Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pizza Kale Chips

Honestly, if you love a salty snack and are trying to eat healthy, and you haven't yet tried a kale chip??? You are missing out, my friend. From the minute I discovered kale chips, I knew I was on to something and that my dreams of a tasty, yet healthy salty snack had come true.

When I realized I could make them in my dehydrator and they would keep for days (if they lasted that long), I was even more amazed and shocked. I've tried a few variations, but trust me when I saw that Amber's Pizza Kale Chips from her new cookbook, Practically Raw, are incredibly and insanely tasty. It's the sort of recipe that I wish I had created - it's just that good. The tomato sauce coating, which includes fennel seeds, is delicious. I've even had friends who are slightly picky try these and they love them! The best part about Amber's recipe is that she includes directions for those who don't have a dehydrator, as do all of her recipes in her new cookbook. So give these chips (and her book!) a try - I promise you won't be disappointed!

Pizza Kale Chips

Pizza Kale Chips
(From Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make by Amber Shea Crawley, (c) 2012. Used by permission.)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 to 4 hours and drained
1/4 cup hempseeds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons filtered water
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or Italian Seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, roughly chopped (6 to 8 cups)

Combine all ingredients except kale in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if needed to blend.

In a large bowl, combine the kale and the pizza sauce. Use your hands to massage the sauce all over the kale, making sure it’s coated completely.

Make it Raw: Arrange the kale in a single layer on a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 8 hours or overnight, until crisp.

Make it Baked: Preheat the oven to 300°F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Arrange the kale in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and use a fork or spatula to carefully flip the kale chips over (it’s ok if you miss a few). Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, watching carefully to make sure the kale doesn’t burn, then remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spiced Pecans and Cashews

I never thought I would use my dehydrator as much as I have since I purchased it. But I honestly use it weekly, if not daily. It's perfect for kale chips, crackers, and all sorts of other fun things, and it's much more useful than I ever dreamed.

These are by far some of my most favorite spiced nuts. I made them the other night when I had my best friend Lina over, and she raved about them. They have a perfect combination of spicy and sweet - both of which add up to a very tasty combination.

Although this recipe is written for the dehydrator, this can easily be made and thrown in a low heat oven until dry. This recipe comes from Raw for the Holidays, a great resource for special raw vegan recipes.

Spiced Pecans and Cashews

Spiced Pecans and Cashews
1 cup raw pecans (or roasted/unsalted)
1 cup raw cashews (or roasted/unsalted)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 tsp coconut aminos (or tamari or soy cause)
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp agave nectar (or honey or maple syrup)

Combine nuts in a bowl. Combine cinnamon through pepper in a small bowl. Add aminos, rosemary, olive oil, and agave to nuts and toss well. Add spice mixture and toss well to combine. Spread out on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 105 degrees for 24 hours, or until dry and crisp.

In the need of more spiced nuts recipes?? Check these out!
Indian Spiced Nuts
Green Tea Wasabi Almonds
Lemon Pepper Cashews

Sunday, April 15, 2012

5 Alarm Hot Sauce

I have been craving hot sauce something fierce lately. The hotter, the better actually. And since I found some wonderful dried ghost chilies at the West Side Market in Cleveland when I was there for a wonderful weekend with my girls, I thought, "let's try a hot sauce."

This is a wonderfully flavorful sauce that is sure to deliver some serious heat. There's a combination of fresh peppers, dried peppers, horseradish, and ground pepper so you're sure to get hit from the heat on all sides! It's not the hottest sauce I've ever had, but it's definitely no slouch in the heat department. But the full flavors of the rest of the ingredients add such a wonderful flavor that it tempts even those who can't handle heat to try and eat as much as they can.

This is a perfect recipe to bookmark for that end-of-summer pepper bounty. And if you don't have the ghost or piquin chilies, just kick up the amount of fresh peppers!

5 Alarm Hot Sauce

5 Alarm Hot Sauce

1 dried ghost chili
5 dried piquin chili peppers
7 habanero chilies
7 jalapeno chilies
4 serrano peppers
2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked brown mustard seeds (or mustard powder)
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup mango nectar or juice
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp ground horseradish
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Place dried piquin chilies and ghost chili in a bowl of hot water for 20 minutes until rehydrated. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring a few cups of water to boil. Add chopped carrots and onion and simmer for several minutes until soft. Add ghost chili, piquin chilies, and cooked carrots and onion to blender container. Add remaining ingredients, EXCEPT for cilantro, and puree until well combined. Pulse in cilantro. Allow to cool off in the fridge for several house and then ENJOY!