Kale Chips and Kale Pesto – Two New Addictions

Crispy Kale Chips are the bomb when it comes to snack food.  A comfort food you must try.  These bite-sized crunchy, salty chips satisfy the want for regular potato chips, and are way too healthy for you. It will become your “new addiction” too! Okay so unless you’ve already tried them and know for yourself, the words “kale chips” may not cause you to rush out and give this a shot and learn for yourself that this is an addictive snack, however, I guarantee you, if you do give it a whirl, you will be the first one out there supporting and hunting down every kale farmer in existence by the end of your snack!  I can’t say enough about how healthy this curly, rubbery veggie “Kale” is for our bodies.  The most nutrient-dense greens on earth.

CRISPY KALE CHIPS

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, Mrs. Dash, Tex-mex seasoning, or any other combination of savory spices you like.  I like cumin and chili powder and a touch of rock salt or sea salt.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner.  Toss Kale in a zip-lock plastic bag or large plastic bag. Drizzle kale with 1/2 of the olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Seal and shake the bag, add the rest of the oil, and shake again to make sure you have equal oil coverage for all leaves.  Arrange  leaves on the cookie sheet so they do not touch each other. Sprinkle with a little additional spice.  Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

KALE PESTO

  • 1 bunch of  kale, thick stems removed
  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A few pinches of salt

Bake the hazelnuts on a sheet tray at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Let cool.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the kale. Blanch for three minutes. Remove and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Remove and set on paper towels to absorb the water.
Add the hazelnuts to a food processor and pulse until the nuts are coarsely ground.
Add the kale to the processor and pulse until the kale begins to break apart. Drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing the blade, pausing to scrape down the sides. It’s important not to puree pesto. Instead leave some texture and body to it.
Scrape pesto into a bowl and season with a few pinches of salt and stir. Once it’s seasoned properly, the flavour will really pop.  Serve tossed with pasta or rice or any way you like to eat regular pesto.

Facts about Kale:  Kale freezes well and actually tastes sweeter and more flavourful after being exposed to a frost.

Tender kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other such strongly flavoured ingredients as dry-roasted peanuts, roasted almonds, red pepper flakes, or an Asian-style dressing.

In the Netherlands, it is very frequently used in a winter dish as a traditional Dutch dish called stamppot boerenkool.

In Ireland, kale is mixed with mashed potatoes to make the traditional dish Colcannon. It is popular on Halloween when it is served with sausages. Small coins are sometimes hidden inside as prizes.

Kale is a very popular vegetable in China, Tiawan and Vietnam where it is commonly stir-fried with beef.

A traditional Portugese soup, combines pureed potatoes, diced kale, olive oil, broth, and, generally, sliced cooked spicy sausage. Under the name of couve, kale is also popular in Brazil, in Caldo Verde, or as a vegetable dish, often cooked with shredded dried beef. When chopped and stir-fried, couve accompanies Brazil’s national dish, Feijoada.

In East Africa, it is an essential ingredient in making a stew for ugali, which is almost always eaten with kale. Kale is also eaten throughout southeastern Africa, where it is typically boiled with coconut milk and ground peanuts and is served with rice or boiled cornmeal.

A whole culture around kale has developed in north-western Germany. There, most social clubs of any kind will have a Grünkohlfahrt a “kale tour” sometime between October and February, whereby one visits various country Inns to consume large quantities of boiled kale. Most communities in the area have a yearly kale festival which includes naming a “kale king” or queen.

Curly kale is used in Denmark and southwestern Sweden to make  an traditional dish commonly served together with the Christmas Ham. The kale is used to make a stew of minced boiled kale, stock, cream, pepper and salt that is simmered together slowly for a few hours.

In Scotland, kale provided such a base for a traditional diet that the word in dialect Scots is synonymous with food. To be “off one’s kale” is to feel too ill to eat.

In Sweden, it is also commonly eaten as a soup, with a base of ham broth and the addition of onion and pork sausages.

In Montenegro kale, locally known as rashtan is a favorite vegetable. It is particularly popular in winter, cooked with smoked mutton and potatoes.

In the Southern United States, kale is often served braised, either alone or mixed with other greens, such as collard, mustard, or turnip.

In Japan, kale juice known as aojiru is a popular dietary supplement.

What ever country you are from, know that Kale is a world-wide green and now you can enjoy it as a snack and fast-food item.  Even the kids will like this one!

Try these Awesome Kale Chip Recipes from Making Love in the Kitchen

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2 Responses to Kale Chips and Kale Pesto – Two New Addictions

  1. Pingback: Killer Kale | Lady Locavore

  2. Pingback: Food as Medicine: Kale and the Immune System / 2 min video « Talesfromthelou's Blog

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