Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thai Ground Chicken Salad

I love Thai food.  I love going to Thai restaurants and reading Thai cookbooks.  Mostly I love to make Thai food at home.  I think it's because the flavors are SO FRESH and SO VIBRANT, that making it at home seems brighter and fresher in flavor. Plus there is a real satisfaction that comes from creating something authentic.

Now don't get me wrong, I will NEVER turn down an offer to go out for Thai food!  But as good as the restaurant is, there is something very exciting about learning a bit of the flavor profile of that region.  This way if I crave Thai food, I can throw something together in less than a half hour that totally satisfies.  On top of that I can CONTROL, Fat, Calories, Etc.....without having to spend 50 bucks or more on dinner!

And yes, if your wondering - I DO KNOW I AM A CONTROL FREAK. 

But when it comes to food, taking CONTROL is a good thing.  I am exercising like crazy, keeping on a healthy food plan, and drinking my water.  It's paying off.   A couple weeks ago I was whining about being on a plateau...remember?  Well, it's broken and this week (with EASTER mind you) I lost another 1.2 pounds....WHEW.  I feel so much better now. But it didn't happen by osmosis.  It's about eating what you want in a controlled manner (I HATE THAT!) 

TRUST ME!  I have tried eating on the "what I wanted, when I wanted plan" and the result was not good!! 

This is why I love to learn a little bit about other world cuisines.  Thai, Italian, Moroccan, Persian, Chinese, Indian, French, Spanish, Mexican, and the like.  If I can control it, therefore I can eat it.  SIMPLE.

But in order to create real Thai food, you need real Thai ingredients.  And, in my opinion, faking it or substituting will not render the results you want.  So lets talk about the pantry/freezer.  I like to go to the Asian markets and stock up on important ingredients.  For the most part you can get a lot of it at a good, well stocked market.  But the experience of going to a place like 99 Ranch ( or another Asian market is very cool.  There is stuff  I just  cannot buy anywhere.  Ingredients such as Kaffir lime leaves, fresh galangal, Thai basil, fresh baby ginger, Asian peppers, fresh and dried and an array of specialty rices, sauces....another benefit? The prices are AMAZING.

I keep lots of ingredients in the freezer - in a shoe box!  It's filled with baggies of various citrus zest and juice, fresh keffir lime leaves, fresh baby ginger, fresh galangal, Thai Basil (very different), Asian Mint (also known as Indian mint), chopped cilantro and prepared (peeled and trimmed) lemon grass stalks. Everytime I use a lemon, lime or orange, I quickly zest it and add it to a baggy I have in the freezer.  If there is extra juice, I squeeze it and put into the juice baggies in the freezer. ( why?  because in the winter citrus is terribly expensive and I don't always want to zest to juice citrus when I am starving to death)  I also stock up on coconut milk (now using LIGHT), chicken broth, Thai fish sauce, and lots of other Asian sauces (Plum, Hoisan, and black bean sauces, red-curry paste, etc...and Voila! I am ready for any Asian food we can create in minutes. 
This salad is the culmination of many attempts to copy a dish we have in a popular restaurant.  I'd printed and made TONS of recipes for Chicken Larb (that's KIND OF what this is) and ground chicken salads.  SAD.  They all fell flat in flavor.  So I came up with my own.   My poor husband - the kitchen looked like a nightmare (but it was a necessity).  I had scratched out tons of  stuff on papers because as I was creating, adding and testing the dressing (it's all about the dressing). I had to figure out how much of this and that I had put in!  That's because once it was "right" I wanted to be able to create a recipe to share with my daughters and others AND to be able to recreate it the same way over and over, FAST.

There is no way around it, you will need a food processor or blender for this dressing - sorry it's unavoidable.

The result is a fresh, vibrant, spicy dressing, that is authentic and ROCKS the ground chicken and salad greens of your choice.

Thai Ground Chicken  Salad
Salad serves 4 - (but I have been known to eat HALF)
About 10 WW points per serving less if you don't use Peanuts

3 tablespoons  Thai Fish Sauce
1 tablespoon or so MAGGI or SOY sauce
Zest of one whole lime
3  whole limes - juiced
1-2 TBSP  brown sugar (I use palm sugar, use it if you have it)
2 dry red chilies chopped
2 teaspoons minced ginger - fresh or from the jar
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or more to taste
1/3 stock of Lemon Grass very thinly sliced and sort of chopped (easier out of the freezer) Almost all markets now carry this in the fresh herb section.
1 Teaspoon or less Sambal olek (Chile paste )  available at ANY market. 
(I use the garlic and Chile one - add less depending on your tolerance for spice)
A dash of sesame oil 
fresh ground pepper, just a few grinds 

Put all ingredients in the small bowl of your food processor and process for a minute to two until as smooth as possible - taste.  You may need more pepper, brown sugar, MAGGI/soy sauce, sesame oil (small amount), lime juice, etc...depending on your taste. If you add anything process again, taste (be careful not to drink it all!) and set aside.

1 pound ground chicken
(if using all white meat ground chicken, watch how long you can get dry)
sesame oil
sesame seeds (optional)
Sambal Olek (Chile paste)

Brown chicken  in a bit of olive oil…..add MAGGI/SOY, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and Chile pasted to taste. Stir through and when cooked and flavorful, set aside.

Construct your salad on a large platter.   

1/2 head Romaine or iceberg lettuce (or both), chopped
Thinly sliced cabbage, about two cups shredded ( optional)
Salad peppers or bell peppers, thinly sliced or chopped
Water chestnuts (optional) chopped
Fresh Cilantro (about 1/4 cup of cilantro)  (or preferably a bit of Thai Basil, if using start out with 2's strong)
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
Bean sprouts (optional)
Sliced limes
** Be creative....add anything else to your salad, spinach, apples, mandarin's, other interesting spouts (I love Kamut sprouts)

Chop everything up and mix lettuce and cabbage mixture.  Layer on the platter.  

Add the rest of the ingredients, one on top of the other:


Layer all chicken over the lettuce, put bean sprouts around the platter and add extra limes.
Re-process dressing for a second and pour over the top of the salad...Lightly work dressing in and top with peanuts!

Serve in bowls and squeeze extra lime juice over the top!

