Spinach & Mushroom Quesadillas

Sometimes a girl just needs a touch of comfort food, and for me comfort food often involves tortillas. This is kind of sneaky comfort, though, since the tortilla is made of brown rice. Try whatever kind of healthy tortilla strikes your fancy such as whole wheat, spelt, or sprouted grain.

More nice than naughty, these quesadillas are also loaded with a simple blend of spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic. My mouth is now watering from just typing ‘spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic’. Oh my!

Then, I held it all together with a quesadilla sauce made from soy milk and nutritional yeast. It’s ooey and gooey and so lip smacking! Plate it up with some pico de gallo and guacamole and you have a delectable fiesta. Continue reading

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Obsessively Delicious Kale Chips

Forgive me for not getting a Kale Chips recipe out there sooner. It’s just that I couldn’t stop eating them long enough to take the photo. Seriously. Not kidding.

I stumbled upon my first kale chips when the nice folks at Rhythm Superfoods handed me a sample of their wonderufully tasty chips. It was love at first chip. I bought a couple bags that day, and many more on subsequent grocery trips but I ran into a few problems with this newfound love. First, I couldn’t always find the chips since they were only carried at the specrialty foods store I went to sometimes, or they were sold out since they were quickly popular. Second, they come in tiny bags that I could gobble through before I made it home with them. Third, I could no longer afford to buy all these tiny bags that I was going to have to hoard in order to keep myself supplied. So, like any desprate junkie, I improvised.

Thanks to the glories of Pinterest there are many kale chip recipes floating around and I can tell you I have tried them all. There are ones you cook fast, and ones you cook very slow, or even in a dehydrator. There are ones coated in a seasoning that’s baked onto the chip for added crunch and flavors, and plain ones with just olive oil and salt. After all my adventures experimenting, I’ve still never met a kale chip I didn’t love. This is why there were no pictures to share with you all for so long.

The plain kale ships are tasty, but I try and avoid oil whenever I can, so I steer away from those. I really adore the coated kind since they seem even more substantial and flavorful. I can also make them without oil by basically dehydrating the kale and the coating in a low temp oven resulting in a crispy, airy, guiltless flavor explosion. There many flavor verions of the coated kale chip variety out there and they all make a lovely flavor. Here I gave you my favorite basic recipe with an optional seasoning as the final ingredient. This way you can add whatever strikes your fancy. My favorite seasining is cayanne pepper since it results in a kale chip with a zesty kick. It reminds me of nacho cheddar that way. Curry ones are also my second favorite, followed by ranch.

In order to work though my shortcomings getting out a kale chip recipe, I decided to make a double batch. I would make the first batch, eat as much as I wanted (they do fill you up very quickly and suprisingly since they are so nutritious!). That way I would be full enough to leave the second batch alone long enough to photograph. And it worked! Here are my kale chips and how you can make yourself a big bowl of them too! Enjoy!

**Please note that this is NOT Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chip recipe. This is only my version based on their original product. I am grateful to them for introducing me to such a healthy, tasty treat. Please check out their products and buy many bags of their Kale chips when you can. Whenever you cannot seem to get your hands on any of theirs use this recipe to get you through the rough patch.

Obsessively Delicious Kale Chips

by Vegucated Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of Kale (about 6-8 stalks)
  • 1/2 c. cashews soaked
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon seasoning of your choice (cayenne pepper, garlic powder, curry, etc)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200F

Clean and thoroughly dry the kale.

Remove the stalks from the kale and discard.

Tear the leaves into chip sized pieces (approximately 3-4 inch pieces).

Line a baking sheet with parchment, and set aside.

In a food processor or blender combine all of the ingredients except the kale. Process until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning as needed.

In a large bowl pour the dressing over the kale pieces and massage into the leaves being sure to coat each pieces completely and as evenly as possible.

Spread the coated leaves into a single layer on the baking sheet.

Place in the oven and allow to dry out completely until the pieces are light, airy and crispy, about 45 minutes. You can turn them over after about 30 minutes.

Check them every 15 minutes, more often toward the end of the cooking time, to ensure that they do not burn. Snag the smaller pieces to taste straight from the oven since the smaller ones are ready sooner.

Remove the chips from the sheet as they are ready and return the ones that need to cook longer to the oven. After about 45 minutes they should all be done.

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Lemony Summer Squash Quick Rice

If I could offer you a single time saving tip it would be to always have precooked rice or beans around. I like to cook an entire rice cooker full each time I use it. Usually a use a few cups for the first meal and end up with at least 2 cups of leftover rice.

And oh how nice it is! In this dish I used beautiful seasonal squash and sautéed them with a bit of veggie broth, herbs and garlic. At the very end I add the leftover rice and allow it all to simmer into a nice risotto consistency (without all the attention required by actual risotto). A final drizzle of some fresh lemon and this rice pops! Toss in a drained can of chickpeas or white beans when you add the rice if you like.

Bright, rich and summery. Oh, and it takes less than 15 minutes!

 

Lemony Summer Squash Quick Rice

by Vegucated Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 yellow summer squash, sliced into 1/4 inch half rounds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used basil, thyme & rosemary)
  • 2 cups cooked short grain rice
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

In a large skillet over medium high heat bring the broth to a simmer.

Add the onions, garlic, red pepper and squash and sprinkle with salt.

Saute for about 5 minutes until squash starts to soften.

Add the wine and herbs and increase heat to high. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the rice, toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium high and simmer until the rice is heated through and the sauce thickens.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture, stir and serve immediately.

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