Tag Archives: coconut oil

Coconut Sesame Kale Chips and Soy-Sesame Grilled Salmon

Sesame Kale

Coconut Sesame Kale

The other day I was standing in line at the grocery store, and I noticed packages of kale chips at the cashier stand — $7.49 for a little box!  I decided I needed to make these again at home ASAP.  I did a Miso Peanut Kale Chip post some time ago.  Remember these?

kale up close on plate darker

I began experimenting again.  I decided I wanted a lighter, crispier chip in less time.  So I used coconut oil, a bit of sesame oil, and soy sauce for flavor and sprinkled on sesame seeds.  Instead of 200 degrees, I roasted them at 375 for 15 minutes.  Then I turned off the oven, removed the already crisp ones, and let the not quite crisp kale chips roast in the residual heat.  I kept checking after 5 minutes and removed the crispy ones so they didn’t burn and let the others stay in.  The result was a really light, very crispy kale chip that kept for days in an air tight container and did not lose their crisp!  So this is the method I shall be using in the future.  The coconut oil gave it a real lightness and subtle coconut flavor.

Another soy-sesame based recipe I would like to share was inspired by the Weight Watcher’s 50th Anniversary Cookbook which I reviewed in my last post.  I used salmon instead of tuna and I grilled it on the stove, rather than on an outdoor grill.

This is good served with hot, white rice-- it is so good with some of the accumulated juices spooned on top!

This is so good with hot white rice with some of the accumulated juices spooned on top!

 

The flavor was incredible!  The texture was  flaky and moist! It was the best salmon I have made in a long time.  Even Jamie loved it and asked for seconds — and he’s usually not a big salmon eater.

I used Kirkland frozen salmon, which I thawed overnight in the refrigerator.  I marinated the fillets in a soy, ginger, lemon, sesame oil marinade for 30 minutes, then grilled on the stove in a cast iron grill pan.   Because I heated the pan for four to five minutes beforehand, it was piping hot — perfect for beautiful, crispy grill marks and a slightly caramelized flavor.  The crunchy exterior contrasted with the silky, richness of the interior meat.

I love that I was able to grill it on the stove, making this a dish I’m likely to repeat when it’s too cold to grill outside!

kale 2

Coconut  Sesame Kale Chips

Non-stick spray

One large bunch of kale, leaves torn up, thick stems removed and discarded

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

pinch of kosher salt (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil or parchment and spray with non-stick spray.

2.  Mix oils and soy sauce and sesame seeds together in a small bowl

3.  Place 1/2 of kale leaves in a large mixing bowl and drizzle 1/2 of oil and soy mixture on top.  Rub into kale with clean hands to coat well.  Spread seasoned kale in one layer on one of the baking sheets.  Repeat with the other half and kale and spread onto second baking sheet.  Sprinkle kale with salt to taste.

4.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Stir leaves in baking pan.  Remove any to a plate that are completely crispy.

5.  Turn off oven and return baking sheets inside, letting kale crisp up in the residual heat.  Check every 5 minutes, removing crisp ones to plate and letting others bake longer.

6. Cool completely before storing.

Soy-Sesame Grilled Salmon based on a recipe from The Weight Watcher’s 50th Anniversary Cookbook

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons dry white wine

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 salmon fillets (I used Kirkland’s)

non-stick spray

1.  Combine all ingredients except salmon and non-stick spray in a large container or freezer bag.  Add salmon fillets.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning once.

2.  Heat a grill pan on the stove until very hot – about 4-5 minutes.  Spray with non-stick spray.

3.  Grill salmon for about 1-2 minutes, until top is starting to look opaque.  Turn over and grill for another minute or less.  Transfer to a plate and let sit for a few minutes.

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Filed under Appetizers, Dinner, Fish

High Protein Buttermilk Pancakes

high protein pancake stack

It has been a whole week since I’ve given up drinking caffeine!!  I am sleeping a lot better.   My head is not exploding by afternoon any more, and I don’t wake up at night with a tightness in my chest.  I do miss the taste of coffee though. I might try decaf. But for now, I think it is a good thing to be caffeine free.

In keeping with a healthy lifestyle, I’ve been lifting free weights on non-consecutive days for quite some time.  In addition to the physical benefits (less overall jiggle and stronger bones), I find it meditative and soothing to my brain.  I don’t listen to music or talk to anyone (too early in the morning to talk!)

I usually like to have a satisfying breakfast afterwards that’s made up of fats, protein, and carbs.  This weekend I had a craving for pancakes.  I have a great pancake recipe that was inspired by Truck Stop’s  Dan:

Diligent Dan orders pancakes with syrup and sausages!

Diligent Dan orders pancakes with syrup and sausages!

But this time, I wanted a more protein rich batch.  There are a ton of variations on the web.  This is my version.  I use buttermilk (for more flavor), less egg whites, and I add vanilla protein powder.  Sometimes baked goods with protein powder have a spongy texture that takes some getting used to.  But these protein pancakes have a great feel — not weird at all.  Quite amazing, actually.  I attribute it to the buttermilk and ground oats.  Here’s a recipe for one serving with nutritional information.  I could only eat four of the five though, and should have stopped at three.  They are very filling!

high protein pancake with pb

Especially when eaten with peanut butter!

