Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kale chips

One of the most annoying things about eating healthy while on a budget has to be coming up with simultaneously delicious snacks. I'll go into detail with that in a further post. For now, though, I have a recipe for you.

Kale is a cabbage-like vegetable frequently grown for ornamental use, due to how pretty it is! It is a very healthy vegetable, however, that tastes much like broccoli. It's high in vitamins A and C, and also is a source of manganese, calcium and iron.

Kale can be used in any number of dishes, particularly salads. It does, however, make a fantastic and easy snack that only takes about twenty minutes to make. Most of that time is spent baking!

Honestly, I never knew that a vegetable could melt in your mouth until I tried these.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Serves: the same amount a large bag of chips will serve! (1 if you're snacking like a fiend, 4 if you're not!)
Cooking time: 12-15 minutes
Difficulty: super easy
Cost: Under $5

-1 tbsp. olive oil
-a sprinkling of coarse salt

TIP: You can half this recipe if you are making it for only yourself. If you're going to eat the kale chips over the course of a few days, don't make it all at once or you'll risk having some soggy kale chips. The oil will seep in completely and make them quite chewy.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Take a bunch of kale. You can buy kale at the grocery store for roughly $3, or you can grow your own. Make sure the kale is well washed, but let it dry.

Separate kale in to small pieces and place in large mixing bowl. Pour olive oil and toss, then add a small amount of coarse salt. Toss until all kale is covered with oil and salt is evenly distributed.

Take kale and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, then remove, turn once, and bake for another 7 minutes.

If kale chips are crispy, they are done! If not, bake them for another few minutes. Do not overcook or they will taste and smell burnt and nasty.

Let them cool a bit and dig in! To me, the flavor is a cross between dulse and potato chips.

I hope to have more on inexpensive healthy snacks in the week to come!

To add, I will also likely be doing another cooking video in the future due to... demand? That's right. People actually enjoyed the video. The only thing is that I need stuff to cook! So... ideas, if you please!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Using your noodle

Being on a constant fiddlehead binge of late, I knew a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to make a pasta dish with fiddleheads next. I'd tried them as a side dish and in a soup, and it was time to mix them in with a pasta. What I produced was a light-tasting dish that was filling and satisfying, and of course beautifully cheap! If you look at the picture to the right, you'll see that it's also got a cute curliness to it. (Matching bowl not included!)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking time: under an hour
Difficulty: moderate
Cost: Under $10


-spaghetti noodles
-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
-1 tsp. lemon juice
-1 tbsp. basil
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 tsp. white wine (optional)

Start by chopping the garlic. Cook very slowly on low heat in 1/2 tsp. olive oil, the lemon juice, and the white wine, if you opted for white wine. Add a sprinkle of salt. Allow to cook until the garlic becomes plump and golden brown.

While the garlic is cooking, prepare and cook the fiddleheads in the fashion I mentioned before. When they have finished, briefly cook them (only for about five minutes) in the garlic.

Boil the spaghetti until it is cooked to your liking, then strain it. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. basil, and toss until the basil is evenly distributed. After, toss in garlic and fiddleheads as well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add some parmesan cheese if you want!

And there you have it. A lovely spaghetti dish with lots of omega-3 fatty acids and tons of flavor. The secret lies in slow-cooking the garlic so it soaks up the lemon juice and wine flavors, which complement the piquant garlic perfectly.

Now then, if you're a little confused by the whole process of cooking fiddleheads, I've created a very handy video guide. The only downside is that you have to put up with my inane prattling for about five minutes. I put some music in to make it marginally entertaining for you. Enjoy!

I will also be updating the "how to cook fiddleheads" post with this video so you can see my ugly mug every time you search for how to make fiddleheads. Do have fun.

This will probably be my final fiddlehead post until next year, as fiddleheads are sadly almost out of season, and thinking up another recipe probably requires more brain power than I have available.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fancysimplecheap Strawberry Sauce

How do you know I'm happy?

I cook.

And cook, and cook, and cook.

Case in point, the other night my fiance brought home good news from work. I was so happy, I cooked his favourite meal (curry with rice), then proceeded to get creative and make a strawberry sauce to put on ice cream. The results were pretty good, so I thought I would share with all one of you who are reading this!

This is a surprisingly easy to make, but still decidedly fancy, sauce. Do whatever you please with it, for it is also very versatile.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2-4 people (depending on what you do with it)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: SUPER easy
Cost: Under $5 (use whatever liquor you have in your cupboard!


-1 pint strawberries, chopped finely
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 tsp sugar
-splash of dark rum (or champagne, vodka or fruit wine... whatever you have lying around, really! I used dark rum)

Cook SLOWLY, covered on low heat. Do not boil. 30 min. When the mixture appears to be half solid and half liquid, remove from heat and leave covered to stand and thicken. Try adding raspberries or rhubarb.

Pour over ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet, or add to strawberry shortcake! Good fresh and hot, or chilled.

A quick note to add that I am doing another fiddlehead recipe before the season is over, and I'm currently editing a video to accompany that! Yes I did a cooking video. It should be up within the end of the week. The video may come before the recipe, in fact, because I'm weird like that. Keep an eye out!