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A Tribute to the Greens

Sautéed Garlic Spinach

Two quick and easy staples in our house when it comes to sides that pack a ton of vitamins and nutrients into our diet are kale chips and sautéed garlic spinach.  Both boast of being rich in iron, calcium, vitamins, and flavor!  When dinner needs to be on the table fast after a long day of work and before the kids turn into hungry little monsters, these are great additions to the menu; simple, easy, and on the table before you know it!

Gluten free, dairy-lactose-casein free, soy free, nut free Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes Serves: 2-3

ingredients: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 10 ounces fresh spinach leaves Freshly ground salt

directions:

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Mince the garlic cloves. Add the olive oil to the pan, evenly spreading it around the pan. Add the minced garlic and stir in the pan with tongs until the garlic pieces start to brown. Quickly add the spinach on top of the garlic and sprinkle with salt. Using the tongs, continually toss the spinach in the olive oil with the garlic until the spinach wilts. Add more salt to taste and to help take the bitter out of the spinach. Drain any excess water and serve immediately.

Kale Chips

Gluten free, dairy-lactose-casein free, soy free, nut free Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 5-8 minutes | Serves: 4-6

ingredients: One large bunch of kale, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon parsley, ½ teaspoon paprika, Dash of cayenne pepper, Freshly ground black pepper and salt

directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and set aside.  Wash the kale leaves thoroughly with cold water as kale tends to collect the sandy soil it’s grown in between the veins and the leaves. Gently tear the leaves into small, half dollar-size pieces and place in a salad spinner. Spin to remove any excess water or lay flat on a towel and pat thoroughly.

Place the kale chip pieces in a large bowl and add the olive oil in a circular motion. Using tongs, toss the pieces of kale with the olive oil to lightly coat each piece until they have a slight glistening. Be sure not to over coat them with olive oil as this will make them too soggy to crisp up.

Add the remaining ingredients, tossing the pieces between each addition to evenly distribute the seasonings. Or for more even distribution, combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Toss evenly onto the kale.

Once added, spread the pieces on the baking pan in a single layer. Place the kale chips in the preheated oven and bake for five minutes. Be sure to watch them crisp up as cooking times may vary, and they can brown and burn very quickly. Do not open the oven while cooking because allowing the temperature to change will keep the chips from crisping. At five minutes, toss gently and then return to the oven in a single-layer if the pieces are not crisp enough. Continue checking on the pieces until they are crisp, but not yet browned. Immediately remove from the oven and mill fresh salt over the pieces. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

*It’s really all up to the cook to vary the amounts of each seasoning to change the flavor of each batch. Up the heat level by adding more crushed red pepper flakes and/or cayenne. Just remember, it’s easier to add more heat later than to take the heat out.

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