I love kale chips. I like anything crispy and I think it tastes like potato chips. However, I realize that there are people who do not like kale chips or even potato chips made from real potatoes. Oh well, you can’t always win, can you?
Anyway, here is how I make mine:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Wash kale thoroughly and dry it. You can use a salad spinner but since I don’t have a salad spinner, I dry it using tea towels / dish cloth.
It’s important for the kale leaves to be dry so it can be crispy and not steamed.
Tear the kale leaves away from the stalk and tear it into small pieces. This recipe does not require use of knife. It’s tempting to keep the leaves big but when it’s done, it gets crumbly and messy. The smaller the leaves, the less messy when you eat it. However, you may want to keep it large as food garnish if you are fancy schmancy that way.
Next, coat the kale leaves with olive oil and some seasoning. Plain salt is perfectly fine. I used Lawry’s Seasoned Salt because it’s been in my pantry forever and I’m on a mission to get rid of it. I usually take this opportunity to massage the leaves with the palm of my hands since my hands would be coated with oil and seasoning. Massaging the leaves ensures that the oil and seasoning coats every surface area of the leaves since kale leaves can be curly.
Next, lay the seasoned leaves on a baking sheet and make sure it does not overlap. If the leaves overlap, it creates steam which prevents it from going crispy. Put it in the oven for 15 minutes and it should be done. I tried 10 minutes but 15 minutes is ideal for me. I had to repeat this a few times because I only have 1 baking sheet. Repeat until your pile of seasoned kale leaves have turned into kale chips.
Transfer the kale chips into a container for storage. I have no idea how long the kale chips will last in storage because it’s usually gone within 24 hours.
I may have bought a little too much broccoli and had to use before it went bad. I made this broccoli soup using Gordon Ramsay’s recipe and it was amazing. I can’t believe the brightness of the color and the creamy texture from just broccoli, water and salt. I stored the extra soup in mason jars and the color stayed vibrant the next day.
I have to admit, the first time I made it, I did not follow his instructions very well and it was a fail but I tried it again and it turned out great. Just a couple of tips:
Water must be a rolling boil so the broccoli cooks quickly without losing its color.
Salt the water and taste again after blending to see if it requires more salt.
Cover the pot to trap the heat and let the broccoli cook for about 4 minutes before checking on it.
Cook the broccoli until you can easily cut it through with a knife.
Just cook the florets and remove the stem.
When blending, do not add too much water if you prefer thicker texture.
I figured that this would also be an excellent recipe (minus the salt) for babies to be introduced to the world of vegetables.
Bought too many tomatoes for a recipe and it was starting to get mushy. So, I turned it into basic tomato sauce.
Sliced Garlic (however much you like)
Herbs / Seasoning (whatever you like)
Slice the garlic thinly and put it in the pan with some olive oil. Turn on the stove and let the garlic infuse into the olive oil. Do it until the garlic starts to brown.
When the garlic starts to brown, add in the diced tomatoes. I chopped up the tomatoes with the skin to eliminate food waste.
Bring the tomatoes to a boil and reduce to simmer.
Add in salt, herbs and whatever seasoning you like. Sometimes it’s just salt. Sometimes I like it spicy so I add red pepper flakes. Sometimes I add dried oregano because that’s what I have. Add whatever you like. It is your tomato sauce.
Let it simmer for about 15 minutes and taste it. If it is too tangy, add a little bit of sugar until it is to your satisfaction.
If you like your tomato sauce smooth, feel free to blend it in a food processor or with a stick blender. I’m too lazy so I leave it chunky sometimes.
After 15 minutes, the sauce would have thickened a little and all the tomatoes would have liquified. Pour into glass jars and let it cool.
Tomato sauce is not just for pasta. You can use it to make so many things such as:
A friend gave me a bag of apricots. Since it was getting too ripe, I decided to make apricot jam with it. All you need is apricot, sugar and some lemon / lime juice. The ratio of apricot to sugar is a minimum of 3:2. This means for every 3 portions of apricot, you need 2 portions of sugar. I read somewhere there it does not qualify as jam unless 50% or more of it consist of sugar.
Cut the apricots into small chucks and remove the seed.
Put the apricot and white granulated sugar in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil.
Once it is boiling, reduce it to a simmer on medium to low heat. If you see foam, remove the foam.
Let is simmer for about 30 minutes and make sure that you stir occasionally to avoid it from burning at the bottom.
Take a spoonful of the liquid jam and set aside to cool. When it cools, test if the consistency is to your satisfaction. If so, the jam is done.
