Wednesday, December 26, 2012

When you think of the holiday season, does it stress you out? Come January do you remember the lethargy, the exhaustion, and the weight-gain?  Did you know it doesn’t have to be that way?

Christmas dinner, which is normally a calorie, unhealthy fat and sugar bomb, is one of the biggest culprits. Many people assume that it has to be that way, because really, who’s going to sacrifice a traditional Christmas dinner in favour of making it healthier? We can worry about the consequences later, right?

But how often do we look back on the jolly-making, and rather than remember the amazing food we enjoyed so much, we regret it because we feel gross and have gained weight?

Does it ever seem worth it in the end?

Well, I have some GOOD NEWS!  DELICIOUS Christmas dinner, and all the trimmings and desserts, can still be enjoyed. Really! The key, is to make everything in a different way, in a way that doesn’t tear down our bodies.

I chose to make roast chicken (because turkeys are too big! lol), mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted vegetables, and gravy.  There are any number of clean versions of Christmas dinner, but this is what I chose to make.  I also made an apple berry crumble, which you can find here (my recipe on the Eat Clean site).  I forgot to take pic. ;p

The best part of this dinner?  I portioned it into three MORE Christmas dinner and froze them, so I can have Christmas dinner a few more times for lunch!!!

All the things you see in the above picture are below.  For your convenience, everything is to be cooked at the same temp, with the exception of the last few minutes of the vegetables (see the roast veg recipe below).

The order the dishes need to go into and out of the oven:

1. Chicken in (cook for about 2 hours, uncovered for half of that time)
2.  Stuffing to be added after the chicken has been cooking for about one hour (uncovered after 40 minutes) 
3.  Vegetables to be added 20 minutes after you add the stuffing.  To be turned up after the stuffing and chicken have been removed.  Keep an eye on them!

The veggies will take a few minutes to cook after the chicken and stuffing are done.  That's OK--just keep the chicken on the stovetop, covered, and the stuffing on the stovetop covered also, until the veggies are ready.  They'll keep warm and be ready when you are.  In the meantime, if you need to heat up the gravy and potatoes, you can do it while you're waiting.  

The easiest way I've found to flavour a roast chicken is with rosemary, lemon, and a bit of sea salt.  All you have to do, is spritz olive oil over the chicken, sprinkle a bit of sea salt, and cover the chicken with as much rosemary as you like.  Fresh rosemary works best, but dried is fine--just remember to use 1/2 as much if you're using dried, as it's more potent.  Then poke a bunch of holes in a lemon or two, and stick it into the chicken's cavity, along with some more rosemary.  Roast covered for about an hour on 375F, then uncover and continue roasting for about another hour (the exact time will depend on the size of the chicken--will usually be 90 minutes to around 2 hours).  Then just take it out of the oven, plate it and let it rest for a few minutes (so that the juices relax, and don't come pouring out the minute you cut into the chicken--keeps the meat moist), then serve.  Easy!

For the mushroom gravy, I used the recipe on about.com,  but I changed it.  I thought you might like to see how a clean eater changes recipes to make them clean but still very tasty, here it is.  I changed the following in the recipe: 

*  I used more mushrooms, and also added about 6 soaked dried mushrooms to make it mushroomier. 

*  I didn't use vegan margarine,  I just spritzed the pan with olive oil.

*  I used Bragg's liquid amino's (called Bragg's All-Purpose Seasoning in Canada) instead of the soy sauce, just because I like it better with mushrooms. 

*  I used whole wheat pastry flour (sometimes called "soft" whole wheat flour) for the flour it calls for. 

*  I also made sure to cook the mushrooms on a higher heat, and for longer than it calls for, because browning the mushrooms make it mushroomier too.  AND I used the dried mushroom soaking liquid in place of about 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth it calls for, because, you guessed it--it makes it mushroomier!  The rest of the recipe was the same, including the instructions.

SO tasty!  I don't know about you, but I LOVE good gravy! 

The mashed potatoes are also a favourite of mine, so I made them too.  It's not an exact recipe, because it depends on how many servings you make, but I put it in "parts" for your convenience.  You'll note that I used a bit of butter--in mashed potatoes I find it adds a level of flavour I miss if I omit it.  It's only 1 tbsp per 4 servings, and it's organic unsalted, so I'm willing to make that concession. : )


Amacuba's Clean Mashed Potatoes
 
1 part russet potatoes
1 part sweet potatoes
1 tbsp organic unsalted butter (per 4 servings)
Ground sage, pinch (or to taste)
Ground thyme powder, pinch (or to taste)
Homo milk (or half and half), and chicken or vegetable stock, to make potatoes desired consistancy, whatever that is for you
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil a pot of water with some sea salt in it (sea salt makes the flavours of the potatoes come out).

Peel and chop potatoes into chunks.  Since sweet potatoes cook a little faster than white potatoes do, be sure to make the sweet potato chunks a bit bigger, so they'll be the same time cooking.  You can leave the russet potato peels on if you like (there's more nutrients that way), but be sure to peel the sweet potatoes.

Cook the potatoes until both kinds are soft.  Drain, but don't rinse--you want the starch on the potatoes.

Reduce the burner temperature to low, and put the potatoes back into the same pot (why make more dishes?!), and add butter.  With an electric hand mixer, or with a hand-held potato masher if you prefer to go old-school, mash/whip the potatoes enough that the butter is well mixed in.  Add the homo milk/half and half, and salt and pepper, and mash/whip until the potatoes are the consistency you like. 

Set aside until needed.  It can be made a few hours, or even a day before they're going to be served--just re-heat on medium-low heat, stirring/whipping until they're fluffy again.  Great time-saver!


Amacuba's Clean Stuffing (same as above, depends on how much you want to make)

Note:  Stuffing should be added to the oven with the chicken when it's about an hour from being finished.

Bread cubes, whole-grain, or Frech/Italian stick bread, whole-grain, sliced into small cubes and let to get stale over night.  (Or if you forgot like me, put on a cookie sheet in the oven on 150F for a couple of hours, mixing it up every 30 minutes or so, so it dries out evenly)

No salt added chicken or vegetable stock
Powdered sage, to taste
Rosemary, to taste
Thyme, to taste
Poultry seasoning, to taste
Green onion, chopped
Roasted garlic *
Raw garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop roasted garlic up as best you can (it's sticky!) and add to a mixing bowl.  Throw in all other ingredients, except the stock.  Toss thoroughly, making sure that all the pieces of bread are covered in the seasoning.

