Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crazy Delicious Kale Chips Smothered in Sauce

I just had the weirdest thought. I made the most delicious kale chips. I am in love. I want to shout it to the world how good these things are so I am making this post special the night before I fly to Honolulu for 1.5 days and Vegas for another 4. I have laundry to wash and a bag to pack. I have paperwork to gather and stuffs to read. But I wanna do this. And then I thought... (boohoo) what if you don't love it as much as I love it?

TOO BAD! Something might possibly be wrong with you. You need to go check. Because I want to marry these chips. I actually want to hide them from my daughter and husband but daughter helped me make them and hubby washed the dishes and that would just be wrong since they did all that. Right?

The recipe to this most delicious can be found on this blog, Dish 'n' That. Click it. Right here. Yum. I have to give you the following important information. Measurements are NOT THAT IMPORTANT. The first time I made it, I only had 1/8 c. tahini. No big deal. I just poured in what I thought might be a cup of cashews. And my lemon was really a lime. I didn't have tamari so I used shoyu. And I left out the sea salt. I didn't have a red pepper so I used a green pepper. No big deal. And I didn't even notice that it called for water. It doesn't even tell you how much but for some reason I didn't even use any water the first time.

The second time I got ambition and I doubled up the recipe. While I was ecstatic my food processor was not. And most notably because I didn't add water. So I dumped everything into the vitamix (crusher of EVERYTHING) and was able to get it all mixed well. Then the daughter asked me if I added the water. Um...no...I will now.

I would say the consistency is like a soft serve ice cream.
Another important part: USE YOUR HANDS. That curly kale folds up and when you do it with your hands you can unfold the kale and make sure there is creamy goodness on all parts.
I baked it at 210 for about 1 hour. You have to check them after about 45 minutes. I would even try to up to 225 and check it earlier. Or pull a Rap Replinger and up it to 800 degrees for 30 seconds.

When you check them, look for the biggest one and make sure it is crispy. It shouldn't bend AT ALL without breaking. It's that chip like. Hurry. Make it now.
Doubling the recipe really fills up the food processor and makes TONS of sauce 
Consistency of soft serve or or sorta runny peanut butter

kale is washed and spun dry. The dryer the better

Check out the hand action!

Take your time. Wash hands BEFORE and AFTER.

The Before

Before


after

This didn't last longer than 10 minutes on the counter

Soon to be eaten
I can't wait to make more when I come back from my trip and my kale plants have had a time to recuperate after their heavy trimming this afternoon. I want to make a jalapeno flavored chip and a sweet and salty one (adding date syrup).  What other flavors do you think would work well?

If you have any questions, post them below. I want everyone to enjoy the goodness that is kale chips.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trying New Things

I pride myself on my ability to try new things. Mostly. But not always. I'm not always game to new fruits and veggies in particular. I mean, I'll try it. Like this:

Jackfruit

Or this:
Dragonfruit

But I won't go out of my way to buy/pick one up and start munching away while sitting under a tree in the forest or at the beach. Even on sale at Safeway, I won't necessarily buy a kiwi even though I've eaten it on several occasions and I really like it. I just never grew up eating them. So it's just not part of my nature.

But now that I'm living a plant strong life and my repertoire of delectables is slightly altered (not limited, not bad, but altered), I think it is in my best interest to stretch out of my comfort zone.

Thus, the kohlrabi. Ah yes. The Kohrabi. What the hell is that, you ask? Maybe not in those terms, but seriously that is what my mind said quietly as I bought a seedling from the seedling man at the open market. Being well read I did recognize the word as a veggie word though I had never ever in my knowledge eaten it. What the heck. I'm game. I'll give it a whirl. Chances of it living in my garden are not that great but I'll give it a shot. And then, wonders of wonders, up popped this:

Right out of my garden

A very bulbous lower stem
Kohlrabi, it turns out, is a member of the cabbage family and is very similar in taste to broccoli.  In fact, you can prepare it much like broccoli. The leaves can be added to salad (didn't opt in that far). The bulb can be cut up and eaten raw or roasted or fried or however you want to prepare it! EASY STUFF! I chose to just julienne the bulb (after peeling it as was suggested on a website because of its size, yay garden) and ate it raw on my salad today. It does taste like the cabbage family which I happen to love. Someone likened it to jicama in looks and texture and I had to agree. Jicama with a bite.

