This past summer I was doing my best to get a good intake of fruits, vegetables, and try to heal my body as best as I could. My appetite was there, but typically only in small amounts. Not a bad thing I suppose, but it was not the same as it was in the past. One of the things I was thinking about was how could I get great nutritional blasts with a depleted appetite? I was eating yogurt like it was going out of style, probably more for the probiotic impact, as well as smoothies, but there were those times I simply wanted a snack, and a good one. That’s when that dehydrator came into the game.
As you may know, I recently posted on making apple chips, and those were a huge hit, but when these little kiwi chips hit the table, well, they were like nutritious candy.
This recipe is way too simple to make and only takes a few minutes to get the skins removed from the kiwi, and yes there are a couple of different ways to remove the skin.
Let’s get started.
3 whole kiwis, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
Whoa! Yep, pretty much only one ingredient and how awesome is that!
So your options for getting the skins off of the kiwi are up to you. You can use a pairing knife and work your way around the kiwi to remove the skin, or you can cut the ends of the kiwi off, and take a spoon and carefully insert it under the skin, working your way around staying close to the skin and the fruit, and wedge the whole kiwi out that way. It’s up to you.
Once the kiwi is out, cut them into 1/4 inch rounds.
Lay the kiwi onto the dehydrator racks, keeping an inch or so apart. Once all of your kiwi are on the racks, cover, turn it on, and let it go from 5-8 hours. Feel free to touch and feel to the desired texture you are going for. I liked a little spring or chew for that matter, so my time dehydrating was less.
The result is a bunch of not only cool looking kiwi chips, but a chip that is so delicious it’s seriously like candy. The great thing about eating these is knowing how good they are for you. I should really just keep my dehydrator out and on at all times. That thing is not just for beef jerky you know!?
Lately I told you that I was making a lot of homemade bread lately. It was a process that kept me occupied while I fought my time with cancer. I was probably making it so much that my kids were getting slightly bored with the fact that there would be a fresh loaf of bread waiting for them when they got home. Sure, everyone would tear off, or cut off a piece of the bread, swipe it in some softened butter and move along their way, but there were a few times where I was left with too much bread. That’s when the lightbulb went off in my head to use the leftover bread and make a Spanish style soup called sopa de ajo. This is not only a great and tasty soup loaded with flavor, but it is a great use of day old bread!
I’ll admit that it is not the prettiest of soups but the flavor and simplicity make up for it.
Let’s get started.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 head of garlic, skin removed, thinly sliced
1/2 loaf of day old French or country bread, torn into 1 inch pieces, lightly toasted
4 cups of chicken stock
1/2 cup of pinot grigio or some version of dry white wine
2 whole eggs, beaten
salt, to taste
cracked black pepper to taste
What is not to love about this, right?
Start by heating up your soup pot on medium heat. Add in the oil, then add in the garlic, cooking for a couple of minutes. After a couple of minutes, add in the Spanish paprika and give it a good stir. Add in the bread and give another good stir. Keep stirring the bread until it begins to get a little bit of crust on the bread. The day old bread should already be a bit hard but trying to get a little color on it works.
After a few minutes, of cooking that bread, add in the wine, and give that a good stir. Cook for a few minutes to get rid of some of that alcohol, then add in the stock.
Bring the stock to a boil, then drizzle in the beaten eggs, stirring along the way. Cook for a few more minutes, then season with about 1 teaspoon of salt, and a few cracks of black pepper. Taste and season with more salt and pepper should you desire.
Ladle into a soup bowl, and dig in. This sopa de ajo is so comforting. Yes, it’s way too simple, but it is super hearty and a great use of that leftover bread. If you are looking for a great and easy soup, and one that is perfect during these rainy and cold fall days then give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!
We were fortunate enough this year to go apple picking at one of our favorite orchards. Not sure if we love apple picking as much as we love their apple pie from the Elegant Farmer. Regardless, apple picking was something we always loved to do when the kids were growing up. Something about watching them eat a bunch of apples while climbing trees is a quick pleasure. This year we probably bought way too many apples, and as I would walk past the half bushel, I decided that I would come up with something and see if the family would try out the apple chips.
My wife was gratuitous enough to get me a food dehydrator some time ago. I’ve done everything from making beef jerky to vegetable chips in the dehydrator and I’ll admit that I love it. So when the apples were in my zone, I decided on batching out some apples and making apple chips. So easy, so good, and a great way to use up some apples.
