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27 September 2010

Kale chips, etc. Anyone have any good new recipes for healthy, easy, snacky foods?[More:]

I'm trying to be a better eater, and I've heard good things about kale chips, so I'm trying them. I've gained like 20ish lbs in the last 5 months, due in no small part to eating like shit. Trying to get back in the good habits of yore.

I know the basics: veggie sticks, fruit, etc. I'm just looking for things that are new.

I'll let y'all know about the kale chips. So far they smell excellent. Wonder if I can do this with other cabbage? Basically it's just a little olive oil and salt, then baked at 300ºF for 20ish minutes.
I'm in the same boat. I haven't tried kale chips yet, but know many devotees.

Another good snack is roasted garbanzo beans.
posted by Miko 27 September | 07:55
OK, the update? Suffice to say I just nommed my way through the crispy kale that 30 minutes earlier had been 1/2 lbs of greens.

Cooking notes:
• make sure your oven isn't too high temp. Mine was registering at 350ºF because its thermostat is wonky, and I almost burned them. The chips that were still pliable stayed in the oven an extra 5 minutes with the heat off.
• I may try this without oil next time and see how it works. A sprinkling of salt may be enough. Actually, naked kale chips might even work.
• I used the curly variety, which is good because it helps with surface area. However, the noncurly parts had a harder time getting crisp. I may try with a flat kale (red russian is one variety), placed on top of a drying rack on top of the cookie sheet.
• Use parchment paper on the cookie sheet for easier cleanup.

Tasting notes:
• I swear there's garlic on them too. Except...there's not. That's a good thing
• The bitter note you often find in kale is gone entirely. Awesome.
• Texture is joyously crispy. Love.
• These are as good as or better than potato chips. I am in heaven.
posted by Stewriffic 27 September | 07:57
And by "drying rack" I mean those baking racks for cooling cookies.
posted by Stewriffic 27 September | 07:58
I'll eat entire bundles of kale if it's been chippified. Addictive.

What about miso? Warm, more interesting than chicken soup, you could add some sea vegetables to make it even better.

Lentil and curry dip. I'm still tweaking the recipe, but it's something like what I found here. Nommy.

My go-to snacky proteins are hardboiled eggs dipped in sriracha, and lowfat mozzarella string cheese.
posted by punchtothehead 27 September | 08:21
OK let me get this straight: All I need to do is buy a bunch of kale, wash it, dry it, cut it into pieces, sprinkle with salt and maybe olive oil, put it on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, bake at 300 for 20 minutes and it'll taste better than potato chips??? How can that be? I will try this probably today and report back.

Along the same lines, I've saved this recipe for crispy apple skins but haven't tried it yet. Looks yummy and will probably make the house smell heavenly.
posted by Kangaroo 27 September | 08:35
Yeah, I'm with Kangaroo- it's as easy as that? Bake it up and that's it?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 27 September | 08:40
Last week, the farmer's market didn't have any kale, and I wanted some. Now I REALLY want some. Don't let me down, farmer's market!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 27 September | 08:41
Dude. It's that easy. I'd say wash it, shake it dry, pat it dry (or if you're lucky you have a salad spinner). Pour a small glug of olive oil, a few shakes of salt, mash it around with your hands to coat, put on cookie sheets and bake.

These are all new to me and make me extremely excited:
hardboiled eggs dipped in sriracha
Lentil and curry dip
crispy apple skins

I make a miso soup that includes:
Edamame (freezer, shelled)
Veg from freezer (red pepper, broccoli, spinach--whatever's on hand)
Green onions (also from freezer; I can never use the whole bunch)
posted by Stewriffic 27 September | 08:49
I am totally making kale chips this week. Because I can't do anything healthy without fattening it up a bit, what do you think they would dip well in? garlic yogurt? raita maybe?
posted by gaspode 27 September | 08:56
They wouldn't dip well in the least. They fall apart in your mouth. You could, however, take them to the food processor to make kale powder to season your popcorn with.
posted by Stewriffic 27 September | 09:00
hrm. so much for that sort of vehicle. kale powder sounds promising though.
posted by gaspode 27 September | 09:02

I wonder if my boss will let me go home if it's an emergency. A cooking emergency.
posted by punchtothehead 27 September | 09:40
I have yet to try the kale chips, partly because we go through so much conventionally cooked kale that I haven't had a chance. But this blow-by-blow account is really encouraging me to try it, Stew.

I know the basics: veggie sticks

Can I just interject here to say veggie coins beat veggie sticks hands-down? Carrots or cucumbers or zucchini or radishes cut into crazy-thin rounds (and, in the case of the carrots, soaked in ice water) knock the stuffing out of sticks. More surface area, crispier, and easier to stuff into sandwiches or scoop up hummus with.
posted by Elsa 27 September | 10:57
I dislike broccoli in almost all of its forms, except roasted. I roast it to the point that the florets are brown and crispy, sort of like the kale chips. Just toss in olive oil, s & p first, then roast at 400 until it gets crunch. Helps if you cut it into small, flat pieces first.

