Kicked Up Kale Chips and Pico de Gallo

Hello Friends!

Welcome to Super Bowl Sunday and Mac Daddy day of snacking!  Although this huge game is typically surrounded by traditional bar fare such as buffalo wings, sliders and quesadillas they will take a toll on our waistlines.  We know that snacking and socializing are a major part of this event and wanted to provide a few game day ideas that like a great play call will inspire and motivate you versus having you ask yourself “what happened?” the next morning.  These party pleasers taste great and also do a body good.  By the way the snacks listed below are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo friendly!

 Kale Benefits:

1.  Kale has antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids are known to help protect against various cancers.

2.  Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

3.  Kale is high in Vitamin A and C.  Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.  Vitamin C is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.  Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility

4.  Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

5.  Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxification.

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Kicked up Kale Chips 

adapted from A Spicy Perspective

Ingredients

  • 2 large bunches of kale (lacinato or curly)
  • 2 heaping Tb. almond butter
  • 2 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalyan sea salt

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wash the kale and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Pull the leaves off the center ribs in large pieces, and place to the side. Discard the ribs.
  2. In a large bowl mix the nut butter, oil, spices, and salt. Add the kale to this bowl with the mix. Use your hands to massage the kale leaves until each one is evenly coated with the mix.  Ensure that the leaves are coated as this will allow the “chips” to bake better.
  3. Lay the coated kale leaves out flat on 3-4 full sized baking sheets (work in batches if necessary.) Do not overlap the leaves if possible. Bake for 10-11 minutes until crisp, but still green. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving. If some kale chips are still a little flimsy or damp, remove the crisp chips and place the damp chips back in the oven for a few more minutes. Store in an air-tight container.

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Pico de Gallo

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes – diced
  • 1 medium white onion – diced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro – chopped
  • juice of one regular lime or two key limes
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 jalapeno – minced (you may omit or add more depending on your tastes)

Directions

  1. Rinse tomatoes and onion
  2. Dice tomatoes, onions and jalapeno.  Rough chop the cilantro
  3. Put ingredients into a bowl.  Add the salt and lime juice and mix well.

You can serve this immediately but it tastes better after it’s had a couple of hours to mingle in the refrigerator.  Serve with cucumber chips, jicama chips or organic corn chips.

Paleo Shrimp Salad

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Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups wild bay shrimp, rinsed & drained
  • 1 ½ cups diced peeled cucumber
  • 1 ½ cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup diced roma tomatoes, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup slivered green onions including green parts
  • 1/4 cup capers rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ cup of avocado mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  • 8 large endive leaves cleaned and trimmed

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Directions

  1. Add the first six ingredients to a large bowl and lightly toss to incorporate.
  2. Sprinkle the dried dill and garlic over the mixture and toss again to incorporate spices and salad mixture.
  3. Add ½ cup of avocado mayonnaise and mix ingredients together to fully incorporate.
  4. Set in refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve in endive garnished with green onion or serve over a mixed green salad.

This recipe can be made ahead and will keep it’s texture for 1-2 days.  It will keep for a third day a cold refrigerator but may lose some of it’s “crunch”.

Avocado Mayonaise

Yields 3/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado (medium)
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

*If you like garlic, try adding a tablespoon of fresh minced garlic to the mix

Directions

  • Wash the avocado and cut it in half. Scoop out the flesh and put it into a blender or small food processor.
  • Add lemon juice, salt and mustard and blend together.
  • With blender or processor running, add olive oil slowly. You many have to stop the machine a few times to make sure ingredients are incorporated.  Puree to a smooth creamy texture.

This can also be used as a dressing by adding 2 Tablespoons of water in the blending portion to help thin the mayonaise.

Enjoy the healthy snacks and the game!

Your friends,

Donna and Daniela

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Spectacular Sides For Thanksgiving

Hello Friends!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  It’s hard to believe that it’s less than a week away.  We know it’s a spectacular time of year to be with family and friends and of course the start of indulgence season!  Although the Organic Housewives households will partake in the festivities big time what we do is pick and choose and make healthier options available at the table.   By making some simple substitutions you will be able to avoid the “holiday ten” (the ten pounds we seem to gain between November 1st and January 1st), stay more on track with your health goals but most important ENJOY the holidays.

Many of our friends think that we are total tea-totalers, steamed veggie eaters and workout fiends.  That isn’t the case.  However we do respect the difficulty in trying to reverse the weight gain and make a lot of healthy choices so that our indulgences hopefully don’t show up on our waistlines.  Since many of you will be starting your Thanksgiving shopping this weekend we thought we would put out some healthy options for side dishes that are delicious and easy to prepare.  We know better than to even touch the main attraction of the turkey. 🙂

Most of sides can be made ahead and served room temperature or warmed before serving.