Let’s get started.
2 of your favorite apples, cored, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
Yep, that’s it. If you want to jazz them up, you could put some cinnamon and sugar mix onto them once they were cut up, but I went simple and simple was good.
Take your sliced apples and place them onto your dehydrator trays, leaving about 1/2 inch between each one. The goal is to not let them overlap or touch one another.
Once you have filled the trays, turn on your dehydrator and let them dry out for about 4-6 hours. It’s ok to feel them, and take them out when they meet your desired crispness.
You can store these in a airtight container to keep their crispness, but in our house, they were gone that afternoon. I was a bit startled to say the least to see them go so quickly, but I was actually really glad because I knew that everyone had a great nutritious snack that day. So if you are looking for something delicious and easy, and a great snack to boot, give these dehydrated apple chips a try (and yes you can do these in the oven as well).
I find it interesting that over the last few months there are a couple of boxes of fillo dough and puff pastry in my freezer. I’m almost certain I had a couple of ideas bouncing around in my head during those purchases, but it was not until team members from D’Vash Organics contacted me once again to partner with them in creating yet another great recipe using their amazing D’Vash Date Nectar. That’s when I knew exactly what I was going to make. A traditional baklava, in some ways, but using D’Vash date nectar in replace of honey. The result was mind blowing to say the least.
Start by making your sweet sauce that will be used after the baklava has baked. You will want to do this ahead so that it has time to cool.
Add 3/4 cup of sugar, water, lemon juice, and D’Vash date nectar to a small pot. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then once boiling reduce the heat and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir along the way. After 5 minutes, remove from the heat and let it cool.
Now the backbreaking work. Just kidding. This is the only time consuming part, and if you are having your kids help, this can take a bit of patience as unlayering each piece of fragile fillo can be a bit nerve wracking. Just make sure your fillo dough is completely thawed. I set mine out the day before and place it in the refrigerator overnight for a day or two to ensure it is completely thawed.
Get a baking sheet out, or if your are super detailed get a baking dish out that will fit your sheet of fillo dough. I go with my baking sheet and make sure that when I layer each fillo that it matches up with the previous fillo dough.
Make the sugar and nut mixture. To a food processor, or use a knife if you desire, pulse the nuts into a fine chop. Add the nuts to a bowl along with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon and give that a good mix.
Get your bowl of melted butter ready along with a pastry brush. Unroll a roll of fillo and get ready to baklava!
Place 10 fillo sheets onto the baking sheet one at a time, and brush each sheet with butter once it’s in the pan before adding the next sheet of fillo. After the 10th sheet, spread about 1/5 of nut mixture over the fillo dough.
Do the same process, but this time layer only 5 sheets, buttering each sheet, then on the 5th sheet, top with the nut and sugar mixture.
Do this about 4 more times with the 5 sheet layer process, then on the final top, go back to the 10 stack of fillo, ensuring that all nut mixture is used up before layering the top 10 sheets of fillo.
Butter the top of the 10th sheet, then gently push down and form the baklava.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Now let’s cut the baklava. Cut the fillo into about 2 inch strips, lengthwise, then make diagonal cuts to make somewhat of a diamond shape. If you want to keep things simple, just cut into rectangles, it’s up to you.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and cook for about 1 hour, up to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Once the baklava is a great golden brown, remove from the oven, and immediately ladle over the cooled syrup you made earlier, ensuring that you get into all of those crevices.
Now the hard part… waiting.
The goal is to not only let the baklava cool, but you want that syrup to penetrate all of that great fillo that you took your time stacking. After about 4 hours, go ahead and try the baklava, but trust me the longer you wait, the better it gets. Kids approved, neighbors and friends approved, and chef approved.
If you are looking for a great treat that will be sure to please everyone (with the exception of those with nut allergies), then give this baklava a try. The replacement of D’Vash really made this baklava stand out. It had this subtle tartness that really made this delicious baklava pop.
If you are wanting to try D’Vash Organics Date Nectar (and I highly recommend it), then head over to their store and pick some up. My lucky readers can use the coupon code DVASHSIMPLECOMFORTFOOD upon check out! Hope you enjoy D’Vash as much as we do!