Add the stock, just enough that the bread soaks it up when it's tossed, and that the bread is evenly moist, but not so much that the bread is saturated. 

Place loosely in a non-stick or sprayed pan, cover with tin foil, and cook for 40 minutes.  Uncover and cook for about an additional 20 minutes.  Do not allow top to burn--it should just be crunchy, but not dry.  If you're afraid it's geting dry, check it by sticking a knife in the middle and peeking.  If the middle is moist but not overly so (like finished dressing would be), it's done.  It's OK to take it out of the oven even if the chicken isn't done yet--just re-cover it, and set it on the top of the oven.  That should keep it warm until you need it.

* To make roast garlic, chop off the top bit of a head of garlic, wrap the whole thing in tin foil, and pop into the oven at 375F.  Roast until the cloves are soft.  Allow to cool, and just squish the soft clove centers out of the skins!  They're quite sticky, so be sure to remove the white papery outer skin first, otherwise you'll have all the paper stuck to your fingers!


Roasted Root Vegetables (should be added to the oven 20 minutes after you add the stuffing)

Any root vegetable is delicious roasted, and it's the simplist and yet most nutritious way to cook vegetables!

Carrots, parsnips (in the pic), turnips, Brussels sprouts, beets etc are all delicious roasted.  Just peel if they need to be peeled (baby beets just need to be trimmed, since the skins are edible).  Brussels sprouts should have the outer leaves removed (because of pesticides), and be halved.  Chop everything else into equal bite-sized pieces.

On a baking sheet, sprayed with olive oil, arrange vegetables cut-side down.  Spritz tops with some more olive oil (don't worry--with a spritzer you're using very little) and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh-ground pepper.

Cook at 375F for about 40 minutes, then when you remove the chicken and stuffing (if it's still in the oven), turn the veggies over, and turn the oven up to 425F.  Allow to roast for about 10 minutes, so they start to caramalize a little.  Keep an eye on them!

I promise you this holiday meal is FULL of flavour.  I would never recommend any clean recipes, let alone a clean holiday meal, if it weren't tasty.  : )


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I’ve been thinking over the past few days about any goals I might want to accomplish by the end of 2013. I could of course do the same goals that everyone seems to do automatically, but then I thought I should give it some real thought, and find out what I REALLY want to accomplish next year. So here they are, in no particular order:

· Live my clean life, as though I’ve already reached my fitness goals. I’m sick to death of being in the head space of “I want to be this size”, “I want to be under this body fat %” etc. I’ve been thinking about that kind of thing for so long, that I don’t know anymore how to NOT think that way. So what will it mean in real life? I’ll eat cleanly automatically because that’s the life I want. I will not weigh, measure or compare myself to others, because that’s no longer my life. I will exercise because I love how it makes me feel, and because I know it will keep me healthy.

· I will do what makes me happy. I’ve spent much of the past few years making sacrifices for other people on their road to success and happiness. It’s time to do what makes ME happy too! Making other people happy makes me happy, but I would like to do stuff just for me, you know? What that will mean is getting up with the alarm, because I don’t like rushing in the morning. It means finishing my novel, and being proud of it. It means continuing to spread the clean life to others, because seeing how it changes their lives for the better makes me happy. There will be other things I’m sure, and I’ll be sure to do them too!

· I will learn about the food from different cultures. I’ve always been a foodie. Even as a child, when we were very poor (like Oprah as a kid poor—po as she called it!) I had a taste for good food. I don’t know where it came from; it’s not like I was exposed to much of it, but it’s always been that way. I’ve very recently started to learn about Turkish cuisine, and I’m pretty darned inspired already! I even already have a cookbook to start with!  I'm going to start with Susamli ve Corek Otlu Pide Ekmergi which is Pita Bread Topped with Sesame and Black Caraway seeds.  Apparently it can be made 1/2 inch thick to be ripped and eaten, or made thinner and turned into pita bread with pockets, just by making it wider and thinner!  I love the idea of making my own pita, especially if it has flavour!!!  Imagine--eating pita which tastes good all on it's own!  How NOVEL!!

It looks like most Turkish cuisine is pretty clean.  There is SO no need to be bored with Clean Eating—the whole world of delicious dishes is at my fingertips! And taste buds!! Every once in a while I forget that (we all get stuck in ruts, right?) so this should fan the flames even higher!

· Do other things that make me a better me, as I discover them!

Friday, December 14, 2012

As an official Eat Clean Ambassador I was asked a few weeks ago, to do something special for the Season of Giving this December.  To share the love as it were, and spread the joy of eating clean as well.  You can read what other Ambassadors have done this month at toscareno.com!

I wanted to do something different, something special for my co-workers, because it's been a very trying time for us--a couple of months ago, we said goodbye to a friend and co-worker who passed away after fighting cancer for 10 years, and we've had nearly 20% of our workforce lose their jobs.  Morale has been very low, not just because people are worried about what will happen to their own jobs, but because we're having to say goodbye to our friends, and worrying about what it will mean to their futures. 

I wanted to do something to bring a little joy into people's lives.  So, I decided to make delicious clean Christmas cookies.  I would make wee packages with 2 cookies in each, a nice festive bow, and attach a customizable "I appreciate you" tag to them, all for just $1 each! (the recipe is below)

The response was so overhwelming, that although I made nearly DOUBLE the packages last Saturday than I had orders for, by the end of the day Monday I had so many orders that not only were all the extras sold out, but I had to turn people away!  I felt bad for that, but the only time I had to make a kajillion cookies was all afternoon and evening on the Saturday! 

I had a HUGE pile of wee packages waiting to be delivered, and it really made my heart about three sizes bigger knowing that people still cared so much for each other that they'd be willing to take the time to not only order the cookies, but to write personal notes to each and every one of them.  (there are 80 packages in this pic, believe it or not!)