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Sauteed Green Beans and Shallots

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans trimmed or haricot verts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large shallots sliced thin (will look like small rings)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup of toasted or slivered almonds for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan or shallow pot steam green beans for 5-6 minutes in 1-inch of boiling water, covered. Drain beans and return pan to heat.
  2. lower heat to medium-high and add olive oil to the pan until hot.  Then add shallots  Saute shallots for 5-6 minutes until crispy.  Be careful as they go from brown to burned easily!  Add drained green beans to pan with shallots, season beans with a little salt and then lightly toss before transferring to a serving plate.
  3. Garnish green beans with toasted slivered or sliced almonds.

Cauliflower Gratin

Ingredients

  • 4  cups cauliflower florets (about one medium head of cauliflower)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of almond meal
  • 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast (non-vegans can sub parmesan cheese)
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper – optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or 8 by 12-inch baking pan with parchment paper or lightly oil baking sheet.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and dry ingredients and place on pan making sure to leave a little space between florets.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and toss florets.  Bake for 10-15 minutes more checking for desired doneness.

The key is having the florets chopped into bite-sized pieces.  The good news is cauliflower florets break apart easily so paring them down to a nice size that will fit on fork is easy to do.

Oven Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the core
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix the olive oil, vinegar and minced garlic together.  Place the halved brussel sprouts in the mixture and toss lightly together until all sprouts are coated.
  3. Place the Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan, including some of the loose leaves, which get crispy when they’re roasted.  Spread the sprouts out in a single layer and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re tender and nicely browned. Toss once during roasting.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  We are so thankful for your interest and support in making healthier choices for you and your families.  The encouragement, praise and success stories continue to motivate and inspire us to do greater things in our lives as well!

Love and hugs,

Donna and Daniela

Paleo/Vegan Cauliflower Gratin

Good morning friends!

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost time for Thanksgiving and that Christmas is now only 39 days away… Yikes!  Despite the busy time of year we wanted to make sure that we got some healthy crowd pleaser recipes out to you.  One of our favorite side dishes is our version of Cauliflower Gratin.  Of course in Organic Housewives fashion the recipe needs to be easy to prepare too.  In three easy steps you will have a rock star of side dish that will please both young and old at the table.

Although most of us think of ooey gooey cheese and sauce accompanied with traditional gratins this one is eons lighter and healthier.  By using a combination of almond meal, nutritional yeast and olive oil it makes a light “crust” on the cauliflower (the best part of the traditional gratins) and a hint of the cheesiness with the nutritional yeast.  The cauliflower florets bake up tender and the small size allows for the right ratio of tender cauliflower and crisp edges – YUM!

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Cauliflower Gratin 

  • 4  cups cauliflower florets (about one medium head of cauliflower)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of almond meal
  • 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast (non-vegans can sub parmesean cheese)
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper – optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or 8 by 12-inch baking pan with parchment paper or lightly oil baking sheet.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and dry ingredients and place on pan making sure to leave a little space between florets.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and toss florets.  Bake for 10-15 minutes more checking for desired doneness.

The key is having the florets chopped into bite-sized pieces.  The good news is cauliflower florets break apart easily so paring them down to a nice size that will fit on fork is easy to do.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday season!

Donna and Daniela

Fall Favorite – Oven Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

Hello Friends!

We hope that everyone had a smashing week and have an even better weekend!  As much as we love the fun days of summer the change in weather is good too.  Cooler nights and crisp air have us changing up our menus too!  One of our in-season favorites is oven roasted balsamic brussel sprouts.  They are super easy to make and can be made ahead of time too.  Whether you buy them directly on the stalk and trim them yourselves or hand-pick them from the farmer’s market, fresh is best!

How to buy:

  1. Make sure they are fresh! – The leaves on the brussel sprout should compact and tightly wrapped.  One or two loose leaves are fine but if you can start doing “he loves me, he loves me not” with the sprout leaves, you need to move on.
  2. Pinch them hard! – We want them hard when we pinch them, like marble hard.
  3. Size is important! – Try to pick out brussel sprouts that are uniform in size so they cook evenly.

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How to clean and trim:

Simply rinse your brussel sprouts and discard the one to two loose exterior leaves.  Trim the rough stem by simply taking off an 1/8″ off the bottom of the sprout.  Our recipe calls for the sprouts to be halved but you can also roast them whole for a varied presentation.

Oven Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the core
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix the olive oil, vinegar and minced garlic together.  Place the halved brussel sprouts in the mixture and toss lightly together until all sprouts are coated.
  3. Place the Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan, including some of the loose leaves, which get crispy when they’re roasted.  Spread the sprouts out in a single layer and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re tender and nicely browned. Toss once during roasting.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve.

These are great not only as a side dish for dinner but make a great lunch leftover as well.  You can also do your own mixture of mixed veggies and this same olive oil, vinegar and garlic recipe if brussel sprouts aren’t your favorite.:)  Seriously though, if you haven’t had them before you should give them a try.  These may become your new fall favorite!

Have a great weekend and keep smiling!

Donna and Daniela