Mondays Mean Snacks

I don’t know about you, but I always get hungry for snacking on something late at night. These kale chips are perfect to satisfy a craving for something salty and crunchy, but without the guilt. You can do so many variations on these. Some of my favorites are: Ranch powder and Parmesan cheese, Sriracha, chipotle powder, cheddar cheese powder, and just salt and pepper.

Parmesan and Garlic Kale Chips
11020905_878221385548606_8598156480734720562_nI put freshly grated Parmesan cheese, black pepper, garlic powder, and a drizzle of olive oil over the kale chips before drying them out in a low-temperature oven. I use a curly kale, as opposed to a flat-leaf kale. The edges become crispier when they bake. Baking them at a low temperature retains their green color; if you bake them at a higher temperature, they will wilt and turn brown.
I have seen people try to fry kale leaves. It can be dangerous because there is a lot of water in the leaves and the oil can splatter, so I would suggest baking them in a low-temp oven. kale2Once they have baked in the oven, they make the perfect snack. You can also use them as a dip chip for salsas, hummus, or guacamole. If you let them sit for too long they will become soft and wilted, so eat them right away and they will retain their crispiness.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
2. Drizzle kale with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pepper
3. Bake for 15 minutes, toss slightly, and bake for another 15 minutes

Yum!

Sunday Dinner.

Sundays are my lazy day. I like to wear pajamas all day, catch up on episodes of everything on Netflix, and make something incredibly easy for dinner. So last night we made Parmesan-crusted chicken Parmesan and pimiento cheese stuffed mushrooms.

Pimiento Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
chickenparmLet’s start with mushrooms. I bought some beautiful cremini mushrooms. Aren’t they so pretty? chickenparm3Set the mushrooms on their top to hollow out the stem to stuff them. Yum. chickenparm4I find a melon baller is the easiest way to scoop the stem. chickenparm6chickenparm5chickenparm7Chop up the mushroom stems and combine them with the pimiento cheese.
chickenparm8Use the same melon baller to stuff the mushrooms. chickenparm9chickenparm10chickenparm11Pimiento cheese is amazing. It is a Southern thing, but I love to reinvent high-carb recipes (like pimiento cheese mac and cheese) into delicious, healthy recipes.chickenparm17After they bake, they are crustry on the top and are INSANELY cheesy. I love these mushrooms so much. They are perfect for snacking while catching up on episodes of New Girl (I completely missed the last season, so it is very new to me).

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Parmesanchickenparm20Instead of using traditional breadcrumbs for chicken Parmesan, I “breaded” the chicken in Parmesan cheese. It won’t have the traditional fried chicken consistency, but it will impart a salty and crispy texture that tastes light on the chicken. chickenparm12chickenparm13After the chicken is golden and crispy on the outside, top it with a mixture of Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses. Put it into the oven until the cheeses melt and the chicken consitinues cooking all the way through. chickenparm18
Ingredients
Pimiento Stuffed Mushrooms
1. Cremini mushrooms
2. 1/2 cup Pimiento cheese

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Parmesan
1.Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2. 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3. 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese

Directions
Pimiento Stuffed Mushrooms
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Remove stems from mushrooms with a melon baller
3. Chop up stems
4. In a small bowl, combine stems and cheese and mix until thoroughly combined
5. Spoon 1 tablespoon cheese into each mushroom
6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is golden on top

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Parmesan
1. Preheat skillet to medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil
2. Coat chicken in Parmesan cheese on both sides
3. When skillet is hot, place chicken in pan and sauté on first side for five minutes
4. Flip chicken, and sauté on second side for five minutes
5. Place in baking pan and cover with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses
6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned on top