Maple Mustard Brussels Sprout Chips

It’s starting to feel a lot like spring in Boston – finally! We’ve had about 3 days above 40 degrees in the past 5, and the extra hour of sunlight really helps. Even though we’re expecting some snow tomorrow, I’m feeling hopeful that spring is on its way. My trip to Houston last week was unseasonably cold (35 degrees and raining) so I’m seriously craving some sun!

As much as I’m looking forward to spring and summer weather, I’m even more excited for spring and summer food. Everything is lighter and fresher. I recently signed up for a farm share (more on that in another post) and I can’t wait for it to start! I still have three long months until I pick up my first box.

In a past post I shared my love for kale chips – a perfect use for kale in the summer when it’s in abundance. I’m hoping my farm share will have lot’s kale so I’ll have no excuse not to make kale chips every day. This recipe – Maple Mustard Brussels Sprout Chips – is a winter twist on kale chips and is getting me ready for the warmer weather and fresher food!

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In this recipe I used Green Mountain Mustard’s Golden Grain mustard. As a born and raised Vermonter, I can’t resist Vermont-made products (or anything maple-flavored). This mustard is made from all real ingredients (you can pronounce everything listed on the label!) and is made from scratch in Richmond, Vermont. It’s great in this recipe because the whole grains stick to the Brussels sprouts, adding even more flavor.

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GMM has a variety of very interesting concoctions, like Clove Encounter (garlic and oregano mustard), Sweet Sombrero (jalapeno mustard), and Deli Dirt (everything bagel mustard). I added their Atomic Rooster Mustard (made with their own sriracha sauce) to my latest batch of grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches. The sriracha isn’t too spicy, but definitely packs some heat. You can tell it’s fresh from the pieces of red pepper in the mustard.

Like kale chips, these are best served right away. If you find a way to keep them fresh overnight, let me know!

Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove and discard the outer leaves of ½ pound Brussels sprouts by cutting off the ends and peeling back the leaves. Continue to peel off the leaves, putting aside in a large bowl. Stop when the leaves become intertwined, making them hard to remove. Save the centers of the Brussels sprouts in a plastic bag in the fridge for use at a later time. They’re great to add to pasta or to use as a substitute for cabbage.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon Green Mountain Golden Grain maple wholegrain mustard, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup (the real stuff!). Whisk until smooth and poor over Brussels sprout leaves. Using your hand, toss the leaves in the sauce until it is evenly distributed.

Lay the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove leaves that are crispy, and continue roasting the remaining leaves, checking every 3-5 minutes and removing the crisp ones. You want to remove them before they become completely brown. Best if served immediately.

Yield: 2 servings. Per Serving: $1.18, 110 calories, 8g fat, 9.5g carbs, 2g protein.

Disclaimer: Green Mountain Mustard provided two complimentary jars of mustard as inspiration for this post. All recipes and opinions are my own.

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Potato Chips

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Once upon a time (about a week ago), I though making potato chips at home was hard. For some reason I assumed it included either frying the potatoes or baking them in the oven at a low temperature for a long time. I thought I wouldn’t be able to cut the potatoes thin enough without a very sharp knife or a mandolin. I was so wrong. So, so wrong.

This is the easiest recipe I could ever post – it’s so easy it might not even be considered a recipe. It’s almost easier than opening a bag of store bought potato chips. And you can add whatever seasonings you want!

Please, please (I beg you), try this for the Super Bowl this weekend. Your friends will be extremely impressed and you’ll never buy a bag of potato chips again.

Potato Chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Slice 1 russet potato into 1/8 inch slices and arrange on baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip over. Bake in 5 minute increments, removing chips as they brown, until all of the chips are cooked.

Yield: 2 servings. Per Serving: $0.52, 82 calories, 0g fat, 24g carbs, 1g protein.

Mac & Cheese Bites

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Chicken wings, buffalo sauce, and potato chips are flying off the grocery store shelves this week – the Super Bowl is just under a week away. I’m not a huge football fan (and the Patriots are out of the running) but I love any opportunity to get friends together to enjoy good company and good food. In honor of the Super Bowl, I’ll be sharing two party-friendly dishes this week in an effort to prove that you don’t have to succumb to the usual greasy, fattening snacks to please the crowd and have a good time.

These baked mac and cheese bites are healthy and budget friendly at just 50 cents per serving. You could, of course, use any homemade mac and cheese recipe for these, but I’ve saved calories by swapping tofu for some of the cheese. You won’t be able to tell a difference and the creamy tofu adds protein. Put those chicken wings back on the shelf and whip up these instead!

Mac & Cheese Bites

 

Cook 2 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni according to package directions. Sauté ½ cup diced onion in 1 tablespoon butter until soft. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add ½ cup of milk and ¾ cup silken tofu and simmer until the mixture thickens, about 6 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese and macaroni. Chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.

Set up three bowls, one with ½ cup flour, one with 2 beaten eggs, and one with 2 cups panko breadcrumbs. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove mac and cheese from refrigerator and form into balls using an ice cream scoop. Roll in flour, dip in egg, and roll in bread crumbs. Place the prepared bites on a cookie drying rack on top of a baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce.

