Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kale Chips




Here's a fresh way to use one of 2013's trendiest vegetables. Kale (or other leafy greens for that matter) is great sauteed, in soup or even shredded in a salad. But one of the newest ways to use kale is by baking it to create "chips." Yes, kale chips.

Okay--I'll admit it. Even though kale is one of my very favorite vegetables (thanks, Thanksgiving 2009 Mom), being the critical, hesitant-to-jump-on-the-bandwagon person that I am, when I first heard about kale chips I thought, "Here we go. The next 'I want to eat chips without the calories that are in chips' chips." I refused to make them. I told myself that if I wanted a chip, I would just eat a chip. I stuck it out until last night when I actually made them.

I was wrong. There might actually be something to this one! These delightfully crunchy, unbelievably light, slightly salty "chips" taste way more indulgent than they even come close to being. Bonus for all you non-kale-lovers out there (or husbands or kids who are afraid to eat their greens)--these don't even taste like kale. It's a nice way to sneak in some veggies.

So what's the benefit to eating kale chips over potato, corn or pita chips? Kale is packed with nutrients that the others just don't have: vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium and fiber. It's a great way to make the most of your calories.

Stubborn like me and haven't made them? Or maybe just haven't found the time? Give it a try. If you're unsure, start with a small batch as you use kale in another recipe. It's so easy. Just beware, the first comment I got from Mr. Patton was, "What's that smell?!"

Before
Kale Chips
Number of servings varied.

Ingredients
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut or tear kale off its tough stalk. Tear into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Rinse kale and spin it in your lettuce spinner or pat dry.
  4. Place kale pieces in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly season with a dash of Kosher salt. **At this point, you can also add other ingredients of your choice. Popular additions include parmesan cheese, pepper, vinegar or chili powder.**
  5. Spread kale in a single layer on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 5-10 minutes until chips are crispy and beginning to turn brown. Watch them carefully so they don't burn! If some chips are done before others, remove them while allowing the remainder to crisp.
Nutrition Facts
Per cup, raw kale contains:
Calories 34 | Total Fat 0.5g | Sodium 29 mg | Carbohydrate 7g | Fiber 1.3g | Protein 2g.

The oil added to this recipe adds about 4 grams of fat and 40 calories.

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Stuffed Shells with Kale