This, by far, is our favorite salad, Healthy, delicious and refreshing - definately not a foo-foo girlie salad. 

PERFECT for a very hot day.

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pita sandwich with Yogurt Sauce

Birthday is over .....Thank goodness. 

For me, birthdays are not all that fun....I fall into a weird kind of BLAH mood (usually in the evening) and I have NO IDEA WHY!!  Tom hates it (so do I) and next year he is threatening not to come home on my birthday....oops!  Sorry dude.....

Anyway, as you can imagine, I have some left-over lamb.  But let's face it...who is interested in reheated slices of lamb just sitting on a plate? BORING and definitely NOT appealing.
So what to do with it?

Then it hit me...LAMB Pita's!!!  But there was a problem.  I didn't have any Tzatziki Sauce.  It was too late to make my own and didn't want to go to the store.  But in order to have authentic Pita's there MUST be a yogurt sauce.  I'm sure you agree with me.  It would not be the same without it.

So I set out to make a yogurt sauce that was flavorful and Middle Eastern tasting.  I started with the ONLY kind of plain yogurt I eat, which is Greek Yogurt.  Now...there are many different kinds of plain yogurt...but NONE are as thick and creamy as Greek yogurt.  When cooking with it...either, Indian, Middle Eastern, or Greek and the like, it must be Rich and Creamy, WITHOUT THE FAT.  Buy fat free.  You will never think "uggg....this is NON FAT".

I use FAGE brand (pronouned FAY-EH), but this time I got some Brown Cow Brand - YUMMM better than FAGE!!

For this recipe you will need:

Pita pockets
Yogurt sauce (see below)
Cooked lamb OR chicken (or any meat you want)
Brown Gravy
Sliced Persian cucumbers
feta cheese

To make the sauce you have to go by taste.   I really didn't measure:

About a cup of yogurt (this makes a lot of sauce so if making for 2, try only 1/2 cup)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
zaatar seasoning
Sesame seeds (optional)
Salt and pepper
Fresh lemon juice and zest

I added the garlic to the yogurt, then added as much zaatar seasoning as I liked (estimate about 1-2 tablespoons), extra sesame seeds (zaatar has some), salt and pepper (not too much) - TASTE.  Then Zest some lemon peel (just a bit) and squeeze fresh juice, to taste and adjust seasonings if necessary and set aside.

As you know, I had Lamb already cooked from Easter.  But IF I didnt have any pre-cooked lamb, I would have sauteed up some ground lamb.  If you don't like Lamb try ground or cooked chicken - this would be fantastic too!   I diced the lamb very small, as you can see:

Isn't that a SEXY KNIFE in that photo???  I LOVE MY KNIVES!!  OK.   I'm over it.

I used my left over gravy from the roast I made...but all you have to use is packaged brown gravy (and yes, use brown gravy even if you are making the pita with Chicken).  In a small sauce pan, make up the gravy and remove it to a bowl or gravy boat.  Don't bother cleaning your pot...add meat.  Pour in enough gravy to make the meat yummy, moist and rich - heat until just hot and set aside.

We have talked about Pita's before.  If you missed the homemade Pita chip post.....go into the archives and check it out.  But to reiterate, go to Valley Produce Market (if you are near to one) to buy your pitas...they are better and WAY cheaper than the normal market - plus its an absolutely fantastic store.

I just sliced off the tops...about a third down and carefully opened it up to form the pocket. Set aside.

Now for the cucumber, otherwise known as cukes.  I LOVE CUKES.  I grow them, eat them as snacks, pickle them, and serve them as a side dish.  No ceviche, salad, or pita sandwich is complete without them.  But the "regular" ones are just OK and problematic... The skin has to come off and they have so many seeds...then you have to seed them...blah, blah, blah.....and after all that, they may be bitter and not even taste good.  Who the heck wants that???  But now there are so many choices!  Buy the varieties called Baby, Persian, English, Snackers or Hot House. These varieties are almost seedless and burpless (yes, thats an official cucumber term) and the skin is the best part - dont take the skin off!  I have never grown or bought a bitter tasting Persian cuke....NEVER.  SOOO...where do you buy these gorgeous little bites of summer?  They should be in every market.  The least expensive place is Sprouts, Valley Product Market, Trader Joe's. or Walmart Superstore.

I used two of these little guys and slice them up (1 for each sandwich):

Now it's time to assemble:

Smear the yogurt sauce into the pita (I used about a 1/4 cup), layer in the cukes, add Feta cheese (as much or as little as you want) now it's time for the meat add about 4-5 ounces of meat with Gravy and VOILA!  you  have a fantastic little sandwich!!

For WW peeps...I figured the Pita, yogurt sauce, 5 oz of meat with gravy, 1 oz of  feta, and cukes was around 12 points.  Not the lightest sandwich in the world, but it could be worse! I keep lots of points for dinner so it was OK for me.

This was filling, delicious and really authentic tasting.

From my home to yours, ENJOY!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

YUMMMM. Roasted Lemon Asparagus.....

Strange title right?  

How good can asparagus be?  Good enought to say YUMMMM??  It's not like they are drool worthy fair,  It's just a vegetable for cryin' out loud!

There is something to be said about satisfying food.  Eating something that is sub-par is....well....SUB PAR, DISAPPOINTING, LACKLUSTER, and UNINTERESTING. ( I have a million other words, but you get the point)  

I decided I simply cannot have boring food...yes, hard to imagine I came to that conclusion, but alas - it is true.

Last night I was telling you how tired I was.....what I didn't say is that I threw my back out on Saturday.  I know, what a dork!!!  Jogging on the treadmill and I stumbled.  YEP, get the laughter out now.  It was funny....but man did I ever through my hips and lower back out.  I have been in pain ever since and by last night, I was really hurting.  That made producing a good dinner hard for me to put together. UGGGHHH!!!!  We had the most boring dinner ever!!  Doctored up canned soup with flat bread crumbles.....yes, it filled me up and yes, I stayed on my points.  But SOOOO unsatisfying.  It made me want some little tidbit of deliciousness, all night long, which I didnt get.  (can you hear me pouting??)

And that brings me back to square one.

