S’s Kale Chips

I grew up with a fusion of two cuisines: my mother’s family travelled around but was dominated by Southern cooking, with a little German tradition, but my father’s favorite foods were from South Korea, where he grew up. I did not anticipate ever finding a popular food that approximates the salty-crisp nothingness of dried seaweed, but the other day, I did. S was hosting me in her home, and she mentioned she had kale chips she’d made, fresh from the garden. I joked that I wasn’t hippie enough to appreciate them, but I tried one grudgingly. Granted, they are not chips, so don’t be disappointed that it is, in fact, no a Dorito, but they do have a delightful crunch to them, not unlike the dried green sheets that I ate as a child, unaware that usually people just use them to hold sushi together.

So, in my fervor to support our local community gardeners, I ordered not one, but two varieties of greens this week: butterhead lettuce and russian kale. The lettuce works great in salad, but the kale is, understandably, a little bitter. In an attempt to turn the kale into something other than salad, I read on the internet about how kale chips are formed. The general theme is: toss kale with a splash of olive oil, just enough to coat a little. Spread out on a tray, season with salt, and bake for 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven. This worked for me: some of the pieces were browned and some were still green, but none of them were blackened.

The tastiness was familiar, crisp and light but also with a bitter, green flavor. What did surprise me was that, sitting in their bowl right next to me, they became a bit of a “movie snack” – I grabbed leaf after leaf as we watched our favorite shows. I marveled to Husband that I was “addicted” to a food that was healthy! Usually, eating healthy is such a deliberate aspect of my life, never casual or done while also watching a show to relax. It’s great to realize that I actually appreciate this food that I thought was too “hippie” for me!

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17 comments on “S’s Kale Chips

  1. lacartera says:

    You can do the same with spinach too! Spinach has a natural sweet taste.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. patsquared2 says:

    Love kale chips…hubby, not so much. And I love just picking them from the back yard and baking them up.

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  3. thetwisted1 says:

    I like them too. Lately I’ve been making beet chips, yum!

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  4. My kids love Kale chips. I cut them off the stems and sprinkle lightly with garlic infused oil and put cracked pepper on them or just plain sea salt. Always delicious and gone within the day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, I remember growing up with the hippie diet LOL

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  6. edawng says:

    Most of the time, I don’t really like asparagus, but my sister made it in a different way one time. I’m not quite sure what the difference was, but I think she may have simply cooked them in water instead of baking them in oil. (my mom likes to put them in the oven covered with olive oil, and I don’t really like it that way.) Whatever she did, I actually liked it.

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    • That’s awesome! My mom grills asparagus and it turns out quite good, though I think it has olive oil on it. Always good to try new preparations of things we don’t like initially, I guess!

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  7. Love kale chips! I made some to take to a party once and ate them all before we even got there… whoops! At least I can feel good that it was kale, right?

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  8. mackmarie says:

    ohhhh yum!! These look so good. I always make mine overcooked, so I am definitely going to try how to make yours!

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  9. […] Our local bakery has also partnered with them, so I got the rest of my way to 13 dollars of produce by adding in a lemon rosemary bread, which was consistent and delicious in all the ways that my bread never is, and made great toast for breakfasts; it replaced buying store-bought bagels that we usually use for breakfast, which I count as a win. Lastly was a new bag of kale, which got put straight in for more kale chips. […]

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  10. Heather H. says:

    I’m glad you’re a convert! I love kale chips, but I’ve only tried making them twice and I’m not happy with either attempt. The first time, I didn’t DRY the fresh-washed kale thoroughly first (duh). The second time, the pieces turned out too chewy and fibrous, so I’ll be sure to strip the leaves completely off the stems next time (and maybe dice the stems and stem them for a separate dish). Any other tips? Thanks!

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  11. […] I’ve been amazed, now that I think with this formula, at how a lot of the foods I crave most are actually equal proportions fat-laden sauce, meat, and carbohydrates: almost no veggie, and not even lean meats and whole grains! My transition, when I can, is to eat the flavors I love but not in the quantity I love – spreading those flavors out over a big baked potato or a tasty pan of farro has been helping me to realize that there are some healthy foods that are also craveable (see kale chips!). […]

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