Monday, April 7, 2008

Grab a Snack!

I've been bad and haven't updated as I've cooked, so the next couple of posts will be catch-ups! The weekend went by in a glorious blur, and though I'm so grateful and thankful for all the birthday wishes and gifts that I recieved I'm happy in a way that it's over... now I get to let the attention focus on Teaghan for a while (her birthday's on Saturday... my baby sister's going to be 17!!). By the way, my famously delicious birthday cake is that big purple round thing with the gaudy "20" on it... what can I say, I'm a kid at heart! The purple was my choice too... I joked that I used Barney guts for the frosting (note: no giant purple dinosaurs were harmed in the making of this cake!).

However, birthday festivities weren't the only thing on the proverbial menu this weekend... my second-to-last baking class at George Brown College was on Saturday, and we made fresh fruit flans. Essentially this was an assembly-only class - we had made the sweet dough for the crust and the sponge cake for part of the filling the week before, so all we had to actually make was the vanilla custard. Then is was one sugary thing on top of another... cookie crust, chocolate shell (to prevent soggy bottoms!), the custard, the sponge, fruit and then a hot, creepily shiny apricot jelly glaze to cap it off. Sadly, as pretty as mine looked, the bottom of one tart crust shattered while I was moving it from the glazing rack to the cake round, so there was a little bit of soggy custard leaking though by the time I went to cut it last night. There were no complaints in the taste department, though... but apparently the stuff I bring home is never on the "sickly sweet" side (like supermarket bakery products are), so my goodies always go over well.

Anyways, gooey sweet treats aside. On to more home-made beety goodness! I love the sweet-salty combo of things like sweet potato fries and salted, just tender beets, and so I jumped at the chance to make these nibbles when I saw some gorgeous, vibrant purple bulbs at the fruit and vegetable market next to my acupuncturist's office down in Roncesvalles village in Toronto. A good scrub and a shave in the mandoline slicer later and they were on a baking sheet, sprinkled with coarse salt and awaiting their fate at the hands of my oven. It took a few batches to get it right on the money, but eventually I was rewarded with delicious, fat-free, and perfectly seasoned crispy snacks that cost a heck of a lot less than the bags of veggie chips I see in the stores! Who says chips have to be expensive and fried?

Sweet N Salty Beet Chips
Serves 4
4 large beets, scrubbed well but unpeeled
PAM or other nonstick spray
1 tbsp kosher salt, or to taste
Black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Slice beets very thin (I like using my mandoline).
  3. Spread evenly on a lightly greased cookie sheet, spray with nonstick spray and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast 15 minutes, then flip the chips.
  5. Continue to roast 10 - 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and allow the chips to dry inside for about 1 hour.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 35.3
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 64.0 mg
Total Carbs: 7.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 1.3 g

Don't forget to check out this post and it's fellow healthy goodies at Sweetnick's ARF / 5-A-Day Tuesdays event this week!

4 comments :

Maggie said...

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Cody said...

(Hey... those candles look familiar.)

Happy belated birthday!

That fruit flan looks delicious. And yes, supermarket sweets are... not good. The frosting is usually pretty sugary and otherwise tasteless.

giz said...

I love the beet chips. It's officially now on my list of things to make. Thanks for the post.

Lisa said...

Love the idea of beet chips! Bookmarked to try.