Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quick 'N' Easy Kale Chips

I'm not gonna lie ya'll, I've been feeling pretty crummy. Lots and lots of pain... Lots and lots of tiredness... resulting in days where I accomplish lots and lots of a whole lot of nothing. I dealt with a tough bout of depression while my oldest two were away for the summer so I did a whole lot of self medicating. My drug of choice: Food.

Now that the kiddos are home, I'm naturally a little more conscious of what I put in my mouth. I tend to buy less easily accessible junk food when they're around cause I don't want them filling up on junk. Not only that but they eat all the good stuff before I could even get a lick at it anyway and that just leads to feelings of rage and resentment at the nerve of them having left me with less than a teaspoon of Nutella after scraping the side of the jar. So ya know what? If I can't have it... they ain't getting it either and in the long run it works out best for ALL of us. (Don't judge me.)

Anyhow. I know part of the reason for my feeling less than %100 (and having locked myself out of the house twice in less than a week) is because of what I'm putting into my body. And since forbidding myself of the occasional junk food snack has never worked in the past...

 ... I keep my eyes and taste buds open to discovering equally delicious yet nutritious snacks to replace the stuff I crave on my crummy-I-don't-give-a-danm-about-nothing-but-this-bag-of-chips-so-don't-touch/look/talk-to-me days which just leads to even MORE feelings of cruminess. 

Like I mentioned in past posts (like this one HERE)... I have a major weakness for salty snacks. Especially when I'm feeling down. One of the alternatives I've read about to reaching for a bag of chips is to eat kale chips sprinkled with sea salt. Except... I think this stuff is disgusting. Why do I buy it? While juicing didn't work out for me, tossing it into my fruit smoothies has. And then I consider that I thought all veggies were disgusting at one point, that is until I found a way of preparing them that suited my taste buds until I acquired a taste for them and even craved them without all the extra flavoring. Kale might just be one of em. I read a little about some of the benefits of eating kale chips HERE and figured it was worth a try. 

Here was the end result:

Now, I'm not gonna sit here and tell ya'll it was JUST like feasting on a big ol' bowl of Cheetos but better. It still tasted like... well... kale. Just a lot more tolerable version of it. And for those who love this stuff already in it's raw form... these might be heaven in a bowl. I sprinkled mine with a little extra sea salt (YEAH it WAS just a little extra salt, cut me some slack ya'll I'm tryin' here) and Parmesan cheese and I left them out on the table for everyone to try. Each time I walked past them I couldn't help picking at them. My love for new veggies usually begins with an appreciation for certain aspects of the veggie, such as the scent, color or texture before I begin the appreciate it in it's entirety. In this case I like the texture of the curly, brown, leafy part of the kale in it's baked form. Not only did it hold most of the flavor of the olive oil, sea salt and Parmesan cheese... the CRUNCH is unlike anything you could find in a prepackaged bag. Now, I probably would have finished off the bowl had it not been for the pesky little fruit fly I caught landing in my friggin snack. After that, I just couldn't bring myself to continue eating them. -__-

Moving on...

Even though these days it's been extremely difficult to stick to a meal plan or a permanent change in diet... it's not to say I won't find the motivation to stick to it someday without missing all that is sugary and salty. When that day comes, I could see these kale chips becoming a regular go-to snack. This first time around, my concern was burning these babies. Now that I had a crack at em, next time I'll be baking them long enough for all my leaves to turn into that nice crispy-looking brown. 

So here's a quick and easy how-to on making kale chips:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. I usually buy kale in 16 oz bags. Where the fruit flies won't touch it. I used half a bag of kale. (So... approximately 8 oz or just 2 handfuls of the stuff...) and drizzle with 1 to 1.5 tablespoon/s of olive oil. Toss. 

3. Sprinkle evenly with sea salt to taste. ('Bout a tsp should do.)

3. Pour onto a cookie sheet. 

4. Spread out evenly.

5. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the super curly edges are a toasty brown color. 


Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese or whatever else your little kale baking heart desires and ENJOY!

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