Save The Kales!
Jacques Pepin is one of my favorite chefs. I was watching a PBS show where he made a most delicious snack out of kale. I’ve always thought of kale as the garnish people never eat like the tons of cherry tomatoes, sprigs of parsley, and wedges of lemon that are wasted every day in the restaurant industry… and it makes me so melancholy because I hate seeing anything go to waste. These are foods I love to use in my cooking and It kills me a little that they just are scraped off of all those plates and tossed right into the trash bin more often than not.
Well, dear Jaques is out saving the kales by preparing it in a way that makes you feel as if you are eating something as salty and crunchy and decadent as a bag of potato chips . But when kale is prepared this way it is just as good I think, as those greasy salty little devils (yet I relish a bag of them every so often), and kale is full of healthy nutrients without all the bad stuff. It can’t replace those other starchy delights but considering the health of this leafy green food, I want to prepare it more often and resist caving in to those greasy junk foods of empty calories. And this is how Jacques made it possible to keep my temptation in check.
To begin, preheat the oven to 250°. Trim the ribs from the kale leaves and tear up bite size pieces. Put these pieces in a colander and wash them in cold water. They need to be dried thoroughly before they go in the oven. I have a salad spinner that does the job very efficiently but you could also press them between two kitchen towels to drain off any water. Once dry, lay them evenly on a cookie sheet and spray them with an olive oil cooking spray. You could also toss them in a bowl with a touch of regular olive oil before laying them out as well. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and maybe garlic powder. There is a Cajun seasoning blend I like. The Diva needs her hot stuff!
Now, place this in the oven and keep an eye on it after about 15 minutes or so, as there is a fine line between crispy and burnt to a crisp. Also, all kales are not created equal. Some might have thicker leaves and some thinner so it’s hard to give an exact baking time.
Since Spring is fast approaching, now is a good time to think about planting this easy to grow crop in the gardens. It is in the Cole (cabbages) crop family and loves an early start.
There are a few caveats concerning this otherwise healthy super food though. Being one of the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, and cabbage, a certain amount of effluviance can be expected the next day, so I would advise not eating too much of it at once. Also those who have experienced thrombophlebitis or blood clotting issues for which they are taking blood thinning medication will be advised to steer clear of leafy green foods like this containing high amounts of vitamin K. Most others can expect to enjoy this tasty treat and its abundance of vitamins A and C. To your health!