kale chips, from green to yummy

I love making these on lazy Sunday afternoons. Kale chips are super easy to make and satisfy the need to munch on something in the middle of the day.

My process is a little tedious but it’s well-worth it in the end — I usually have some music or a movie going on in the background.

Rinse the kale leaves and make sure they’re clean. With a paper towel, pat them dry individually to remove all moisture. Wet leaves will burn in the oven. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut the stems from the leaves. To make it easier and more efficient, I cut the leaf in half and remove the stem that way. Place all halves in a large bowl. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over top of the leaves. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of fresh-ground black pepper. Add whatever spice combination you like. My favorite has been a blend of cumin, paprika and cayenne. I like it hot.

This is where is gets messy and tedious. Wash hands thoroughly and remove any jewelry. Start mixing the bowl of leaves with the spices and oil. Rub each leaf so that it gets oil over all of it. Depending on your bunch of kale, this could take a while. I usually start preheating the oven right about now. The oven should be set at 325° F. Once you’ve covered every kale leaf, start placing them on your cookie sheets. Don’t overcrowd them and make sure they’re as flat as can be. Time will vary depending on the oven but my golden number has been 9 minutes. In my kitchen 10 minutes will burn them and 8 will leave them chewy.

All the leaves may need to be baked in several batches so use this time to catch up on emails, load up the laundry, wash the dishes, or (if you’re like me) google “cute baby animals” and spend your time ooh’ing and awww’ing.

Eat straight from the oven or refrigerate for later!


Days 206, 208, 209

Do you ever have those days when you’ve got a thousand thoughts/ideas running through your head but can’t fully grasp a single one? That’s kind of how this week has been thus far. Quite frankly, I’m blaming it on coffee.

Spent Monday night at a coworker’s Good-bye get-together at a local bar. It really says something when you like hanging out with your coworkers outside of work; trust me, it’s miserable when that’s not the case.

No picture for Tuesday night because it completely slipped my mind but I had a delicious dinner with the ladies from CrossFit Charlottesville at a local burger joint.Ha, all my other friends must be sick of me talking about CrossFit but these girls understand!

Wednesdays are always long days but highly productive. It proves my theory that a person is far more productive the busiest days. Spent the evening talking photography with fellow photogs at the Charlottesville Photography Initiative’s Small Discussion Groups. For those unfamiliar with the group, it’s a great way to converse with other photographers and get inspired to try new things. The feedback you receive is priceless as they actually know what they’re talking about. I got home and made myself my favorite dessert as of late: canned coconut milk, frozen berries, and a drizzle of Barlean’s Chocolate Raspberry Swirl. Om nom.

Ah, sweet Thursdays. Thursdays are my days off and have become my mental rest days (not physical rest days). Went to the gym in the morning to complete Fran for the first time – wowza, that’s a killer. I can’t believe that there are people who can complete it RX in under two minutes (video). Spent the rest of the day reading, lounging and cooking (obviously). I’m making kale chips about once a week now and I think I’ve perfected the recipe (after several smoke alarm mishaps). I made two batches this afternoon and somehow managed to devour both by dinner (hey, a girl’s gotta eat).

Before and after.

Side note: while relaxing this afternoon, I thought I’d give the old pull-up bar a try and managed to get my first strict chin-up! I danced around for about a minute or two to celebrate.

Day 164 – 6.13.2011

One of the responsibilities of the Whole30 nutrition challenge is knowing exactly what goes into your food. This practically eliminates being able to eat at restaurants. Even at the restaurant I work in, I can only eat the steamed broccoli and the baked sweet potatoes because all other veggies are either cooked with corn/vegetable/canola oil or have some other non-approved ingredients added somewhere in the recipe. So for the last 22 days, I’ve cooked every single meal I’ve consumed. Every. Single. Meal. It’s kind of exhausting just thinking about it but I’ve enjoyed the challenge of creating and combining flavors. Recently, I’ve been on a kale kick – it’s such a vibrant green color and its bitterness blends well with my two new favorite spices: paprika and cayenne pepper.