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A-Rod Cooks Healthy in the Kitchen

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Looks like some of this town's favorite baseball players have some side talent in the kitchen.

    Turns out Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Johan Santana and David Wright have got cooking savvy that have produced some impressive dishes.

    They're profiled in a new cookbook out today, "Diamond Dishes," in which baseball stars share some of their favorite recipes, food memories and rituals, guilty food pleasures, and current fitness routines.

    The cookbook's author, Julie Loria (wife of Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria), told the New York Post she wanted to publish a baseball-related book both men and women would enjoy. "To me, food and baseball are social activities -- both of them were big passions growing up," she told the Post.

    Sure, there are some indulgences, like apple pie and buttermilk pancakes. But there are tasty-sounding healthy noshes, too.

    When it comes to diet, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez says he eats clean and prefers organic food. His breakfast consists of fruit, brown rice and scrambled egg whites.

    Before a game, A-Rod says he always eats the same thing: five slices of turkey, no bread, and half a sweet potato -- "no oil, no butter, no nothing."

    And for dinner, Rodriguez loads up on fish and vegetables, like steamed spinach or asparagus -- again, plain, without oil, butter or salt.

    And when he gets to cooking, he's got a mean recipe for baked kale chips:

    ALEX RODRIGUEZ'S BAKED KALE CHIPS
    Makes 4–6 servings

    Alex Rodriguez eats sensibly, and that includes plenty of nutritious leafy greens. But he also can’t resist a bowl of crunchy baked chips when it comes to a snack. As a healthier alternative to potato chips, try these homemade kale chips that will have your guests asking “Is this really kale?” Use lacinato kale, which has very curly, dark green leaves. Look for it at your natural foods market or well-stocked supermarkets.

    Ingredients
    1 10-ounce bunch lacinato kale
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Salt

    Directions

    1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
    2. Pull off the rib from each kale leaf. Wash the kale and spin in a salad spinner. Some water droplets will remain in the curls of the leaves; pat dry with paper towels and let kale air dry for an hour or so. T he kale leaves should be as dry as possible.
    3. Spread the leaves on two rimmed baking sheets.
    4. Drizzle each sheet with 1 tablespoon oil, and toss leaves to coat with the oil. Arrange the leaves so they overlap as little as possible.
    5. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, just until the kale becomes crisp, 8–10 minutes. Do not overcook the kale or it could become bitter. Sprinkle the kale with salt. Transfer the chips to a platter or a deep bowl (they are less likely to break on a platter) and serve.

    Excerpted from "Diamond Dishes," Copyright 2011 by Julie Loria. Published by Lyons Press.