Monday, November 1, 2010

Think Potato Chips, But A Whole Lot Healthier

Ever since I purchased a bag of maple coconut covered kale chips this past winter, I've been slightly obsessed with a crispy version of one of my favorite vegetables.

When did my love affair with crispy greens begin? Probably about 13 years ago, at a birthday dinner at the restaurant Baang in Greenwich, CT. Crispy spinach. Now, don't get me wrong, I try to avoid fried foods, but fried spinach? Any trace of toughness this green powerhouse may have is obliterated as these leaves are left thin and crispy, melting in your mouth.

Fast forward to this winter, when I picked up a bag of these coconut maple kale chips. Slightly sweet, definitely chewy (thanks, coconut), these little morsels were too good to be true. Though I did eat them plain, I much prefered them crumbled on a salad with teriyaki flank steak. Oh my...

But, as anything sweet with me, the wonder wears off quickly. I discovered a savory version from my favorite health food store, Lifethyme, and had a brief obsession with them. Yet, something was missing. The clean kale flavor was certainly overwhelmed by a salty-mustardyness. Yes, delicious when sprinkled (again) over a salad, or even with an omelette. But for snacking, I prefer something much more simple. Clean. And delicious.

So, luck be have it when I came across a recipe for baked kale chips from one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen. How could I resist getting my fingers on this recipe, when there is an abundance of Lacinato kale at the Farmers Market?

Baked Kale Chips
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 bunch Lacinato kale (I didn't weigh mine, but it was a large bunch from the market)
2 tablespoons olive
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Rinse the kale in a sinkful of water. Tear leaves off stem and place into a bowl. Toss one half with a tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread on silpat-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway so that all the torn leaves are able to crisp.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Remove from silpat, and repeat with remaining kale.

Store in air-tight containers (or enjoy immediately). I'm kind of wondering what this would taste like sprinkled on vanilla ice cream. Salty and sweet? Yumm...

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