So the last few years kale has been all the rage. Everywhere you turn there is another variation on a massaged kale salad or kale chips. I jumped on the kale wagon with everyone else as it is nutritious and it tastes good too! Kale is the king of all greens. It has vitamin K, A, and C, fiber, iron, calcium, B vitamins, potassium, copper, and phosphorous. You can read about the nutrients here. (If you read about beet greens yesterday, these might all sound familiar!)
There are a number of varieties of kale. Pictured above are two kinds of kale that were growing in the gardens of a health spa I went to in Quebec a couple of years ago. (Spa Eastman is fabulous if you ever get the chance! I spent 5 days there, hiking, relaxing, getting spa treatments, and eating great food. One of the best vacations ever….) Curly kale is a little stronger flavored than the lacianto or dinasuar kale. You can look at the different types here. I use whatever looks good at the store, not being that particular about it. I love to make kale chips. They are super easy to make and are really expensive if you buy them premade at the store. All you do is wash and dry the kale. Tear it into pieces, coat with some oil and seasoning and cook in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. The tray below is what they look like before cooking. You need lots of space on your baking sheet so they don't steam.
They turn crispy and crunchy. I like them salty and then they are like eating potato chips but with way more nutrition. I have to admit I can eat an entire bunch of kale like this. The recipe below is for 1/2 bunch of kale. I ate all of it! Reasonably it will feed two people. You can make the whole bunch, but you either need several baking sheets or you need to cook it in batches. Some people cook them a bit longer than I have. They get browner and crunchier. Just taste as you go and see how you like them!
Kale Chips with Parmesan Cheese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 -15 minutes
Ingredients (1 - 2 servings)
- 1/2 bunch of kale
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two large baking sheets by spaying lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
Wash the kale and pull the leaves off of the stems. Discard the stems. Dry the kale really well in clean dish towels. Tear into 2 inch pieces. Spread the kale out into a single layer on the two sheets, taking care not to crowd the pans. Once you determine the amount of kale to be on each sheet, gather the kale into two piles, one on each sheet. They don't need to be even, the kale just needs enough space. Drizzle with the olive oil, distributing between the two sheets. Toss the kale with your hands, rubbing the oil into the leaves, trying to get each leaf coated. This might take a few minutes. You don't want too much oil. Spread the kale back out into a single layer. Sprinkle all over with a little salt and peppper and the Parmesan cheese.
Place the sheets in the oven and bake for 12 - 15 minutes. The leaves will shrink a bit and get crispy. Check them at 10 minutes. You want them to get a little brown but not charred. (Actually some people like them dark!) You will smell the Parmesan cheese as they get close to done. Eat one when they appear dry and crispy. If it is not crisp yet, keep cooking another minute or two until you like them! Remove from oven and eat!
Note: you can use nutritional yeast instead of cheese to make these vegan. You can also add any variety of seasonings. Old Bay is really good, garlic powder is good, even chili powder. You can also make a whole bunch of kale, just adjust the oil and seasonings accordingly. It may not take 2 Tbsp of oil. Just be sure to spead it out on multiple sheet trays or bake them in batches!