Need a healthy snack for your Super Bowl party?
Almonds + Food Writer = Cute Football snacks

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Thanks, Party Pinching, for the fun idea!

Really? A recipe that is not a cookie or laden with fat and calories? Yes. One can only eat so much of that stuff. There must be a vegetable every now and then.

Somebody help me! I ate one!

I have a long history of not eating vegetables. Okra, green beans, squash–my Dad could tell some stories!

The wisdom of age, ok, quit laughing, the wisdom of age has taught me that vegetables are a must, and some are pretty good.

One that I have not mastered yet is greens! Oh, the slimey-ness, oh the yuckiness, oh the old-people-ness!

Don’t get me wrong, I love old people. My experience with greens immediately takes me to Franke’s Cafeteria in McCain Mall with my mom and grandmother.

I would sit there with my mom, grandmother, and sister and eat my chicken leg (or roast beef), mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, jello, and chocolate milk while happily watching the shoppers pass by the big windows. My mother and grandmother would have something like LIVER and GREENS!

The greens looked something like this…

source

Every kid’s nightmare! They would even use those funny little square cafeteria bottles that had peppers in them!

I was always grateful for my mac and cheese! Greens were, in my little 5 year old mind, for old people.

You can imagine how surprised I was at myself when I thought about trying a recipe for Kale Chips.

I guess I was feeling adventurous–but KALE!

Here is what you need: kale greens, olive oil, garlic salt.

The instructions are just as easy.

Kale Chips

Make sure your kale is washed thoroughly.

Grab a handful and rub it with olive oil.

Sprinkle garlic salt to taste. (The original recipe said a generous amount. I assumed this was to cover up the taste of the kale!)

Bake at 400˚ for 5 minutes. Turn the pan, to insure even heating, and bake 5 more minutes.

before

after

Now, the moment of truth, the tasting.

Drum roll please.

The chips were very light and airy. You know when you burn a marshmallow over a campfire and slide the burned part off and eat it? Well, the texture kind of reminded me of that. Weird, I know.

I think I used a little too much of the garlic salt. I thought they were too salty. Next time I will know better.

Will I make them again? Probably, I have a big ol’ bag of kale in my refrigerator! I doubt I will boil it!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: This is proof that you can make just about anything taste good. I really liked these. They are perfect for when you want a lightly crunchy and salty snack.

Megan: Good, but a little too much salt. (Megan liked them enough to take in her lunch the next day rather than potato chips.)

Katie: The kale chips were pretty okay. They just weren’t my taste.

I about had a fit to get this cookbook a few years ago.

It looked so cool–hiding puréed vegetables and such in unsuspecting foods.

There is sat, all pink and new, on my shelf. I would pull it out and peruse the recipes. Then I noticed something…ALL THE RECIPES HAD PURÉED VEGETABLES IN THEM!

What was I thinking?! Me? The girl who used to spit her green beans in her napkin at dinner? The girl who would cry whenever squash or okra was served? I was going to sneak vegetables into unsuspecting foods? HA!

THAT little cookbook could just stay pink and new on my shelf!

On the shelf it stayed for a couple more years.

I guess I had a moment of weakness. You know, “first of the year—we are going to eat better” weakness.

So, I pulled the pristine, pink cookbook off the shelf once again. I found the recipe I thought I could get by with the easiest—Chocolate Chip Cookies. You should know, however, I do make a mean “unhealthy” chocolate chip cookie, so I wasn’t sure how this would go over with the Critics.

There are a few unfamiliar players in this game.

First up is margarine. I’m an unsalted butter gal. Most of the cookie recipes I’ve seen, at least the ones that look good, call for unsalted BUTTER. Can I get an amen from my Paula Deen fans?

Next, egg whites. I was not opposed to egg whites. I just have never bought liquid eggs in a carton before. And yes, there was an incident. I neglected to tell my sweet husband that I had bought the liquid eggs. The carton was the same size as the half-and-half we had in the fridge. Half-and-half had a purple stripe, eggs had a blue stripe. If he had only been told about the eggs-in-a-carton, the eggs would not have gotten poured in the coffee. Sorry, honey! At least there was more coffee.

The third stranger to my baking world…chickpeas! Yes, I said chickpeas! Now, I like chickpeas. Here is one of my favorite ways to eat them. Baking with chickpeas? This was new to me!

Here is a little interesting information I found out about chickpeas aka garbanzo beans. The information came from this website.

CHICKPEA

Chickpea and garbanzo bean are 2 names for the same thing (Cicer arietinum) a member of the Pea family (Fabaceae). They are also called ceci (Italy), Egyptian pea, gram, Kichererbse (Germany), and revithia (Greece).

Garbanzo is the name used in Spanish-speaking countries.  The English name chickpea comes from the French chiche, which comes from the Latin cicer.