The icing on the cake?  The cookies not only paid for themselves (so it didn't come out of my pocket) but there was actually a decent profit--so I marched it over to our Fundraising department, and earmarked it for cooking lessons for a youth about to move to independence!  I thought that was a cool idea, because I think that a lot of the reason why people in general don't seem to cook very healthily, is because they just weren't taught how to cook properly!  I know I sure wasn't, and 10 years after moving to independence I found myself 75 pounds overweight and no idea how to cook anything healthier.  I sure had a lot of learning in my future! 

The original recipe can be seen here.  It was already a pretty clean recipe, but it still included processed white sugar, which isn't healthy at all, and processed brown sugar, which is processed white sugar with molasses spun into it.  I also changed the one egg yoke to one egg white, because I didn't want to waste half an egg to use the yoke (per recipe!) and I had clean egg whites in the carton in the fridge, so I could literally measure out one egg white.  The rest of the ingredients remained the same.


Orange Spice Molasses Cookies (picture from eatingwell.com)



Ingredients


Rolling Sugar

1/2 cup granulated organic cane sugar

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest


Cookie Dough

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup granulated organic cane sugar

1/3 cup packed organic brown sugar (organic cane sugar with molasses spun in)

2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest

1/2 cup light or dark molasses

7 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 large egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper or a baking mat.

2. To prepare the rolling sugar: Pulse ½ cup granulated sugar and 1 tbsp orange zest in food processor until well combined. Place in a shallow dish and set aside.

3. To prepare cookie dough: Grind oats in a blender until they look like fine powder, 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed.

4. Beat butter and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Add brown sugar and 2 tbsp orange zest and beat another 2 minutes. Add molasses, apple sauce, egg yolk, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, pepper and salt; beat on medium-high until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides and beaters as needed.

5. Turn the mixer to medium and slowly add the ground oats. Scrape down the bowl; with the mixer on medium, slowly add whole-wheat flour. (The dough will be moderately sticky)

6. Using a slightly rounded tbsp of dough, roll into balls, then roll in the rolling sugar to coat. (If necessary wet your fingertips to help roll without sticking). The zest will make the mixture slightly wet and it will clump; lightly brush off the excess so just a thin layer is on the cookie. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

7. Bake the cookies in batches until the edges are set and the tops are cracked, but the centers are still soft and puffy, about 10 minutes.

8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 8 minutes. Serve warm or cool on the wire rack.

Tip: Make ahead tip: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to three months.




Monday, November 5, 2012

Today was the final day of Insanity already!  How INSANE! LOL

Over the past 2 months, I've learned the hard way that the name of the product is apt.  Wholly bloody hell is it hard!!

On the first day, I thought I was going to die.

On the second day I was SURE I was going to die.

On the third day I was sure I HAD died and I was just a zombie going through the motions, biding my time until I could eat fresh brains again.

After the first week, when the leg/arm/shoulder/chest/abs pain eased a little, I started noticing that I could do more already.  Yes, after a little over a week!

The improvements in my ability to do the exercises was insane.  Truly!  Just goes to show how hard the workout is, and how well thought out. 

I'd read that month two was WAY harder and I thought,  "Well sure, that makes sense."  I'd also read that some (well many) went back and did month one again, instead of continuing with month two.  At the time I wondered why they would do that, why not at least try to finish it.

When I did the first couple of workouts of month two I understood why.  For me, it was SUCH a huge jump that I found myself virtually unable to do some of the exercises with proper form.  Now I'm no slouch, nor am I new to working out--but I don't think I was ready for month two.  I found myself wondering if it were better to push on and sacrifice my form, or move back to start month one again, and maintain form. 

Shaun T has said many times to never sacrifice form, in order to get more reps in, so in the end I (and my workout partner) decided to repeat month one at least once more (probably more than once!) and move on to month two when we thought we were ready. 

I found it extremely difficult to commit to 6x per week, particularly on the weekends (Mondays were our off days).  Out of the 18 weekend workouts, I did 2.  Yes, 2.  So that means more than 2 weeks of missed workouts!  Annoying, but I just couldn't seem to fit it in!  It would be the end of the day and I'd be like "CRAP!  I didn't workout!!" 

I liked the workouts though.  I never got bored, which is amazing, and started amusing myself once the workouts became more familiar, with watching the people on the screen.  There's "Fall Down Girl" aka "Give Up Girl" who clearly hadn't done Insanity recently, despite being on the DVD.  There's Tonya who is so inspiring for her incredible fitness.  There's "Brother of Give Up Girl" who just about dies a few times, even though he looks like he should be hard-core.  Maybe he had a head cold. ;p

There's The Dancer.  The Triathlete.  And Mr. Wholly Shit Look How He's JUMPING!!

We also amused ourselves my making up names for some of the exercises:  The Captain Morgan.  The Zombie.  Climbing up a cliff face to get away from the zombies, and skiing down the hill again toward the zombies, which we both agreed made no sense at all.  And during one of the suicide drills, where you have to move your feet quickly and touch the ground back and forth, we'd say, "Tippy tippy tippy tippy tippy" for our steps.  Yes, we sound a little crazy, but let's face it...it's Insanity! LOL

We both enjoyed it, so much that I went onto the Insanity FB page and posted, "Is it weird that I actually like getting my ass handed to me everyday?" which made a lot of others laugh. ;p 

We're going to do it again, as I said, starting tomorrow.  But this time we're going to make it fit to our schedules, which means 3-5x per week.  Preferably 4-5 but minimum 3.  And since food is SO much of any fitness plan, of course there will be Clean Eating!

Fit By Forty!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Had to share this. TOO funny. Insanity workout grumblings... 

I just went to Google "Shaun T is trying to kill me". I got as far as "Shaun T is t--" and it filled in the rest! LOL
Without even clicking into the sites, I can see this:


"Shaun T. is trying to kill me. No really. He is. At first I thought we just had a cutely- funny, jovial relationship...."

"And the entire time I was thinking that Shaun T was trying to kill me..."

"Dear Shaun T, I think you're trying to kill me..."

"For most of the week, oh hell, all of this past week, I've been convinced that Shaun T was trying to kill me with his effing Insanity..."

"Shaun T is trying to kill me. Please note this for when the police find my body in the back house, drenched in sweat and stuck in a sideways ..."

