Menu Monday: KALE CHIPS

So I joined in on the trend and tried KALE CHIPS, which were quite delightful! They were flavorful and satisfied my need for a healthy salty snack. I seasoned them with two different seasonings, and then I combined them on the last baking sheet. The flavor of the kale was not bitter, as some people complain. My only complaint is that the chips are rather fragile, but I've read that you can stack the leaves upon each other before baking; basically, you reinforce them in this way.

I never had anything against kale--I had just never had it before. (At least, I don't think I've had it.) I really don't know much about kale; I've heard its flavor is similar to that of turnip greens and mustard greens, but it is actually in the cruciferous family (along with broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts!). I used to love Southern-style greens when I was a wee lass, but then, either my taste buds changed or I picked up bad kid habits, I turned my nose up at them. Actually, I turned my nose at anything green except for iceberg lettuce (which is more pale than anything)...and that usually had to be on a hamburger or in a very meager salad. I remember my mama and Aunt Grace would also make something called "poke salad" or "polk salad," and they would go hunting for these greens in our yard. Apparently, the proper name for these "poke/polk" greens is phytolacca, and they are actually quite toxic unless properly prepared (!). I can't remember if I ever had these, but I am assuming there are among the properly prepared...

I'm glad there are safer greens to eat!
(There is also a song called "Polk Salad Annie," which proves to me that this was just not a family eccentricity but one of the Southern cuisine...)

Before I get to the recipe for KALE CHIPS, here is a photo of Dinah a.k.a. Dinahmite attempting to get the kale. She thought it was a teaser, I suppose, with the leaves on the end. She love to sit on this ledge and watch me cook!


-This is what kale looks like. The first Walmart we hit up was out. When I first checked, the bin was completely empty; when I returned, the grocer had restocked, but it was not kale. So I had to go to another Walmart the next day. I hate Wally World. : / Begin by preheating your oven to 300.

-Wash the kale throughly and begin tearing it into chip-sized pieces and place them into a salad spinner. It's very important that they are dried well before baking, or they will wilt and steam rather than bake (so I've heard).

-Use the salad spinner to dry them. I love it...and so do our cats (at least the tiny one)!

-Once the kale is dried, place it in a bowl and add 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Stir, toss, or whatever you need to do to lightly coat the kale.

-Lay the kale out on a baking sheet in one layer and sprinkle with your desired seasoning. I like:

(from our favorite BBQ joint--it's in Hot Springs and is a favorite of former Pres. Bill Clinton!)

(seasoned salt)

-Bake for about 20 minutes or until crisp. (I suggest checking at 16-ish minutes.)

And there you have: KALE CHIPS! One of my friends warned me that they could be kinda smelly the next day after storing them, but I didn't find that to be a problem. (Maybe my sense of smell is off...every day I have a sinus headache if that tells you anything.) You want to make sure you store them in a dry place and that your container is dried; I also heard the best place to store them is in a brown paper bag, but we were out. So Rubbermaid it was!

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