|roasted kale chips|
"We need kale....what IS kale, exactly? What does it LOOK like?"
Since I was standing right next to them (and in front of the kale!) I couldn't resist helping them out:
"Here it is...this is the green kale and this is the purple kale."
But this didn't end their confusion. "Which one's better...the green or purple?"
I told them they both taste the same to me, and both have the same nutritional content, so it was just a matter of personal preference.
Their questions weren't done. "So how do YOU cook kale?" (I am now the resident kale expert, apparently.)
I told them about a couple of different ways I like to prepare kale...making kale chips and braising it with garlic and onions for a while. I gave them specifics on oven temps and cooking times, and they were most grateful. Off they went to bravely face cooking kale for the first time.
This whole scenario was a complete miracle. Why, you ask?
Because less than six months ago, that was ME. I was the one who bravely entered the organic section of a grocery store for the very first time and had to humble myself and ASK someone "What in the world is kale?". I desperately wanted to SEEM like I knew, but of course I did not. In fact, the first time I even shopped at a Whole Foods I felt like a complete fish out of water. There I was...one of very few overweight people in the whole store...in a produce section bigger than my house...purchasing all kinds of veggies I'd only ever seen before on the Food Network.
Fast forward six months, and not only have I cooked kale...a lot...but I LIKE it. And I can make it a few different ways without so much as a recipe. Oh. My. Word. Who is this person???
It just goes to show. Miracles can still happen. Even at the grocery store.
To celebrate, here's a simple recipe for kale chips. These are now like potato chips at my house. They look TERRIBLE but taste AWESOME and are quite addictive. But it's okay because they are a complete superfood. So go ahead, have some more!
1-2 bunches kale (any variety)
olive oil to drizzle (maybe about 2 tablespoons or so?)
coarse sea salt (fine works too)
freshly ground black pepper
Wash, rinse, and dry kale. Make sure you get the kale REALLY dry. Remove the leaves from the stems (which are kind of woody and hard to chew). Chop the kale into smaller pieces (I do rough squares/rectangles, a couple of inches across.) Lay them out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Or not, if you don't have parchment paper...that just helps them not stick to the pan.) Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle to taste with sea salt (I like the coarse stuff) and fresh ground black pepper. The biggest mistake I always used to make when cooking is that I was very timid when seasoning things, and therefore they often seemed tasteless. Depending on what kind of diet you're on, perhaps you can handle salt or perhaps not. If you need a lower salt recipe, perhaps add a liberal amount of garlic powder and black pepper in place of the salt.
Bake them at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes. They will be the ugliest little things, but SO tasty! You can modify this recipe with whatever spices you have on hand that sound good...cumin and chili powder with some red pepper flakes would be a nice spicy version!