Turn off the heat and add about 1 tablespoon of lemon and mix it into the liquid jam. Pour into glass jars and let it cool.
There is no need to add water to the apricot and sugar because the apricot will liquify.
If the apricot is bruised, it is important to remove the bruised portions so you can maintain the color of the final product.
Taste the liquid from time to time to make sure it is the sweetness is to your satisfaction.
It is important to let the concoction simmer for at least 30 minutes so that it thickens into jam consistency when it cools down. I tried being lazy and let it simmer for a few minutes and when the concoction cooled down, it had a runny consistency. When that happens, transfer it to the pot and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
If the liquid gets burnt at the bottom, don’t scrape the bottom. Instead, transfer it to a new pot and continue the process.
What do you do with the roasted chicken carcass when dinner is done? What about the chicken wings that nobody wants? I usually save all the bones and freeze them until I have a container full of bones. Sometimes I freeze carrot, celery and mushroom bits too. I don’t eat as much meat as I used to so it usually takes a few months for me fill up the container with bones.
Dump all the bones and frozen vegetables in a slow cooker and cover it with water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Add seasoning such as salt, bay leaves, peppercorn, garlic, herbs and whatever you like.
Let it cook on low for about 24 hours.
Sieve the contents and store them in different sized glass jars.
If you use raw bones, blanche the bones first before roasting the bones. Blanching the bones will remove impurities and make the broth clearer. Roasting the bones before adding it to the slow cooker will give it better flavor.
I accept all bones. I don’t discriminate.
I prefer to cook my bone broth in a slow cooker so I don’t have to watch the fire over the stove.
Adding a tablespoon of vinegar (any type) is suppose to help breakdown the bones to extract more flavor from the bones.
You don’t need as much vegetables as you typically would use when making a stock. The broth is more concentrated than a stock.
Use the largest stockpot or slow cooker that you possibly have because the bones takes up a lot volume. You will be surprised with how little bone broth you will get from such a large stockpot but then again, the flavor is much concentrated.
When the bone broth becomes gelatinous at room temperature, you know you did it right.
It’s good to store the bone broth in different size jars because some recipes requires less or more bone broth.
When you are done, bury the discarded bones so it becomes compost.
I call this the poor man’s recipe because all you need is rice, egg and soy sauce. This recipe is made from basic items that I usually have in my kitchen.
Cook rice according to instructions. For this recipe, I prefer starchier rice but I suggest you work with what you have.
Cook an egg sunny side up. I was starving so I cooked 2 eggs. It’s important for the yolk to remain runny because the yolk is the sauce.
Season with soy sauce. Use as much as you like.
Optional: Sprinkle furikake over the top. Furikake is a dry Japanese seasoning. There are many flavors out there. I bought the Nori Komi Furikake because it was sold in glass jars.
There is a Japanese version of this but it’s slightly different. Raw egg is mixed into a bowl of steaming rice with soy sauce. As much as I love runny yolk, I am not a fan of raw eggs and that is why I cook my eggs sunny side up.
This recipe has saved me so many time when I was starving and there was barely anything in the fridge. Maybe one of these days, this recipe will save you too.
This is the ultimate recipe for someone who can’t cook unless they are following a recipe. This is the perfect recipe to clean out your fridge or pantry and it can be served cold or warm. There is no real measurements, it’s whatever you like. If you like more vegetables, add more vegetables. If you like more meat, add more meat. It’s your recipe to personalize so just give it a go.
Grains (quinoa, brown rice, white rice, lentils etc)
Choose a grain and cook according to instructions. 1 cup is usually enough for 2 portions.
Chop the vegetables into bite size portions. Leave it raw or cook your vegetables. You can steam, stir fry, grill or roast your vegetables depending on what you like.
Cook the meat or use whatever leftover meat you have. If you don’t have any meat, top the bowl with an egg. I like my egg poached, over easy or sunny side up. If you are vegan, skip this step completely.
If you have nuts that you want to get rid off, you can add it to the buddha bowl. I recommend toasting the nuts first. Add cheese if that’s what you like. I like small mozzarella balls.
Make a simple salad dressing or use whatever dressing you have on hand. See basic salad dressing below.
Mix everything evenly in a big bowl and serve.
Basic Salad Dressing
This is the simple dressing that I use frequently.
Add 3 parts olive oil into a small jar / jam jar.
Add 1 part acid (lime juice, lemon juice, any type of vinegar (white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, plain vinegar)) into the jar.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Close the jar and shake it until the concoction is emulsified.
If you like a bit of spiciness, add a teaspoon of mustard.
You if have fresh herbs, chop the herbs finely and add to the concoction.
