Recipe - Kale Chips

One of the reasons that I’ve been quiet for the past while is because I decided to go on a health kick for eight weeks (this being week three) and that meant getting used to a few schedule changes to accommodate my recent lifestyle. Now that I’m getting more accustomed to my routine, I’m hoping that I can get back to writing here more often (and take you through my extensive backlog of restaurant reviews, but also a few recipes that I’ve picked up along the way).  

I’ve been trying to eat healthier, and one of the things that I have been having difficulty with is making sure I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day. Don’t get me wrong, because I do eat lots of greens, but I’ve been trying to eat more – and trying to find new and exciting ways to eat them. Let me tell you, I have found the Holy Grail of vegetable recipes. It has changed my life and I’m not afraid to admit it, left me with a newfound obsession. I can’t stop making/eating/thinking about them.

Kale Chips. Chips made from kale. Kale. That is like chips. Whaaaat? Sounds weird, I know. You may even be like me and think it’s a hoax to make you buy a bunch of kale just to get it into your house. No, friends, this is the real deal. The bomb. The shizzle. The best snack I’ve eaten in a long time. This simple method of preparing it has turned what is an unpleasant, bitter, tastes-healthy-so-it-must-be-gross, leafy vegetable, and turned it into a lighter than air, crisper than potato chips, you-can’t-eat-just-one, delight. In fact, each time I make this recipe, whole bunches of kale are devoured at a time. When have you ever said that? When have you willingly sat and ate an entire bunch of kale in a sitting – not because you have to, but because you want to? The first time I made these, I served them as a side to a “cheesesteak” sandwich, and the boyfriend looked at me with scepticism in his eyes. After his first bite though, I had to fight him to get the last few off the plate. This is the magic of kale chips, and I’m about to blow your mind with how easy it is to make these delicious beauties.

To start, wash your kale and then dry it very very thoroughly. I go to the extreme and run it through the salad spinner and then pat the leaves dry on top of it. You don’t want any moisture on it at all, to ensure that they’ll be nice and crispy once they’re baked. At this point, you can preheat your oven to 350.

A leaf at a time, cut out the middle vein (is it called a vein? I call it a vein) and keep the leafy part off the stem. You can cut it down into smaller pieces if the leaves are big, but keep in mind that they’ll shrink significantly in the oven. Toss everything into a bowl and drizzle the olive oil over the leaves, then use your hands and massage the oil into the kale – making sure you get every nook and cranny. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can also put the kale into a baggy and drizzle the oil into it, then squish it around in the bag. Once all the kale has been oiled, spread them out onto baking sheets without crowding them – I find one bunch of kale usually takes up two normal sized sheets pre-baking, but they shrink to almost half their size after they're done. 
Pop the sheets into the oven and bake for between 15 and 20 minutes. You want the kale to be crispy, but once it starts to brown too much, it will taste charred and the bitterness returns. Just watch it near the end to make sure, it’s a quick jump from crispy to burnt. Once they’re baked, remove the pans from the oven and sprinkle salt to taste. I don’t have an exact measurement, but I typically use sea salt, and find that a dime sized amount in the palm of my hand is perfect in giving me the saltiness that I like.
The beauty with these chips is that they taste so good, you feel like you’re getting a treat. The crunchy, salty combination cures any cravings you may have for unhealthy snacks, and dipping them in ketchup makes you feel like you’re having fries! They’re also extremely versatile, so you can flavour them any way you like – add chilli flakes, or roasted garlic, massage in some vinegar with the oil for salt and vinegar chips...the possibilities are endless, but the results will still be delicious. 

Try them. Love them. Eat your weight in kale and find yourself inexplicably talking about them wherever you go, to whoever will listen. I promise you’ll be surprised at how addictive they are.

Recipe: Kale Chips
1 bunch kale
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Optional: other seasonings to taste
Optional (but delicious): ketchup to dip

1.       Preheat oven to 350.
2.       Wash and dry kale thoroughly.
3.       Remove stem and middle vein from each leaf. If leaf is still too large, cut into smaller pieces.
4.       Place kale into bowl and drizzle oil over top. Using hands, massage oil into each leaf, making sure all surfaces are lightly oiled.
5.       Place on baking sheets, making sure not to crowd.
6.       Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until crisp.
7.       Remove from oven and salt/season to taste.
8.       Eat one. Moan because it is so good. Hoard the rest and don’t share.

Will store in airtight container for two days. If you’re not eating them immediately, store in the airtight container or else they start to go soft.


Kim said...
March 18, 2011 at 8:39 PM

ok wowsa! Gotta try this one! ANd have you tried baked french fries? They don't really come out crispy but are delicious as normal fries are if you aske me. Can use either sweet potato or regular potatoes and cut them into strips - put in bowl with olive oil and put on baking sheet - I sprinkle with a little seasoning salt (sea salt would be great too) and bake at 350 until they seem done. DEEE LISH!

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