Dieting is probably the worst possible necessity of the season, but I have finally come to terms with it. Well… not all of it, but most of it. There are certain things we can all cut out of our daily meals and snacks and not miss at all. Especially when there’s some easy to prepare starch alternatives that are easy on the hips and don’t sacrifice the flavor. Here are three that I have created to mimic some of our favorite treats and will leave you saying “Ohmigah.”
Baked Kale chips are better than potato chips. Seriously
Cut your kale into bite-sized pieces and evenly cover in olive oil or vegetable oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Place in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until crisp, but not burned. Don’t burn it. I mean it. For adventuresome cooks, add a bit of cayenne or red pepper flakes. A bit of lemon zest and garlic powder will also add complexity to this incredible snack.
Cauliflower Mash in lieu of mashed potatoes
Use a full head of cauliflour, chop into pieces and boil gently in milk. When it is fork-tender, remove from heat and strain. Save some cooking liquid. Next, get your food processor out (you have one, right?…) and put the cauliflower pieces in with a lil’ pour of heavy cream or half-and-half and 6 ounces of goat cheese. Salt and pepper to taste and blitz until smooth.
If the mix is too chunky add a bit of the cooking liquid until smooth.
If done properly (i.e. you don’t screw this up because my directions were flawless) you will have the same consistency as mashed potatoes, only healthier and far more delicious.
Say hooray for my pea puree (sorry, had to go there). Not sorry.
This is so simple, but such a great alternative to starchy sides.
Get a bag of frozen peas (the kind you can microwave in it’s own bag) and cook them according to directions. In your food processor (you surely have one by now), empty the cooked peas, a splash of whole milk or cream, salt, pepper, and a huge handful of fresh mint. Pulverize the stuff. You will have the freshest and sweetest accompaniment to salmon, lamb or chicken. Be creative and share your successes with me in the comments below.
Now that you have my perfectly detailed directions, go home, get cooking and get healthy!