. Bring water to a boil and boil potatoes for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add broccoli florets and boil for two more minutes or until broccoli is bright green.
  5. Drain.
  6. Transfer potatoes/broccoli to bowl.
  7. Mash with a potato masher. Add more milk a little at a time until you have your desired consistency for potatoes. NOTE: A potato masher ensures that your potatoes will be creamier and there’s less chance of over mixing and creating potato glue.
  8. Serve alongside Panko Chicken Planks or any savory protein dish and enjoy — there’s no need for added butter or gravy!

ADDITIONAL SERVING IDEA: For those of you who like a little cheese with your potatoes, you can try adding 4 oz. of shredded sharp cheddar cheese or a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast (for the vegans).