And I will definitely buy it if it goes on sale at Safeway. Do they even sell it at Safeway? Ha!

Top side of the bulb after I removed the leaves/stems

Side view shows where the roots were (dark spots)

I peeled it, sliced it, then julienned. Quite delicious.


What new fruits or veggies have you tried recently? Would you recommend it to others?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Eat to Live With Your Child(ren)

So fortunate to be meeting some wonderful people through the Eat to Live plan. One of the FIRST I met formally (though informally she is a parent of a student at my school) was Leslie Lang, writer extraordinaire. Leslie is so supportive in all her emails to me, she helps me research issues I have (like when I found out I had a vitamin D deficiency) and she shares her fails and successes with meal preparations. She is so giving and joyful and, well, everything!

I asked Leslie to be a guest blogger on So Duck Soup. Being the fantastic person that she is, she agreed. And then she took it to a new level. I hope you enjoy her post.

Taking the Six Week Challenge with a Young Child

Liana’s invitation to do Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s “Six Week Challenge,” from his book Eat to Live, came at just the right time for us.

It was back in the summer and my daughter and I had just watched the movie Forks Over Knives at Hilo’s Palace Theatre. My daughter (I’ll call her E.) is 7, and she was really interested in the whole “plant-based diet” thing.

“I want to do that with you!” she volunteered when I told her I was going to do the Challenge.

There’s a really good summary of the Six Week Challenge at the blog Fat Free Vegan (that is a great, great resource for tasty recipes, good writing and support/ideas at her forum):

I bought a copy of the movie, and at my daughter’s request we watched it again. She was way more interested in it than I had anticipated. Neither of us were doing it to lose weight; we were/are interested in this way of eating so we’ll be healthy. She really likes the idea of eating plant-based foods and being smart about our health.

She really likes the idea, but she is 7 years old, and it turns out that hers is a modified “Eat to Live” way of eating.

She’s way ahead of where she was before, though, and I’m happy with it. She’s so interested and is learning so much about nutrition. She knows what is healthy and what is not, and her eating is now based on making choices, not just habit. This will serve her well throughout her life.

The first thing I was surprised to notice was that she stopped eating much meat. That started right after the movie, and she did it of her own accord (though she does still occasionally eat some, she often turns it down now when we’re eating out or at a potluck type meal, and that’s new).

I don’t buy animal food products for the house anymore – for instance, no more cows’ milk – and she has soy or almond milk on cereal and doesn’t even think about it. She does still drink milk for lunch at school, though I wish she could just drink water, but I haven’t made an issue of it.

When I occasionally buy yogurt, I pick up soy yogurt now instead of dairy. She complained once or twice, lightly, and has forgotten to complain ever since. She likes it.

I occasionally buy Daiya cheese, which she loves melted on a whole-wheat tortilla or on our lentil tacos (with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes). Me, too. That stuff is good!

Instead of buying ice cream, we make our own frozen desserts (absolutely delicious! She’ll tell you). (Hot tip: Always make sure there are frozen bananas in your freezer.)

Sometimes we get a Rice Dream non-dairy frozen dessert bar when we’re out and need a snack; they sell them individually in the standing freezer that is at the back, right-hand side of Hilo’s Island Naturals as you walk in. They are delicious. (Though she’ll definitely still eat a regular ice cream at the pool, too.)

Small steps for her. But lots of them.

I started out our first Challenge trying lots of new, interesting-to-me vegan recipes, and finally realized that wasn’t the best approach with a little one. Not with mine, anyway. Her taste buds are still only 7, and though she will always try new things, she wasn’t liking some of them yet.

I realized we needed to incorporate more of the familiar. She has always liked my homemade lentil or split pea soups, so we have those frequently. We like both soups with some lemon squeezed over the top after it’s served in the bowl.

I make what we call Gram’s Chili, leaving out the meat and adding another type of bean or two. (The American Heart Association calls it “Chili Con Carne.” What do they know?) This is a chili my mom is known for, and it’s delicious. I make it in the crock-pot, as I do many of my soups as well. There is nothing better than wandering into the kitchen at 5 p.m. and smelling dinner ready.

She will eat salad with her favorite papaya seed dressing. I need to work on making or finding a healthier dressing that she finds tasty.

