Lately I’ve been eating bad. I really should be eating healthier and working out with summer right around the corner and our upcoming trips to a couple beaches but I’m so LAZY. I plan to work out during the week (I even have a calendar reminder) and things up come up. It’s a disaster and I make excuses. But one thing I have managed to do is keep my weight pretty steady. I try to make smart choices when I eat. If I eat something bad at breakfast or lunch, I’ll try to eat better at dinner. Plus I’m usually a bite or two kind of girl and I’m done especially with sweets (I’m all about bite sized desserts and salty snacks. That’s all I need to get by). I’m also a fan of making your own easy and healthy snacks. A couple of my go-to’s are Roasted Chickpeas (When crisped up they’re almost nut-like. You can then top them on your salad instead of croutons and it’ll put extra fiber in your meal to fill you up), Baked Kale Chips (Yummy. Almost Nori-seaweed-esq taste, which I like), and season it yourself Popcorn (yum. kettle corn – salt and sugar? cinnamon sugar? spiced popcorn? garlic and cheese? it’s endless). Here are the recipes. They’re SUPER simple too. All you need is a couple of ingredients.
The picture below is prior to roasting/baking kale and chickpeas. I would’ve taken a picture afterwards but I was SO HUNGRY, I scarfed them down.
1 can of chickpeas (drained, washed, and dried)
2 tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of salt (you can always add more)
sprinkle of cayenne (optional – I usually add this)
sprinkle of garlic powder (optional – I usually add this as well)
Preheat oven at 450 degrees. (*NOTE: I put it at 375 or 400 because I was baking the kale chips in the same pan)
After draining and washing chickpeas, make sure you blot them dry to get that crispy texture. Put them in a bowl along wtih the olive oil, salt, and spices (you could experiment with the spices and make it your own, which is why this is such a great recipe!). Toss them until everything is well incorporated.
Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until browned and crunchy. Make sure you keep a close eye during the 30 – 40 minute mark to avoid burning.
Baked Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (*See note above) Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a knife carefully remove the leaves from the thick steams and tear into bite size pieces. Wash thoroughly and dry kale with a salad spinner or with a paper towel. Place kale in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and salt. Toss to combine.
Spread the kale on the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure you keep a close eye on these as these can burn easily too! Bake them until the edges (DID YOU HEAR THAT, the EDGES) are brown but NOT burnt.
NOTE: This was so hard at the old place because I did not have an oven window, so more often than not I burnt my kale chips. whomp whomp! But with my new oven, it’ll be a breeze. YAY!
Natural Plain Popcorn bag or Air popcorn (if you like to pop your own popcorn but without butter or salt)
Grated parmesan cheese (yes the canned green stuff!)
Paprika (sweet and/or smoked)
Cook popcorn based on package instructions. Mix your spices (whatever you want see below for various combos) in a small bowl. When popcorn is ready, place the popcorn in a large bowl and pour in spices (I recommend doing a little bit at a time. A little really does go a long way). Make sure you do this while the popcorn is hot so the spices adhere to the popcorn.
Garlic Parmesan Popcorn – garlic powder, parm cheese, and PINCH (really a pinch because parm cheese has salt) of salt
Truffled Popcorn – sprinkle popcorn with some salt and pepper and add a dash of truffle oil and toss to combine everything together.
Truffled Parmesan Popcorn – do the same thing as the garlic parmesan but omit the garlic powder and follow the truffled popcorn directions
Spiced Popcorn – combined garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika and sugar.
Spiced cheesy popcorn – follow the directions of the spiced popcorn and add parmesan cheese.
Sweet and salty popcorn – sugar and salt (obvious huh?)
These recipes are super easy and SUPER healthy for you because you’re adding a bunch of flavor without the added fat. If you wanted to bump down the fat, switch out the olive oil for safflower or grapeseed. Happy healthy eating.