There is something really good about a great vegetable.  One that is cooked simply but in a different manner than you would normally prepare it.  That's definately not boring!!  Usually Asapragus are boiled or steamed and served with butter, Hollandaise, or a cheese sauce.   Obviously not LITE and way out of my particular calorie budget! 

God created Aparagus to be perfect little satisfying "sticks" of deliciousness.  This method is my favorite way to serve and eat them. (Even if I did have the calories to spend on fattening sauces!!)

Start with about a pound of Asparagus for 2-4 people....

Prep your Asaparagus by snapping off the tough ends and rinse them under cold water. 

I make these a lot when the "little guys" are in season, but I make a pound or less.  For Easter, I made 4 lbs!  it's very hard to get 4 lbs pan roasted and looking perfect but they were still yummy - just know that yours will be much browner than these ones!

Heat a large pan (I use a large  enameled cast iron pot) and add some olive oil....let's probably want a good 2 tablespoons.  Get the pan hot.

While the pan is heating, pat the asparagus dry with paper towels....they don't have to be perfectly dry, but  enough so they dont spatter when the hit the oil.

Now, with tongs, turn them over, let them cook a bit then turn them should just see them start to turn golden - see above pic.

Next add lemon juice.  For a normal batch, I squeeze the juice of one lemon into the pan. For this batch I squeezed 2-1/2!   Then turn and turn them until well coated and juice is evaporated.  TASTE ONE!  If it's not lemony enough, add more.  If too much add a touch of water and let it absorb. Continue to turn them over until they are the doneness you like.  I prefer crisp tender, with some really browned ones.

Add a little salt and pepper and put into a bowl to serve with some sliced lemons - Why?  Because its so pretty!

The result is a very rich tasting asparagus, with bright "Spring" flavor...SUPER SATISFYING....and you will never miss the butter or heavy sauces!!  Really, really!!

WW members, add points for the amount of oil only.

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Greek Style Leg of Lamb with Pan Sauce

I am not sure what it really feels like to be "HIT BY A MAC TRUCK",  But this morning I felt like I was,  indeed, hit by ONE.    So much to do for Easter.  Cleaning, shopping, and prepping!  And that's before dinner is even CLOSE to being made.  WHEW!  It was all go, go, go until 11 PM...then blissful bed time.  But 4 AM is a hideous hour and it came far too fast today.  YEP, I was trashed!! 

Let's talk about what I WASN'T thinking last week.....why didn't I take today OFF????  DOH!   Someone needs to remind me of my age next holiday!

I was telling you last week I decided on Lamb for dinner.  I wanted a beautiful, large leg of lamb.  One that was whole with the entire bone in tact.  But where to find one?  In the regular Markets there are boned leg of lamb, butterflied leg of lamb, half leg of lamb with the bone in and lamb shanks (the top part of the leg), but NO WHOLE LEGS.  We found nothing in our search so it was off to Bob's Country Meats for a gorgeous, whole, fresh, albeit expensive, lamb leg.  I WAS EXCITED!

I researched preparations for Greek, Middle Eastern and Indian preparations.  I quickly decided that Indian was out.....excellent I am sure, but likely not the biggest crowd pleaser.  Middle Eastern looked good, but it was the Greek preparation that drew me in.  The Greeks stud their leg of lamb with TONS of sliced garlic cloves, then drench it in fresh squeezed lemon juice.  So as fascinated as I was, I found myself thinking wow, sounds great but maybe just a bit simple.  So I found a recipe for fresh herb paste which i felt would go with the lemon and garlic, then a pan sauce that complimented the entire preparation.

The result was a delicious, perfect lamb roast which was tender, rich with a touch of bright acidity from the Lemon.  The pan drippings were turned into a sauce that perfectly complimented this roast!

The Leg of Lamb was HUGE:

What you see here is the finished product of my trimming skills.  Leg of Lamb like this comes with a tough membrane around the meat with a good amount of fat.  I pulled off all the membrane and cut away most of the fat leaving enough to keep the meat tender.

I don't know if you can see the slits. Inside of those slits are sliced garlic cloves - a lot of them!!  I used almost a whole head of garlic (probably 20 or more cloves, sliced).

It's time to squirt lemon juice over the whole leg.  I use a citrus squeezer - they are the best and easiest to use.  I tried everything before I went to the squeezer and this is just so convenient and easy (especially with my arthritis in my hands.  I can do 3-4 lemons in NO TIME, with no pain.  Check out a fantastic squeezer at Amazon, in my favorites to the right of this blog.  That's the one I am going to get once this one breaks!!

Squeeze the juice of two lemons all over the leg (if your leg is smaller than 8 lbs, use one lemon) and sort of rub in into the meat, without disturbing the garlic pockets.

Lightly salt and pepper the meat.  Cover with Plastic wrap (aluminum foil doesn't like lemon juice) and refrigerate over night.  The next day take roast out and let it come to room temperature, if possible (this is not a not necessary).

Just before baking, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and make a fresh herb crust:

6 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
6 tablespoons chopped fresh Rosemary
6 large garlic cloves
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper, cracked or hand ground
6 tablespoons of olive oil
( this recipe is from The Complete Meat Cookbook, by  Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly)

Put it all in the food processor:

Process until this is a Bright green kind of loose paste.  Cover the whole roast (every nook and cranny) with the paste:

Affix roast with a meat thermometer (I use one with a probe that sits on the counter so I can constantly see the temperature.  Cover with Aluminum Foil and put in the middle of your oven at 350 degrees.  I happen to have a convection oven - it's not necessary but I like to use it with meat this large. It helps the heat to be distributed a bit more evenly so if you have one, I would recommend using it.

After one hour, remove the aluminum foil from the roast and pour in about 3 cups beef broth to keep meat moist (and to help make gravy. Continue to roast until temperature you desire is reached (if broth dries up in the oven, add some hot water or additional broth.

NOTE: Many people love RARE leg of lamb.  I don't.  I like mine about a few degrees west of medium, so I roasted this until the temp read 160 degrees.  Since this leg was 11 lbs, it took approx. 3 hours. But feel free to play with temperatures and serve the lamb to your liking.  I let the lamb rest for about 15 minutes on another platter.  The roast rose 8 degrees during that time - perfect for me.  The roast was a bit more than medium, but still pink at the bone.

