Monday, October 24, 2011

Kale Chips

Kale is all the rage these days, well, all the rage to those very interesting vegetarian people.  I never thought much about kale, cuz like blah.  Sounds about as appetizing as cabbage.

But then, the October 2011 cover of Southern Living featured a gorgeous display of white and orange pumpkins and this beautiful purple kale.  I read the mag and forgot all about the kale until...

Totes gorg, right?!

...I saw some kale plants at a little country store on the side of 29 in Madison, and thinking I could spruce up my front porch I bought one (one puny little kale plant, 1/4 the size of the ones above...I mean, sometimes I don't really know what I'm thinking). 

So there, on the porch, my little kale has sat, wedged between 3 pumpkins, looking totally and completely unlike my SL inspiration picture.

This past Sunday, Ryan ran out on an errand and I thought I'd make him some kale chips as a semi-healthy alternative to the usual suspects we buy (salt & vinegar...yum).  Rachel Ray said that kale chips are cool so obvs I was going to give it a try.

I opted for the most basic recipe, being sort of skeptical about the whole thing... I mean kale chips?!  But, they were awesome! The texture is very strange, the chips are extremely delicate and sort of just melt in your mouth while being very crunchy at the same time.  I made sea salt chips, but I've since found a variety of kale chip recipes that I am dying to try out*

*note, my poor, small kale plant only has a few leaves left they grow back?! 

To make sea salt kale chips...get ready for it...

1. Wash and dry kale leaves
2. Pick the leafy part off of the stems (throw stems away, or feed them to dog...whatevs)
3.  Toss leaves in EVOO
4. Spread the leaves on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt
5. Bake at 300* for 20 minutes

Yes, they look like weird, flattened broccolis, but boy are they good.

Some other kale chip flavors to try: 

-Salt and vinegar: whisk 1/2 tsp of white vinegar into EVOO before coating the leaves.  Sprinkle sea salt on chips after baking.

-BBQ: coat leaves with EVOO and then sprinkle a barbecue rub over baked chips

-Lemon-Pepper: coat leaves with EVOO, salt, and pepper.  Zest lemon over baked chips.

And now that I've written this, I realize, hi, kale is found at the grocery store. Duh, I don't have to continue picking the leaves off my writhering front porch kale to try these amazing chips.  So be prepared, Ryan, kale chips may be the only snack you get in your lunch for the next several weeks ;)

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