I have had a mandolin on my “kitchen wish list” for a few years. Truthfully, I was afraid to buy one, as everyone I know who owns a mandolin, has cut themselves. I am accident prone enough on my own…I do not need a mandolin to inflict further injury. Anyway, we were shopping last week and I had a coupon for one of my all time favorite stores “Bed, Bath, and Beyond” burning a hole in my pocket. So I decided to pick up a mandolin. It took me a whole week to work up the nerve to try to use it. I am happy that I was brave enough to give it a go, because I made the most delicious semi-healthy potato chips ever. It is so easy. You just slice potatoes really thin (I didn’t even peel mine), and microwave them. Simple! Actually the whole process went like this:
- Thoroughly scrub the potatoes (I used organic Russet potatoes). If you prefer you can peel them but I didn’t.
- Slice the potatoes thin and set aside. I used my mandolin but a knife will do.
- Spray a microwave safe plate with non-stick cooking spray. I used a silicon baking mat, and organic extra virgin olive oil.
- Arrange the potato slices in a single layer on the microwave safe plate or mat.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Microwave until crisp and slightly browned. All microwaves vary, but in my microwave it took 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
- Transfer to a greased tray. I used a foil lined sheet pan for easier clean up. (Transfer them …yeah right…my family was fighting each other to see who could get more chips and they ate them right out of the microwave.)
These are so simple to make and you can control the amount of salt that is added. You can also can cut the amount of fat and calories by choosing a low-fat or fat-free cooking spray. Yes they are still potatoes so they are pretty “carbolicious”, but way better for you than a bag of store-bought chips.
In addition to the yummy chips, I also made popcorn. On Friday night we had movie night at home with the kids. We ALWAYS have popcorn on movie night. A few weeks ago, I had a popcorn “taste off” with the kids. We used the hot air popper, a bag of microwave popcorn, and “brown bag” microwave popcorn. Well the kids chose the “brown bag” popcorn as their favorite. So for the last few weeks anytime we want popcorn, I make it this way. It is so simple and just like the home-made chips, you can control how much salt and fat are added. There are a ton of ways to do this…here is my method:
- Add 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels to a brown paper bag (lunch size).
- Fold the bag over twice, creasing well.
- Lay the bag in the microwave and heat until you can count to 3 between pops. All microwave ovens vary, but in my microwave the magic time is 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
- Carefully unfold the bag to avoid a steam burn, and empty the popcorn into a bowl.
- Top with melted butter and salt to taste. You can also add grated cheese, garlic powder, cinnamon, etc… YUM!
Holy snack foods Batman! Rest assured we do not eat like this all the time. On Friday we had movie night, and on Sunday afternoon we had family game time. While we played “Sorry” and “Yahtzee” we enjoyed home-made chips and popcorn. YUM! All that was needed to make the “snack food trifecta” complete was a really yummy drink right? Well we had that too. We don’t drink pop very often. I don’t drink it at all anymore…as it hurts my kidneys : ( If we go out to eat, which is less than once a month, I let the kids get a pop if they choose. They both usually choose “Coke” or “Pepsi” depending on what the restaurant has on the menu. If we are at home and the kids are craving a pop of some sort, I’ll let them have a “Zevia.” It is pop made with “Stevia”, a plant with leaves that can be used as a sweetener. It has zero calories, zero sugar, zero additives, is low in salt, and low carb. There are a ton of flavors to choose from too. Due to copy right laws, the “Zevia” flavors all have different names, but they are the same flavors as name brand pop. There is cola, orange, grape, lemon lime, ginger ale, root beer, black cherry, cream soda, grapefruit, etc…. My kids’ favorite flavor is cola. I have tasted them and they are not as sweet as regular name brand pop, but they do taste good. You can get them at Whole Foods or some Kroger stores in the “nature’s market” section. If you are interested here is a link to their website: http://www.zevia.com/ So to complete the “snack time trifecta” during family game time, I let the kids have a “Zevia.” I have also used “Zevia” to make frozen Cokes at home. I just fill an ice-cube tray with cola flavored “Zevia” and freeze. Then I add a few frozen cubes and a little of non frozen cola flavored “Zevia” to a cup and mix it in my “Magic Bullet.” I am sure you could use a regular blender, but I love my “Magic Bullet” so I use that instead. You can also use regular “Coke” or other pop to make your favorite frozen treat. I love love love “frozen Cokes” so every now and then, I’ll make myself one when I make “frozen ‘Zevia Cokes'” for the kids.
We had a lovely Sunday. We slept in a bit, lounged most of the day, and then had family game time. After that, we decided to play football outside as the weather was so nice. Anyone who knows me, understands my hatred of running. I tell anyone who will listen that “no good comes from running.” Well I was forced to eat my words yesterday, and man oh man I am still full! We were playing football and it was my job to cover Dan who was the quarterback. Well I was really gaining on him, and just as I reached to tag him (we were playing two hand touch), I totally wiped out. I fell hard…REALLY HARD! I knocked the wind out of myself and got grass stains on my hands and on my sweatshirt. I feel like I fell in slow motion, and I was pi$$ed the whole way down. When I finally collided with the ground, it took me a minute to ensure that I didn’t break anything, as my whole left side was screaming in agony. I jammed my wrist into the ground, and literally bounced my left “rib pillow” off the hard grass. The worst part was that I had my cell phone in my left pocket, and it was rammed into the left side of my lower abdomen. Once I realized that I was able to get up, instead of screaming, unbelievably I laughed. Dan and the kids thought I was crying, but I was actually laughing hysterically. I had this vision of what I probably looked like as I was falling, and it just cracked me up! I laughed until I got in the shower later that night. In the shower, much to my chagrin, I realized that my cell phone that rammed into my abdomen, had actually split my c-section incision open! The split is only about an inch in length, and thankfully it isn’t very deep. It actually never bled, it just stung like mad when the water hit it. That will teach me. I refuse to believe that I am too old for all this playing around with the kids, but now I am forced to stand by my contention…NO GOOD COMES FROM RUNNING!!!! At least where I am concerned anyway. I know plenty of people who run…who love to run in fact. Well I am not one of those people. I never will be. I actually now have the injuries to prove that running and I do not mesh well. In closing, here is my new slogan in regards to my hatred of running…”Run run if you wanna…you’ll never catch me running…I’m THE COOKIE MAMA!” I hope you try the recipes and enjoy them as much as we did.