I used the Pan sauce recipe, from the same book

2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
1 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
a bit of butter (optional)
salt, pepper
but added my additions:  Cream or half and half and the possible addition of a roux for thickening (flour and water mixed till thick)  I needed to use the roux.

Pour off fat leaving pan drippings and juice.  Bring roasting pan juices to a boil.  Add garlic and cook about a minute.  Add wine and boil on high until reduced by half, scraping up bottom of pan.  Add stock and thyme and boil until sauce coats the back of a spoon.  Whisk in the mustard and add salt and pepper to taste.  If the sauce is too thin, mix a little flour (2 tablespoons maybe) with a some water to thick paste and add by drop-fuls into gravy and whisk to desired thickness.  Add cream or half and half to taste and add a bit of butter, if desired.

Your lamb is ready to be carved and crowned with that beautiful sauce...

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Strawberry shortcake with Balsamic Honey

This was a big week for my husband.  He had his 30th anniversary at his company this week!  It's a monumental achievement and I am so proud of him!  I cannot believe this is the same company that started out with 7 people (Tom was the 7th) and now there are over 650 employees throughout the country.   I remember when we were getting married.  He had interviewed at two companies, DISC (which is now EP) and Union Oil, in which he would be a computer programmer.  He got offered both jobs and of course, Union oil wanted to pay him 800.00 a month 30 years ago, that was a crap load of money!  That meant, I didn't have to work, although I would have....but holy moly!!  He told me at the end of his decision making process that he turned down Union Oil and took the job with DISC!!  UMMMM  WHAT?????? Are you friggen kidding me?  (and I am sure I voiced a few more CHOICE words...)  He said..."I have a good feeling about this little company" - and he was right.  5 years later, Union Oil laid off tons of programmers, but DISC was growing by leaps and bounds.  I'm sure glad he didn't listen to me!!!  The moral of that story is to listen to your GUT, not your wife!!  LOL

Congrats honey on your great achievement!

To celebrate we went to one of our favorite restaurants in the SCV, Maru Sushi.  Now if you haven't been to Maru, let me tell you that this is a 5 star restaurant with incredible fine dining.  I know, weird huh?  Sushi is one part of the menu, but there is a whole other side to them.  The Entrees are spectacular (and I don't say that lightly). Things like Fillet Mignon, Pork wrapped in pastry, seafood, short ribs, and homemade (truly inspiring) raviolis. Their appetizers ROCK and YES, the sushi is really good.

I tried to stay on my WW program....I earned 11 exercise points yesterday and had about 25 points for dinner.....but, I don't even know how to count what we did...OH was a memorable meal and I was happy to be able to share the experience with Tom.

We started off with a Crispy Duck Risotto Cake (buried under the mountain of micro greens) and Tempura zucchini blossoms (LOVE ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS):

Now lets talk Zucchini blossoms.  I think I am the only person on earth who cannot grow zucchini....My plants get massive, great blossoms, but no fruit. It's a function of pollination and we simply had no bees for years.  This year the bees are back, but I am not gonna try again.  Because of this, I had ample supply of the blossoms which have a tiny little Squash on the end (without pollination it wont grow into a large zucchini, which I think is kind of stupid....but I didn't create the plant! Umm...God, did you try to Jinx us?)  So I would dip them in tempura batter and fry them or chop them up and add to salads.  REALLY GOOD.

Maru makes them stuffed with shrimp and spicy tuna...and wow! That BROTH!!  Unreal flavor of sweet peppers, orange juice and what I believe is a combo of  Olive/sesame oil.  I am going to try to recreate it someday.  It would be PERFECT over couscous or bulgar for a cold salad!

Then we had SUSHI ( too much sushi...and today I am paying for all that soy sauce in terms of water retention, it's close to a billion pounds now)

Now we should have stopped there, but actually I am glad we didn't.  Tom ordered a strawberry shortcake with balsamic honey.  SOUNDED GREAT.  But I was disappointed when it came.  There was a dense biscuit type shortcake which was too dry and too thick along with whole strawberries,  topped with whipped cream and a teensy, weensy amount of delicious balsamic honey.  Now come on!!!.  With a thick biscuit and whole strawberries, where is sauce going to come from?  The sauce to biscuit ratio was poor so the dish was boring, dry and didn't pop.  SAD.

So in my sleep, I kept thinking about this hard can balsamic honey be?  How many calories is that and if I chopped the strawberries, replaced that darn biscuit what would it be like? and could I make it WW friendly??

So I woke up and started making this dang dessert.  (like I had time for this today! LOL)

I made the balsamic honey perfect on the first try!  I figured after tasting it last night the ratio had to be twice the honey to the balsamic....OMG!  BINGO

Can you tell by now that I don't like BISCUIT based shortcake?  I like angel food cake. BUT NOT JUST ANY ANGEL FOOD CAKE.  I only eat the angel food cake from Ralphs Market.  I am not a Ralphs fan, but I do go for the cake!  They have regular and a sour cream flavored one, which I am particularly partial too....I think the sour cream flavor tastes the best with the berries, but it's a personal preference.  People look at us crazy because we buy 5-10 at a time (because they run out all the time) so we freeze them (super good out of freezer too)

The recipe makes 2 small servings or 1 large serving.  About 3 PP per serving for the small from the recipe builder.

You will need:

1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup diced strawberries
2 small pcs of Angel Food Cake (1/2 oz each)
lite cool whip (I used 1 tablespoon per)

To make the Balsamic Honey, add 1/4 cup honey (I used orange blossom) and 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar in a bowl.  Mix with a wire wisk together until well blended (this takes a little bit because the honey is so thick)  *** NOTE-spray the measuring cup with non-stick spray first.  the honey will slide right out***

Then dice up about a cup of Strawberries:

Cut 2 pcs,  1/2 ounce each of  Angel food cake (it seems small, but it really doesnt weigh anything) about a 2-1/2" square X 1/2" thick (more if you want more, just add the points) and put one piece on each dessert plate.

I used 3 tablespoons of the Balsamic honey and mixed it together with the strawberries and then topped the angel food cake with 1/2 cup berries plus half the sauce.


Top with 1 tablespoon lite Cool Whip and drizzle another 1/2 tablespoon of the balsamic honey over each.

