Potato chips, or crisps, are a great, low-key party staple. Break out a bag, place a bowl of delicious dips on the table, and everyone is happy. However, we all know that industrialized foods tend to have extra ingredients, which are less than kind to our bodies.They also go through processes that can turn even the best food into poison. Add to this the fact that potatoes are very high in carbs and calories – readymade, bagged potato chips are so not a girl’s best friend!
In Shanghai, where we already partake in a poisoned environment and quite often in involuntary communal smoking, we could all use diets that are more sensible. Preferably, knowing how your food was prepared – with the use of safe ingredients and washed with filtered water. Our bodies need nature’s help to purge all of that sludge and stay healthy. But that isn’t possible if we are constantly overwhelming it with more poison.
The good news is that there are several alternatives to keep your party hassle free, tasty and healthy. And if you need to eat all of those leftovers later… well, you don’t need to feel guilty.
Rosemary Beets Chips
Beets are such a love-or-hate veggie. They have a very distinct taste that is not for everyone.
If you happen to love their earthy flavour, but you’re averse to the texture of cooked beets, you can now bypass all of that unpleasantness on your way to nutritional heaven. Just sprinkle beet slices with salt and pepper, coat them with olive oil and rosemary, and you are golden.
☀ 3 medium-large beets, rinsed and scrubbed
☀ Olive or canola oil
☀ Sea Salt + Black Pepper
☀ 2-3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
☀ Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place oven rack in the centre of the oven.
☀ Thinly slice beets with a mandolin (or a sharp knife), getting them as consistently thin as possible. They should curl a little when cut. This will ensure even baking and crispiness.
☀ Divide between two baking sheets and spray or very lightly drizzle with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and the rosemary. Toss to coat, then arrange in a single layer, making sure the slices aren’t touching.
☀ Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and slightly brown. Be sure to watch closely past the 15-minute mark as they can burn quickly.
☀ Remove from oven, let cool. Then serve.
(Source – Minimalist Baker)
Spicy, Smoky Homemade Kale Chips
Kale is probably the trendiest veggie everywhere right now. In China, it is still hard to find Kale, but Kate & Kimi is happy to make it accessible.
After all, its popularity is more than earned. It is so healthy and yummy, it’s hard to get tired of eating it. Especially when Kale is covered in chilli powder, cumin and smoked paprika, then baked into divine crispiness and dunked into a pool of hummus. Cumin in
particular is so rich in iron and magnesium that you could cure Anemia just by eating 100g of the little seeds every day. But showering your chips with its powder is a lot better!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
☀ 1large bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves washed, dried thoroughly, and torn into bite-sized pieces
☀ 2 to 3tablespoons olive oil
☀ ½ teaspoon chili powder
☀ ½ teaspoon cumin
☀ ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
☀ Dashcrushed red pepper flakes
☀ Kosher or coarse salt
☀ Preheat the oven to 275° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
☀ Put the kale in a large bowl and drizzle it with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the chilli powder, cumin, and paprika. Massage the kale until evenly coated.
☀ Add more oil as needed so that all of the pieces are well coated. Spread the kale pieces in a single layer on the baking sheets and season generously with salt and crushed red pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pans. Bake for about 10 minutes longer, until crispy but not burning.
☀ Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
(Source – Food52)
Cheesy Nacho Spinach Chips
I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t agree that cheese makes everything better. It even goes with spinach. These little leaves, dreaded by children everywhere, will supply you with an impressive amount of vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals. Spinach is bursting with vitamin K and A, manganese, folate and iron! It’s also extremely low in calories and very low in sugar.
The yeast gives it that cheesy taste and texture, without the downfalls of dairy. It will taste exactly like cheese, turning Spinach into an awesome snack, but it will be healthier.
For seasoning, you can use garlic powder, chilli powder and our new best friend cumin. That will pack a punch and make for an addictive-free snack and turn you into the Popeye.
☀ Bunch of clean, dry spinach (With stems removed)
☀ Oil (Olive, Grape Seed, etc.)
☀ Chilli Powder
☀ Garlic Powder
☀ Nutritional Yeast
☀ Pinch of Salt and Pepper
☀ Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
☀ Add spinach to a large bowl. A large bowl is better so the fairly delicate spinach leaves have space to mix. Add enough oil to lightly coat the spinach, don’t drench it. Mix spinach gently, scooping around the sides of the bowl.
☀ Add seasoning, gradually while mixing. (For seasoning I used about even amounts of garlic powder, cumin, and chilli powder, more nutritional yeast, and a little salt and pepper .)
☀ Lay one layer of spinach on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. You don’t want to have spinach overlapping or it won’t dry out evenly.
☀ Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. You’ll probably want to check on them at about 8-10 minutes, and after that keep an eye on them until they’re crispy!
(Source: Lost Garden)
A toxic little root when raw due to its calcium oxalate content, this Southeast Asian staple turns into quite a nutritious alternative to potato once cooked. It’s more caloric, so not your go-to if the intention is losing weight. However, it carries a lot less sugar and almost three times the amount of dietary fibre. Taro root is also a great source of potassium, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, manganese and copper.
☀ 1 lb taro, peeled
☀ Kosher (or Hawaiian) salt, to taste
☀ Olive oil, for brushing
☀ If you’re using a mandolin, put on the lowest setting 1 or 2 and slice the taro lengthwise.
☀ Don’t rush this step and watch your fingers as you slice. For parts that are too small to slice with a mandolin, use a sharp knife.
☀ Place slices on parchment paper lined baking sheets and brush each slice lightly with olive oil.
☀ Bake in 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes until edges are crisp. Season with extra salt if desired.
(Source: Little Ferraro Kitchen)
The Blue Sky Kitchen is a partnership between the artisanal food community in Shanghai and the culinary team at Kate & Kimi. This shared community collective offers safely sourced and prepared wholesome foods using strict safety standards and high quality, traceable ingredients. Watch this space for the next interview with a Blue Sky Kitchen chef.
Kate & Kimi offers free delivery from RMB200 across Shanghai 7 days of the week. Call 021-61671620 or email [email protected] to ask for more information.