Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Just when I’d determined that I was going to make a MUCH more concerted effort to eat healthy, I ran across marbled halvah at Safeway yesterday, marked half off just for me.  I mean, seriously?  Would anyone NOT see that as the fates trying to tell you to accept yourself as you are and forget about chewing on wheat grass and rice cakes?

Maybe it’s just me.

I also made a huge error in judgment by determining that we could just ‘wing it’ for dinner, knowing I had promised to help O2 make a cake for her boyfriend’s birthday.  You know how teens sometimes assume things like, there’s an endless supply of money to serve their every whim?  Or that the dinner dishes just magically wash themselves?  Well, they also think that baking and decorating a cake can be done (apparently by elves) in part of an evening. 


Anyway, as the evening wore on, and it became glaringly obvious that I was not going to get a meal of any kind, I started hunting around for stuff to snack on.  Dinner turned out to be a bakery hamburger bun and a big handful of kale chips.

Kale what???

Ok, if you read as many food blogs as I do, you see this stuff mentioned all the time.  But I can’t say that the idea of cooking up a bunch of kale to snack on really jumped to the forefront of my list of must tries.  But, in the interest of not dropping dead of a massive coronary before turning 50, I decided I should give them a whirl.  Turns out it’s pretty good stuff.

Don’t go thinking you’ll be able to substitute these for your favorite potato chip and dunk them in ranch dressing or anything.  They’re super delicate and almost disintegrate as soon as you pop them in your mouth.  But they do win big points for flavor when you dress them up a bit.  This is just a basic idea.  Take it and run with whatever crazy concoctions you deem fit.

Kale Chips

3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 bunch Italian kale (washed and completely dry), ribs removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°.  Add kale to a large mixing bowl.

In a small skillet, add the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Turn heat to medium-low and cook the garlic just until softened.  Pour contents of pan over the kale in the bowl and toss to cover completely in the garlic oil.

Spread kale in a single layer over two baking pans.  Place on two racks in the oven and allow to bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until crisp, rotating the pans halfway through baking time.

Allow to cool completely on sheets.

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