Actually, when I make it for dinner, it pretty much never makes it to the plate -- I usually end up eating it all standing over the stove.
posted by mudpuppie 27 September | 11:40
I think I may have to try this kale chip thing. And normally I hate kale.
posted by sperose 27 September | 11:40
Yeah, I'm not a kale lover at all, but I've heard how good kale chips are before, yet I haven't tried it yet. Putting it on the grocery list.
posted by flex 27 September | 11:52
I was at the grocery just now and looked at the kale and the price was good and I picked up a bunch and it was so very big - so much kale - and then the misters came on and startled me and I shreiked and stepped away from the kale.

Kale intimidates me.
posted by rainbaby 27 September | 15:10
rainbaby: i got loose kale. Less intimidating. That sprayer is what made you jump. Stay AWAY from the sprayer!

Am currently roasting brussels sprouts. Today is cruciferous!

mudpuppie: i am familiar with the stand-over-the-stove eating. I witnessed it this a.m.

More general comments about the kale:
• don't forget to take the ribs out before baking
• Add some vinegar with the salt and oil for a nice taste (according to a friend)
• Omit the oil if you're going to make a powder.
posted by Stewriffic 27 September | 15:24
I am thinking about trying the kale chips. Really I am. Though since I can't stop eating potato chips, I wonder if I'd have the same problem with kale chips.

Meanwhile I like snacking on small amounts of fruit (half an apple, half a pear, a cup of berries, a small orange) and some protein, like a few almonds, or an ounce of cheese, or a little cottage cheese. Not much prep involved, but these are all very satisfying and portable snacks.
posted by bearwife 27 September | 17:17
I made kale chips tonight. I was planning on making sausage, white bean, and kale soup anyway, because we have to eat kale constantly to keep the two plants we have under control. So I just harvested some extra and made the chips.

Maybe my technique could use some work. They were really light and crunchy, which was nice. But they were also a little chewy, with a mineral, almost chalky grind on the teeth after chewing. I think I overcooked them, since they were a little burnt.

I'll try again sometime. The vinegar would be a good suggestion too. They could use a little oomph.

Another vegetable that is transformed by roasting is cauliflower. I think it is a near-criminal act to put raw cauliflower on a crudite platter - as if anyone wants a mouth full of oddly firm, cabbagey crumbs of blandness. But toss it with oil and some garlic and/or curry, and roast, and you get a delicious snack, soft and creamy on the inside, caramelizey and browned and crispy on the outside.
posted by Miko 27 September | 21:54
But they were also a little chewy, with a mineral, almost chalky grind on the teeth after chewing.

That's really weird. Mine didn't have that at all. Sounds horrid!
posted by Stewriffic 28 September | 12:13
Ooooh. I just had an idea. How big were the leaves you used? Mine were almost baby-sized. Do you think that starting with a younger (therefore more tender) leaf would get rid of the chalky texture?
posted by Stewriffic 28 September | 12:14
..then the misters came on...
I understood this as some vague reference to your male SO. But then the plural didn't seem plausible. And I didn't see how they would 'come on' in a supermarket. There's no stage like facility there.

Thankfully I've been in the US and have seen in Whole Foods how vegetables are regularly sprayed.
That made such a luxurious and decadent impression on me. I've never seen that in europe.

Kale chips I have never heard of. And we, the Dutch, own kale. As in: the word is derived from the Dutch for 'farmers cabbage'; boerenkool (pronounced 'boorahkole').
And one of the mainstays of humble Dutch winter cuisine is mashed potatoes with kale and smoked sausage.

How innovative and dainty to turn the sturdy kale that grows abundantly in huge bushes into airy vegetable chips.
I'm very impressed.
posted by jouke 28 September | 12:48
So are you going to introduce kale chips to your compatriots then, jouke?
posted by gaspode 28 September | 13:02
I feel a strong obligation to.
My mecha honour depends on it.

But somehow 'boerenkool chips' sound so incongruous.
There's a cognitive short circuit in the brains of Dutch people when they hear those two words from orthogonal semantic plains conjoined.
Their brains will just reset and they'll go "...heh, ...yes,, what were we talking about again?"
posted by jouke 28 September | 13:13
jouke, that's so funny. It looked strange writing it out, I thought about changing it to "sprayer" but that's what they are - sneaky sneaky cold misters.
posted by rainbaby 28 September | 15:12
Mashed potatoes with kale and smokes sausage are also a mainstay of my humble (non-Dutch) winter cuisine. International unity!
posted by Wolfdog 28 September | 18:37
How big were the leaves you used? Mine were almost baby-sized

I bet that's it - mine are mondo giant end-of-season forgot-to-harvest sized.

Kale is like a twice-a-week staple here. I like it:

Sauteed with garlic and oil
Mashed with potatoes
In white bean-sausage soup
with chickpeas and curry
chiffonaded, blanched a tiny bit, and used as pizza topping
posted by Miko 28 September | 21:55
Also, here's some kale-wear.
posted by Miko 28 September | 21:57
International unity indeed wolfdog! I'm so proud.
Is this the kind of smoked sausage that is boiled for consumption? Kielbasa style?
posted by jouke 28 September | 23:24
Kielbasa-type sausages, knackwurst, chorizo...
posted by Wolfdog 29 September | 07:25
dealin with a Kafkaesque credit card situation || Dear MetaChat,