Sunday, November 7, 2010

Eat Your Greens! Kale Chips

I’ve mentioned in previous posts my attempts to eat more greens. Sometimes this is easy; I can eat spinach, arugula, collard greens, and bok choy by the pound. However, sometimes it takes a bit more effort. Dandelion greens, rainbow chard, and kale can be a little bitter for my tastes, but they are so full of minerals and antioxidants that they are among the very best things you can eat.

Because I am constantly trying to incorporate more greens into my diet, I am always experimenting with flavors and textures. I have had some success blanching the most bitter greens before sautéing them, which softens the flavor a bit. My typical method of preparation is just a quick sauté in olive oil with a bit of salt. I also like to dress them up with raisins or currants and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. But, the technique I have been most pleased with is baked vegetable chips.

Kale chips seem to be everywhere these days, if by everywhere you mean snobby food blogs. I thought I would try my hand at them, and I was thrilled. Baked at a high temperature, the kale become delicate and crispy. They are like nutritious potato chips, and you can’t help but eat them by the handful. Before you know it, you’ve had three servings of greens! So, if you’re skeptical or reluctant about incorporating greens into your diet, make a tray full of these, and see if you feel a little friendlier toward our verdant brethren!

1 bunch kale
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

Heat oven to 350º. Remove kale leaves from ribs and tear into small pieces. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until kale has shriveled and dried considerably. Sprinkle with salt as desired. Enjoy immediately!

*I haven’t tried it, but I have a hunch this would work impeccably with other greens. I’m also planning to serve these as pre-Thanksgiving dinner nibbles.

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