"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will."
George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kale Chips: Weird and Awesome (I think?)

I've started exercising for the first time since senior year of college (when I worked out for the first time in my life for 3 months before graduation). I'm on week 1.5 and so far so good. The main purpose of this (it's shocking!) is to be more healthy. Being thin and being healthy are NOT the same thing. Yeah, I'm thin by the grace of God, but walking up two flights of stairs makes my heart explode and my legs feel like rubber. I've decided that's pathetic and not really a good long-term life plan. The working out part is actually not so bad (and more about what I'm actually doing later). It's changing the diet that is super hard for me. 

I like to eat, and I like to eat whatever I want whenever I feel like it. I think butter should be its own food group. Gummy worms and Skittles probably deserve a slice of the new food plate chart too. Don't get me wrong--I like my fruits and veggies. It's just that cookies and pies are more fun to eat and make.

This is where the kale chips come in. You're probably thinking, "Oh this is going to get really boring because all the food Megan is going to make and take pictures of is going to be healthy crap." And THAT, my friends, will be your downfall. Is is going to get a little strange? Yeah. For sure (keep reading). Is it going to be healthier than what I normally cook? Let's hope so. Am I going to stop baking delicious (sometimes unhealthy) things completely? No way. There's a reason I study portion sizes and self control. 

So, on to the promised kale chips. If you're like me, you have heard of kale but never eaten it, really seen it or cooked with it. We decided to do our first week of healthy-food shopping at Whole Foods. It just seemed appropriate. And they have a sign that explains all the numbers next to the fruits and veggies are rating their overall "goodness" for you. Brian really liked this, and preceded to research all his favorite foods and things we eat often. Here's an example: soda = 1 point. Kale = 1000 points. For real. So he suggested I get some kale. And I decided that, despite not being born in the deep south, I would buy some and figure out what to do with it later. 

 It looks like the foliage you get on the side of your plate at a restaurant. Not a good start.
So I found a recipe for kale chips, my friend Mary said they're amazing, and it sounded like it would take approximately 15 minutes total. It also has "chips" in the name. I'm in. You start by washing the kale, tearing it off the long stem into mouth-size pieces, and putting it on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. 

Still looks like plate foliage decorations.
Then you spray the kale with cooking spray (you probably don't need as much as I used, but I was nervous). I sprinkled some garlic salt and parmesan cheese on top (not too much!) and put the pan in the oven for 10 minutes at 350. The recipe comments said a hundred times to watch it very carefully, especially at the end, because there is a fine line between soggy kale chips and burnt kale chips. At about 9.5 minutes I checked and they were done, couldn't take another second without burning. Here's the REALLY weird thing: they shrink big time! 

Where'd all the kale go!?!? 
They still LOOK like regular kale...but they're crispy!! I put one in my mouth and it just disappeared! It was like crunchy air. And it was DELICIOUS. I ate probably 1/4 of the pan above (portion control what?). And I will warn you, as good and addicting as these things are, if you eat a bunch at once you will end up chewing lettuce-like stuff because some pieces will be more lettuce-like and less crunchy than others. I'm okay with that. 

Ta-da! Weird and awesome. 
Moral of the story? My future kids are going to hate it when I pack them "potato chips" for lunch. 

P.S. If anyone has made these/ends up making these with different types of kale let me know what happens. There's several varieties and I'm curious about how they all taste! I have heard that the more purple ones are more bitter--that seems to actually make a lot of sense. 

1 comment:

  1. Yum yum yum! I brought these to small group and my friend described them as "vegetable cotton candy" because of the way that they disappear when you bite into them. It is so crazy that such a tough raw veg becomes so light when cooked!


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