"What the hell was that today?!?!"

"I don't know why, but Shaun T is trying to kill me. This is especially unfair considering that I am generally a nice person. Mostly. Sometimes."

“I'm not trying to kill you, I only want to make you stronger” – Shaun T ..."

"This dude shaun t is trying to kill me this workout is crazy. Hmmm note to self get ready for the smack down when u get back to USA. I will defeat u shaun t I will ..."

"...hideous mental catch-phrase by Shaun T for this torture program..."


And one of the funniest posts I've read about the experience:


shaun t. is trying to kill me

By the dawn

Shaun T. is trying to kill me.

No really. He is.

At first I thought we just had a cutely-funny, jovial relationship. I would fall on my face while trying to do “level 2″ drills and we would giggle about how weak my arms are. He would chide me for taking so many unscheduled water breaks and I would shrug it off with a laugh. Even though my feet never moved as fast as, say Tonya, I figured that he would overlook it because of my winning smile and “can-do” attitude.

That was all well and good during the first month.

This is month 2.

AKA, death.

I swear, even though the original dvd’s were copyrighted in 2009, Shaun T. stays up late into the night figuring out how exactly to torture me specifically. Squat push-ups? Power push-ups? Level 3 drills? Common, seriously? I mean, this is some kind of practical joke, right? I’m being punk’d. There’s no way that someone actually thinks that I’m capable of HALF these moves….

That’s what led me to the conclusion that he must want me dead. I haven’t figured out his motive…but I’ll leave that to Grisom and the Gang after I’m gone. Don’t be surprised if, when they find my body, I appear to be in some sort of jumping jack position...

***

I was asked today to describe what Insanity is like. The above explains it in spades. 'Nuff said. :)


As far as my food intake goes, I've increased my protein in accordance to the plan laid out by Shaun T, and also increased the amount of food I've been eating, because of the killer workouts, as they also suggested.  I'm not following their food guide in detail though, because I just can't eat (or afford!) that much meat!  It all looks very clean, which is great, but I had to change my percentages a bit.  So now it's more like 45% carbs, 20-25% healthy fats, and 30-35% protein.  Much of my protein sources are plant-based you see, so my carbs % goes up accordingly.  I think I'm doing pretty well though--lots and LOTS of food!  I should probably post some pics of what I'm eating, I'm sure people will want to know, so stay tuned for that.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One week from today, on September 5th, I'm officially going insane.  Insanity workout insane.

Let me tell you, it's name doesn't tell the half of it.  I got Insanity last week, and knew from the previews that I would be in for the ass-kicking of my life.  All 63 days of it.

Check it out:



Insane!

I read the meal plan, because I wanted to see if I needed to tweak my clean eating to get enough food and macronurtients, and I was surprised at how clean the plan was.  I'm doing my version, because I simply can't eat that much meat, but I'm making sure to get in tonnes of protein and lots of carbs.  I did the computations, and I need to eat a LOT of food!  It totally makes sense though--you work out ultra super duper hard.  I would think your workouts would suffer, as well as your recovery, if you thought you knew better and ate too little.  For anyone who is afraid of food and calories, but wants to do this workout plan, my advice to you is to leave your previous mentality at the door if you want to see results.  You simply will not get the desired results out of Insanity if you starve your body.

This week I've been testing things out, to figure out the food, and also to check out the workouts by doing a few rather than just watching them.  So, I did the fit test, and the first workout so far, and plan to do 1-2 more workouts before the official start day.

The fit test kicked my butt.  It's 10 minutes of going all-out in one minute intervals with a break in between, and I thought I'd die.  Then I did the first workout...  And threw up in my mouth a little.  Fortunately it was mostly my pre-workout drink in my tummy!  Was that too much information?  Well, as I post about this INSANE 63-day journey, you're likely going to get it as it is, so get ready for the truth!

After the first workout, I noticed something green on the floor.  Turns out I left my ass on the floor.  Why was it green?!  Because it was GRASS.

I'ma gonna DIE.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

As most people who know me know, I strive to eat as cleanly as I can.  That's not to say that I never have beer or wings or cake or whatever, but I try to eat the healthy stuff the majority of the time.

Those who know I try to eat that way, sometimes have the misapprehention that I can only have things like pizza very occasionally, because, well, pizza isn't exactly the healthiest. 

So what's a clean eater to DO?  Have pizza every few months?  Oh HECK NO!!  I can have pizza any time I like--I just make it myself!

Now you might be thinking, "Oh yeah right.  Healthy clean pizza.  Yum.  Not!"  But my friends, you would be so wrong!  Believe me, it's in the oven right now, and it smells divine!

A few tips and tricks before I give you the recipe--of course I'll give you the recipe!: 

*  Don't use crust high in saturated fat--use 100% whole grain pita rounds.  Don't open them up or anything, just use as-is.
*  Use decent-quality lower-fat cheese.  Mozzarella is relatively low in fat (compared to other cheeses), and if you can find a good one that's lower fat than that, you're golden.  I usually use Mozzaralissima, which just happens to be LESS expensive than my local store-bought brand.
*  Use lots of veggies!
*  If you like meat on your pizza, you may certainly still do so--just make sure to use lean meats like chicken, shrimp, smoked salmon, even sausage is fine, if you use lean turkey or chicken sausage.
*  Don't be fooled by pre-made pizza sauce.  There is easily 10x more sodium in the pre-made sauce, not to mention all the chemicals and preservatives.  Instead, buy a small can of tomato sauce, preferably no-salt-added, and season it up yourself! 

Clean and Delicious Pizza

1 whole grain pita--small for one serving, larg for two
1/2 cup grated mozzarella per serving
Tomato sauce (preferably no-salt-added), enough to cover the pita
Mushrooms and onions (or veggies of your choice--even fruit!)
Meat of your choice (or other protein source--I used tempeh.  You can get tempeh plain or in a variety of flavours), crumbled.
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Fresh ground black pepper
Dried oregano
Dried basil

1.  Heat oven to 350F.  Place rack in middle of oven
2.  Schmear tomato sauce on the pita--to your taste
3.  Sprinkle tomato sauce with seasonings
4.  Add shredded mozzarella
5.  Add vegetables and meat of your choice

Carefully put pizza directly on oven rack.  Make sure the edges are supported if you have a lot of toppings!

Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the crust is as crunchy as you like it, the cheese is melted and the toppings are heated.

Remove pizza from oven when it's done, and let it sit for about 2 minutes.  It's much easier to slice hot pizza when it's not directly out of the oven!

Enjoy!  That's it!  Swear!

Don't feel you have to use the ingredients I used to make my pizza.  Go crazy!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A friend of mine, Wendy, has recently become VERY interested in learning all I know about preparing raw food.

It all started a few months ago, when I asked her if she would be interested in some of the raw flax crackers and raw granola I'd made a few days previously.  She tried them each right away, and went on and on about how amazing they were.

"If I bring you the ingredients, can you make the crackers for me?" she asked with her mouth full.  I assured her that I would, no problem. 

A few weeks later she called me and said, "I have the ingredients."  So of course I made them for her, showing her how to do it at the same time, though at first I didn't know what she was talking about, since she didn't tell me why she was bringing ingredients over!

This past week, she was scheduled to come over on Thursday for her first-ever entirely raw meal.  I said I wasn't going to do anything too gourmet, since it was her first time, so she may as well start off relatively simple--though no iceberg salads would be in sight. :)

On the Tuesday, I got a call from Wendy, saying "I have the ingredients, can you make the crackers for me?  And can I contribute (aka help) to making them?"  This time I knew what she was talking about, as it had been about 2 months since she got her one-month supply, so she was probably jonzing by then.

In between cracker-making days, she's asked me many many questions about raw food; what do raw foodists eat (it's a common misconception that all they eat are salads and vegetables in stick-form), do they have to give up decadent desserts, are they all vegan, etc etc.  I'm not a raw foodist myself, but I've done a lot of research on the subject over the past year, and of course have spend the past 2 June's mostly raw. 

As time went on and she learned more, her interest and excitement about raw food grew--to the point where she's now talking about getting a food dehydrator!  It's entirely possible that it's just because of her unholy love of raw flax crackers, but whatever--the uses for a dehydrator are myriad! 

So, when she was all enthusiastic about making the crackers with me, and also that she could make the corn tortillas for with our dinner on Thursday (with my oversight of course lol--she could NOT follow the recipes, even though they had like one line of instructions...), I let her go crazy.  And crazy she did.  At one point I had to mention that it was easy to drive yourself nutty trying to make the crackers super level and smooth, because you just can't get it completely perfect.  She looked up and answered, "Yeah, I can see how that might happen!" thinking it was pretty funny that it should happen to people...and then spent another at least five minutes going over the whole thing over and over and over...  She looked at the tray on the level on the right...then the left, spin the tray and repeat!

Eventually Wendy moved on to the corn tortillas, which are round...and which brought on a whole new psychosis!!  HAHA!

Anyway, two days later she came over for the Raw Dinner Extravaganza (ish lol).

We used the tortillas to make mini tostadas--take one tortilla, pile on fresh guacamole, pile on fresh salsa, and eat!

I'd made the tostadas before, so knew she would like them.  They're not very complicated--in fact the guacamole and salsa I made just before she arrived. 

I also made a side salad, which is pretty funny because all of it was plants!

Anyway, you can see the salad on the little square plates in the picture above left.  I used one of the blades I'd never used before on my spirulizer--the ribbon one.  It was SO easy!  For the dressing I mixed white vinegar, honey, and a tiny bit of sesame oil.  I meant to toss it in raw sesame seeds too, but then forgot.  Oh well, next time.  It was a very good salad though!  Wendy kept ooohing and aaaahing and twirling it on her fork and saying, "Look at how beautiful it is!"

For dessert, I made something I'd never made before--raw lemon cheesecake with a crust and everything!  I had a recipe, but I had to make a LOT less than the recipe called for--I didn't want 16 servings!  So I just went by the ingredients, and eyeballed how much I'd need by volume to make 3 ramekins, and did it by taste.  They turned out really well!  They were very rich, and were probably twice the size they needed to be.  Live and learn--get smaller ramekins!  Or one of those cool mini cheesecake moulds with the bottoms that pop out.  The cheesecake is on the right--for some reason it kept loading sideways!

Throughout the whole meal, Wendy went on and on about how amazing the food was, which was really great.  She even said that if she were to add raisins to the tortillas, she bet they would be as good as cookies.  I hadn't thought of that, but I think with a bit of tweaking, she may just be right!

It was very cool to show someone a whole new kind of eating that they'd never have tried otherwise.  I'll have to do it again!



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I made the BEST popsicles today!!

The recipe is from "The Eat Clean Diet for Family and Kids" book.

See the recipe below.

I subbed Chai protein powder because I didn't have any vanilla.

I subbed raw wildflower honey for the agave, since I always have the honey in my pantry.

For the frozen berries, I opted for raspberries, and added a tiny bit of real vanilla to combat the strong raspberry flavour.

It was SUPER easy to make, and SUPER tasty!  I've been wanting a frozen smoothie popsicle for a while now--most of what is sold out there has tonnes of processed sugar in it, which of course is something I'd like to avoid.  They're also very expensive to purchase, so this cheaper and tastier and healthier version is a winner!


Eat Clean Protein Smoothie Popsicles


Ingredients:

2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

2 scoops vanilla-flavored protein powder

2 cups frozen berries

1/4 cup agave nectar


Directions:

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until just combined. Pour into popsicle molds or Dixie cups with a popsicle stick centered in the mixture. Freeze.

Makes: 10 to 12 popsicles (small--mine made 8 in the mould I had)

Serving Size: 1 popsicle


Friday, June 15, 2012

Yesterday I made a new fabulous Eat Clean recipe--Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting!!

Wholly crap--is that CLEAN?!  Why yes, yes it is, and I will share the recipe at the end of this post!

I brought them with me today when I went with my team at work, to volunteer with The Gleaners, a company which takes all sorts of fruits and vegetables which are perfectly edible, but not "perfect" looking--therefore people don't want them for some reason--and they're used to make soup for people who don't have enough food, all over the world!

