Kale Chips | Easiest Recipe. Ever. {Giveaway Reminder}

I am really enjoying your responses to yesterday’s post regarding a SlimKicker challenge you could see yourself participating in. Remember, each challenge comment on that post earns you an entry for an awesome giveaway. SlimKicker is giving one of my lucky readers a 7-Quart Oval Manual, Stainless Steel Slow Cooker. Read yesterday’s post to learn about SlimKicker and to find out how to enter. There’s still time! Giveaway closes on Monday, May 28th at 11:59. Here is, once again, a look at the prize:

In other news, do you ever get the late-night munchies? I certainly do. Healthy options can be hard to think of when you want something quick and simple. When I get the munchies, I tend to want something crunchy to snack on. I usually gravitate toward plain popcorn, sprinkled with cinnamon or the kettle corn variety. (I have quite the sweet tooth!)

Last night, the munchies hit me, big time. I looked in my pantry, hoping to find some popcorn. But the only kind I was the butter flavor (and I don’t know how that ended up there because I don’t like the butter and salt flavor.) So, I decided I’d make up a batch of Kale Chips. My recipe is extremely easy, only 2 ingredients, and NO salt or oil.

 “Cheesey” Kale Chips

(No cheese is actually used, only nutritional yeast that gives a great cheese flavor. Perfect for vegans, vegetarians or flexitarians, like myself.)
Ingredients:

  • 1 small bunch Kale (I had about 3 loose cups worth)
  • 2 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast (I use Bragg)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.Tear kale into bite sized pieces, wash, shake dry and place in a bowl.

3. Place kale on baking sheet and sprinkle with nutritional yeast

4. Place in oven and bake 4-5 minutes, turn over and bake for another 4-5 minutes or until crispy. Remove from oven and Enjoy!

Nutrition Info: Calories: 139, Total Fat 0g, Sat. Fat 0g, Cholest. 0mg, Sodium, 87mg, Carb. 23g, Fiber 5g, Sugars 0g, Protein 10g
 A couple of things to note:
  • Make sure you dry your Kale really well after washing. Leaving too much moisture may result in a chewy kale chip, which I don’t enjoy.
  • Keep an eye on your Kale as it is cooking. Oven temperatures do vary and kale can quickly burn if kept in the oven too long.
  • I enjoy these right out of the oven, still warm. But you can also enjoy these for a couple of days by putting them in an air tight container.

Again, don’t forget to enter to win SlimKicker’s giveaway! Wishing you all the best! katie

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:
What’s your favorite healthy late night snack?
Have you entered to win SlimKicker’s Giveaway? Find out more by reading yesterday’s post.

Kitchen Nightmare & Vanilla Greek Yogurt.

Okay, so the title is really dramatic. In the land of blogs, they call that a teaser. I was putting together a protein smoothie last night, I discovered that my kitchen scale was low on batteries. Not good. I rely on this scale for every single meal and snack. It’s my favorite kitchen tool. I thought I could simply swap out the batteries for some I have on hand, but I quickly learned that this battery wasn’t your standard AA. It’s a 9 volt. That means I have to wait until after work today to pick one up. This is a must-fix-immediately kind of deal.

Dear Salter, please come back to life. I need you in my life.

Moving on. I conducted a little taste test of sorts for vanilla greek yogurt. For this simple test, I chose two brands: Chobani and Kroger. I wanted to really get a feel for the taste and to see the nutrition difference between a name brand and generic brand.

VANILLA GREEK YOGURT SHOWDOWN

Chobani, Vanilla Greek Yogurt

First, let’s take a look at Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Cost per container: $1.25
Texture: Super smooth and creamy. Fairly thick.
Taste: The creaminess of theis trea combined with the mild vanilla flavor is fantastic.
Nutrition: Serving Size: 6oz. Calories: 120 Calories from Fat: 0 Total Fat: 0g Sat. Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0g Sodium: 75mg Total Carbs: 13g Dietary Fiber: 0g Sugars: 13g Protein: 16g

Kroger Vanilla Greek Yogurt. Blueberries added by me.

