Sunday, January 28, 2007

Greetings, and a Couple Recipes

I haven't blogged for ages. Why? I'm taking a heavy course load this semester so I can graduate in May, and also working part-time. I simply don't have time for much, unfortunately.

I've been eating dreadfully too, as a result of lack of time and failure to spend what time I can manage to plan meals. I need to develop a routine whereby on the weekend I plan out the meals of the week ahead and shop accordingly. Then I need to cook much of the food over the weekend, and portion it out in handy containers for lunches at school and maybe even dinners, since I so often drag myself in at the end of the day with no energy to cook or even open the fridge to see what's in there (which usually isn't much).

So, that's today's project, to spend some time and brain power on this today and tomorrow. Otherwise I'm going to wind up making my my life harder, as my body suffers the ill-effects of a gak-laden diet which certainly won't provide me the energy I need.

For you dessert fans, I wanted to share the following treat, a meal that eats like a dessert.

Toasted MegaMuffin with Blueberry Sauce

  1. Take about a 1/2 cup of blueberries (frozen is great) and put into a saucepan with some sucralose (to taste), a squirt of fresh lemon juice, and some grated lemon zest. Cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extracts are all good additions. For a touch of the exotic, try a dash or two of rose water--rose and blueberry is a gorgeous and flavor combination: you can tell there's something unusual in there, but it's subtle and elusive.
  2. Simmer until the berries break down and you reduce the liquid enough to thicken it somewhat. (You may have to add a few drops of water to get the simmering process started).
  3. Split a MegaMuffin and chuck it into the toaster (or in your regular oven) while you are simmering the blueberries.
  4. Remove MegaMuffin from the toaster (or oven), put in a bowl, and pour the blueberry syrup over it. (If you need some fat for the day, a drizzle of flax oil before the berry sauce is sublime.)
  5. Eat while your eyes roll back in your head and you wonder why you ever wanted cake with frosting.
  6. Imagine endless variations with other fruits and flavors.
Kale Chips

I've struggled to eat my kale. I chomp and chomp and after awhile I just can't face another bite. So I'm delighted to report that it is possible to turn leafy, chewy kale into a delightful crispy snack food that isn't out of place as an accompaniment to watching a movie: Kale Chips.

  1. Chop or tear a large quantity of kale leaves into small pieces (they will shrink so much in the oven that a mountain of kale is reduced to a mere mole hill)
  2. Drizzle with the smallest quantity of olive oil that coats the leaves enough to allow a bit of salt (or other flavoring--I'm going to try brewers yeast) to stick. You should be able to get by with a teaspoon if you take some time to really toss the kale until it's all lightly coated. Cooking spray might be an alternative.
  3. Spread out in a thin layer on a cookie sheet (parchment helps); you'll likely have to do several batches.
  4. Bake in low oven until dry and crispy (I started out with too-high a temp and some of the leaves browned which is less desirable; try between 250-300 degrees).
  5. Pour into a bowl and snack away, or bag 'em for later.

These are incredibly light and crispy, and though some of that cruciferous bitterness gets a bit concentrated, I still found them to be highly palatable. I offered them to friends and everyone was amazed that these light crispy little delights were actually kale. And because their volume is so reduced by the elimination of all the water, you can easily consume 1/2 pound of raw kale in a handful or two of easy to chew and swallow crispy Kale Chips.


Deborah said...

Chris!! you're we've missed you.

Great sounding recipes. I'm going to try your megamuffin cake. That's sounds quite tasty.

Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog last week. It's beautifully written and makes for very compelling reading. Your dessert recipe for the Megamuffin with blueberry sauce sounds divine. Blog on! MoMR (i.e, "Mother of MR", in case you didn't know!)

April said...

He lives!

We are so happy!


Robin said...

Hey there Chris!
I'm glad to see you back. I can only imagine how busy and stressful your life is now, with school and work to keep you on your toes.
You're so far ahead of where I was when I was in school. (I subsisted on Mac and cheese and the occasional Wendy's cheeseburger throughout college. I ate mostly cereal during graduate school). So good for you for trying to plan and prepare healthy meals for yourself!
The Kale chips sound intriguing - I may just have to give them a try.
Thanks for taking the time to post your recipes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris
Good luck with your studies. When I can't get home for dinner from work, I sometimes eat half a megamuffin with two tablespoons of peanut butter and an apple. It's quite satisfying.

I had extra kale today, from making megaleather. So I chopped it up and I'm planning to throw it into my dinner soups. My dinner soups are a base of April's pumpkin soup - and some other soup I may have on hand, such as mushroom soup.

How nice of MR's mom to write a comment. That's touching.


Jonathan said...

Kale Chips sound almost too good to be true. They don't lose any nutrients when you cook them like that?

Schatze said...

mmmm...great idea with the megamuffins. I do like them a little sweeter too - I might put on some ff cream cheese and cinnamon, or just a little jam. Never thought of a warm fruit sauce. I can't wait to try it!