I am not a vegan or even a vegetarian, but I could probably very easily live on leafy greens, fruit, and nuts exclusively. Which is hard to say, because I won’t keep bacon in the house for fear of overdosing. When I was in graduate school, I went through a period where sautéed kale was probably 50% of my diet. Local food co-op, big bunches of kale, olive oil, kosher salt, and my wok. Even now, I buy leafy greens at the grocery store like most people buy milk, eggs, and loaves of bread—almost every trip. So, you could say kale is probably my favorite vegetable. Perhaps it is my favorite food.
One of the ways I began preparing kale, in addition to the sauteéing, is making kale chips. Crunchy and slightly salty. Super easy, and still a serving or two of vegetables [depending on whether you are a glutton like me.] Plus you have all of the fiber and vitamin benefits, and none of the deep frying troubles to your heart and arteries.
Sometimes it is the simplest recipes that seem to be the biggest hits. I attended a clothing exchange earlier this week. A group of women getting together to exchange pieces from their wardrobe and also share in some snacks and drinks. I went with a very simple recipe that ended up being a big hit at the event.
Although, I must admit, they almost didn’t make it to the clothing swap because I had a few before I left the house and almost couldn’t stop eating them.
I do a variety of different flavor palates with my kale chips, but for this party, I went with an Asian inspired sesame and chili pepper kale chip. I must let you know that any hardy leafy green will do, and this guide can help you pick. I also do this with chard, spinach, collards, broccoli rabe, bok choy, beet greens—whatever is in season and looks pretty. You can also mix types of greens.
2 bunches raw kale [or other hardy leafy green]
1 T olive oil
2 t sesame oil [mine was roasted, but that’s what I have]
1 T sesame seeds
1 T Aleppo chili pepper flakes
2 t soy sauce
2 t salt
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Using a pair of kitchen shears or a knife, cut leaves from stem
3) Tear leaves into bite size pieces
4) Wash greens thoroughly in a sink of cold water
5) Dry thoroughly.
6) Toss in a bowl with remainder of ingredients
7) Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper
8) Put greens onto baking sheet
9) Place in oven bake until edges begin to brown and the chips are crunchy
10) Serve immediately or let them cool and then store in an airtight container.
They are great for parties or just for snacking on around the house. And it’s much cheaper than buying them in the store. Plus, I know what is in them. I paid $1.50 per bunch for my kale purchase.