Yum!

Yum!

You can freeze these by wrapping in saran wrap and storing in a ziploc bag, so you can have them quickly and easily on a week day too.  Wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 55 seconds if frozen.

High Protein Buttermilk Pancakes

½ cup old fashioned oats

¼ of a banana, mashed

¼ cup butter milk

¼ teaspoon baking powder

dash of vanilla extract

3 egg whites (or 9 tablespoons of liquid whites)

½ scoop (18g) protein powder (I used French Vanilla Designer Whey Powder)

½ cup cottage cheese (I used my whipped version)

coconut oil, melted butter, or vegetable oil for greasing griddle

  1. Preheat griddle.
  2. Pulverize oats in blender.  Add remaining ingredients, except for oil.  Blend until completely smooth.
  3. Brush griddle with oil or melted butter.  Pour batter onto griddle to make 4-inch pancakes.  Flip when you see bubbles forming around edges.  Cook another minute or less until done.  Serve immediately.

Makes about five 4-inch pancakes.

Each pancake :                                              Full Recipe

Calories:           84.8                                        424

Fat:                  1.94  g                                        9.7 g

Sat. Fat:           1.06  g                                      5.3 g

Cholest:            10.1 mg                                  10.1mg

Protein:         10.48  g                                     52.4 g

Sodium:            143.5 mg                                717.7 mg

Carbs:              9.6 g                                         48.3 g

Fiber:               1 g                                              5.6 g

Sugars:          1.36   g                                        6.8 g

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Filed under Breakfast, Vegetarian

Peanut Butter Chewy Granola Bars


Ok, so I meant to post this earlier, but I’ve been completely distracted by the recent events.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to people in the surrounding areas hit by Sandy.  Hats off to the relief effort!  The workers, leaders, and neighbors have been amazing.

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Pre-hurricane, Jamie and I made these granola bars to bring to a play date.  They aren’t the healthiest granola bars — they’re more like healthier Rice Krispie Treats!   Instead of marshmallows and butter, I used peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, brown sugar.  Then mixed it with oats, almonds in addition to rice cereal.  Super easy to make, with no baking required.

I went through about four iterations, and I like this ratio of oats, rice cereal, sweetness and chew the best.  Hope you do too!

Dry ingredients: oats, rice cereal, sliced almonds

Wet ingredients: honey, peanut butter, coconut oil, brown sugar

Pressed into pan.

Cut into bars

Peanut Butter Chewy Granola Bars

¾ cups old fashioned oats

1 ½ cups rice cereal

¼ cup toasted, sliced almonds

1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil or melted butter)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup peanut butter (I use the natural, goopy kind – TJ creamy, salted)

1/3 cup chocolate chips

  1. Mix oats, cereal and almonds in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter until incorporated.  Pour over dry ingredients in big bowl.  Mix to coat.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Transfer mixture to a 8-inch by 8-inch pan lined with foil or parchment paper.  Press down firmly and pack into pan in an even layer of  granola.  Chill in refrigerator for about an hour.
  4. Cut into 10 bars (cut square in half, then into fifths).
  5. Wrap each bar in saran wrap.  They are great on the go!

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Filed under Children, Desserts, Snack, Vegetarian

Sesame Seed Coconut Crusted Shrimp

In my last post, I mentioned I have been experimenting with coconut oil which I received from Tropical Traditions.  Recently,  I keep seeing coconut oil featured in various blogs.  Though it got a bad rap in the past, this was due its hydrogenated form.  Virgin coconut oil is now the darling child in some health food circles.  It is said to be the healthiest of oils promoting heart health, aiding in weight loss, and supporting proper thyroid function, among other benefits.  Though it is high in saturated fat, not all saturated fats are created equal apparently.

And quite frankly, coconut oil tastes good.  I think if you’re planning on cooking or baking anything with coconut, using coconut oil in place of the oil or fat (it is a great vegan ingredient in pastries, replacing lard and butter) will only enhance the flavor.

I tested this theory out by frying some sesame and coconut crusted shrimp in coconut oil.  The result was wonderful:  crispy, crunchy, nutty shrimp having a rich coconut flavor.  The coconut oil was light, not heavy.

Though I try not to deep fry too much, this dish is worth it for a special occasion.  I think it’s going to make an appearance on Father’s Day this weekend. 🙂

Sesame Seed Coconut Crusted Shrimp

¼ cup sesame seeds

¾ cup unsweetened dried coconut

kosher salt

15-20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on

¼ cup flour

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Coconut oil for frying

  1. Mix sesame seeds, coconut, and pinch of salt  together in a shallow bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Dredge shrimp in flour, shake off excess, then dip in egg white. Coat in sesame seed and coconut mixture.  Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet with coconut oil about 1 inch deep.  Test oil by dropping in a shred of coconut.  If it sizzles immediately, oil is ready – about 350 F.  Fry shrimp on each side for about 30 seconds until opaque.  Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.  Serve immediately.

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Filed under Appetizers, Dinner