Crispy Kale Chips

I had heard my sisters in law rave about the kale chips they would make, and how yummy yummy they were.  Honestly, I was a little skeptical at first.  (Sorry girls!).  It didn’t help that my first experience with kale was juicing after Mr. Rodgers and I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead.  I was not a big fan of raw kale juice…even if it was mixed with a little bit of apple haha!  But if you are one of my original, faithful followers you will remember how I did a 180* turn around on my opinion of kale as soon as I made Kale Pesto and put it on a Cauliflower Crust Pizza.  Best meal ever!!  Still…the idea of a kale chip was a little scary for me!

Then I went home for a visit to be with my family when my grandmother died last month.  As we sat down to a usual Family FEAST…(Kirkwoods don’t make meals, they make feasts!)…they began to pass around the kale chips made by my beautiful sister in law Becca, who I lovingly refer to as “Jim.”  Yeah, it’s a long story.  So, I decided to try a few.  I tasted them.  And tried a few more.   And a few more…and was really sad when I realized the bowl was empty because everyone else was enjoying them as much as me!  😦  But even still, I am so happy for the experience, because now I know…I LOVE KALE CHIPS!  I am a “salty” lover, and the crunchiness along with the fantastic flavor that only comes from roasting something in an oven…man!  It was fantastic!!

I am back home now.  And still loving kale chips.  I made them just a week or so ago to go with some Garlic Bacon Butter Fish I made.  (Recipe coming soon!)  So I shall share with you the beauty of these crispy little flakes of loveliness, haha!  They are super easy as well!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bundle Kale leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chile Powder (Just cause we like them with a kick!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse the kale and separate the leaves from any large pieces of stem, tearing into slightly-larger than bite size pieces.  Use a salad spinner to dry, or lay out on paper towels and dab, getting as dry as possible.  It will prevent mushiness!  If you are brave and trust the whole “putting it in the oven will kill any germs” thing, you could skip the rinse part.  🙂
  3. Put kale in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and toss so coated.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chile powder…and really any extra seasonings you may desire if you want to toss in a little garlic or something tasty!
  5. Line a large cookie sheet or two with foil.  Lay out kale chips in a single layer and do not over crowd!
  6. Bake until they reach your desired level of crispy brownness.  I probably got mine darker than most people would enjoy, but I wanted a stinking crunch!!!  Haha!  And they were lovely!!  Start with about 10 minutes and go from there.  🙂

Peectures!

Photo (12)Remove stems, rinse, and dry thoroughly!

Photo (13)Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chile powder, and whatever seasonings you crave!  Simple is delicious…but maybe you will discover something wonderful as well!

Photo (14)Place in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet and slide into your 350 degree oven.  NOTE:  I overcrowded my pan!  Most of them turned out crispy but I had a few mushy ones because they were too close together.  IF IN DOUBT, USE TWO COOKIE SHEETS OR ROAST IN SHIFTS!

Photo (15)Remove from oven…this picture really doesn’t do them justice…they were deeeelish!

Photo (16)Enjoy as a snack, or a side to compliment a lovely protein!!!  Yummy!!!!  Enjoy!!

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Garlic Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Boom.  It’s not often that your veggie side is the hardiest part of your meal.  We ate these along side a nice light soup…the crunch was fantastic, the garlic was so satisfying (since I always grew up eating garlic bread with soup…but I try not to eat bread much if ever…so this filled the little hole so I wasn’t disappointed!), and it really was something you can sink your teeth into!  Not to mention the fact that cabbage is awesome for you!  I don’t even really like raw green cabbage, but shoot…slathered in garlic butter and roasted till crispy and brown…I LOVED IT!  And so did Mr. Rodgers!!   I ever tossed the leftovers back in a hot oven a few days later and they were still good to accompany another meal!  Perfect 🙂  You should try!!!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Head Raw Green Cabbage
  • About 6 Tbsp Butter (You could use Olive Oil too, I’m just weirded out about heating olive oil because of some studies I have heard!  I don’t mind a little fat in the butter, but it’s up to you!!)
  • 2-3 tsp Garlic Powder, depending on your love level
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Tbsp Powdered Parmesan (Optional)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove outer leaf.  Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the cabbage head into inch thick slices, starting at the top of the head and cutting down to the “stem.”
  3. Lay “steaks” out in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Melt butter in the microwave and whisk in the garlic powder.  Baste the top side of your steaks generously with half the mixture.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Slide into your preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip cabbage steaks, baste fresh side with garlic butter, sprinkle on salt, pepper, and Parmesan, and return to the oven for 30 more minutes, or until crispy, brown, and to your desired tenderness.  Remove from oven and enjoy!!