The good thing about making the salad dressing in a jar is that you don’t have to use all of it at once. Just use what you need and save the rest for another time.
If you can’t figure out what to make for lunch or dinner, check your fridge and pantry. Consider making a buddha bowl and you might just be surprised. Challenge yourself and make a meal out of what you already have.
Commercial deodorant is bad for you. It’s full of chemicals blah blah breast cancer blah blah Alzheimer’s blah blah. I usually take the position that I should use up whatever item I have before moving to the zero waste option but deodorant is the exception.
Detoxify Your Armpits First
Before starting with natural deodorant, it may be a good idea to detoxify your armpits first. Here is a simple recipe:
1 tablespoon of bentonite clay
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon of water
Mix all ingredients until it is of smear consistency. Apply on your pits and wait for 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off.
Mix it is a glass jar. It’s enough for at least 2 applications.
Do not use metal or stainless steel when dealing with bentonite clay. Use plastic or wooden spoon instead.
It’s easier to wash off in the shower.
You can stop doing this when you no longer get irritations when using natural deodorant.
I recommend mixing the mixture in a measuring cup. It makes it easier to pour it into the bottle.
Shake the glass bottle before spraying it.
Feel free to add a few drops of essential oil.
1 Ingredient Recipe
If you don’t have sensitive skin, you may wish to consider brushing baking soda or arrowroot powder directly to your pits. I’ve tried it before but I find it a little too messy for my liking. There are dust particles around the sink and my clothes and I’m not a fan of white pits.
Where to buy?
December 2017 Update: I’ve tried the DIY method for several months now and honestly, I’m not a fan. The Himalayan salt sinks to the bottom of the glass bottle and creates a crust so I’m probably going to try out one of the following:
I made this for lunch today. It’s my kind of comfort food.
1 whole onion (diced) – I used spring onions because that’s what I have.
8 cloves of garlic (diced)
1 tomato (diced) – I used roma but any tomato should work.
1 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of tumeric
1 tsp of ginger powder – If you have real ginger (about 1 inch), slice it thinly and add it with the garlic.
2 tsp of curry powder
salt to taste
1 can of garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed. I rinse it because the water has sodium and I’m trying to cut down on that. Looking into using dried beans next time.
1 cup of water / stock – another reason to add another layer of flavor. You can add more or less depending how thick / watery you want your curry to be.
yogurt / coconut milk
a bunch of soft leafy vegetable (chopped). I used arugula because that’s what I have but it would be great with spinach and coriander too.
Heat up wok (any bowl like cooking instrument will work including a medium sized pot) and add oil. When oil is heated, add onions, a pinch of salt and let it soften. Subsequently, add garlic and all the dry spices to toast. Add more oil if you think the mixture is going to burn.
When you can smell the spices, add tomato and salt. Stir for a few minutes and let it dry out.
Add garbanzo beans and water / stock and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. If you use canned garbanzo beans, it’s already cooked so it is a matter of heating it up.
If the curry is too watery to your liking, let it simmer until desired amount of liquid. Taste and decide if you need more salt.
Add yogurt / coconut milk at this stage and mix well. I prefer coconut milk because it makes the curry creamy and it improves the color of the dish. Since I did not have any, I used yogurt. If you use yogurt, the liquid has a spotty look.
Add green vegetables and let it wilt.
Ta da! It took me about 20 minutes to make this dish from prep to cleaning up. It goes great with rice and I hope you will give it a try.
What do you do when you have extra vegetables that you need to use up before it goes bad? What do you do when you need to leave on vacation and your fridge is still full of perishables? I usually pickle my vegetables and save them for later.
Recipe – Pickled Vegetables
You can pickle almost anything. If it is done right, it keeps the vegetable crispy. There are so many recipes out there but here is the recipe that I use to make my brine:
1 cup of vinegar (any kind)
1 cup of filtered water
1 tablespoon of salt (any type)
any type of herbs or spice you like
any type of vegetables
Pour the vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil.
Cut the vegetables and pack it into the jar. In the photo above, I have carrot, green beans, red peppers and onions. You can cut in strips, chucks or dice. Whatever you like.
Add the herbs or spice.
When the brine is boiled, add it to the jar and ensure that all the vegetables are submerged.
Close the jar and let it cool a little before putting it in the fridge. Let it sit in the fridge for at least a week before trying it and see if you like it.
Recipe – Pickled Jalapeno
I love pickled jalapeno. If I had to choose only one condiment, it would be pickled jalapeno. I have it with rice and noodle. Husband doesn’t like the pickled jalapeno but he loves the brine.