I know what you're probably thinking: kale chips are so two years ago. And sure, they've been done before (we even have a handful of enticing options in our archives), but I'd argue that their ubiquity is simply a testament to how dang delicious these virtuous snacks can be.
So no, I'm not exactly reinventing the wheel here; rather, consider this a tune-up. These salty, tangy, and dangerously snackable crisps are more akin to a fresh set of tires for the kale chips "wheel." Heavy-handed with both salt and vinegar to mimic the addictive flavor of salt and vinegar chips (minus the fryer), these chips are hands-down my favorite kale snack I've tried to date (and I really like kale).
To try panfrying at home, place a large, thick skillet with a flat bottom atop a stove. Fill the pan a third of the way full with a high-heat oil like canola, refined peanut, or safflower. Heat the oil on a medium-high flame until it shimmers (about 325°F to 350°F). Transfer your protein to the pan, carefully positioning the food in the pan away from your body, to prevent any hot oil from splashing on you. Leave a few inches between each piece, to make it easier to flip the food and to ensure that plenty of hot oil circulates evenly throughout the pan.
Keep a watchful eye on the flame and food. Keep in mind that every time you add new food to the pan, the temperature of the oil will drop, and if the temperature's too cool, items can become soggy and oil-logged; adjust the flame accordingly to keep the oil hot and shimmery. Once the items are cooked on both sides, transfer them to a wire rack lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil and to cool the food slightly before serving. Toss any remaining oil or save it in a container to return to a health food store (most have recycling bins for used oil).
Salad as a meal might seem better suited to scorching Summer nights, but don't let the gray and gloomy Winter weather dissuade you from tossing together a bowl of vibrant greens. Whether your resolution is to eat more vegetables, live healthier, or you're simply looking for quick and easy (read: weeknight-friendly) dinners in lieu of pricey takeout, the salad bowl is the way to go.
- Don't forget the salt: While the instructions on the tub of oats might imply that salt is optional, quite frankly it's not. Your bowl of oatmeal shouldn't taste salty (unless, of course, you're trying a savory iteration, like the one below), but adding a hefty pinch will help enhance flavors whether nutty, sweet, or creamy. Just make sure to season to taste after it's done cooking; if you add it at the start, the oats will release less of their starch, and the resulting texture won't be as creamy.
- Skip instant oats: These flaky par-cooked fragments might simmer up quicker, but with a catch: the resulting bowl of oatmeal will be reminiscent of wallpaper paste. Instead, try rolled (old-fashioned) oats or steel-cut groats. Not only are these options more toothsome and robustly flavored, they'll stave off hunger longer.
- Swap out water for other liquids: Boost flavor by experimenting with other liquids. For a creamier bowl, try milk or nondairy alternatives like almond or soy milk. For zestier flavor, replace up to half of the water with juices like pomegranate or orange.
Since a 15-ounce can typically yields about 1-1/2 cups of cooked and drained beans, soak 3/4 cup of dried beans in water for eight hours or overnight, then boil the beans in a pot of fresh water until the beans are tender (25-45 minutes, depending on the bean). This should yield about the same amount of beans as the can.
An uncomplicated yet interesting lunch can be a challenge, especially during colder months. But we've got a solution for you with this Winter twist on the classic turkey wrap. In this wholesome version, tart cranberries, whole-grain mustard, and feta cheese pack on the flavor without adding an avalanche of calories, and slices of fresh pear stay nice and crisp until ready to eat. It's a no-brainer lunch for one — we even suggest double or quadrupling it for multiple lunches or occasions. Get the recipe now.
Looking for a quick, easy, and enticing way to incorporate more vegetables into your life? Roasting may very well be just the solution you need. Not only does the blast of high heat cook vegetables to fork-tender in next to no time, but it also magically caramelizes the edges, making each bite slightly sweet and all the more enticing.
Little more than a bit of prep work and roughly 20-30 minutes of cook time separates your meal from the addition of a brightly colored, mouth-watering, and rather healthy side. And while methods vary slightly from vegetable to vegetable, follow these general guidelines:
- Preheat the oven: Aside from tomatoes and other delicate produce, which shine when slow-roasted at a lower temperature (try 200°F), most vegetables benefit from a blast of high heat, as it promotes browning and caramelization; generally, 400-450°F is a good place to start.
- Prep the vegetables: Usually this just means a quick scrub with a vegetable brush and a rough chop (1-inch cubes is pretty standard), but some produce like Winter squash requires a bit of peeling and even the removal of seeds but is still very easy to prep. For oddballs like brussels sprouts, trim off the woody stems, peel away any dried-out and tough outer leaves and halve the tiny cabbages so that they have a flat surface to rest on (flat surfaces allow the most pan contact and browning). Smaller root vegetables like carrots can be left whole (just trim off excess carrot tops).
To kick things off, we'll be focusing on eating lighter this week. Sure, holiday merrymaking brings to mind menorahs, tree lights, sleigh bells, and stockings — but it also conjures up images of yule logs, cookie swaps, standing rib roast, and way too much eggnog. It may not be possible to erase December's overindulgences, but healthier cooking in January is as close as we'll ever get.
Stay tuned all week to learn about lighter cooking techniques, wholesome grains, and of course, our favorite healthy recipes.
Know your techniques: roasting vegetables
Know your techniques: poaching
Know your techniques: cooking en papillote
Know your techniques: panfrying
Substituting fresh herbs for dried ones
An easy way to swap canned beans for their dried counterparts
6 tips to try for a better bowl of oatmeal
Get you grains: a guide to cooking everything from oats to rice
See how Evolution's Sweet Greens Juice compares to a homemade version
Elevate your salmon with a soy glaze
Update your lunch with a Wintry wrap sandwich
Wholesome dessert: oatmeal and brown sugar-stuffed apples
5 dinner salads that guarantee you'll get your fill of greens
A light dinner party menu that looks and tastes indulgent
9 inventive recipes for the kale-curious
Salt and vinegar kale chips
Roasted carrots with scallion-ginger glaze