Wednesday, December 28, 2011

kale chips

Recently, my friend Gina and I tried out a new restaurant: Baagan. It's completely vegan. I am not a vegetarian or a vegan, I love my chicken and cheese. I was a bit skeptical. But after hearing so many people talk about it, I had to try it. OH. MY. So good! If you go, try the spinach veggie wrap with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. I've also tried one of their dairy free smoothies . . . also incredible. But what I discovered that I was most excited about was KALE CHIPS. I had never had kale in my life . . . and never had the desire to try it. After trying one of their samples, I bought a 1.4 oz bag for $4. Yes, expensive. I decided to try and figure out the recipe on my own. After a couple of tries, I am enjoying them at home for a fraction of the cost. And I thought I would share with you!

Kale Chips Ingredients:
1 bunch kale
1/2 medium red bell pepper
1 cup raw cashews (soak in filtered water for 8+ hours, drain)
4 Tbls. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. nutritional yeast (I had to ask for this--found it at Sprouts)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbls. agave nectar (or you could try honey)

Blend everything in your food processor until it is the consistency of hummus. Next comes the messy part. Tear your kale into big bite size pieces (they will get smaller) and put the kale and blended ingredients in a large bowl. Mix really well with your fingers. Below is a picture of what the kale and mixture looks like before it is dehydrated:

I took this picture at night, so it's not the best, but you get the idea.

I have tried making these with my dehydrator and with my oven. Not everyone has a dehydrator on hand, but never fear, as your oven will work! Ideally, I like the consistency and crunch better with the dehydrator. The oven makes them a tiny bit more crunchy. 

With a dehydrator: I make these at dinner time the night before and let my dehydrator run overnight, so it's about 12 hours. Just check them and you'll know when they are done.

With an oven: Set your oven to it's lowest possible temperature. Mine only goes down to 170 degrees. I baked them for approximately 10 hours.

Kale is one of the best vegetables you can eat if you are trying to get more protein in your diet! And it has a ton of other benefits as well. If you are local, be sure and try out Baagan restaurant. The owner is really nice and remembered my name on my second visit! A huge, delicious sandwich wrap is only $6 . . . and I would pay more . . . they are that good! Have a great day!


tginguyen said...

These look amazing! Will have to try them out soon. :) Hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family.

Christal and Craig said...

The one time we had kale it did not go well. Any ideas of what you could sub for bell pepper? These look really good and kale is cheap!

Brenda Johnston said...

Just omit the bell pepper. The first time I made them I didn't include them and they tasted the same. You can always add a little extra moisture if needed with another tsp or so of lemon juice. You just want to get it to the consistency of hummus.