9 June 2010

So They Won't Eat Their Vegetables....Try Veggie Chips

Vegetable Chips

To celebrate "hump day" with a BANG I am joining in on the Foodbuzz Daily Specials  once again. Today's feature on Foodbuzz is the professional mandolin such as the stainless steel commercial one featured at CHEFS™ catalogue. We're not talking about one of my favourite movies Captain Corelli's Mandolin that takes place on the island of Cephallonia (Kefalonia) in Greece or a musical instrument. We are talking about a mandolin, also spelled mandoline, the kitchen gadget that cuts fruits and vegetables into even and precise slices. No shopping channel required. They can be handy, especially for home chefs who want to present their food with a professional flair. Because the blades of a mandolin are very sharp, cooks should use one with care, and young children should never be allowed to handle a mandolin. Even with a safety guard, a mandolin can still take a chunk out of a finger.



I only recently purchased a mandolin within the last year and find that although I don't use it every day it is an invaluable tool in my kitchen especially when working with vegetables. Who doesn't love a crunchy potato chip for starters? I used to be the person years ago that could "scoff" down an entire bag of salt and vinegar chips within the span of a few minutes. The problem is that they are not the healthiest snack or accompaniment on the planet. As a world staple, potatoes are second in human consumption only to rice. As thin, salted, crisp chips, they are THE number one snack food.

In the summer of 1853, Native American George Crum was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. At Moon Lake Lodge, one dinner guest found chef Crum's French fries too thick for his liking and rejected the order. I'd have to say Crum was less than happy, OK pissed, and decided to rile the guest by producing French fries too thin and crisp to skewer with a fork. The plan backfired. The guest was ecstatic over the browned, paper-thin potatoes, and other diners requested Crum's potato chips, which began to appear on the menu as Saratoga Chips, a house specialty. The rest is history!!

Many adults, as well as children, need more vegetables in their diet. I for one could always use more varieties than my favourite salad greens. As part of the solution I started making veggie chips when L’il Burnt Toast was “knee high to a grasshopper”. Not sure if there is a more kid-friendly way to sneak those vegetables in and they are a fun and healthy way to spice up a meal. Using a variety of garden vegetables, oils and spices you can create a flavourful treat that the whole family will enjoy.  If you can imagine, the beet chips were a favourite of both of ours!!! These veggie chips are a healthy alternative to that bag of potato chips. 

Start with one pound of your favorite root vegetables...golden potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, carrots, parsnips, plantain, cassavas and beets make wonderful and hearty vegetable chips.  If you prefer you can peel the veggies to remove the skin however they are even healthier unpeeled so it is not a requirement.

When the veggies are sliced place them in a large bowl so the oil can be evenly coated over the vegetable slices. Various oils can be used when making vegetable chips. Olive oil, vegetable oil and canola oil are very popular however almost any cooking oil will do. The amount of oil you apply depends on the amount of vegetables you have prepared. Add only enough oil to provide a thin and even coat on each slice.

Spices add pizazz and chutzpah to your vegetable chips. Some people prefer a little sea salt or pepper while others enjoy the added taste of garlic powder, dill, oregano or chives. For hot and zesty chips try adding a combination of mild chili powder and hot red pepper flakes. Sprinkle your spices as sparingly or moderately as you like.

Spread the vegetable slices onto a baking sheet. Make sure to spread out the slices to allow each slice to cook fully. Avoid overlapping vegetables slices as this will prevent the vegetables from becoming crisp and will result in mushy or soft chips. For crisp chips you need to make sure your vegetables are thinly sliced, evenly coated in oil and individually spaced on the baking sheet.

Some of these vegetable chips are sweet and some are savoury making them a satisfying snack. Serve them alone and unadorned or with your favourite salsa, guacamole or a kid-friendly Ranch dip. Chips don’t just come in foil bags and they don’t need to be deep fried. They can be both tasty and healthy, and you can make them in the comfort of your own home. You can choose what to season them with and you need not worry about any crappy preservatives and random additives the bagged, store bought kind may have. You don’t even need fancy equipment to accomplish this. When you're yearning for potato chips, reach for these instead. They're healthier, tastier and cure your craving. Your kids will love you, I guarantee it!!!!



**Vegetable Chips**

1 medium potato
 1 medium sweet potato or yam
 1 medium parsnip
 1/2 lb. fresh beets (approx. 2 medium)
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1/2 to 1 teaspoons sea salt
 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
dash of pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese if desired

Before you begin making the best homemade vegetable chips first wash vegetables then peel and cut them into 1/8 inch slices. Using a mandolin slicer would make this step a breeze.

Put the vegetable slices into a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil . Combine the dry ingredients then sprinkle over the vegetables. Now toss to coat evenly.

Arrange the vegetable slices in a single layer onto 2 ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pans covered with parchment paper.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are golden brown. Turn them once halfway through baking..

NOTE: Inevitably some vegetables will crisp up more quickly so watch your chips. The thicker the chip and the more water content the vegetable has the longer it will take.

