I might be not the first one, but definitely not the last who recently hopped on the kale wagon. For a long time I’ve resisted it, although, almost all labels in natural food stores screamed ‘’Kale’’ and gave the stats on how this leafy green can improve your health.
Then I was absolutely cornered to try it. Still, even perfectly concocted Portuguese-style Kale, Bean and Chorizo soup could not really warm me up for this veg. Until I run into the Kale Chips recipe in ‘’It’s All Good’’ cookbook earlier this year and got hooked on the idea and simplicity of it. Now I can’t stop gushing about Kale Chips. Oddly enough, not so many know about this dish (although Internet is now loaded with it) and every time I make it people ask me for the recipe.
Kale chips taste very much like roasted seaweed snack (which is addictive), just much fresher and without the preserving agents or MSG. The beauty of making them is that there actually is no recipe. Just tear the leaves, wash and dry them, toss with the olive oil, and roast them for 10-12 minutes. In over a dozen of recipes I’ve viewed, one thing is obvious – there is no consensus on the roasting temperature. Most recipes suggest 350 F, however, many ask for 400F (like the one below). Experiment for yourself (I am sure you will be able to burn some batches a few times). I think it depends on how powerful is your oven and if you like the chips more or less crispy. Contrary what is suggested in most of the recipes about salt, I don’t use any salt at all, but if you use it begin with a very small quantity or you can easily ruin your chips (kale will significantly shrink during the process). Use some smoked paprika, crushed chili flakes, curry powder or even nutritional yeast to add an extra layer of taste and goodness if you wish. Kale chips make a great party snack, salad ingredient, or a side dish to numerous mains. In my case, it goes very well with potato-crusted salmon.
If you are looking for a way to stop ignoring and start enjoying kale – this is a good start. For truly, this vegetable is all mighty for your body and soul, which is why it literally flies off the counters of the farmers markets. We just rarely notice that.
In case you decide to grow it yourself next year, here is something from my experience. This vegetable is relatively easy to grow however it can easily go under the attack of cabbage worms if you don’t water it regularly and/or keep the soil cool with mulch. Next spring I’ll be sowing kale again, in much bigger quantity.
Kale chips snack might not sound like a big deal, but for me it is another step towards better, healthier life. And to dig further into cooking this super hero leafy green, here is a great list of 15 creative kale ideas that might inspire you to eat more kale.
1 bunch of kale, stems discarded and leaves torn into 1.5-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Toss the kale with the olive oil and spread out on 2 baking sheets. Roast stirring once, for 12-15 minutes, or until gold and crispy. Sprinkle with salt and/or your favorite dry flavor dressing (chili flakes, curry powder, paprika, nutritional yeast, etc.) Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Adapted from: ”It’s All Good” by Gwyneth Paltrow with Julia Turschen, Grand Central Life & Style Hachette Book Group, April 2013.