Friday, December 13, 2013

Garlic Kale Chips ~ Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free

All hail kale! Yes, I say this over and over again. Please excuse my repeat :)  It's just that kale is so so good for us, it is incredibly versatile and it is really a beautiful plant.  Easy to grow, great in many climates (especially in cold climates where the flavor is enhanced and sweetened) and it will clean, clean, clean your body.  With that said, let's all take a moment to hail the kale!  How can we do this?  How about making kale chips that will blow your expectations of amazing snack foods outta the water?!  Here we go:
This is what you are going to need: dehydrator. If you don't have one, I highly suggest investing in one. In the mean time, set your oven to its lowest setting, crack the door and leave it open for venting.  If you are using an oven, the cooking time will be very quick, about 1 hour or less so keep on eye on them.

  • 1 large bunch of curly green kale, stemmed, chopped  (about 8 cups)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 2-4 hours, rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, crushed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 4 tsp. granulated garlic, optional for extra intense garlic flavor
  • 1/8 cup filtered water, use as need for consistency
  1. The easiest way to de-stem and wash kale is as follows: Hold the kale leaf by the stem and place your hand around the stem then run upward along the stem to remove the leaf.  Tear or chop your kale and add to a large bowl of filtered water. Let soak for about ten minutes, swish and then drain.  Rinse again and your leaves should be good to go.  No need to dry the leaves. They can be a little wet. 
  2. Place all ingredients, except kale, water, and granulated garlic, in a food processer fitted with the "S-type" blade. Process until smooth.  Scape down the sides and with the processor running, slowly add the water.  We want a consistency similar to hummus or tahini.
  3. Toss your kale in the garlic mixture.  Massage it into the kale gently.  Then lay your seasoned kale pieces on your dehydrator sheets.  Sprinkle with the granulated garlic.
  4. Dehydrate 8 hours.  Best to do this in the morning and let them dehydrate during the day! They smell so incredibly good the scent of garlic will wake you up if you dehydrate overnight!  Enjoy!
These Garlic Kale Chips pair really well with a collard wrap for lunch!  I ate mine with a quick Mexi Collard Wrap filled with fresh veggies, black beans, and avocado mash.  Yum yum!


Want more kale chip recipes?  Coming up next, Ginger Soy Kale Chips:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mexican Chop Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Living in the Pacific Northwest has its perks.  Lots of fresh air, beautiful natural landscapes and loads of hiking, kayaking, and even snowshoeing just outside.  One unexpected aspect of living in the great northwest is the lack of Vitamin D in the winter.  Due to our northern location and distance from the equator, our winter sun does not provide adequate (or any) amounts of Vitamin D.  That is, when the sun decides to peek out from behind the clouds and grace the good people of Washington with its golden bounty. 
Around August summer has shed its last glorious rays of sunshine and by November and December I start to feel the need for more nourishment.  Good old, grown from the earth and filling my every cell kind of nourishment. That's when it's green smoothies for breakfast, spirulina shots and salad for lunch and warming, hearty soups for dinner.  Life is looking pretty tasty!  Today I'm sharing with you my PNW secret: Eat Your Sunshine!!  When there is no sun outside just whip up sun grown yumminess for your insides!  Eating brightly colored fruits and vegetables like peppers, lettuce, squash, and tomato will transfer liquid sunshine in the form of phytonutrients right to your body. Eating them fully raw will ensure you get the highest amount of nutrient possible from what you're eating.  Make winter salads your new go to dish to keep that vegan glow all year round.
Today, I found myself with some leftover black beans that I had made the day before. Wanting something fresh but filling on this cold (and snowing soon, I hope!) day, I decided to make this beautiful salad that was so delicious it has made it to the blog.  My ingredient list for the salad is really just a rough guideline, use what you have on hand or what ingredients you love the most. Try shredded cabbage, corn, mushrooms, asparagus, cucumber, zuchinni, or anything you have.  The beauty of this salad is not only the color, so add lots of variety, it is the incredibly versatile dressing that will pair well with most vegetables.  I hope you guys love it as much as I did!  Here we go:
Mexican Chop Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
Makes 2 salads
4 cups romaine, chopped
3 sweet peppers, seeded, julienned
1 tomato, seeded, diced
1 carrot, julienned
1 soft yellow squash, diced
1/2 cup black beans, cooled
pinch of vegan cheddar shreds, optional
1/4 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. cumin
pinch of sea salt
Add all of your salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss.  For the dressing, add all ingredients to a blend and blend until it is creamy and well blended.  Dress and toss the salad.  Enjoy!
Now before you guys start thinking that Washington skies are always grey, don't forget the power of a glorious sunrise.  Even through the clouds :)