The result was a DELICIOUS, balanced, juicy and fancy little shortcake.  We DEFINATELY thought this dish popped now, and it didnt cost 9.00!

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Skinny" Huevos Rancheros

I have been busy preparing  my menu for Easter dinner.  Normally that includes a ham.  But the last time I ate ham and then tried to weigh in, I almost killed myself (I retained billions of pounds of water from that darn salt). You see, my weight watcher days are Monday evenings.  (I am starting to HATE it.  I mean really, what idiot decides to weigh in on the day AFTER a weekend and expects not to have some retained effect?)   Even though I am on program through the weekend, my food choices change.  I end up "grazing" more, eating saltier foods (think SUSHI), and I usually use some of my weekly 49 points.  Imagine throwing Easter on top of it! That's enough to make you jump off the roof (well, maybe not you...but ME!!)

I am going against the grain.  I say "NO to HAM " this year.

In thinking about what Easter means, it seems only natural that I make lamb.  After all, we are praising THE risen Lamb of God.  Symbolic.  I like it.

So, there you have it.  It's Leg of lamb - in some sort of Mediterranean, Greek or Middle Eastern preparation (still working this part out!).  The Lamb will be served with Roasted Lemon Asparagus (so good, I will post about them) and Smashed potatoes (I have to skinny up my recipe in the next day - not sure how yet !! - will also post).  For the bread, Middle Eastern Flat bread crackers (Valley Produce Market ROCKS).  I love these for this occasion because they are yummy, not so filling, points friendly and it's respecting a bit of Passover.  Steph is making WW brownies (thanks Steph) and I will make a LOW FAT carrot cake.  And lets not forget the WINE!!  A nice Petite Syrah  and chardonnay (for the red wine haters), both from Cakebread Winery in Napa Valley.  THAT SHOULD DO IT and I believe I can stay "on program" for the most part. 

This brings me to Breakfast.  What to do for breakfast this weekend?  Especially on Easter.  Sure, everyone wants a great breakfast on Easter, elegant and satisfying but fast and easy.  After all, you may attend the sunrise service and come home STARVING (plan for it!) or you might be making breakfast for lots of people.  Whatever the situation is, I have just the thing.  My easy and yummy take on Huevos Rancheros.

First things first.  You can use regular corn tortillas.  However I have found the best tortillas product. LaTortilla Factory, handmade style white corn tortillas.  These are great because they have some wheat flour in them to keep them soft and supple.  Obviously, if you are wheat intolerant, these are not for you.  In that case, stick with a good corn tortilla.  These have a very nice, Chewy texture and a mild corn taste...they don't break apart like regular corn and they don't need to be fried to be good!   I think I bought these at Albertson's.

The dish uses Mexican tomato sauce.  What I am referring to is El PATO (or something similar)

This breakfast really filled us up (I put 2 eggs on Tom's) and kept us full for a long fact, I wasn't hungry when it came to lunch, so I just had a WW shake.  I think the reason is that it's packed with protein;  Beans, Eggs, Lite cheese.  When I asked my husband to tell me one word to describe the dish, he said "satisfying".  We even like the idea of this for dinner.....maybe with the addition of chicken?

This recipe serves two, but it can be made for tons of people - and nobody will know it's "SKINNY".  The WW recipe builder shows this at 8 PP (these corn tortillas are 2 points, so reduce if you use another brand that is less points)

Here's what you will need:

2 LaTortilla Factory corn tortillas
1 can Fat Free refried beans
1 can Mexican tomatoe sauce, such as El Pato (yellow can, or your favorite)
2 eggs (or more if you want an additional egg)
Sargento Light Cheese slices, your favorite flavor (I used colby)
olive oil
Fresh lime
Cilantro, chopped ( about a half cup)
2 plates, oven proof

Turn on the broiler

Put the refried beans in a small pot.  Heat them until hot and add about a half a can of El Pato, Juice of 1/2 the lime and cilantro to taste.  Stir until combined and keep flame on low to keep warm.

Heat a skillet on high until hot.  Add your corn tortillas to a dry skillet and sort of "roast" them on each side until they turn golden on each side.  When done, put one on each plate.

Put about 2 - 3 teaspoons of olive oil in the skillet and when hot, crack the eggs. (OMG!  if you havent had eggs done in olive will love this)  Fry until the one side gets nice and golden and then flip over (careful not to break yolks) and turn off flame.

To assemble:
Put 1/4 cup of Refried beans on top of the Corn tortilla (Swirl around so it covers) 
Top with the Egg
Add a slice of light Cheese

Pop the plate under the broiler let cheese melt and get bubbly

Top with more El Pato, fresh cilantro and more lime juice to taste!!  

Serve with Fresh fruit or melon.

The result?  A satisfying dish, full of flavor that will keep you from nibbling until much later!

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Bake

I have to preface this post by saying that my husband DID NOT LIKE THIS DISH and he didn't like it for specific ONE REASON:  He hates Swiss Chard with a passion (what did it ever do to him?) In defense of the recipe, my 2 year old grandson LOVED it....He ate a TON of it and he kept saying..YUUUMMMM! with each bite.  So did I.

This recipe is a nice combo of Spaghetti squash strands, CHEESE (yum....cheese), light Alfredo sauce, balsamic vinegar, with two garlic, Chard layers.  Its filling, easily digestible and will not make you feel STUFFED.

Now here is the thing about swiss chard.  I planted some measly seeds...and BOOM!!  I have MASSIVE Chard plants that are of mutant size!  This is just ONE of about 8 plants I have. 

I love how my Chard garden looks.  The plants are gorgeous, delish and so healthy! But I don't get a chance to cook it too often due to the hubster.  I generally give it away. (if you want some, let me know!)  But part of healthy eating is getting in those green leafy vegetables...PLUS they grow in my back yard for goodness sakes!!  If you too are a Chard hater, substitute something else like Spinach (yes, he is not a fan either) or another veggie entirely (chopped up broccoli maybe?)

OK...onto the spaghetti squash.  Have you tried it?  It's got to be the most interesting thing ever!  After steaming it and "stringing" it with a fork, it makes spaghetti like strands that you can top with your favorite sauces, bake, or just put butter, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper on it.  It doesn't have much flavor on it's own so it needs to have added salt, pepper and other flavors to give it any real umph!   At only 42 calories per cup making it is a bargain in calorie count making it OK to top with real cheese for a sinful bit of butter!

