These Big Game Veggie Chips Are Easy to Make After Work

I love chips. Any kind of chip. Put it in front of me and I will eat it. For the Big Game this year I’m making a homemade variety of baked vegetable chips because 1) they are delicious and 2) it means I can eat some junk food too because these are so low calorie.

A vegetable chip can come in many varieties: beet, sweet potato, potato, zucchini, you name it. I like baking up sweet potatoes and beets personally, because they don’t require breading and the delicious cucumber and dill dip I made to go with them makes them extra tasty. These are certainly a crowd-pleaser, and if you’re like me and you like to cook, any excuse to use a mandolin is like, super fun.

When you’re baking veggie chips the point is to essentially dry them out in the oven while adding flavor, so a low heat (250F) along with some spices and just a touch of olive oil will get the job done. I can’t wait to bring these to my pal’s Super Bowl party this weekend!

 before the oven...
before the oven…

It will take you about 90 minutes from start to finish to get this snack going, and you can make them the day before so hit the store and get cooking with me.

Baked Vegetable Chips

Ingredients:

  • sweet potato
  • beets (any variety)
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • garlic salt
  • paprika

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 250F. Wash and peel your vegetables of choice. Set your mandolin to a thin setting (you want the chips to get nice a crunchy) and slice away.
  2. On parchment paper on a baking sheet, lay out your chips so they don’t overlap each other. Season, get a bit of olive oil on them (I like using a squeeze bottle for this) and get into your oven. Cook for about 50 minutes until they’re crunchy.
  3. Flip them at about 30 minutes, and then again right before they are done. Let cool and enjoy!

 

Cucumber and Dill Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2ish cups of whole greek yogurt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • handful of fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. In a blender or Vitamix combine your cucumber, lemon, garlic cloves, dill, salt, and pepper until sorta smooth.
  2. In a bowl, fold your veggie mixture into your greek yogurt. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Enjoy with your chips or any other snack.

Everything You Should Know About Dark Under-Eye Circles

Panda, Panda

Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda?

Hello there, Beautiful!

Are you plagued by a severe case of panda eyes? Do your dark under-eye circles give you the blues? Is it safe to assume that you’re like me, at wits’ end with concealer, confused about how to remedy the situation and frustrated by your general confusion?

Fear not. I did some much needed research.

Here’s What You Should Know

Medically speaking, the skin around our eyelids is called the periorbital skin. Significantly thinner than the skin that covers the rest of our bodies, the periorbital skin only measures 0.5 millimeters in thickness.

Believe it or not, there are actually two types of dark under-eye circles. The best way to diagnose your ailment is to look straight into a mirror under natural light, lower your chin slightly, and study the shadow under your eyes. If your under-eye circles have a bluer tint, you have “Blue Circles.” If your under-eye circles have a browner tint, you have “Brown Circles.”

Okay, cool, but what does this all mean?

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It’s a general misconception that all under-eye circles are the result of sleep deprivation. While exhaustion may be the culprit behind most panda-eye cases, it’s not always the only one.

Other common causes include:

  • Allergies
  • Atopic dermatitis (A condition that makes your skin red and itchy)
  • Contact dermatitis (A rash caused by a substance that comes in contact with your skin)
  • DNA (Yes, under-eye circles can be hereditary)
  • Pigmentation irregularities
  • Excessive rubbing or scratching
  • Sun exposure
  • Loss of fat or collagen

Blue Circles

Blue circles are most noticeable when you wake up in the morning. Because your body has been resting horizontally for an extended amount of time, oxygenated blood pools beneath your periorbital skin. When this happens, your veins expand to make room for the fluid accumulation.  The periorbital skin, thin and translucent in nature, is often unable to mask your pump veins. They, in turn, look blue because your skin only allows blue and violet wavelengths to pass through it. Depending on your skin color, your blue circles may even look greener or browner in respect to the light that is reflected back.

If you’ve ever wondered why elderly people have prominent periorbital dark circles regardless how much they sleep, keep in mind that as we grow older, we lose the subcutaneous fat that masks the blueness below the surface of our skin. Simply put, our blue circles may get worse with age because our skin loses its elasticity and ability to regenerate.

What you should do: There are a few over-the-counter medical options you can pursue. Topical creams with stimulating ingredients like caffeine, for example, can constrict blood vessels and temporarily boost circulation. Potent hydrators like those with hyaluronic acid, for example, pump the periorbital skin, pushing it away from the pooled blood. If you’re more into homeopathic remedies, however, placing sliced avocados, cucumber rounds, cooled black or green tea bags, or crushed mint leaves under the eye area will do just the trick.

Brown Circles

Brown circles or periorbital hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, is caused when more melanin is produced directly by the skin below the eyes. Triggered by chronic eye-rubbing, sun exposure, or genetics, brown circles are usually more prevalent among Asian and African American skin tones.

What you should do: You can use a daily cream or serum with skin brightening elements like soy or citrus that will lighten the circles over time. Be sure, however, to avoid hydroquinone—lighteners for sun spots and scars. Dermatologists agree that they’re too heavy-duty for the delicate eye area. Otherwise, a natural remedy like sliced raw potatoes or a paste made from turmeric and pineapple juice left on the eye area fro 10-15 minutes and wiped off with a damp cloth will work equally well.