 

Peectures!!

PhotoCut cabbage head into approximately 1 inch thick slices and lay out in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.

Photo (2)Baste generously with garlic butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast at 400* for half an hour, then flip and repeat basting, salt, pepper, and add Parmesan this time!  Return to the oven for another 30 minutes and BAM!  You’re done.  Easy as that!

Photo (3)Yummmmyyyy

Photo (4)I want one right now.  I’m kinda hungry!!  🙂  I hope you simply love this!!  What is your favorite cabbage recipe?

 

Easy Roasted Asparagus (Surprisingly Flavorful)

I’m not exaggerating when I say this is easy.  Honestly, in my opinion…roasting any veggie is pretty easy.  And probably the tastiest way to make them too.  So you can’t really go wrong!  This is probably your best  bet in getting picky eaters to get their nutrients, too!  Instead of having mushy greens from accidentally over boiling or steaming… you have them crispy, vibrant green, and with the flavors cooked in the whole time instead of added at the end!  Yum!!  Honestly…you can do this simply with salt and pepper, and it’s delicious.  But, like my pal Emeril, I like to kick it up a notch!!  So here’s my typical flavor combo, please try!!!

This recipe is fantastic simply as a delicious side dish for your protein.  Personally I think asparagus is pretty hearty, so it’s good for everything from complimenting a good steak all the way to making a light fish dish that much more satisfying and hunger-filling.  However, it is also a perfect add in for main dishes!!!  What do I mean you ask?  Have you ever had asparagus bits in a white sauce with noodles?!  OH MY GOSH!  Or…as I am going to show you in a few days…on top of a healthy, guilt-free pizza!  That’s right!  Be watching for it, because every post this week will be building up to it…my masterpiece that I am definitely the most proud of to date!  And I am hoping my hard work and experimenting will save you from the process…and satisfy your pizza cravings without giving you a heart attack!  Yay longer life to spend with the people you love!  Yaaaaay!  So with that said…step one…on to roasted asparagus!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • Seasonings of choice, mine being:  Salt, Pepper, Mrs. Dash, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, and Chili Powder or Red Pepper Flakes!!
  • 1 Tbsp(ish) Olive Oil

And here’s what you do!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and trim your asparagus.  How I was taught to do this was to start bending the stalk, and wherever it pops off naturally is the best place to trim it!  Toss the bottom part, and keep the top.  You don’t have to do it that way, because it will seem like you are discarding quite a bit of it.  However…not once since I have started doing it that way have I had one of those unpleasant, tough, stringy bites of asparagus that were frequent when I trimmed it any other way 🙂
  3. Line a cookie sheet with foil if you desire quicker clean up.
  4. Toss the asparagus in a bowl (or you can do it right on the cookie sheet, up to you), drizzle with olive oil, and toss till each piece has a coating.
  5. Sprinkle GENEROUSLY with every spice!  I literally shake it until there is a coating on the entire shown surface.  Shake it.  Haha.  Yeah that’s right.  If you’re going to shake it, where better than your kitchen?!  Put on Spotify and SHAKE IT!  The spices of course, sicko.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Geesh.
  6. Toss again until the spices are evenly dispersed.
  7. Slide it into your oven and roast, anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes.  I know that sounds like a big difference in those numbers…but I also know there is a big difference in asparagus sizes!  Basically you want to be able to pick up a piece with tongs and have it still hold it’s shape, but be starting to go limp!

Want to see?  🙂  Let me show you.  First, preheat your oven to 400.  Then, choose your spices.  Like I said, my favorites are sea salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder or red pepper flakes.  Pepper not shown.

Roasted Asparagus 2

Rinse the asparagus and trim off the ends. Lay them in a bowl, or right on the pan you are going to be roasting on if you so desire.  Feel free to cover the pan with foil for easier clean up.


Roasted Asparagus 1

Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat each piece.  Now sprinkle on your spices to taste…like I said…I do a generous coating!! Toss again to disperse the seasonings evening.

Roasted Asparagus 3

Roast till they are starting to get limp, but still have a crispness. You should be able to pick one up with tongs, and see it going limp but still hold its shape…your tongs should not squish through the stalk.  Make since?  If they are tiny, it could take as little as 10 minutes…but for the more normal, larger size it will take more toward 20/25 minutes 🙂

Roasted Asparagus 4

Now scoop on plates beside your main dish, or mix it in to a main dish!  It is so great chopped into pieces and added into things, or wrapped up in a chicken breast with melty mozzarella….ahhhhh!  Stay tuned for it being a star in my healthy pizza!  Just a few more posts 🙂  Yay!