All we had to do is trim anything that we wouldn't eat ourselves, and chop them into chunks (the stuff we trim off is fed to livestock--nothing is wasted).  Then all the chunks are gathered together, send through a chipper, then dehydrated in the world's biggest dehydrator, and packed into barrels. 

Then once there are many barrels of different kinds of veggies, they're all gathered together in a kind of assembly line with big bins, and you take a bag and scoop one scoop of each item into the bag.  The bag is then vacuum-packed, and many bags are packed into suitable--and useful--containers, to be shipped.  The containers themselves are used by the people who benefit from the dried soup ingredients:  They use them for carrying water, as containers for beans and rice, as drums at worship services, wash basins...it's very ingenious!  Think about it--some refugee camps you don't know when the water will be turned on.  If you don't have something to carry a decent amount of water in, when the water is finally turned on...what do you do?  You need water to live.

The Gleaners also make mats to sleep on from used milk bags, and send things like Tim Horton's lids to other countries where women make them into beads and then into surprisingly lovely jewelery, and thus support their families.  How cool is that?!

On the cupcake note!

The cupcakes went over really, REALLY well!

The texture of the icing was amazing.  I was worried that it would be thin and not at all like unhealthy icing, but it was actually quite thick, despite the fact that it had no icing sugar in it whatsoever. 

They were also really popular with my co-workers.  I didn't tell them that the cupcakes were actually healthy until after they'd had one, other than one girl who demurred taking one because "they'll make me fat", until I said, "I made them" with a look.  Then she took one! lol

I just love making healthy foods that people are sure are unhealthy, and telling them afterward!  I had someone today say, "These CAN'T be healthy" about the cupcakes, and they were incredulous to the point where they wanted to know what went into them!  LOL!!

They were light and airy and sweet and totally unique.  I can definitely see making them again, and I heartily endorse YOU making them too!  In fact, why not make them this weekend? 

How about making them for Father's Day?  Are you going to a BBQ with friends?  Getting together with the girls for coffee?  I guarantee they'll go over GREAT, and they're guilt-free!

Note in the pic on the right that there are a lot more junky sweats left than my cupcakes?  HAHA!


The recipe comes from the Eat Clean Vegetarian Cookbook


Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

YIELD: 10 cupcakes

PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes

COOKING TIME: 27-30 minutes

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Details

This classic combo tastes great on a sandwich, but in cupcakes? Even better! Best of all, these ones from The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook are guilt free and they double as a muffin! Learn more in the tip below.


Ingredients

• 1¼ cups / 300 ml whole wheat pastry flour

• 2 Tbsp / 30 ml finely ground potato flour (corn starch can be subbed if you can find potato flour/starch)

• 2 Tbsp / 30 ml flax meal or ground flax seed

• ½ tsp / 2.5 ml baking soda

• ¼ tsp / 1.25 ml baking powder

• ¼ tsp / 1.25 ml sea salt

• 3 Tbsp / 45 ml virgin coconut oil, melted

• ¼ cup / 60 ml Sucanat or other unrefined sugar

• ¾ cup / 180 ml low-fat milk or plain, unsweetened soy or almond milk (I used almond milk)

• 1 cup / 240 ml mashed very ripe bananas, about 3 large


Peanut Butter Yogurt Frosting

• ¼ cup / 60 ml all-natural peanut butter, sugar and salt free

• ½ cup / 120 ml Yogurt Cheese*

• 2 Tbsp / 30 ml pure honey

• ½ tsp / 2.5 ml pure vanilla extract

*NOTE:Yogurt Cheese must be made ahead of time.

Preparation

1.Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners.

2.In a bowl, mix together whole wheat flour, potato flour, flax meal, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, mix together coconut oil and Sucanat. Add flour mixture and mix together until texture resembles slightly wet sand. Slowly stir in milk. Fold in bananas until just combined. Batter will be thick. Scoop a heaping ¼ cup (60 ml) batter into each lined muffin cup until all batter is used. Bake 27 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

3.To make frosting, mix together peanut butter, Yogurt Cheese, honey and vanilla extract until well combined. Frost tops of cooled cupcakes.

Tosca's Tip

Basically, the only difference between a muffin and a cupcake is the frosting, so if you want to skip the topper – go ahead! Your cupcakes will become delicious and healthy banana muffins. These cupcakes will keep in the refrigerator up to five days.

And guess what?  There's even a father's day contest!  Check it out:

http://www.eatcleandiet.com/contests/?id=42

Good luck!  And MAKE THESE CUPCAKES!!!

 
























Friday, June 8, 2012

I use a lot of almond milk, when I eat a lot of raw food.  Pre-packaged almond milk isn't raw most of the time, and in addition to the waste generated by the packaging, it's getting more expensive!

The answer?  Make my own of course!  And the good news is it's delicious, there's no packaging, it's a clean as clean can be, and believe it or not cheaper than buying it!

What you need:

*  1 cup raw almonds
*  1 nut milk bag, or similar food-grade bag with a fine mesh, like one used for making soup with things you want to be able to remove easily
*  Blender
*  Jar or other container with a smallish mouth
All you have to do is:

1.  Soak 1 cup raw almonds in fresh water overnight in the fridge.

2.  Rinse the almonds.

3.  Pour the almonds into a blender.

4.  Add water till you get to the "4 cup" line on the blender.

5.  Whir for about a minute.

6.  Wait for a moment, allowing the almond bits to settle to the bottom again.

7.  Whir for about another minute.

8.  Put the mesh bag into the jar, with a decent portion of the opening outside of the jar.  Hold it firmly to the jar mouth.

9.  Pour blender contents into the bag, and allow it to drain into the jar.  Encourage it strain, by gently squeezing the bag, making sure the milk goes into the jar.

10.  Continue squeezing the pulp in the bag, until all the liquid is gone.

What's in the jar is almond milk!  How COOL is that?!

The almond pulp can be used in breads, muffins, and raw breads and crackers.  I plan on trying to make raw almond crackers soon, so stay tuned!

Also up next--Essene bread!






Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goodness my week has been crazy busy!  I was all planned up for making my raw meals, then WHAMMO all the planning went out the window!

However, that doesn't mean that I haven't been eating mostly raw like my Mostly Raw June plans!  Even though it's not June yet!