Next up, Kroger Brand Vanilla Greek Yogurt-

Cost per container: $0.89
Texture: Very slight but noticable”gritty” texture when eaten without a mix in.
Taste: A bit tart, but unnoticable when I mixed blueberries in.
Nutrition: Serving Size: 6oz. Calories: 110 Calories from Fat: 0 Total Fat: 0g Sat. Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 5g Sodium: 75mg Total Carbs: 10g Dietary Fiber: 0g Sugars: 9g Protein: 14g

Winner Per Round-

Cost: Kroger, savings of $0.36 per container
Texture: Chobani
Taste: When plain, Chobani. With a mix in like blueberries, tie.
Nutrition:  Tie- Though the nutrients are not exactly the same, they are very similar. You must consider what your diet allows. I prefer less sugar, where Kroger wins, but Chobani offers more protein.

So which Vanilla brand do I prefer? While it’s a tough call, I have to consider how I’ll be consuming the greek yogurt. If I want it just plain vanilla, then Chobani wins. BUT, because this girl is on a budget,  the nutrients are very similar, and I always put a fruit into my vanilla greek yogurt, Kroger wins by the slightest mark. The primary winning factor? Budget. (Exception – I’ll be Chobani if it happens to be on sale. When I walk to the Greek Yogurt section of my grocery, I always cross my fingers that will be. I’m not even kidding.)

Vanilla flavor winner. Primary factor? Budget.

HOWEVER, I can’t rave enough about Chobani’s Strawberry Banana, Raspberry or Blood Orange Greek Yogurt flavors! They are AMAZING and addicting, too! Those flavors I won’t compromise. This comparison was for vanilla only.

It’s off to work for this girl. I hope you all have a great Wednesday ahead! Wishing you the best. katie

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:
Are there any foods that you sacrifice flavor on to save a little money?
OR, are there any foods you won’t compromise flavor, even if the nutrition value is about the same?

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Refreshing Smoothie and Healthy Munchies.

So. Good. Period.

I have a new, refreshing Green Protein Smoothie to share with you. It’s not too sweet, not too mild. It’s simply a perfect balance. The flavors blend very well together, nothing overpowering, and the drink provides a refreshing energy boost.

Ingredients:
1/2 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder
2oz of Fage, 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2C Vanilla Soy Milk
1T Krema Peanut Butter (You can use any kind of Peanut Butter you prefer, but my favorite is Krema. No salt, no sugar, just straight up creamy peanuts!)
1C Organic Spinach
1/2 Frozen Banana
1/4T Xanthan Gum (Used for thickening. I use Bob’s Red Mill which I found at Kroger.)
3g  Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips, 60% (Why not enjoy tiny bits of dark chocolate in the mix? Plus, this only equals 4 chocolate chips when measured on the kitchen scale.)

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 327, Total Fat: 12.7g, Sat. Fat 1.9g, Cholest. 25mg, Sodium 152.6mg, Carb. 27.6g, Fiber 5.8g, Sugars 14g, Protein 29.5g.

This smoothie is so refreshing and I am confident you will enjoy it. I tried so hard to scrape out every last taste in the my jar/glass! For additional protein packed smoothie recipes, visit my Recipe page.

Last night I was feeling a bit munchy, but I wanted to eat healthy. Days I work out harder make me really focused on making the right choices. I think this “being focused” mentality is created because I know I worked hard to maintain and progress my overall fitness and I don’t want to waste the effort I exerted.

I was looking for high protein, lower calorie snacks. Something that would satisfy me for the evening. I also wanted something crunchy, but not carb loaded. So I had a dilemma. I had to get creative.

While watching American Idol, I decided on 1 container of vanilla greek yogurt (Kroger brand) topped with 1/4C of bran flakes with just a dash of cinnamon. This gave me about 15 grams of protein and about the same carbs. I’ll take that all for under 135 calories.

I have a busy day ahead trying to wrap up some last-minute details for a work event happening this Saturday. So, I’m running out the door as soon as I finish my energy boosting breakfast, coffee included of course! Here’s a look at what I’m currently chowing down on for breakfast. I was going to add in some fresh basil, but I thought I’d let my plant mature for a few more days.

My morning 3 Egg White Omelet, loaded with veggies, spinach and tuna.

Wishing you all the best. katie

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What are your favorite high protein or healthy late night snacks?
Who are you cheering on for American Idol?