Garbanzo Beans or chickpeas are the most widely consumed legume in the world. Originating in the Middle East, they have a firm texture with a flavor somewhere between chestnuts and walnuts. Garbanzo beans are usually pale yellow in color. In India there are red, black, and brown chickpeas.
CDC.gov – 5 a Day

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans have 361 calories per 100g, and are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

On with the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

3/4 cup trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread

2 large egg whites

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

3/4 cup raisins (optional)—I didn’t use the raisins

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low-speed until a thick dough forms.

3. Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11-13 minutes; do not overbake. Transfer to a rack to cool.

4. Store in an airtight  container for up to 3 days.

So, the procedure was basic enough.

But how would they taste?!

They, LOOKED like chocolate chip cookies. Well, they didn’t look as good as my cookies.

Taste? How would they taste?

Well, I’ll be honest. I was scared! I was about to eat a cookie with a BEAN in it! HELLO! Bean cookies?!

I couldn’t show my fear in front of the kids. munch, munch, mmmm, smile

Ok, they weren’t bad. chew, chew, chew

The texture was pretty good, very cookie-like.

The chocolate chips and walnuts were excellent!

Then I got a big bite of bean! Yep! I was eating a cookie with a bean in it!

I think if I make these again, I would chop up the beans. For one thing, when you look at the cookie, it looks like it has peanut butter or butterscotch chip in it. So, when you bite the bean, it is a little disappointing. Chopping the beans would spread that beany taste around.

Critics’ Corner:

Chip: Chick Peas? Wow!

Megan: It was delicious (except when I got a mouthful of garbanzo bean, which tasted like meat). This recipe is going to college with me!

Katie: I love the cookies! Who would have thought that chick peas were the secret ingredient in such delicious cookies!

Hey, look! I’m posting! I know you all thought I had given up blogging. No, no. We got really busy with back to school shopping and room cleaning. Neither of those activities is exactly a picnic. But, the girls have cleaned out drawers and closets in which to store their new duds. We’ll see how long that lasts. School has started. Maybe I can do a little catching up on my blog posting. Cross your fingers!

You may recall that I am the queen of tearing recipes out of magazines. Well, this one is from Woman’s Day magazine, July 8, 2008! I checked their website to try to link to the actual magazine page. It’s so old they don’t even have it in their archives, that I could find anyway. Guess it’s a good thing I tore it out and kept it THREE YEARS AGO! Hey, at least I finally got around to it. Fear not, it is not the oldest recipe/pattern/idea/whatever in my collection.

Can you stand the cuteness!

Before we left for our vacation, in July, I had bought a watermelon. I knew we wouldn’t be able to eat it all before leaving town. So, I chopped up what was left and stuck it in the freezer on a tray.  Once frozen, I put the cubes in a plastic baggie in the freezer.

When we got home from vacation, I remembered my adorable recipe that I have been saying I would try for the past three years. But alas, I did not have any popsicle molds. Well, I did, but they weren’t the right size.

I have one of those Tupperware molds. Remember those? They are similar to these just without the mouse ears.

Anyway, I had to go get some.

Aren’t they fancy with their little “dripper-sippers”. (That is my name for the sippy part, not theirs.) So glad I got the fancy ones. I had to use a popsicle stick for the recipe.

Here is the recipe:

Guess I should have read the recipe again before I going to the store.  As you may have noticed, the recipe makes 12 pops. Did I use my Tupperware popsicle mold for the other four? No. I grabbed some bathroom cups. Duh!

The glossy magazine picture says “take 30 minutes”. Wellllll, I think it took me a little longer than 30 minutes to do these.

Ok, this was probably the worst part. I didn’t let the melon thaw out enough. The directions say to freeze to  a semi-frozen state. Hard-as-a-rock watermelon takes a bit more to puree. I used a food processor rather than a blender. Ours blender bit the dust a while back. We really only miss it in the summer time.

Once I added the sugar and corn syrup, the watermelon really took on a slushy appearance.

Pouring the slush and holding the mold and taking the picture all at the same time was tricky!

Aren’t my bathroom cups lovely? Guess I should have wiped up the counter before I took the picture. Oops!

I looked high and low for coconut sorbet. It was pretty hard to find. I finally sent my hubby to the Fresh Market to see if they had it. The Fresh Market is a fabulously fun place to go. I highly recommend a field trip.

The Fresh Market came through for me. Shortly after Chip found the coconut sorbet, I was reading Family Fun magazine. Come to find out, there was a “Watermelon Day” in early August. They printed a very similar recipe in their magazine. Here is their version.

This is just a picture of the squished up sorbet. I had never had coconut sorbet before this watermelon pop experience. So glad to have tried it. Oooo la la!

I used my handy-dandy baking pad thingy as a liner for my honeydew in the freezer. Much easier than waxed paper-trust me on that one.

I didn’t take this picture. I was much easier that way.

We soaked the popsicle mold in some water in the sink for a minute or two. Presto!

No, I didn’t make the girls wear those green shirts. They sure are appropriate for the picture though!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: It tasted like REAL watermelon!

Megan: All I have to say is: YUM!

Katie: It was very creative. We know the cuter foods taste much better, and that’s what this was! MMM!!!