Joomag
Aug 252014
 

It’s fall and a time for enjoying the company of friends, family and delicious food.  Sides should complement your meals and be healthy, satisfying and easy to make.  Potato chips are a popular standby. So how about something new and exciting  – think veggie chips! Nutrient packed baked veggie chips satisfy snack cravings as well as being an excellent side dish to your cooking repertoire.

Here’s the thing – veggie chips taste better than potato chips.  Forget all those preconceptions about veggie chips being a tasteless attempt to convince you that you are eating those fat filled carby potato chips.  It is easier to convince your brain that you are eating something delicious, because, in fact, you are. That being said, commercial versions of veggie chips are usually deep fried and no healthier than regular chips.

The basic recipe is simple – slice veggies with a sharp knife or veggie peeler, and to make ultrathin, crispy chips, use a mandolin.  Toss your choice of veggies with a splash of olive oil, space them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and roast!

Chipalicious recipes follow:

Beets

Filled with folate, manganese, and potassium, beets develop an earthy sweetness when roasted. Scatter with salt, dried thyme, and oregano.  Alternatively top with crushed rosemary leaves.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 325 degrees; check often, to avoid burning.

Kale

When baked, vitamin C–rich kale develops a briny, nutty taste. Cut 1 bunch of kale into bite-size strips and sprinkle with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a dash of apple cider vinegar. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes, gently tossing after 10 minutes.

Sweet Potato

This smart alternative to potato chips offers a super high dose of vitamin A, especially if you keep the skin intact when slicing. Try dusting with cayenne pepper, cumin, and coriander for a spicy twist. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes on each side.

Carrots

Oh now these babies rock!  Use a Y shaped veggie peeler and shave the carrots lengthwise into thin strips.  Shake a bit of za’atar seasoning over for a delightful treat.  Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes, turn the baking sheet, and bake for 6 minutes more until golden brown.

Za’atar is a very versatile Middle Eastern spice which can be used on meats, veggies, rice and breads, and only takes five minutes to prepare!

Za’atar

¼ c sumac

2 tbsp thyme

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

2 tbsp marjoram

2 tbsp oregano

1 tsp sea salt, coarse

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 4.43.18 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 4.43.25 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 4.43.35 PMIn a small dry skillet, toast the sesame seeds on low heat, until light brown and nutty smelling, about 1 minute.  Be careful not to burn.  Let cool and transfer seeds to a mortar and pestle. Add remaining ingredients and grind until smooth.  Store in an airtight container for 3 months.

Leafy Greens

Everyone knows about kale chips, but did you know you can make delicious chips out of other leafy greens?  Kale is one of the better greens in term of nutritional value, but not everyone enjoys the flavour which is rather strong.  Greens come in a variety of flavour and strength and you need to choose ones that are palatable to you.  For instance:

Swiss Chard:  Not quite as strong tasting as kale, but still packs a punch.  It is also packed with Vitamin K, A, C and magnesium. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and has been shown to balance blood sugar.

Beet Greens:  These are just as edible as the roots and are jam packed with Vitamin K and A which is good for your eyes.

Spinach:  Very light in flavour, while high in Vitamins K, C and A, as well as potassium, selenium and magnesium.

Making green chips is the same, regardless of the type of greens you choose.  Simply preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Wash and thoroughly dry the greens and tear into chip sized pieces.  Then toss with a drizzle of olive oil, which is about 2 tablespoons for a large bunch of greens, until lightly coated.  Spread the leaves out on cookie sheets in a single layer.  You can sprinkle whatever flavouring you prefer, with sea salt and ¼ tsp of garlic powder being a favorite of mine.  You can also try 1.5 tbsp of nutritional yeast which gives the chips a cheesey flavor, or a ½ tsp of smoked paprika or chili powder.  Experiment and see what flavorings you prefer.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, checking through the oven window occasionally as greens which are more delicate may require less time, so get to know your oven.  Remove from the oven and let finish crisping for 3 minutes.

If you are looking to avoid fat altogether, you can opt to use either a dehydrator or a chipster which allows you to cook chips in the microwave without any oil.

You are welcome to contact Chef Cober at Log Cabin Heaven, with any questions you may have, info@logcabinheaven.com and www.logcabinheaven.com 

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