You might like to try other recipes using a mandolinL

Nectarine Tart by Ciao Ciao Linda

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

38 comments:

  1. I got a mandolin for Christmas a couple of years ago and I must confess I haven't used it too much. You've given me inspiration with these lovely vegetable chips.
    Sam

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  2. I'll have the raw veggies as well as those chips. Love the fact that you baked them. I will certainly have to get out my mandolin very soon!
    BTW...I've been fortunate enough to visit that gorgeous island in Greece-Cephallonia...and believe or not...it was the year they were filming that movie in the center of town. At that time we were completely oblivious to Nicholas Cage being there. Can you believe the coincidance and not even taking advantage of such a great moment. There must have been a reason?!?
    Nonetheless...fantastic memories.
    Ciao for now...out to buy beets;o)
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

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  3. I'll have a whole plate of those please Val :)
    You're right about the Mandolin slicer they are fantastic gadgets!

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  4. Val, I make these several times a week. I watch a little one who is autistic and on a special diet which means he's not permitted many "snack" type foods- he loves these treats! And so do my kids!
    xoxo Pattie

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  5. A great starter idea! I love veggie chips. Yours look very beautiful and so appetizing!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. These really look delicious and addictive. I've done it with white and sweet potatoes but haven't yet tried it with beets, one of my favorite veggies.

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  7. Yum! I love those bright purple beet chips. Beautiful! And I think this 'eat your veggies' trick will likely work with stubborn husbands as well as kids!

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  8. Veggie chips is a terrific idea! My daughter would love these as she likes everything crispy. I'd like to especially make her the beet chips to see that perhaps she would start liking beets.

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  9. It's always fun to make your veggies crispy and fun. You know my love of making baked kale chips. Why not some other great veggies?

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  10. Now that I have my ice cream freezer a mandolin is at the top of my want list. This is the perfect way to add more veggies to our diet.

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  11. Oh, mandolins ... such a marvelous tool! While I've tried making fried chips before, baking chips is something not yet tried. Its overcast today here, so probably a perfect opportunity to give these a try. And ... I know that I'll get the best ones (sweet potato) all to myself. How fortunate is that?!

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  12. What a clever idea...I have a gouse full of children for the holidays, this is ideal for the munchies!!

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  13. Vegetables chips are such a wonderful snack. These look so crunchy!

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  14. These look wonderful Valli, absolutely nice and yummy!!

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  15. I love my mandoline, and those chips are a wonderful way to use it!

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  16. mandolins (and veggie chips in general) rock, but it seems like i can't use mine without losing a little bit of skin in the process... :)

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  17. I got a mandolin a few years ago. Was my first"gourmet" tool. Love it.
    I like very much the veggie chips, but I never try with beet.I bet are delicious.
    Another thing, your new blog´s lay out is gorgeous.Congrats

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  18. I usually like to think that I love all vegetables equally, but in reality. Root veggies are my favorites. I don't have a mandoline but I am so buying one for this recipe!

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  19. Veggie chips are such a great idea and much better than diving into a packet of salted crisps.
    I will have to make some of these again very soon.

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  20. I love veggie chips! but we're mandoline-less and I'm not great at slicing so thin so I don't get to make them at home.

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  21. This is a really great technique to serve vegetables, even as a side dish, in a unique way. Great for fooling picky eaters.

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  22. I must try to make those chips, though I can see how it would be a problem to stop eating them.

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  23. These look awfully good and I have a mandolin. I guess that means I have no excuse not to try your recipe. I have uneven luck with crisping vegetables and if your method works I'll dub you queen of the universe :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  24. owning an mandolin becomes a necessity in the kitchen once you discover how beautifully it slices. Your veggie chips are roof.

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  25. When I first bought my mandolin I made these all the time. I particularly loved the sweet potato chips and the beet chips. Now that summer is here, I see these on the horizon.

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  26. Could you make me a plate and send it via express post please????? Great idea Val..haven't done vegie chips in ages. The beet chips are calling out my name here!

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  27. These look fantastic. Thanks for refreshing my memory and inspiring me to make these again - and differently. I just got the notification of this post 2 seconds ago. When I was here last - it was probably up! This will be fun to make - and I LOVE beet chips. Haven't made them for about 4 years. That must change.
    That's what I love about blogging. The remembers, reminders, inspiration and information! I will make them very soooooon!
    Thanks, Val!
    :)
    Valerie

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  28. I have been doing this for a month now. This is the only I can make my kids eat veggies.

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  29. So far, my global knife do a great job making thin slices, but it always take forever. I should really consider seriously owning this gadget.

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  30. I love vegetable chips, they're so delicious, colorful and yes....healthier, too :)

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  31. Look colorful and delicious... a mandolin is indeed a great kitchen gadget... and love that you baked them!! yummy

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  32. I bought a mandoline and after watching the CD that came with it on their company HQ in the Vosges region in France, and trying it a couple of times with mixed results, I kind of felt deflated about it; your post is encouraging me to try again and again until I use this pretty neat gadget to its full potential: veggie chips is a great way to start!

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  33. Oh yes another gadget I can't live without !! It has been on my wish list for a while now and I'm inspired by your veggie chips ! I think I'll have to move it to the top of my wish list.
    Sandy

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  34. My mandoline, no maybe I don't use it everyday but I do use it more than twice a week. Funny though, I must have had it for 5 years at least before I used it for the second time ;0)

    Veggie chips. They are on my list for next!

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  35. I need a mandolin Val ... these are brilliant!!

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  36. What a great idea Val! I always roast veggies: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beets... but never thought of making them all together as chips... thank you for an idea! :)

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  37. You have reminded me a favorite snack here that I haven't made in forever! Can't wait to make the girls some veggie chips!!!

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  38. Im going to make this for my daughter.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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