Friday, August 17, 2012

Kale Chips

I grew up in Colorado, the best place to live ever. Now I live in California, not the best place to live ever. Its my husband's fault really, he just had to get a Ph. D. and he just had to get it from Stanford, and Stanford just happens to be in California, so until he finally obtains said Ph.D. we are stuck here. But living in California with the love of your life is much better than living anywhere without him, so I try not to complain too much. I don't always succeed. Anyway, one of the best aspect of living here is the produce, it is plentiful and inexpensive. I have tried a plethora of foods I barely even knew existed before I lived here. One of my favorite discoveries has been kale chips. I thought people might be exaggerating a bit when they talked about how good they are. They were not. They don't taste like potato chips, but they do get crunchy, and they are delicious and nutritious. They are a totally guilt-free snack. And best of all, they are easy, perfect for the lazy cook. 

prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 20 minutes
serves: 2

1/2 bunch of kale
1/2 to 1 Tb olive oil
a little bit of salt

1. Heat oven to 350
2. Wash and dry the Kale, it must be really dry to ensure that it crisps. To make sure mine is really dry, I skip the whole washing step. Yes, I am serious. I know you must be thinking: do you know what is on those heads of kale? Yes, yes, I do. I have a masters degree in environmental engineering and my professors informed me exactly what could be on that kale. It doesn't keep me up at night. You should have about this much kale:

3. Tear the kale into large pieces, removing the thick stems as you do. It will shrink quite a bit. 
4. Place it on a large cookie sheet and pour olive oil on top. Use your hands to make sure all the leaves have some oil. They should not be completely coated, but they should all have some oil. Start with 1/2 Tbs and add more if you need it. Evenly distribute the kale.
5. Sprinkle lightly with salt, they will shrink and get salty fast.
6. Place in oven for 10 minutes.
7. Remove and flip the pieces. They should be shrinking. 
8. Put back in the oven for about 10 minutes, but after 5 minutes, check it often to make sure they aren't turning black. They should have a papery, crispy texture when they are done.

These are great with different variations of olive oil and salt. This batch was made with chipotle olive oil and it was so good. You can also try garlic salt or other seasonings as well. I have also done an entire head of kale on only one sheet and it was fine. Enjoy!

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