Yield: 16 servings. Serving size: 1 bite. Per Serving: $0.50, 170 calories, 5g fat, 25g carbs, 7g protein.

Thanksgiving Round-Up

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I feel a little guilty for not posting more Thanksgiving-themed recipes this week. Thanksgiving is like the Olympics of food events and I feel like I’m not doing it justice! I had every intention of sharing something new for your Thanksgiving feast. Last week, I attempted to make pomegranate-glazed Brussels sprouts but failed. It was a good idea in concept, but the finished product was a strange brownish reddish green color and tasted pretty sour. It wasn’t pretty.

To make up for my lack turkey-inspired recipes, here are a few past recipes that would be perfect additions to your Thanksgiving dinner. Have a happy turkey day!

Thanksgiving Round-Up

  • Sriracha Kale Chips: Crisp up a head of kale while the turkey is in the oven. These are a great snack to have on hand while everyone is hanging (or helping) out before dinner.
  • Butternut Squash Soup: Try soup instead of mashed butternut squash – this would be a perfect appetizer before the main Thanksgiving meal.
  • Oven-Fried Tomatoes: Not a traditional side dish for Thanksgiving, but sure to be a welcome addition to the table.
  • Simple Apple Pie: A classic turkey day dessert – make sure to save some room!

Oven-Fried Tomatoes

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During my recent visit home to Vermont, I picked up three pounds of beautiful organic tomatoes from my mom’s farm share. They were so perfect and delicious I ate a few like you would eat an apple. I was very inspired to experiment with them, but a little hesitant since they really didn’t need much help.

This technique was a success. Baking the tomatoes brought out their natural sweetness and by oven-frying, it stayed very healthy. After I had already committed, I realized I didn’t have any breadcrumbs – so I made my own! These would be great as an appetizer or a side dish.

Oven-Fried Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast 4 pieces whole wheat bread until dark brown and set aside to cool. Slice 3 large beefsteak  into ¼ inch pieces and lay out on a cutting board. Pat dry with a paper towel and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Crumble the toast into a bowl to make breadcrumbs.

Set up three bowls – one with ¼ cup flour, another with 2 beaten eggs, and a third with the toast breadcrumbs. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top (one that you would cool cookies on). Spray the rack with cooking spray.

Dip each piece of tomato in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Place the tomatoes on the baking rack. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings. Per Serving: $1.64, 183 calories, 4g fat, 29g carbs, 9.5g protein.

Sriracha Kale Chips

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I’m the type of person who orders the same thing at a restaurant every time. Trying new things scares me a little. This is something I’m working on – even though I know the chef salad at Henrietta’s is delicious, one of these days I’m going to have to try the quiche of the day.

It’s a little easier to try new things when the new things you try are delicious. This was the case with the two main ingredients in this recipe: kale and sriracha. For a long time after kale and sriracha became mainstream ingredients I had still not taken the jump. It’s almost like I was resisting because they were too cliché. But now we’re here.

This recipe brings the traditional kale chip up a notch. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to store kale chips properly so that they stay crispy. If you know the secret – please share. Luckily, these are so delicious it’s not hard to eat the whole batch!

Sriracha Kale Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the stems from 4 large kale leaves and tear into 1 inch pieces (about 2 cups). Toss with ½ tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon sriracha. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the kale on the pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake in over for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for 5 more minutes. Keep a close eye on the kale! These chips burn very easily – you want them crispy but not burned.

Yield: 2 servings. Serving size: ½ cup. Per Serving: $0.27, 49 calories, 4g fat, 11g carbs, 1g protein.

Summer Corn Guacamole

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Over the summer I’ll put fresh corn in just about everything. Compared to canned or frozen corn, it’s basically a different vegetable – crisp, sweet, and juicy. When I’m home in Vermont, we find the best corn at a local farm stand on the side of the road. Payment is cash only, dropped in an old coffee can nestled among the fresh, perfectly misshapen squash and cucumbers. Here in Boston, I buy my corn in the grocery store. Although it’s not as fresh as it is in Vermont, it still beats the frozen or canned version.

This guacamole recipe is a great way to use leftover corn on the cob (if you have any, that is!). I also added a few stalks of celery I had in the fridge, which added the perfect amount of crunch. Mix up your guacamole by adding extra vegetables – bell peppers, tomatoes, or even carrots.

Summer Corn Guacamole

In a medium saucepan (wide enough to hold an ear of corn the long way), boil 1 inch of water. When the water is boiling, add 1 ear of corn (husks removed) and cover the pan. Steam, turning once, for 7 minutes. Set aside to cool when done. This is also a great way to use leftover corn on the cob.

Meanwhile, cut 2 avocados in half and remove the flesh – saving one pit. In a mixing bowl, combine avocado, ¼ cup diced red onion, 2 diced celery stalks, juice of 1 lime, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, a handful of chopped cilantro, and a dash of your favorite hot sauce. Using a large wooden spoon or a potato masher, mix ingredients together until it reaches your desired guacamole consistency.

When the corn has cooled, cut the kernels off the cob and add to the guacamole mixture. Mix and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container with the avocado pit – it keeps the guacamole fresh and bright green.

Yield: 8 servings. Serving size: ¼ cup. Per Serving: $0.81, 88 calories, 7g fat, 7g carbs, 1.5g protein.