If you haven't seen a spaghetti squash they look like this:

Now, cut it lengthwise and BE CAREFUL.  The outer skin is HARD and if your knife is not very sharp, you can cut yourself. 

Now, seed it and wrap each side in plastic wrap.  Pop it in the microwave for 12 minutes and take out (leave wrapped) to cool a bit.

Then from the SHORT width, start shredding (or stranding) the squash with a fork:

Once all stranded, put into a bowl and Set aside.

The Recipe:

1 whole Spaghetti squash (about 4 cups) shredded into strands
6-8  cups chopped swiss chard, stems removed
1 cup onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 jar light Alfredo sauce (I used Classico)
4 oz aged Gouda (or Parmesan or other sharp cheese)
1 large can tomatoes, drained well
fresh basil, chopped (about 5 tablespoons or more to taste)
about 3 tsp olive oil
balsamic Vinegar

Heat oven to 375 degrees

Foil line a baking sheet and arrange drained tomatoes in a single layer.  Pop in the oven and let roast while you prepare other ingredients, remove when you get to assembly stage.

Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti squash as indicated above, set aside.

In a saute pan, add oil and heat until very hot.  Add onion and cook till brown. Add garlic slices and cook about a minute or two.  Add all swiss chard and cook until wilted and greatly reduced.  6-8 cups will make a small amount of sauteed chard, but enough for this recipe.  Set aside.


Spray an 8X8 pan with non stick cooking spray.  Add half the spaghetti squash and pat down lightly.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with balsamic.  Add half the alfredo sauce then top with Half the tomatoes, half the basil, half the chard mixture and half the cheese.  Repeat the layer ending with cheese.  Finish with another drizzle of balsamic.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until very bubbly and melty.   Pull out of oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

This will not hold it's shape when very hot (it will the next day though!!)

In the WW recipe builder 1/6th of this recipe is 7 points plus.....serve with your favorite sides, salad or bread.

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mango Salsa Chicken, and other stuff!

OMG!!  (that's OH MY GOSH in text speak for those of us who are challenged!)  I had the best workout last night.  I did full body weight training and I was so pumped, I did 75 stomach excercises on the ab maching and THEN, I did my 25 minute "Body for Life" work out on the bike!  WOW.  When I got done, I was literally a ball of SWEAT but in such a great, engergized mood!!

But it was about 7PM when I got done,  the hubby was just getting home and I was S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G!!!
I meant seriously starving.  I quickly had a fast 2 pt WW shake to get some protein in me fast, then started thinking "SHOOT - I need something super good and super healthy and I NEED IT NOW!!!"  NOT an exaggeration by the way....

Ususally, I am very prepared.  You know, I usually know what I will cook, how I will cook it and frankly, the sucker is already defrosting or coming to room temperature.  On top of that?  I have generally figured the points for it! (yes, I know I am a control freak and anal.....I've been told.  Some things never change!) but Alas, I was not prepared and did I mention starving???

All of this brought me to the MANGO.  I know that sounds weird !!  In my fridge was a GORGEOUS, perfectly ripe, succulant mango. It was calling my name, literally.  I am on a kick to start eating and cooking with 2 mangos each week.  They are delicious, super healthy,  and as fruit goes,  low in calories.  Their versitility allows them to be used in both savory and sweet dishes and can be cooked or served fresh with little or no compromise to the fruit or it's nutritional content.

Isnt that awesome?

It's interesting to know that of all the fruit in the world, it's the Mango that is the most popular.  LITERALLY, more fresh mangos are eaten everyday than any other fruit in the world.  The fruit was first grown in India over 5,000 years ago.  India is the world's largest producers of what is said to be the best quality mangos.  It's such a popular fruit however, that India can barely keep up with it's own demand for the fruit so almost none of them are exported out of their country.  If you have been to India and tasted their Mangos...I would love to know if the flavor is any different!    Here in the US, we treat mangos as a "special" or tropical fruit and not as a daily fruit.  We generally get our Mangos from Mexico, which is the second largest producer of the Mango.

Fun note:  More countries in the world eat GREEN mangos (meaning unripe) than they do ripe!! I find that fasinating!

The reason I am interested in them is for flavor and vitamins.  Mangos are bursting with protective nutrients for our bodies.  As the mangos ripen they become higher and higher beta carotene as this is what the mango is famous for.  Immature or unripe mangos pack a major punch with Vitamin C. Even though the mango is ripening, ounce per ounce their sugar content remains lower than most fruits. I digress

I didnt know what the heck I was going to do with it.  I wanted dinner in 15 minutes or less!  Here is what I yanked out of the freezer, fridge and pantry:

Ready grilled chicken, onion, mango zuccini, pace taco sauce/salsa and i went to work and created a really fast, really ymmu and really healthy recipe that is low in WW points!

But first, there is the little matter of cutting the mango flesh off of that HUGE pit.  I know what you are will take 15 minutes just to peel and cut up a whole mango.....What a pain !!!


I have the COOLEST tool ever.  A mango pitter!  Fast, Fast, Fast!  First you skin the mango then put the mango pitter across it like this:

And push to the bottom to get two perfectly lucious "fillets" of fruit as I call them!

 The one on top is the seed.  PERFECT.  Now I quickly sliced and diced the mango and ended up with this:

Isnt is gorgeous?  Perfect, easy and fast.  This is one product I will never do without.  If you dont have one you must get one...for 12.50 it's the best investment you will make (unless you have something against mangos and you want to be discrimitory towards them, but that's another topic!)  I have highlighted the item to the right under products I recommend on Amazon....check it out.

I finished the rest of the recipe in one skillet, put it over some brown rice I had and finished it with light sour cream and fresh limes:

Mango Salsa Chicken

1 ripe mango
6 oz cooked chicken breast diced
1 cup or more of salsa or taco sauce
1 onion chopped
1/3 cup cilantro chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinced.
1 cup zucchini, diced
2 tsp garlic cloves, minced
Whole lime cut into segments

Make some brown rice, quinoa, bulgar or any other grain of your choice.

