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recipes: kale chips, roasted garbanzo beans & soy sauce chicken with lemon

July 30, 2010

Long time ago, there was a girl named Michelle who ate a lot of fried foods, like fried chicken . . . and fried chicken. Occasionally she would eat a potato or some lettuce. Salsa, even, to get some lycopine (though she didn’t know what lycopine was at the time). Did she love her fried foods!

Over the years, she wised up. Learned that fried foods = clogged arteries = short life due to heart disease. Realized her metabolism slowed down as she got older. Learned that she wouldn’t always remain at her high school weight. That indeed, eating cakes, cookies and fried chicken galore made for bad nutritional habits.

What’s a girl to do?

Ahh, yes. This Filipino-Texan girl still has a soft spot for good ‘ol southern cooking but I’ve managed to change a lot of my eating habits over the last five years. But mind you, it took twenty-three years (and a supportive, prayerful husband) to undo some very bad habits.

So, to continue in our attempts of healthy eating, I made some snacks full of nutrients and a pretty flavorful dinner. The more vegetables, the better!

snack: kale chips


snack: roasted garbanzo beans


dinner: soy sauce chicken with lemon (accompanied by sauteed broccoli, mixed salad greens & quinoa)


I first learned of kale chips from my sister-in-law Sarah when she made it as a snack for us when we were in Seattle for a visit. I’ve had kale before, in zuppa toscana, my favorite soup at Olive Garden. I’ve just never known the amazing nutritional properties of kale.

According to, kale has plenty of vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, calcium and fiber (among other things). I highly suggest visiting for a better explanation of all kale’s benefits.

Kale Chips


  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Wash kale and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Tear into smaller pieces, getting rid of thick stems.
3. Put the kale pieces in a bowl and drizzle about 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix well.
4. Spread the kale on the parchment paper and bake in oven for 10 minutes. (Check every so often to make sure kale pieces are not burning on the edges.)
5. Once kale is done (feels crispy to the touch), remove from oven and season with kosher salt and ground black pepper.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are another nutritious item, a legume that is used in two of my favorite things – hummus and falafels. has ample information on these beans, too much for me to re-write or quote on here so again, I suggest that you read up on the health benefits of garbanzos.

To make my snack, I found a recipe from Life’s Ambrosia. It’s a fun food website, filled with nutritious, original recipes. Check it out sometime if you need some inspiration!

Roasted Garbanzos
(slightly adapted from Life’s Ambrosia – original recipe calls for granulated garlic; I only had garlic powder)


  • one 14 oz can of garbanzo beans
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and use non-stick cooking spray (I use a no-calorie, vegetable cooking spray).
2. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans well. Pat dry as best as you can, gently with a paper towel.
3. In a big freezer bag, mix flour, salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Add the garbanzo beans and shake the bag lightly, to coat all the beans well.
4. Scoop garbanzo beans and shake off excess flour, then place the beans on the lined cookie sheet. Drizzle the beans with extra virgin olive oil and mix around to make sure all the beans are coated well.
5. Cook for 25 minutes or so, until crispy. Mix the garbanzo beans every 10 minutes so they are evenly cooked.

Next time I make this, I think I’ll add more garlic powder as well as a few other spices like paprika and onion powder.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dinner tonight? A chicken version of bistek, which is a dish of beef marinated in soy sauce and lemon. We had eaten the “original” version of bistek this past weekend so I opted for a healthier version, using chicken. I just kind of eyeballed everything with this recipe but it tasted great even without exact measurements.

Soy Sauce Chicken with Lemon


  • 6 boneless chicken tenderloins
  • low-sodium soy sauce
  • juice of 2 small lemon, divided
  • canola oil
  • half a red onion, sliced into strips
  • 1 head of broccoli, in pieces

1. With the chicken in a bowl, cover all the tenderloins with low-sodium soy sauce (enough to submerse all pieces). Pour the lemon juice over everything and mix well. Marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes up to an hour.
2. Saute the onions in about 1-2 tbsps of canola oil, medium high heat. Cook onions for a few minutes, or until onions are almost translucent. Set aside in a large bowl.
3. Using the same pan, stir-fry the chicken, setting aside used marinade. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium high heat or until chicken is no longer pink inside.
4. Take 1/2 cup of soy sauce and juice of 1 lemon – mix well, then pour over the cooking chicken.
5. Increasing the heat to high, cook everything – chicken and juices – for a few more minutes, until boiling. Then removing everything from the pan and into the bowl of onions. Mix well.
6. Using the same pan, saute broccoli for a few minutes, then mix with the chicken and onions. Serve with mixed greens and quinoa.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Leslie Williams permalink
    July 30, 2010 2:38 pm

    Hey Chelle! Great ideas, love them. I have never had grabanzo beans, I will have to try that recipe. Love you!

  2. Stephanie permalink
    August 20, 2010 1:56 pm

    i’m excited to try the kale and grabanzo snacks! i think i can get all that stuff here . . . i love to snack but always go for chips or something equally unhealthy. i’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂

  3. August 20, 2010 5:00 pm

    Thanks, Leslie 🙂 You should definitely try the garbanzo beans – so good! I use them in my curry dish also.
    Steph, the kale chips remind me of potato chips. Glad you’ll try it!

  4. Stephanie permalink
    August 21, 2010 10:26 am

    ok, i just made my first batch. i definitely burned them . . . but i have a question. is there more than one kind of Kale? b/c in your pic, they look really leafy. but the Kale i bought here is very big and flat- not ruffly on the edges. is it the same thing?
    not sure i’d go so far as to say they are like potato chips, but I am impressed 🙂
    I feel like such a foodie!! 🙂

  5. August 21, 2010 8:14 pm

    Hey Steph! Sorry your batch didn’t turn out. You really have to keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. As far as different kinds of kale, I only know the one kind that I see at the grocery stores here – thick and with curly edges. Their thickness helps them (when you’re baking them at such high heat). Did you use kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper?

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