Baked Potato Chips

Some days require savory, juicy burgers.  Some days require fresh, green salads.  And some days require potato chips.

Potato chips are one of my comfort foods.  While some girls may go out and get a carton of ice cream after a breakup/fight/bad day, I turn to potato chips.  Some days the salty crunch of chips makes me feel better.  If only for a few moments.



Green Monster Smoothie

It’s a new year, time to start it off right.  Diets aren’t usually my thing.  But as the days get colder I always find myself craving fruits and veggies, so a change in diet is a yearly habit.  After all the indulgence over the holidays, lighter meals and snacks are a welcome sight.

This smoothie is perfect for a light breakfast on your way out the door or an afternoon snack.  Light, refreshing, and so green! The color is what inspired the name.  I can just picture a fuzzy monster, like the kind in a Pixar film, drinking this on their way to work.

Just four simple ingredients make this easy to whip up and won’t weight you down.  The kale adds nutrition and allows the pear to take the lead a the main flavor.


Kale Chips

For the last year I’ve read and wondered about Kale.  I’m not a big salad person, sure I enjoy salads and occassionally crave something green but for the most part Kale didn’t sound that appealing.  Well, I’ve tried it finally and I’m jumping on the Kale train cause these chips were amazing!

Raw Kale tastes like grass to me.  These chips taste nothing like grass.  Instead they took on the flavor of the topping.  Light, crunchy bite size chips with tons of flavor and no guilt.

The salt kale chips almost taste like popcorn.  I think I’ve found a new movie snack.  And the sesame seed chips were even better; flavorful, crisp and so good.  I can’t wait to try more toppings like Parmesan, curry, or red pepper.


Baked Sweet Potato Fries & Yogurt Sauce

I am in love with sweet potato fries right now.  Sweet potatoes are much better nutritionally than normal potatoes.  They are low in sodium, low in saturated fats and cholesterol in addition to being a good source of various vitamins and minerals.  Plus they are delicious!

This is a super easy recipe to put together as a side or afternoon snack.

Sweet Potato Fries

1 large sweet potato
Olive Oil non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rinse and reel the sweet potato (alternatively leave the skin on).  Cut the potato into desired shape and size of fries.  (I find 1/4 inch width results in fries that are crunchy and still tender on the inside).  Spread fries out on a baking pan and spray with cooking spray, coat all sides.  Sprinkle on salt to taste.
Bake in preheated oven until desired crispness, 30 minutes is how long I like mine, turn at least once to prevent burning.

Enjoy plain, or as I like them, with this Yogurt Sauce.

Maple Peanut Butter Granola Bars

It’s a beautiful spring day.  The kind that makes me want to go to the beach, but I know it’s still a little to cold for that.  Instead I’ve been domestic and have been continuing spring cleaning.  A few days ago I had picked up a box of Kashi cereal that was on sale with the intention of making snack bars, and today seemed like the perfect day to try it.

The recipe is a conglomeration of several I’ve found, a lot of the ingredients can be substituted for whatever you want in the bars.  The nut and seed mixture especially can be almost any combination of seeds and chopped nuts.

A small bar goes a long way.  The maple syrup adds natural sweetness and the peanut butter gives it some oomph.  Chewy, peanut buttery, and delicious.  This is finger-licking good, which is a good thing because it is a little sticky for a bar.  They keep their shape, but be gentle with them.  As soon as you pop one into your mouth it begins to melt.  All the flavors remind me of fall in Michigan with maple trees and camp fires.  Wrapped up in parchment paper these little bars are going to be great pick me ups at work and while I continue spring cleaning.

Maple Peanut Butter Granola Bars (no bake)

1 cup Maple Syrup
1 cup Peanut Butter (smooth)
1 cup Craisins
3 cups Puffed Cereal (I used Kashi 7 whole grain puffs)
2 cups mixture of Raisins, Sunflower Seeds, Cashews, Almonds, and Pumpkin Seeds (your choice on quantities of each)

Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper, allowing a few inches to use as “handles” to lift the bars out of the tray.

In a large sauce pan heat the syrup and peanut butter together until smooth.  Heat until bubbles form.  Remove from heat and quickly stir in craisins, cereal, and nut/seed mixture. (I found it easiest to mix the craisins, cereal and nut/seed mixture in a separate bowl while the syrup and peanut butter heated up and then dump the whole thing in at once)

Press the mixture into the prepare pan with a spoon or spatula.  Allow to cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Enjoy!