In a large sauté pan, preferably non-stick, spray with cooking spray and heat till very hot. Add onion and sauté until browned. Add garlic, diced zucchini, cooked chicken, mango, black beans, cilantro and salsa (use more if you want it sacier)
Heat until everything is heated through and starts to bubble.
Don’t over cook it or the mango will just dissolve.
Serve on quarter of the pan over rice or other grain, top with light sour cream, cilantro and more lime juice.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just what the HECK are STEEL CUT OATS?

This morning it was cold, overcast and damp.  MY FAVORITE kind of weather!

Perfect weather for oatmeal...but not just any oatmeal.  Hearty, creamy steel cut oats. yummm 

Sadly, I realized this weather is going to go away very quickly leaving only hot, dry, scorching days.  The thought of warm comforting oatmeal in the morning will be a thing of the past, replaced by Cold melons, cold cereals, yogurt and the like.

Then another thought popped in my head. Warm fruit compote like my grandma used to make!!  She would cook dried fruits (prunes, apricots, raisins, cranberries or cherries) with fresh chopped apples, a little water and some sugar.  Sometimes she would add roasted nuts as well.  The result?  Super yummy warm or cold, cobbler worthy fruit.  I've made it often through the winters of my adulthood and still love it the same as when she made it.   I eat it plain, serve it over cottage cheese, ice cream or angel food cake.  Yummy, comforting and fairly healthy.

Now, Let's talk about those steel cut oats.  If you have never had them then trust me.  You don't know what you are missing.  VERY different than a bowl of oatmeal with rolled oats.  Almost like eating a rice dish!!

So what the heck are they???   Steel-cut oats are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into only two or three pieces by steel rather than being rolled.   They are golden in color and look like rice.  Steel-cut oats are also known as coarse-cut oats, pinhead oats, or Irish oats. This form of oats takes longer to prepare than instant or rolled oats due to its minimal processing.  Steel-cut oats also have a lower glycemic index than instant oatmeal (42 vs. 66, respectively), causing a lower spike in insulin levels when consumed.  The flavor of the cooked oats is nuttier than other types of oats and are blissfully chewy.

Uncooked, they look like this:

I love them.  They become kind of creamy, chewy and very filling.  Almost like breakfast risotto! Oatmeal, using these oats, are satisfying in a way that other oatmeal only WISHES it could be and sadly isn't.   Because of the extended cooking time, it's perfect for my little thoughts of cooked fruit compote! I threw things together quickly, but wrote down what I did so I can share it with you!  

This recipe makes enough for 2 servings (about a cup each) and is very filling.  For those of you who are weight watchers, the recipe builder calculates it at 6 PP, excluding the milk.

I hope you try this super healthy, satisfying breakfast....ENJOY!

Steel Cut Oat Compote

1-3/4 water
1/3  cup steel cut oats
1/3-1/2 fresh apple, diced (skin on) any type
2 apricot halves, diced
4 prunes chopped up
Artificial Sweetener  packet
2 tablespoons or so blueberries (or any other fresh fruit of choice), divided
2 Tablespoons brown sugar, divided
½ cup fat free milk, divided (optional)

Boil water in small pot.  Add oats, stirring quickly.  Bring back to a boil and add Apples, prunes and apricots.  Cover and let simmer until oats are cooking but  aldente.  (that means there is a slight firmness/chewiness to them) about 20  minuets or so (taste for doneness) – turn off fire and let sit for 2 minutes.  Add 1 packet of sweetener (or more to taste)
Top with Blueberries or other fruit (bananas, strawberries, more apples, raspberries….well, you get it!!) and a tablespoon full of brown sugar and the milk, if using.

The result?  A sophisticated, texturally pleasing oatmeal with the goodness of old fashioned fruit compote!

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sometimes you just need soup!!

AWWW.  Soup.

I love all kinds of soups.  Quick soup, long slow simmered soup, creamed, uncreamed, spicy, thick or thin soup, winter soup, summer soup..........well, you get the point.

Its satisfying, warm, comfy and really almost medicinal in it's quality to make us feel BETTER! 

I had a tough day today.  Work was just "a lot".  Monday's are the dreadful weigh in day at Weight Watchers. (yes, I am a dork....who weighs in on a Monday??)  But, I weighed in with the women who I call "just wrong!".  She's condescending and just makes me feel bad.  I would have been OK if it was anyone else.  BUT NO!!!  I get HER.  I lost a half a pound.  UM YEAH....BIG DEAL.  Here's the problem, I am working out SO HARD, burning about 400 PLUS calories each day, tracking, eating and cooking healthy...blah, blah, blah.....and I have been gaining and losing the same damn half a pound for 5 weeks.  So, what does any normal 47 year old woman do?  I cried and pouted through the whole meeting!!  Yes I know.  I need to stop's a lifetime change.....I KNOW!!  But I just want the scale to show it.  Why is that so hard? UGGGHH

Thank God for my partner in crime who got me laughing afterwards and talked me "off the roof" so to speak.(thank you so much!)

YEP....I am on a plateau.....and I decided, you know what???? I NEED SOUP.  HAPPY, QUICK, SATISFYING, and COMFY soup.

So I made 'Weeknight Mex Chicken Soup'  It took me 15 minutes and it's not only good, it's everything you expect a soup to be.  Great flavor, easily adaptable to any addition , and did I mention FAST????

The recipe makes 4 BIG bowls......and I just put it in the WW recipe builder and each serving is about 6 points...Plus whatever toppings you put on it.  This recipe was adapted from a cookbook I highly recommend called, GREENLITE BITES.  It's by a women who lost 70 lbs on Weight Watchers and the recipes are from her journey (it's always called a journey)

The first batch I made from the book was good, but it was just a little too simple tasting so I Shelleyized it, OF COURSE.

I made the soup.  I ate the soup.  It's power did not fail me.  I feel better, happier, and satisfied tonight.  So did my great husband who puts up with ME!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!!