My daughter likes Chef AJ’s Disappearing Lasagna, but that’s a dish that takes more time and I generally only fix that when we have company. I feed that to meat- and cheese-eaters and they get interested and start doing the Six Week Challenge. Really! It’s happened two or three times already. That is one delicious dish.

If I’m eating something E. doesn’t like, I will still occasionally fix her an egg and toast (with Earth Balance instead of butter) and cut up some fruit. They are eggs are from our own free-range hens. My daughter’s also a big fan of the peanut butter and honey sandwich on whole wheat bread.

Neither of these things are totally vegan, I know. To me it’s about her heading in the right direction. She’s definitely headed there. We both are.

Are you bringing a kid or five along with you on the Six Week Challenge? What’s working? Not working?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oat Bars (But Better)

I used to love the oatcakes at Starbucks on O'ahu. I was really sad when Starbucks finally came to Hilo and I discovered that they would not be carrying my beloved oatcakes. Apparently they couldn't secure a local baker that could make the IDENTICAL oatcakes that was a bestseller in Honolulu. I loved them not only for their taste but also for the illusion that the delectable yummy morning breakfast ADDITION was a HEALTH FOOD! That was way back in the fat days. Now I know better.

I have since learned that the little hockey puck that put me back a couple bucks is also over 500 calories. Yup. One whole meal. And I would use it as an ADDITION to a meal. OMG.

Fortunately, the perks of having challengers, especially this go round, is having challengers who LOVE TO COOK and BAKE!  Kanani DeSa has come through once again, with a mini and HEALTHY version of the oatcake. She calls it the Oatmeal Bran Zucchini Bar. And this is the telltale sign that her skills far exceed me in the baking category: SHE MADE IT UP HERSELF. I am not capable of that. She wins. And as long as she keeps bringing me her concoctions she will continue to win. Even when she doesn't. Lol.

These bars (she formed them to look like mini muffins. In fact I asked her if she baked them in a muffin tin pan but she didn't. Hand formed. Only the best for me!)

Oatmeal Bran Zucchini Bar - I made it up myself.  Kinda wanted to copy the oat bars @ Jamba Juice. I'll bring you some tomorrow.  Its ono toasted.

3/4 c. Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 c. Old Fashion Oats
1/4 c. Bran
1/4 c. Shredded Coconut
1/2 c. Peacan (Chopped)
1/4 c. Dates (Chopped)
1 c. Shredded Zucchini
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 c. Smashed Bananas (5 bananas)
Mix all ingredients.  Form into square bars.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 30mins.



The pictures really don't do the taste justice. But I suppose it would be the same with the hockey puck Starbucks oatcakes. Gnarly looking. Great tasting. But Kanani's are NUTRITARIAN friendly. And that's what we're all about. Give it a try. Drop a few off at my office. Or as hockey pucks go, mail them!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Letter to the Eat to Live 6 Weeks Challengers

Many of you know that there is an AWESOME group of challengers, spread throughout the Hawaiian Islands (and one on the mainland) that have committed to changing their lives and, for most of them, the lives of their families. I am blown away each and everyday by their progress. We all started on September 1 and we will officially end on October 12th but I already know that by then, for most, this will be a lifestyle change. As it should be.
I just thought I'd share one of my emails to them:

ALOHA EVERYONE!

Revelation -  Those who read the book Eat to Live "GET IT" and have an easier time sticking to the challenge. I remember when I first listened to the audio version, Dr. Fuhrman (it's really him on the audiobook on iTunes) he said that you had to read the ENTIRE book. You couldn't just skip to the eating part. I was aching to fast forward. But I took his word and I listened to the whole thing. And boy am I glad I did. I GOT IT! It pieced everything together for me. And then I started watching videos: Forks over Knives. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Food Matters. And more pieces fit. I GOT IT!

Now when people ask me where I get my protein I tell them that vegetables have, calorie for calorie, WAY MORE PROTEIN than meat. They don't believe me. And then when they ask where I get my calcium, I tell them there are a NUMBER of good sources of calcium out there such as spinach, kale, and broccoli. And I let them know that the countries that consume the MOST dairy also have a higher incidence of osteoporosis! TRUE! Vegetarians absorb more calcium and retain it better than non vegetarians. I never tell them my other beliefs about how sugar feeds cancer growth or how meat puts you at higher risk for type 2 diabetes (not to mention heart disease). 

