salt & vinegar kale chips

salt & vinegar kale chips via she likes to eat

yeah, that’s right. KALE CHIPS. and i’m super excited about them.

it’s pretty apparent that i’m totally turning into my mother.
i mean, the lady frequently wears a t-shirt that she bought from, where else, whole foods that says in big uppercase letters “KALE”. you know, like YALE.. get it? pretty sure it’s her favorite shirt.
for those of you who don’t know my mom, aka YaYa, aka The Mahm, she is a total hippie, living in the hippie capital of the south (austin texas) and to top it off, she’s an artist (no, i did not get any of her gifts in this department). she’s all over the coconut oil (don’t get her started, she’ll go on for days;) for every need possible, and she’s a really healthy eater. so you can imagine when i start making things in my kitchen LIKE KALE CHIPS, i kind of rise above myself in an out-of-body experience and think,
what. is. happening. here?
i’m turning into my mother. and i am 100% ok with that. actually i’m proud so say it:)

disclaimer:
be careful with these babies. they’re serious business.
i may or may not have eaten an entire pan in one sitting the last time i made these.

salt & vinegar kale chips
adapted via gimme some oven

ingredients

about 5 cups kale leaf pieces, ribs removed, washed & dried

2 tsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar

1/4 tsp sea salt

directions

1. preheat oven to 350. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. place the prepped kale in a large bowl. drizzle in the olive oil, vinegar, and 1/8 tsp salt. mix with a hand or tongs to soften and combine. place leaves on the baking sheet in one layer without overlapping, but fairly close together (they will shrink as they are baked). sprinkle over top the remaining 1/8 tsp salt.

3. bake for about 8-10 minutes. remove from oven and let cool. (about 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven, i turn all the leaves over to help them dry out a bit and crisp up.)

enjoy!

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cheddar & saltine cracker baked chicken tenders (with quick & easy aioli dipping sauce)

cheddar and saltine cracker chicken tenders via she likes to eat
there are a few basic recipes that i am constantly looking to better or to perfect and chicken tenders have long been one. lately i have been making them more often, since we have a preschooler and a toddler running our lives these days and they are a great go-to for easy & healthy meals. i much prefer making them myself when i can, instead of the freezer chicken tenders & nuggets that truthfully scare me a little. every chicken tender i have made in the past has been just ok, “neither here nor there”. i’ve made some with breadcrumbs and some with panko. i’ve tried lots of different ways to bread them – with buttermilk, with whole milk, or with eggs, breaded once or twice… but i still had not found my favorite tenders that were perfectly crunchy, yet moist, and held their breading all over without falling off during baking. and i still had the problem of the breading getting mushy on the underside.

well, after many tests & tastings & tweakings i can safely say i am forever free from chicken tender mediocrity!
i have finally mastered the elusive perfect homemade chicken tender.
(and the crowd stands up and cheers like crazy:)

i used a mix of ground cheddar crackers and saltine crackers as the breading, which gives it the perfect flavor and crunch on the outside. i also baked the tenders on all-metal drying rack (used mostly for cooling cookies or pies) on top of a baking sheet – this ensured no soggy business on the underside of the tenders. (this was the most exciting part of my week. seriously.)

as for the dipping sauce: i have 2 all-time favorite aioli recipes in my arsenal – the recipe below is my super quick and easy version that uses ingredients i always have on hand. aioli is my favorite dipping sauce for chicken tenders and complements these really well. if you can stand to turn down the ketchup, i promise, it’s worth it.

cheddar & saltine cracker baked chicken tenders
adapted via just a taste
serves 4-6

ingredients

1 3/4 lbs chicken tenders (or chicken breasts, sliced into tenders)

3 cups cheez-it crackers (or similar cheddar cracker), or make them homemade

1 cup oyster cracker/soup-style saltines (or broken up regular size saltines)

3 eggs

3 tbsp dijon mustard

3/4 cup flour

olive oil cooking spray

directions

1. preheat oven to 475. position rack in lower third of oven.

2. place an all-metal drying rack on a large cookie sheet. spray or brush drying rack with olive oil.

3. in a food processor or blender, grind cheddar and saltine crackers until finely ground then place in a wide & shallow bowl. in another bowl, whisk the eggs and dijon mustard. then place the flour in a third wide & shallow bowl.

4. with each chicken tender, dip it first into the flour, shaking off excess. then dip into egg/dijon mixture and then into the cracker mixture, pressing crumbs onto the tender making sure it’s evenly coated. repeat with remaining tenders. place the tenders an inch or two apart on the metal rack on the cookie sheet (see picture above).

5. bake for 14-16 minutes, until they are beginning to golden. serve warm with aioli dipping sauce.

 

quick & easy aioli dipping sauce
makes about 1/2 cup

1/2 cup mayonnaise (duke’s is my favorite)

2 cloves finely minced garlic

1/2 tsp worcestershire

1/2 tsp lemon juice

directions

mix all ingredients together with a whisk until completely incorporated.

enjoy!

banana, date, and almond butter smoothies

banana date almond butter smoothies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
i seriously have no clue where march went.
we have been traveling a lot and have had so much on our plates during the last several weeks, i feel like it came and went before we knew it. because of all of the traveling i confess i haven’t cooked much at all lately, making me miss time in the kitchen both on my own and with the little she.

during those months when we are stuck inside so much because of the cold outside, we often find ourselves making smoothies to go with nearly every lunch, the kind that are super thick and creamy. this one was our favorite of all our new concoctions this year, and pretty good for you too. dates have high levels of folate and vitamin A, while almond butter is rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

if you have a high-speed blender, like a blend-tec or vitamix, A} i am super jealous of you, and B} they’re perfect for this smoothie because of the chopped dates. if you are able to completely puree them, all the better. if you don’t have a high-speed blender, you’ll have little bits of dates in the bottom of your smoothie, which i still kind of love.

banana, date, and almond butter smoothie
makes 2 smoothies

ingredients

1.5 cups milk (whole, 2%, almond, or soy)

1 frozen banana, halved

3 tbsp almond butter

2 pitted dates, chopped

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 cup ice

directions

1. blend all ingredients completely in a blender, until ice and dates are completely blended.

enjoy!