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.

Eat Your Way to Healthy Summer Skin

Five Foods That Fight Sun Damage

For a picker, I’ve always been incredibly blessed with forgiving skin. Regardless whether I poke, prod or pick at my pimples, I rarely often scar. Naturally, when the first batch of stress-induced cystic acne broke out across my face a little over a month ago, I attempted the impossible: relieving my clogged pores of what I believed to be dead skin cells.

Boy, oh boy, was I wrong to squeeze.

Not only did I cause the infection to spread, but I also failed miserably at removing the “heads” from my poor face. Cystic acne, as I soon learned, is an infection that lies much deeper under the skin. Unlike white head pimples or black head pimples, they manifest in the form of red, tender bumps. And, the cysts, full of pus, often never surface.

Scared half to death by my stern dermatologist and officially taking my first round of Roaccutane, I am now incredibly weary of everything that comes near my face—including my good for nothing itchy fingers. Sunscreen, another dislike of mine, thanks to its thick, oily formula, is currently a no-no that’s only used under extreme circumstances when I really can’t be my vampire-y self and avoid sunlight.

Thankfully, if you’re like me, suffering in a personal hell of abstinence from SPF because of sensitive skin, or if you really hate sunscreen in general, there’s another way to protect your skin from sun damage.

Keep reading for foods that antioxidize your skin!

Before I jump into why you should increase your tomato consumption, I think it’s necessary to first illustrate the dangers of excessive UV ray exposure. Too much sunlight, unfortunately, activates free radicals in our skin. The activation, in turn, accelerates the aging process of cells (hello, wrinkles!) by puncturing them and tearing them apart, and generates a wild chain reaction that makes us more susceptible to skin cancer. That said, when our skin “burns” our bodies are actually generating an immune response-inflammation to the free radicals.

Sun protection is best achieved when consuming an antioxidant-rich diet and when using a non-chemical protective sunscreen on a daily basis. This is simply because the amount of antioxidants in your blood decreases when your skin is exposed to sunlight.

Okay, now the tomatoes!

Tomatoes contain lycopene, or, an important antioxidant to have in your diet. The rule of thumb is, the redder the tomato, the more lycopene it contains. If you’re not too keen on eating tomatoes, try your hand at some watermelon!

Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene and storage proteins called sporamins that have unique antioxidant properties. Once digested, beta-carotenes turn into Vitamin A which ultimately helps with skin cell regeneration.

Crimini mushrooms, or the cute little things you find on kebabs, are packed with skin-protecting nutrients like selenium. In fact, crimini mushrooms have the highest selenium content in all the foods that we eat. This, of course, is important because our bodies use the vital mineral to create potent antioxidants that fight the free radicals that form in our skin during sunlight exposure. Best of all crimini mushrooms are packed with Vitamin B—the key to youthful-looking skin cells.

Fatty fish contain carotenoid antioxidants that help keep the skin radiant. Omega 3 essential fatty acids, like those found in salmon, also act as powerful and protective anti-inflammatories.

Like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, green tea is an antioxidant food high in catechins. The deeper and richer the color of your tea, the higher its catechin content. So, steep those leaves and drink up!