Tag Archives: chips

Cheesy Kale Chips

I contemplated calling them “Cheezy” Kale Chips, but I’m so sick of putting names of vegan things into quotations! Anyone else? It’s still REAL food! Yes, cheese generally refers to a substance made from cow’s milk, but it can also be made out of nut milk, or – in this case – blended cashews. So there! “Cheeze” and “mylk” are two words you’ll never hear come out of this vegan’s mouth. Let’s reclaim the language! :)

I had a nice, big bag of raw cashews generously sent to me by Oh! Nuts and I thought a batch (or two) of my favorite raw snack would be the perfect way to make my way through them. I was right, as usual.

There are various renditions of this recipe floating around the internet, but here’s my super cheesy (a.k.a. super noochy) take on it!

Cheesy Kale Chips
(Makes: It doesn’t matter because you’ll eat them all in one day anyways)

1 bunch curly kale
1 cup cashews (soaked for a couple hours)
1 red bell pepper, deseeded
Juice of half a lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

Remove the toughest parts of the kale stems (save them for a green smoothie, green juice, or add them to a stir-fry!), and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.

Whenever I’m working with leafy greens – especially for this recipe, where I want the pieces of kale to be as dry as possible so that the coating will stick as well as possible – I find it easier to cut or rip up the leaves first, and wash them afterward by submerging them in a bowl of water. Then I swish them around with my hands a little so any debris can float to the top, drain them, and dry them in a salad spinner!

Place kale pieces in a large bowl (you want enough room so that you can mix the coating in later without having to deal with leaves falling out of the bowl!)

To make the cheesy coating: combine soaked cashews, bell pepper, lemon juice, nutritional yeast (nooch), and sea salt in a blender or food processor (a high-speed blender like the Vitamix is best), and run for a minute or two until smooth.

Add the cheesy coating to your bowl of kale and massage it in with your hands. Don’t worry too much about uneven distribution, as the big globs taste delicious in the final product!

For raw kale chips (my method of choice, as they will retain the nutrients and enzymes of all the healthful ingredients!): place on dehydrator screens and dehydrate at 115 degrees until crispy. The time will vary, but make sure ALL the moisture is gone and they are genuinely crunchy.

Alternatively (if you don’t have a dehydrator), spread kale pieces on parchment paper on baking trays, and bake at 200 degrees until crispy, about 45 minutes (but again, all that matters is that they MUST be crunchy).

Once you’ve tried the basic recipe, feel free to spice things up – literally! Sprinkle some cayenne into the coating mixture for a nice kick, or add some garlic or onion powder, cumin, or dill!

Bean and Corn Tortilla Lasagna

There’s been some Mexi-love going down in my house lately, first in the form of the Bean and Corn Tortilla Lasagna with Avocado from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

This is another recipe I’ve wanted to make as long as I can remember, so I’m glad I finally got around to it. Alternating layers of spicy beans and tomatoes, avocado, corn tortillas, and Daiya cheese make this dish a veritable fiesta!

Cooked avocado is different, but I’m always pleasantly surprised by how good it is.

My dad commented on how light and fresh it was, especially considering that lasagna is usually pretty heavy. I think that lightness is attributable not only to the fact that this lasagna is vegan and loaded with veggies, but to the lime (squeezed on between layers and on top) and cilantro.

More lime please!

We still had a lot of Daiya hanging around the next day, so nachos it was! These were even better than my Teese-y nachos from over the summer! Actually, MUCH better.

The great thing about living in Arizona is that you can eat al fresco in the middle of the winter:

TJ’s Reduced Guilt Tortilla Chips, Refried Black Beans (I made my own using the recipe in Yellow Rose Recipes!), Cheddar and Italian Daiya “cheese,” guacamole (also made from scratch, but just off the top of my head), and lotsa salsa. My dad and I devoured this lunch.

On an entirely different note, I’m running my 2nd half marathon tomorrow morning: the P.F. Chang’s Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2.

I got 2:10:47 in my first half last September, so I’m going for under 2:00 this time. Wish me luck! I’m gonna get started on my carbo-loading dinner from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook!

Sweet Potato Lentil Chili

What better way to ring in the new year than a giant pot of chili? It may seem random, but if you think about it, chili is hearty, warming, and perfect for sharing communally with all your friends and family.

That was my thinking when I made a triple recipe of Dreena’s Sweet Potato Lentil Chili from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan last Friday for our family’s all-day New Year’s open house.

This recipe’s been on my “to-make” list for ages, so I was glad that when I could finally make it, I could make it for 100 people!

Naturally, we have an insane amount of leftovers (even when I thought I’d finished them, my mom informed me that there’s more in the freezer…). As you can see, I’ve been enjoying them with TJ’s tortilla chips. This chili is chunky and perfect for dipping.

Teese-y Nachos and Stuffed Mochi

This is a multicultural post, I guess! And who knows – maybe Mexican and Japanese will be the next ethnic fusion cuisine fad.

Okay, so I didn’t actually eat my nachos and mochi together…

If y’all recall my camping post, I had about one-third of a log of Cheddar Teese to use up. It was great in the chili bake and tofu scramble, but I wanted to make something quintessentially “cheesy” with the remainder. I’m also a true Southwestern gal, meaning that my first thought was…NACHOS! And who am I to doubt my gut?

I laid out some Trader Joe’s blue corn chips on a baking tray, plopped on some vegetarian refried beans, and finally – the most exciting part – whipped out the grater and brought on the Teese! Here it is pre-baked:

I popped it in the oven at 325 F for a bit before broiling it for the last couple minutes. I wasn’t sure how well the Teese would melt at those temperatures, but I was pretty happy with the results! I finished it with a little shredded lettuce, guac, and a boatload of salsa.

Then I dug in!

As you can see, the Teese melted pretty freaking well, and it tasted awesome right outta the oven.

Moving on to the mochi! For anyone not in the loop (I wasn’t until recently), mochi is Japanese rice that’s ground into a thick paste and molded into little cakes. When baked, they puff up into little pastries! I bought my mochi at Whole Foods : the brand is Grainaissance, and I chose the Raisin & Cinnamon flavor.

I was skeptical about their puff potential when, after 8 minutes, they still looked pretty flat; but a couple minutes later, upon beholding their inflation. I was squealing with excitement, as my dad, who was working in his office down the hall, could easily confirm.

They’re not very sweet on their own (the ingredients are just brown rice, cinnamon, raisins, and salt), so I took the package’s advice and stuffed ’em!

I subbed Tofutti for the regular cream cheese and agave for the honey called for, and, well, pecans are already vegan! These little love packets were amazing! Because I stuffed them fresh from the oven, the “cream cheese” and agave got all oozy on the inside, and the flavors combined perfectly. I definitely think the mochi would have been a little plain without the filling. Speaking of the mochi, my dad and I were surprised at how chewy it was! The outside was crisp, but the bulk of it was just…ridiculously chewy.

That’s all I got, but I’ll leave you with a photo of one of the four mochi that came out just a tad bit deformed. It’s Quasi Mochi, the hunchcake of Notre Japan!

Why am I so weird?