If you haven't read the book, READ IT. If you have, READ IT AGAIN. Because seriously, it is so full of information that there is no way you got it all the first time around. Or pick out another book by one of the following: Caldwell or Rip Esselstyn, Colin Campbell, Neal Barnard. That should get you off to a good start. Knowledge is everything!

A lifetime of compromised health does not have to be your destiny. 

What is currently fueling me is all of you. Be the change you wish to see in the world. We spend so much money on health care. I see people everyday who cannot even get up and move. I hear about people sick and dying of diseases that are diet related. It doesn't need to be that way. And then I hear from all of you, how much weight you are losing, how you were a little fatigued in the beginning but now you're feeling more energy, how you're discovering new food (both good and bad!), and how you're facing BIG challenges, including camping trips, anniversary dinners, unsupportive family members/friends. People are abuzz. Share your experiences on our Facebook page AND amongst your 'ohana and friends. We aim to improve the health of all of us. We have an epidemic going on. Almost half of our population is overweight or obese. Worse off are all Polynesians. If we can change ourselves and be true to a healthy lifestyle we can be the change we wish to see in the world.

Next topic: flatulence.
HAHA.
Just kidding. I'm sure you have your fill of that topic :-)


E ola!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hana Hou for Hummus

Back in May I blogged about no oil hummus (which, I learned is pronounced as WHO-mus, not HUM-mus). Making hummus without the addition of hummus, even a small puddle of oil at the top of the already oil infused dish, was news to me. I got so excited about it, I even ventured into a black bean hummus. I was on a hummus roll. There was nothing better than a whole grain cracker or baked corn tortillas and hummus!
I'm back on my hummus train but venturing out a bit. This time I remember reading in my new cookbook, Peas and Thank You, that you should pick off the little skins off of each garbanzo bean. Hey, I'm willing to go out on a limb for my hummus! The result is a much creamier hummus, especially since olive oil is non existent.
After I made the hummus, I took half of it out and added some fresh basil, macadamia nut bits and an extra garlic to the half still in the food processor. The result was a wonder pesto hummus. And instead of eating it with my typical whole grain dipper, I opted for carrots since I'm trying to increase my raw veggie consumption. Yay!
Simple recipe, thanks to Chef AJ's great book, Unprocessed.
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
juice and zest from 1 lemon (or lime)
2 Tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp or more of cumin

Combine in a food processor. Add fresh herbs or other yummies to change flavors. Next time I'm going to add sundried tomatoes. Maybe some olives. And definitely another garlic.

Tried to remove most of the skins.

Plain hummus. Doesn't it look nice and creamy?

Adding basil to the next processing

Color doesn't really show the pretty green hue

Plain hummus and pesto hummus

Three carrots. Beans. Love. Check, check, check.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Bar

My challengers rock. I have over 45 official challengers who have committed to Eat to Live for six weeks, beginning September 1, 2011. I could go on and on, but I would go on and on. So to nip that in the bud, I do want to introduce one of the challengers to all of you and let YOU know that I want ALL my challengers to be featured here on So Duck Soup. So when you find that nutritarian dish that you KNOW you will make over and over again, TAKE PICTURES! SEND ME THE RECIPE! And in this way we can all share with one another.

My featured challenger/blogger is my good friend and colleague, Kanani De Sa. I have known Kanani since my own son was in preschool. He's now 25 so that puts us as over the 20 years mark. She is the librarian at our elementary school (and a darn great one at that) and most recently, she is THE BEST ZUMBA INSTRUCTOR in Hilo (no offense to all you Zumba instructors in Hilo). My daughter and I love her class. She works us beyond what we think we are capable of. And right now she is working herself beyond what she is capable of by staying true to the challenge.


Kanani is now famous at school for her nutritarian Banana Oatmeal Bar, straight out of Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live book. I am forever more going to insist that she make these bars at every school potluck. You have got to try them.

Banana Oatmeal Bar
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup dates (pitted and diced)
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup figs
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (pecans are good too!)
3 large banana's (smashed)
Mix all above ingredients, press in 9x11 pan.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.  Cool, cut, & serve.



All the necessary ingredients, including FRESH coconut. You can use the kind in the store :-)

Isn't she great showing us the ingredients ready for mixing together?

All mixed

Press into pan

Bake

TA-DA!

so so delicious with just the right amount of sweetness
If you get a chance to make these delicious bars, leave us a comment!
What's your favorite nutritarian dessert?