I Hate Kale … There I Said It!

February 10, 2016

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I know, right! This is a very bad statement especially coming from an advocate for green living. But, truth be told, I have tried to develop a loving relationship with the nutrient dense Brassica oleracea. I have eaten it raw, sauted, in soups and stews, juiced, in smoothies, braised and bruised, all to know avail. I still hate kale. It’s just simply a fact in my green living life.

Until one day when I had a house guest staying with me. Being the gracious hostess, I always make sure my guests have some of their favorite things to make their stay more homey and comforting. On this particular day, my guest requested kale chips. Gaaaaawwwwd! Kale of all things … are you kidding me {insert eye roll here}! So, I diligently ran to the market for fresh, organic kale because just buying a few bags of ready made kale chips would be way below my standard of hosting.

So here I am standing in the kitchen holding my arch nemesis, talking to it under my breath and reiterating my dislike. I have read many recipes for kale chips. They all seem pretty straight forward. The key, just don’t burn them to a crisp. Okay, I got this, burning things is never on my culinary agenda.

I lovingly {yes, really, I have a guest to impress!} proceed to wash, dry and strip the kale from its woody stalks. I chop it into large pieces, place it in a large bowl, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and began to massage the kale.  I remembered reading somewhere that you must “massage” the kale. I would have preferred to send my guest out for  a massage, but I continued on my quest. After giving a great massage to a bunch of kale I tossed it with some lovely spices; salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.  I spread half of it out thinly on a baking sheet and repeated the process for the other half. I already preheated my oven to 300 degrees, thinking low and slow would win the race. I wasn’t too keen on serving kale ashes to a house guest who loved kale chips. In went the kale … timer set for 10 minutes. This is where I cracked open a beer to steady my shakey hands and wiped the nervous sweat from my brow. I had just one shot at this because, although I loved my house guest dearly, I was not going back to the market.

Beep Beep Beep …. The timer goes off! I chugged a sip, crossed my fingers and opened the oven. Okay, they still need a little more time. I turned the baking sheets to hopefully keep the heat evenly distributed and set the timer for 15 minutes. Feeling a little nervous by that decision I headed back to my beer.

Beep Beep Beep …. The timer goes off again! Please, please, please be okay my little kale chips, I said to myself. I opened the oven and they looked like beautiful little green gems looking up at me. I poked at them, they were crispy, not ashy and not too wet. I was jumping for joy but still refused to taste them. I hate kale!

While they were cooling on a rack, I ran to get my house guest so she could test my batch and finished the beer I had started. I was a little nervous to say the least. When we returned to the kitchen I swore I heard the infamous drum roll … she puts a chip In her mouth and and and … she LOVED THEM! She told me they were the best kale chips she ever had!!! She then proceeded to scarf up the entire baking sheet. Well, that was a really good sign too! Off she went with all but a handful of chips.

At this point I was elated with my culinary expertise in making something I really hated taste so good, or at least to my house guest. I started cleaning up the kitchen and that handful of kale chips kept staring at me … telling me, “come on you never ‘not’ taste your own creations.” “Just give us a little taste,” they said. Damn, they were right, the curiosity was killing me. So, I opened another beer {ya know, just in case they were disgusting} took a little taste, took a little more and I’ll be … I thought they were amazing!!!! I was a kale chip convert!!!

I still hate kale but I do love kale chips! So much so, I always have a batch stored in my kitchen for any salty craving that may strike!

While making kale chips is pretty straight forward, I have outlined my process below.

 
Kale Chips
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Ingredients
  1. 2 bunches fresh Kale
  2. Your favorite seasonings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Strip 1 or 2 bunches of kale from the stalks; (do not use precut, packaged kale)
  3. Cut into large pieces
  4. Place in large bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
  5. Massage kale until it slightly reduces in size
  6. Toss in your favorite spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, just to name a few)
  7. Divide kale between 2 baking sheets (I usually gauge about 1/2 bunch of kale to 1 baking sheet)
  8. Bake for 10 minutes
  9. Turn baking sheets
  10. Bake for 15 minutes
  11. Let cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack
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Did you hate a certain food but have since become a convert?

See you in the comments,

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By Mrs. R