cauliflower

Family Hike

Here in Portland we were all giddy to check the 10 day forecast and see SUNSHINE! NO RAIN! NICE TEMPERATURES!! YAY! So Saturday we went for a family hike!

When it was just Michael and me, hiking was no big thing. Throw some stuff in a backpack and head out. Then we got a dog. It started taking a little bit longer. Pack her stuff…get snacks and water for Bella. Load her in the car. Then listen to her whine and whimper in the backseat for the last 5 miles of the drive to the hike (it’s like she knows we’re getting close to the hike and she’s so impatient!).

Then we had a baby. It takes like an hour to get ready to go, pack everything, pack the dog, pack the baby…! Good lord. Our neighbor saw us as we were heading out and commented that it used to take them 2 hours to get out of the house when they had kids. 😉

Since it takes so much longer to get going and we have to coordinate around Logan’s nap schedule, we chose a closer hike–Milo McIver Park. We’ve done it a few times and it’s a nice one.

We got there just at noon and started the hike. We did a trail that we’ve done in the past. It kind of starts out a little steep but for the most part it’s not too strenuous.

There are a few sets of stairs in the woods. Those got my heart pumping! The plan was to take the trail to this open field we’ve stopped at before and have lunch there and let Logan run around and maybe let Bella off leash if there was no one else around. But for whatever reason we couldn’t find that field!

The trail was SUPER muddy. I should have taken a photo of my boots because they were covered! There were also tons of snails out:

We took a new-to-us trail:

And it was too muddy so we looped around and went back to the Maple Ridge Trail. We thought it would take us to the field but we ended up looping back to the parking lot. So we decided to have our picnic lunch there. (Turkey and chicken and cheese in low carb wraps with cucumbers and hummus.)

Then we back-tracked on the trail where we started and took a different fork in the road, still looking for that field! Spoiler alert: we never found it. I have no idea how we lost it.

Family photo!

The trail was really muddy, overgrown in some spots, but for the most part pretty good. There were a few creeks we crossed over and a few mini waterfalls.

Logan did a GREAT job and did not fuss at all. He also didn’t fall asleep in the backpack like he did last time.

We stopped at a picnic bench by the river for a diaper change, bottle for Logan and to let him run around a little bit.

After a little while we headed back to the car.

Stats:

3.92 miles and I burned 532 calories! I was happy with my number, especially since the hike wasn’t that strenuous.

Logan fell asleep in the car immediately. Bella most definitely got a bath when we got home. And Michael made cauliflower crust pizza again for dinner!

It was a good day!

Cheesy Kale Chips

I have SO MUCH KALE in my garden!

Michael’s mom suggested we try a recipe for kale chips with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top. I’d never had kale chips before and she was gushing about how delicious they were. I decided to give it a try.

Cheesy Kale Chips

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

From: http://www.damyhealth.com/2011/04/cheesy-kale-chips/

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil spray OR regular
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Tear kale into bite sized pieces, wash, shake dry and place in a bowl.
  3. Spray kale with olive oil OR use a measured 1 tbsp and just mix to coat all the kale.
  4. Place kale on baking sheet and sprinkle with nutritional yeast and lightly dust with sea salt.
  5. Place in oven and bake 4-5 minutes, turn over and bake for another 4-5 minutes or until crispy. Be careful, it can burn quickly if you don’t keep an eye on it!
  6. Remove from oven when crispy. Enjoy!
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=32126

It was a decent sunny day and I went out to our garden to harvest a bunch of kale to give it a try. I might have gotten distracted while I was outside when I discovered a gloriously red strawberry! I am so glad I transplanted the strawberry plant into a huge pot so it’s tripled in size. The strawberry was sweet and delicate, very different from store-bought.

Okay, back to the kale! I cut a ton of it and then tore the leaves into pieces. I mixed the kale pieces together in a bowl by hand with olive oil. (I wondered if Grapeseed Oil would work as well, but did not try it.)

I spread the kale onto my baking sheet covered in wax paper. Then I sprinkled a thin layer of sea salt, freshly ground pepper and nutritional yeast. I went very light on the nutritional yeast because I wasn’t quite sure how it would taste. Would it be overpowering? Was less more? I took the safe route for my first batch.

I baked it in the oven for 4 minutes, checked them and they looked great, and then turned them over and popped them back into the oven. I baked it for about 3 minutes and then tried to broil it for the last minute or so. Michael’s mom suggested it, even though the recipe did not. Ahem. It kind of failed.

The first batch ended up in the garbage in a smokey mess. I tried again, even though I was frustrated (have I mentioned how much I hate using the broiler?). The second batch was much better! Seriously, while making kale chips and using a broiler, do not leave the room and do something else!

How were they? Delicious! I LOVED the nutritional yeast. It was cheesy and garlicky at the same time. The sea salt was a good addition. I erred on the side of caution and probably could have cooked the chips for a teeny bit longer. Some of them were not crispy at all (probably 20%) but the rest were as crispy as a thin tortilla chip.

Next time I will make sure they all get crispy and I will add a lot more nutritional yeast. AND I will make a bigger batch because it’s gone in no time. Yum, yum, yum! It was a good snack before dinner. Dinner was a bratwurst with a serving of tater tots.

Dinner was good and quick–which was needed after my do-over on the kale chips. I through in some raw cauliflower with a little bit of blue cheese dressing as a side. What I really wanted was more kale chips. I think I’ve created a monster.

QUESTION: Have you ever made kale chips? Tips? Suggestions? Favorite recipes?