We decided that we didn't want to wait another week, so we went mostly raw this past Monday, May 28th.  Why not right?  Take advantage of the enthusiasm!!

To the right is what I bought for week one.  Yes, that's the ENTIRE length of my (admittedly small) kitchen!  Isn't it beautiful?

The container on the bottom left is hemp protein powder, and the orange and black bag just past it is hemp hearts.  I figured I'd buy enough for the month right away.  Hemp is a great source of protein and micro nutrients! 

I use hemp protein powder in my smoothies, and hemp hearts sprinkled on just about anything.  Hemp hearts have a delicious nutty flavour, and are chewy.  I tried them for the first time only a month ago, when I found there was a bag of them in a swag bag I got from a meeting I attended.  They're also not super expensive, especially when you figure you only sprinkle a tbsp or two per meal.

We're doing well eating mostly raw so far, with lots of different meals, everything from simple fruit salads, to chocolate breakfast smoothies (yes, a healthy and delicious version!), to raw burritos, to "popcorn" made with cauliflower!  The only thing I changed, was exchanging chili powder for the cayenne.  I really like the chili powder/nutritional yeast combination, so I figured it would be great on raw popcorn.  And you know what?  It was totally awesome!

That's all the time I have tonight unfortunately, but as my parting gift:

Raw (and healthy) Chocolate Smoothie

2-3 cups raw almond milk
1/4 ripe avocado
5 honey dates (or to taste)
Bit of real vanilla
Coconut milk (optional)
1-2 tbsp dark cocoa
1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 banana

Blend together in a blender.  Drink.  You can thank me later. : )

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Have you ever thought about the saying, “You are what you eat”?  We’ve all heard it many times over the years, but what many people don’t get is that it’s quite literally true.
People who eat junky, processed foods all the time, and people who avoid anything remotely resembling a fruit or *gasp!* a vegetable, don’t know how bad they feel all the time, because they’ve never known any other way.
When we put “food” in our bodies (which are essentially biological machines) with little to no nutrients, we’re forcing our bodies to somehow make use of the fuel we’ve given them, a fuel that we’re not designed to run on.  What would happen if you put sugar in your gas tank?  A whole lot of nothin’—your car would be trashed.
Yet we put substances in our bodies all the time—in many instances every day—which our bodies aren’t designed to run on. 
So OK, most of us know that we should eat more real food:  More whole grains, more fruits and veggies, more low-fat dairy, more lean meats.  But what does it really MEAN if we eat the Standard American Diet?  What does it mean to our bodies?
Each and every microscopic cell in our bodies is made from the fuel we put in it.  Every single cell that makes up our eyes, our skin, our heart, our lungs, our stomach, our bones, our hands…  Every single part is made up of what we put into our bodies.  So if we eat a lot of processed food--food full of chemicals and preservatives to make it “look better” and “taste better”, every single lab-created chemical substance that is added to make the franken-food product in the package seem more like food you might want to eat—everything horrible and poisonous that masquerades as food, is what every single cell of your body is made of.
How well do you think your biological machine is running?  How long do you think your biological machine is going to continue to run?  Are you going to be surprised when your body no longer runs, because you’ve put sugar and chemicals in your gas tank?  Will it seem worth it in the end?
Your body makes new cells continuously, with the food you eat each day.  You can halt and begin to reverse the effect of the chemicals right this moment, simply by removing them from your life.  Every healthy, whole food you put into your mouth will put you one step closer to being the vibrant, happy person you’re meant to be.  The person with energy and vitality. 

It’s time to leave your unhealthy body behind.  All it takes is one small step, and then another.  It’s time.
And no, it’s not more expensive to buy real food than processed food--it's all about where you shop.  It IS more expensive to buy food than to eat chemicals which are formed into the shapes of burgers which sell for 39 cents.  Stay tuned for a future post about that! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm so excited I could SPEW!!

I bought a spiral slicer from Amazon last week, I got it on Wednesday, and I got to eat the benefits today!

Better yet, I got to SHARE!!

I gotta say, it was totally fun making the zucchini spaghetti.  It was kind of like playing with those Play-Dough people, where you put the Play-Dough in the head, and then press the person down, so that it grows hair! 

It was also was really satisfying in an odd kind of way.  Just one single zucchini made about 3 cups of curly cues, enough to share with friends. 

To go with the zucchini pasta, I made Thai basil pesto.  I brought it to work, and heated it slightly, because I didn't want it to be super cold (I find a lot of things taste much more flavourful when they're neither super cold nor super hot), but I also didn't want to heat up the noodles at all--zucchini gets pretty squishy when you cook it!!

A co-worker walked by when my friend and I were enjoying our lunches, and she sniffed, sniffed again, and said, "Something sure smells good!"

And the best part?  The recipe is squeaky super clean!  Love that!

Here's the recipe:

Zucchini Noodles with Thai Basil Pesto and Hemp Hearts (serves 2)

Ingredients (all ingredients adjustable to taste):

1 large zucchini, spirulized
Hemp hearts (optional)

Olive oil (about 2 tbsp)
Garlic cloves (3 or so)
Sea salt (pinch)
Cashews (1/2 cup)--soak them for a couple of hours if your blender isn't very powerful as it makes a more smooth sauce)
Nutritional yeast (2-3 tbsp)
Garlic powder (1/2 tsp)
Onion powder (1/2 tsp)
Lemon juice (2-3 tbsp lemon juice)
Fresh basil (regular basil is fine, or experiment with other kinds of basil--like lemon basil!  That would be delish!)

Add all ingredients in a blender, except zucchini and hemp hearts, and blend until very smooth.

In a large bowl, thoroughly toss together zucchini noodles and sauce.  Plate, and sprinkle with hemp hearts if using.

That's it!  Delish!





Monday, April 23, 2012

Just a quick post today.  I made a salad with romaine, red onion, red pepper, and two types of sprouts.  Then I wondered, "What kind of dressing would be delish, and also kick up the nutrition another notch?"

What I came up with was AMAZING AND DELICIOUS!!!

