Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kale chips with the works

Misha and Nika workout in preparation for their assault on our Christmas decorations.
Christmas is approaching fast and we have yet to put up our tree. Do you think our procrastination has anything to do with the dynamic duo, Misha and Nika (pictured above)? I think they have been working out in preparation for their assault on our Christmas decorations. Fool you guys. The Christmas decorations and tree are going to stay safe and sound in their boxes in the garage.

"But mom, we'll be the only ones in the neighborhood without a tree."

Don't call me a Grinch. I'm just trying to save the cost of a huge veterinary bill. Seriously, our veterinarian told us that every year she sees lots of pets around the holidays who have ingested Christmas tree ornaments and other decorations. The bill for surgery can be pretty staggering. A friend's cat swallowed a glitter ball and the bill for vet care amounted to $2,000+. Better to forego the tree.

Cheer up guys. We'll spend all the money we saved on vet bills on dog treats and chew toys.

No tree? What's a fun-loving cat to do?
Where has December gone? My normally energetic hubby (nicknamed Ridalin Boy for being ADHD) and I have been sick with the cold/flu for what seems like most of December. And of course, every day is pure mayhem with Team Destructo---Misha, Nika and Bailey. Kona is the good one.

Does this mean I get some extra treats because I'm the good one?

It's really been a drag with everyone sick with a cold/flu. For me there's a double whammy because I have to worry about the dreaded sinusitis coming back. I decided my best defense would be skipping the Christmas goodies and mainly eating veggies and low-glycemic fruit, fish and seeds, and whole grains, and drinking lots of broth and herbal teas. So far, my strategy seems to be working. I've found myself healing from a cold much more quickly than those in my family who ate whatever they wanted.

Here's what I've been eating:
  • Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, which support the body’s ability to resist and heal from infection.
  • Fish, nuts and seeds provide valuable nutrients, including zinc, which play an important role in the immune system. They also are good sources of essential fatty acids which may reduce inflammation and production of phlegm.
  •  Whole grains provide more vitamins, minerals, nutrients, fiber and antioxidants than refined grains. Individuals who ate more whole grains and passed on processed and fatty foods produced less phlegm when sick, according to studies.
  •  Warm fluids are recommended to fight a cold because the vapor from the liquids helps open up the sinuses and thin out mucus. Best choices are herbal teas, broth and dairy-free beverages. Skip caffeinated drinks.
What I've been avoiding are sweets and anything high in carbs. Sugar reduces the effectiveness of your immune response to fight infection. With that in mind, my series of snacks continues but the focus is on low carbohydrate.

Kale chips with the works
I loved kale in all forms but especially kale chips. I gave them a makeover and poured a veggie blend over the top before drying them in the oven. It gave them a creamy, nutty texture.

Kale Chips with the Works

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and dried
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 unpeeled carrot
  • 1 T. raw tahini
  • 2 T. Bragg's amino acids
  • 2-4 T. lemon juice
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Spray a large cookie sheet.
  • Remove the washed and dried kale from the stems. Break the leaves into small pieces. Place half the kale pieces in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Prepare the coating by blending the red bell pepper, carrot, tahini, Bragg's, lemon juice in a food processor. (Note: This makes enough for another batch of kale chips the next day.)
  • Spoon several large tablespoonsfull of the coating over the kale in the bowl. Toss to distribute the mixture and coat the leaves.
  • Spread the coated kale on the cookie sheet.
  • Place in the oven and bake until dry but pliable.
  • Once the first batch is done, repeat with the remaining kale leaves.
This recipe has been entered in:


Ricki said...

Sorry to hear about the flu bug hitting your house! And smart move on the tree if your furry guys will overindulge (we're lucky that way--The Girls have no interest in that sort of stuff!).

Now, kale chips, well. . .that would cheer anyone up! Thanks so much for submitting this week! And hope you have a happy (and healthy!) holiday. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for thinking about your animals this holiday season--it shouldn't be just limited to Christmas, though.

Too much chocolate from Valentine's Day, alcohol/food coloring poisoning from St. Patrick's Day, pets drinking/wading through egg dyes from Easter, fireworks stress in July, candy and doorbells in Halloween, too much food in Thanksgiving, and of course, food/plants/decorations/fire hazards in Christmas, and we finally end up with/start with booze at New year's.

If you want to decorate a tree, decorate the CAT tree with CAT toys. I haven't celebrated the holidays since I nearly lost a dog to tinfoil ingestion (out of the garbage--the turkey cooking wrap). We eventually switched to cats, and discovered they weren't any easier with tree infestation and tip-over, so we just gave up entirely.

Sheree Welshimer said...

Yes, my furry pals will overindulge. Yesterday, we lost a plastic soap dish to our youngest, Nika. She was urping up all night. Fortunately, she is all right. I can only imagine what temptation a glittery tree would provide. Good suggestions on other holidays too. I can only imagine how hard it would be to celebrate the holidays if you lost an animal because of holiday traditions. We are their parents and have to anticipate their actions but sometimes you can't no matter how hard you try.