Monthly Archive: September 2012

Olive oil kale chips


There are lots of kale chips recipes out there.  This is the basic one I use.  If you like the flavor of kale, you’ll like these chips.  If you’re looking to mask it’s green Earthy flavor a bit, you should probably look for a recipe that has a more cheesy coating (usually the best ones involve cashews and nutritional yeast). 

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  • kale
  • olive oil
  • salt


Wash, de-stem and tear kale into pieces.  Put the kale into a big mixing bowl and add olive oil and salt.  Massage the kale with your hands until
everything is well coated.  Place the lubricated kale on sprayed baking sheet. 
Bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees.  Watch carefully so they don’t burn.  Enjoy 🙂


I didn’t measure anything.  Any excess olive oil will just remain in the bottom of the bowl. 

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Left: pre-oven.  Right: post-bake. 

Let them sit after they come out of the oven. 


If you don’t eat them all immediately, store them in an air tight container.  They will last about a week.  I didn’t refrigerate mine and they stayed crisp for ~5 days.  They tend to get softer by the end of a week.


Crush them up and add them to your salad for a yummy topping.  Or just enjoy plain.


SB tid-bits

I didn’t take photos on our baby moon (it was K & E time). Also my phone was busted. It’s better(ish) now.


Anyway, notes from Santa Barbara:

  • The downtown farmer’s market is on Saturdays from 8:30 –1 pm. It’s on Santa Barbara Street & Cota (just off State Street). There were so many awesome nut butters and pies – plus a whole lotta yummy produce.
  • Aldo’s Italian Restaurant on State Street has both a fabulous kale salad and a gluten free and vegan pasta dish. For the record, it isn’t a vegan restaurant at all, which is why it was especially surprising to have more than one vegan items on the menu that I didn’t even have to tweak. I ordered both. 🙂
  • The Natural Cafe is always a fave. There are more locations than just the State street one.
  • Fess Parker’s Spa Del Mar does prenatal massages. Amazing ones.
  • Adama (just off State Street) is an entirely vegan restaurant and gluten free bakery. We stumbled upon it by sheer accident (on our way out of town) so I took it as a sign and ordered a couple of items to go. The gingerbread man didn’t make it back home, but the carrot cupcake (below) was the best.




No nuts, no wheat, just pure fluffy moist cakey goodness. Sorry about the m word, but it wasn’t dry at all, so I feel like that’s important to note. The ratio of frosting to cake was exactly what I like.

Nacho salad

If you have good ingredients in a salad, you don’t even need dressing.


Bottom layer: tortilla chips (if you can find flavored ones, do it)


The Better Chip makes four different flavored tortilla chips that are gluten free and non GMO.  My favorite is the red pepper & salsa fresca – it tastes spicy and salty and fresh – so good!  Kyle loves the sweet onion (it has white cheddar so it’s not lactose free). 

Middle layers: veggies (romaine lettuce, tomatoes, corn, avocado)


The avocado is key in this layer, so don’t skimp. 

Top layer: protein (beans & hummus)


The kind of hummus you use is up to you – roasted red pepper or garlic will be great, but plain is still totally acceptable. 

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I happened to have Sabra’s SOUTHWEST garden hummus on hand, which added the perfect flavor profile to the Tex-Mex salad.  Win! 

I also heated the vegetarian refried beans on the stove top so they were more liquidy and coated the salad perfectly when tossed, but black beans, or cold pinto beans will be great too.


Optional toppings: salsa, cheese, cilantro to garnish


The mother of invention

Necessity is the mother of invention.  At least that’s how the phrase goes.  Desperation is more like it…

The other night was just a typical night in the scheme of my pregnancy.  I wasn’t craving anything remotely healthy, but I also couldn’t figure out what I even wanted to eat.  Even though we had plenty of options in the fridge, I wasn’t feeling any of it.  Kyle made himself dinner, but I didn’t want what he was having either.  So I held out, waiting for my appetite to reveal itself.  Finally I decided I wanted Thai noodles of some kind.  Which is when I had to get crafty.


I came up with rice noodles, spinach, and Amy’s Thai Coconut soup. 

I boiled water and made the rice noodles first, then added them to a bowl of spinach, followed by the can of soup.  The noodles made the spinach soft and semi-wilty and the soup flavored them both.


The soup had veggies and tofu in it, and was really delicious.  And the coconut broth had the perfect Thai flavor profile I was after.




It was so quick to make and so yummy that I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding this to my rotation. 

Other random semi-home-made eats include the following:

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Amy’s veggie burger with avo crème on top (greek yogurt and avocado). 

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Millet bowl with LightLife smoky tempeh and eggs.


Field Roast sausage with spinach, avocado, and yam (only finished half the yam). 

But what can you do? 

After such an awesome time in Santa Barbara, I didn’t want Monday to come.  But (obviously) it did.  And after Kyle and I got home, we planned out our meals for the week and went grocery shopping.  Fridge stocked.  Meals set.  Bring on the work week. 

In spite of that, my interest in food has been (and remains) minimal.  I used to love trips to Whole Foods and browsing cookbooks and blogs for recipe inspiration and now I loathe it.  I have zero interest in cooking, and yet, I am desperate to maintaining both my standards and budget.  I want quality meals, not take-out.  So even if I throw together whatever, I guess it’s at least “made” by me.

My other issue is discomfort due to the crowding of my body parts (my son is taking over the space where my food usually goes).  I wake up starving, eat a few small breakfasts, and by lunch time I’m full and uncomfortable and out of room in my belly.  The meals that happen later in the day are way more annoying and I don’t even want them.  This is probably why I wake up starving and the cycle continues. 

But I digress.  The point of this post wasn’t to whine about my pregnant appetite.  It was to show how desperation is the mother of invention.  I’m trying!

Noodles with the works


This is the easiest meal of all.  I make it at least once a week.  It’s flexible depending on what you have on hand, but as long as you have some kind of past in your pantry and some kind of fresh/frozen veggies, you’re set.

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Boil water.  Cook pasta.  Drain pasta, saving a little of the water.  Add olive oil (a few [or more] glugs).  Add fresh/frozen veggies.  Toss into the pasta and let them cook.  If you add tomatoes, wait until they pop.  Add herbs (optional but recommended) like basil, parsley, etc.  Add more olive oil if needed.  Add TVP and toss into noodles until they’ve fully rehydrated.  [TVP is texture vegetable protein – for more info and recipes see here and here]


Serve and dig in.  If you’re not avoiding dairy, top with parmesan cheese.


Does the mountainous stature of this pasta make you want to sing “on top of old smooooookey…”?  No?  Me either. 😉


This one had garlic infused olive oil, peas, corn, cherry tomatoes, and TVP.


Here’s a fusilli version with edamame, corn, fresh tomatoes, marinara, and TVP. 


And here’s yet another with penne, tomatoes, hummus, basil, and TVP.


It definitely helps having an unlimited supply of tomatoes and basil in your backyard.  That makes much of the meal free.  TVP is cheap and frozen veggies (even the organic kind) as well as pasta are cheap cheap cheap, too. 


Pretty easy. 

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Even for a work night.