Amacuba's Heavenly Green Dressing

1 part extra-virgin olive oil (preferably cold-pressed, but if not that's OK too)
1 part lemon juice

1/4 to 1/2 tsp spirulina powder
1/2 tsp Bragg's Liquid Amino's/Bragg's All-Purpose Seasoning (or tamari)
Honey

Mix everything together.  I really liked it a tiny bit sweeter than the sour and tart lemon, but adjust to your taste.

That's it!  Just pour over your salad.  It made my salad a most verdant green!!

OK!  Gotta run!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A friend of mine called last night.  She says to me, "I have flax meal and peppers.  Do you want me to bring them over?"  I thought, "What's happened to my life, that my friends think they have to bribe me with healthy ingredients to get an invite to my home?"

Turns out she wanted me to show her how to make the raw crackers I'd made for her a few weeks ago!  Of course the ingredients she brought--flax meal and peppers--were only about 1/3 of the ingredients, and she'd have to use my dehydrator--she doesn't have one--but that's just fine.  I'm more than happy to share!

She was very excited about the whole process.  I let her use my new Japanese (and very sharp!) chef's knife, my food processor, and my dehydrator.  She became very fascinated and then very focused on making sure the mixture was spread really evenly on the Teflex sheets.  REALLY FOCUSED.  I wanted to move her along, but she really seemed to be enjoying herself, so I didn't want to take that from her! : )

When I got home today, I nibbled a small piece--apparently teamwork makes tasty raw crackers! lol

If you're interested in the recipe, you can find it here:

Raw Flax Crackers

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The beautiful glass of chocolate goodness to the right was my BREAKFAST today!!

Yes, ladies and gents, I had a delicious and HEALTHY chocolate smoothie for breakfast.  It was SO filling that I didn't even drink half of it, which means there is more for later!  YAY!

Here's the recipe:

Delicious Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

Avocado
Milk or milk alternate (almond would be especially good)
Honey dates to taste (make sure there are no pits)
Cocoa to taste
Cacao powder to taste (optional--I used it because it's a superfood and I had it in my pantry)
1 whole young coconut, meat and water
1 banana (optional)

Blend all together until very smoothie, and enjoy!!  Easy peasy!

By the way--I've decided to do the raw foods thing for the whole month of June again, so stay tuned!!!  Very excited!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I have an unholy love for kale chips.  It's on par with my unholy love for really great French fries, but fortunately it's a lot healthier.

Out of all the people I've shared kale chips that I've made with, every single one of them had the same reaction (in order):

*  Askance look at the weird green things in the container.
*  Fearfully taking a piece, usually one of the smaller ones.
*  With a "let's get this over with" look on their face, in the mouth it goes.
*  Pause.  Chew.
*  Eyes grow wide.
*  Chew with more enthusiasm.
*  Say, "This is really good!!"

Followed by me smirking, saying "I told you!"

Converted.  Every time.

Through trial and error, I learned that making kale chips on a lower temp for a bit longer time is much tastier and less stressful!

Most recipes you see online say to bake the chips at about 325F or 350F.  The problem with that is that the flavour suffers in my opinion by baking on that high a temperature, and also there is a very narrow margin for error--there are only a few minutes between done and overdone.  And overdone kale chips aren't very tasty.

The best way, if you do it in a conventional oven, is to turn the temperature way down.  For most that's 150F, and if that's true for your oven too, then the cooking time is about 1 hour.

If you have a dehydrator that's even better.  If you can't change the temperature, just keep an eye on the chips--they'll be done when they're completely dry and crunchy.

My two favourite kale chip recipes (for now anyway!) are:

Krispy Kale Chips With Nutritional Yeast

Any kind of kale will do.

Ingredients

Raw kale
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Nutritional yeast


1.  Wash kale leaves, and trim the middle stalk out. 

2.  You can leave the leaves that size, or you can make them bite-sized.  Keep in mind that the kale will shrink by about 50%, so keep that in mind when you chop/rip them.

3.  Place the kale leaves in a large bowl.  Pour on some extra-virgin olive oil, and massage into kale leaves.  You want to use just enough to very lightly cover all the leaves and make the other ingredients stick.

4.  Add sea salt and nutritional yeast to taste.  Massage into kale leaves, until all are covered.  Feel free to use as much nutritional yeast as you like--it's very low-cal and very good for you!

5.  Spread on a cookie sheet if using an oven, or on a dehydrator tray if going that way.

6.  The kale chips are ready when they're completely dry and crispy. 

If you are going to put them in a zip loc bag or container, make sure the chips are totally cool before doing so, otherwise they'll go soggy.

Cool Ranch Krispy Kale Chips

This one you need a dehydrator for.  You can use an oven as above, but it will take significantly longer to dry--about 24 hours--which is a lot of hydro!  Food dehydrators use significantly less hydro, which is nice. : )  Plus, in a dehydrator you can make other things at the same time (no need to adjust the temperature, just the time), if your dehydrator is big enough, thus saving even more hydro!

Ingredients

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours (or more if you can't get to them at 4 hours)
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Smoked paprika (regular sweet paprika is OK if you can't find smoked)
Lime juice
Nutritional yeast


Prepare the kale leaves as above, up to and including #2.

All seasonings to taste, but make sure that you taste as you go, 'cause once they're in, they're in!

1.  Drain cashews, and put in blender.  You can make more by doubling the recipe if you need more for the amount of kale you have.
2.  Blend cashews with just enough water to allow the blender to do its thing.  If you over-do it, don't fret, it will just mean that the chips will take longer to dry.
4.  Once you have a nice cream, add the remaining ingredients.  Add smaller amounts of everything, taste (stop the blender to do it!!), and add more to your taste. 
5.  Place the kale leaves in a big bowl.  Pour cream over top, and massage thoroughly into leaves.  Yes, it will be goopy.  But in this case goop is good!  The cream, when it dries, gives the chips this thoroughly unbelievable taste and texture.  They're SO CRUNCHY!!  They kind of have the texture of Doritoes (from what I remember!) but even better because they're not flat, so they're even crunchier.  Seriously.  No seriously!!

I challenge you to try and NOT love kale chips.  There are so many combinations I've heard of but haven't tried yet--BBQ, curry, salt and vinegar...  Mmmmm...  I think I have a craving coming on!!