Weeknight Mex Chicken Soup

6 ounces cooked chicken, cut in small cubes
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (I use roasted tomatoes)
1 can great northern beans,undrained (or any bean of choice)
1/2 small can green chilies, diced (optional)
3 cups vegetable stock
2 oz dried Bulgar (If you cannot find, use couscous)
At least 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of one lime and more for each bowl at the end.
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 Cayenne (optional) or to taste
1 bay leaf

Add broth to large pot, and bring to a boil, add the tomatoes (with juice), beans (with juice), green chilies, Bulgar or couscous, lime juice, cilantro, all spices and bay leaf.  Return to boil and reduce to simmer. Cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve in large bowls with any of the following:  Light sour cream, reduced fat cheese, avocado, more cilantro and/or baked till crisp corn tortilla pieces. 

I told you...SUPER easy.....surprisingly good.....definately satisfying.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Let's talk Pita Chips!!!

I love hummus.  I mean really, who doesn't...?  But when eating healthy we are told to dip veggies in the hummus for a nice healthy snack.  Ummmm.  Yeah.

Here is my problem.  Even though they meet the criteria;  They are crunchy...yep, Check. They are healthy...yep...Check....and they can be used to scoop up hummus...yep...Check. 


Now I have tried to close my eyes while eating carrots, celery and bell pepper and NOPE....still cant get over it.  Yeah, it's OK ....and trust me. In a pinch, I would eat it...sometimes it's refreshing.
What I really want is a light, crispy, gorgeous little pita chip.  Now having said that, let's talk about the fact that store bought pita's are number one EXPENSIVE, number two SUPER HIGH IN CALORIES (they are dunked in oil) and finally number Three...THE DON'T FIT THE CATEGORY of light, crispy and gorgeous.  (yes, i think food is gorgeous, beautiful, happy, and a number of other adjectives....get over it)  Now when I wasn't counting calories, I didn't care.  But now that I am, and my palette is improving, I realize there has got to be a better way!!  Have you ever had those hard oil ladened ones from Whole Foods Market?   They are 6.99 for a container and they SUCK.  You could literally break your teeth on those and the calorie content is through the roof....umm not light and crispy.


I know what you are thinking - Are you kidding?  Make your own...who the hell has time for that???  ( I can see you guys laughing yourselves silly)  BUT, you do have time for this. It's a total of 10 minutes of your life....way less time than it takes to run to the grocery to buy the little buggers, it's fun and it's much healthier..and I swear, you will not have to close your eyes and wish that it was a Pita chip, or that it tasted better, or that you are subjected to carrot sticks for the rest of your life!     I PROMISE - you can make, light, crispy and yes, gorgeous little Pita Chips in 10 minutes.

Here all you will need:

1 package of Pita Pockets
cooking spray
Spices and/or sesame seeds of your choice

Lets talk abut pita pockets....if you are buying them at the grocery store, be prepared to spend 2.79 to 3.99 for  package of six.  That's a rip off if you ask me...but it depends where you live if you have options.  Here in Santa Clarita, we have a store called Valley Produce Market (one of my absolute FAVORITE stores) .  It's a dumb name for the store, because it's not just about produce.  In fact it is THE place for Indian, Middle Eastern, African, Jewish, and Asian Ingredients and you can find normal everyday items there as well.  Not only is it GREAT, but it's very inexpensive.  I buy pita's there for .79 per package!!  The pita's there are so chewy and delicious because they are really authentic.....complete with Arabic writing on the package!  Also, they have TONS of spices (all kinds of stuff you likely have never heard of) and it's inexpensive 1.69 to 3.00 for a large package of whatever you want.  But, if the regular grocery store is all you have, then so be it.

Now to have white or wheat...this is a preference.  I know, we are supposed to eat more whole grains....wheat must be the way to go. But for me? I prefer white - they just bake up crisper and taste authentic, ya know?   Also, the calories or WW points are the same, about 4 PP for 16 large chips...way more if you cut them smaller and you may wish to do so.

Now here is the key.  WATCH YOUR TIMING AND DON'T GET DISTRACTED.  I got distracted my first time making them (you know who you are! LOL) and I burned the little guys.  Now I say this because it's SO fast that one second you have great chips and the next you have burned little messes.  Say it with me....SET A TIMER!

Getting Started:

Preheat your oven to 375 Degrees.  Separate your racks evenly in your oven.

Remove all pita's from the package in a stack and with a sharp knife cut down the center.  Turn them around and cut down the other center.  Then cut each quarter in half.  You should have 8 stacks of sliced pitas:

Then you are going to take a triangle, open the pita and tear it at the folded edge to make two pieces:

Continue separating the triangles until  done.  Now line a couple of large cookie sheets with foil. 
Lay out the triangles on the lined cookie sheets, smooth side down ( you might need to do this in a few batches depending on the size of your cookie sheets)

Now SPRAY the little guys with an oil spray (Pam, Crisco, or use a oil sprayer you have) - I like the new Crisco spray, as you can see below.

Now for the best part....the FLAVOR of the chip.  I you like them plain, then you are done.  But, I like to add seasoning.  They are really good with flake salt, freshly ground pepper and some sesame seeds.  I have made them with Lemon Pepper seasoning (no other spices required) and also with Zaatar seasoning and sumac (very middle Eastern - super good)  You can do any combination of spices...I am going to try lime zest and chili powder next... So decide what you want or have on hand and season them.  The amount of seasoning is up to you...go for it.  Season your chips.

Then spray with a little oil spray ( to stick the seasoning better) - now if you want (I don't) you can probably press the seasonings into the chip...but it's too much trouble for me....

They are ready to go into the oven....Slide them into the oven, close the door and SET YOUR TIMER FOR 4 minutes at 375 degrees.

Now here is the trick I have learned.  After 4 the oven, grab a chip and TASTE it.  i should be slightly crunchy or crunchy and not very brown.  If that is not the case, bake them for 30 second increments till you reach that stage.  If they are,  then TURN YOUR OVEN OFF and LEAVE THEM IN THE OVEN for another couple minutes. (yesterday I left mine in another 5  minutes)  TASTE!  If they are perfectly crispy - remove them to cool.  If not, then keep them in for a bit longer.

Once cool, put into plastic bags for storage or serve them immediately with your favorite hummus.  Now I know what you are thinking?  How can I only eat 16?  These are large chips.  16 seems like 32.  Yesterday I had 8 and was completely satisfied.  If you know me?  That is saying something!!!

The result?  Light and super crispy chips that are super satisfying.  These will  delight even the toughest chip connoisseur!

From my home to yours, ENJOY!