Friday, January 3, 2014

Iowa rocks.

I'm from Iowa.

If you haven't been there here is what you need to know: Iowa rocks.

People let you in the lane when you put your blinker on. They say "hi" to you at the grocery store. We have a great mix of city and urban. The education is great, and communities are generally pretty safe. Chips and dip are fabulous, thanks to the local A&E dairy. The landscape is beautiful, we serve everything with butter, and every meat is served with potatoes and gravy. It's magnificent.

It isn't exactly "healthy", but I can't lie. I was raised on it. I love my mashed potatoes and chips and dip are a staple snack for me.

Love them. Like, eat-a-whole-bag-all-by-myself-in-one-sitting, love them.

So, I was overjoyed to find an alternative that was actually healthy --> and an acceptable substitute. (I'm a tough girl to please).

But, I found it. And while I still loved mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower is a great alternative. Kale chips? Ahhh-mazing.

Here are the recipes for both!

Mashed Cauliflower:
Head of cauliflower, chopped into florets.
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme (check the refrigerated section in your produce aisle, usually by packaged apples, peppers, etc)
salt and pepper, to taste

Cover the bottom of a saucepan with about 1" water. Bring to a boil, and add the cauliflower. Reduce the heat and cover. Allow cauliflower to cook 5-10 minutes (depending on how finely you chopped the florets). When you can poke easily with a fork, they are done). Drain, and mash using a mixer or blend them in a food processor. Add in garlic, thyme and other seasonings.

**For extra flavor, use chicken broth instead of water!

Kale Chips

So, my time spent in Coronado was wonderful for many reasons. One, was that I got to know a gem of a lady named Melissa D'Arabian. She was in my Bible Study and I'll be honest -- I didn't know her. And then, of course, I learn she is on TV!  What?!?!?!  So fun! You may know her from the food network --> she. is. fabulous.

And she also has this great recipe for Kale Chips!

1 head of kale washed and dried
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 275.  Remove ribs from kale and cut into 1.5" pieces. Toss with olive oil and salt. Lay on a baking sheet and bake until crips, about 20 minutes. Flip them once at about 10 minutes to ensure even crispiness! ;)

Again, LIFE isn't all about EATING HEALTHY 100% of the time. But, little switches add up and it can really help on those days where you just need some "comfort food" but don't want to ruin great progress!