Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kale Chips, an unusual treat

Why can't I be different and unusual... like everyone else? – Vivian Stanshall

This must be the most unusual fish and chips I have ever eaten. Kale and smoked mackerel. And it won’t be the last time.

I rank smoked mackerel as a bit of a guilty pleasure. Sadly, I don’t eat it often enough. In an enclosed space it can be a bit overpowering. But the health benefits far outweigh that “minor” issue.

Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and cod) contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help improve cardiovascular health by lowering the levels of triglycerides and "bad" cholesterol in the blood. 

I like my mackerel heated in the oven. Both the fish and kale bake for 15 minutes, so it made sense to do them at the same time. But I didn’t come here to talk about smoked mackerel. I came here to talk about kale.

Since mackerel is a fish powerhouse, one should really pair it with its vegetable equivalent to get a really good bang for your dietary buck. Few compare to kale.

Healthy stuff
Dark leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, dandelion greens, etc) contain many nutrients important to maintaining good health. Iron, Vitamins K, C and A, copper, potassium, manganese, phosphorous, calcium, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories – they’re all present in kale. 

Interesting fact: kale contains more calcium than milk. All told, it’s one of the world’s most nutrient-rich foods.

But people seem to hate it. Or love it.

I used to fall in the middle. I liked it, but didn’t go out of my way to get it unless I was  a) feeling guilty for past food transgressions, or  b) had something particular in mind to make. Let's face it, besides putting it in a salad or soup, you have to get “creative” with kale.

But my negative opinion has changed. I have discovered a quick way to make kale into a vegetable you put on your grocery list intentionally. This would even be a good snack to have for watching TV.

Kale chips are so easy to make, too. All you need is a knife, some olive oil and salt. Not too much, though. I found that out the hard way!

Kale Chips
Prep: 5 min  |  Bake: 12-15 min  |  Serves 4
1 bunch of kale, washed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
optional: pepper or parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Shake all the water off the kale after you wash it, and pat it dry with paper towel. It needs to be dry for the oil to adhere.

Cut the thick rib/stems away from the leaves. How far up the leaves you go will depend on the size of the rib.

Tear into manageable pieces, or you can leave them whole. Place the leaves in a bowl, top with the oil and massage over the leaves with your hands to coat well. 

Arrange the leaves rib-side up on one or two cookie sheets. The leaves shouldn't overlap. Sprinkle with pepper and/or parmesan (optional). 

Bake in the centre of the oven for 12-15 minutes. They should be slightly browned at the edges – no more.

Remove the leaves from the oven and sprinkle with salt. You’ll be surprised how crispy, rigid, and chip-like they are.

And delicious. Can’t forget delicious.


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1 comment:

  1. i have been on such a kale kick recently. i love kale chips with flakes of parmesan sprinkled on them. i've been making kale salads with a cranberry orange vinaigrette.