Monday, October 8, 2012
Pizzalicious Kale Chips
In a pinch, when I feel like I "need" a snack, the Raw Foods area of Whole Foods tends to have a plethora of vaguely Paleo options. One of these options is kale chips. I was addicted to a "cheesy pizza" version at one time: but at 7 bucks for a teeny bag, this habit got to be expensive fast! Here's the closest I have gotten to duplicating those bad boys in my own kitchen.
Pizzalicious Kale Chips
2 c. tahini OR 2 c. raw cashews (cashews have a milder flavor- but require more water in the final mixture.)
1 bell pepper in the color of your choice. (I used the frozen tri-color ones from Trader Joe's)
1/2 c. sun dried tomatoes
1 TB italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic (If you're a garlic person, as I am, you can go nuts here)
6 tbsp nutritional yeast (Optional- they make things "cheesier")
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cup water
2 bunches Kale (I used 2 bags of Organic kale from Trader Joe's)
Prep your kale first: make sure it's torn into good kale-chip sized pieces. Some people like to de-stem it, but life is short (I don't). Wash the kale if not pre-washed, and put it through a salad spinner or blot dry. (The drier the kale is, the more easily sauce will adhere to it.)
Set aside the kale and the water. Throw everything else into the Cuisinart or a blender. Hit Pulse/Puree/what-have-you. Yes, the mixture will be pink-ish. Thanks, tomatoes! Once it's completely mixed together, add water gradually, thinning out the mixture until it looks right- not too clumpy, but not runny, either. A yogurt consistency is good. (You may not need to use all the water, ESPECIALLY if you chose tahini instead of cashews.)
Get your biggest bowl, take off any watches or rings, wash those hands, and put a few handfuls of kale into the bowl. Drizzle or spoon some of the sauce over the top, and "massage" to thoroughly coat. If you're not hands-on, you can try to accomplish the same thing with a giant spoon: it's less efficient, but still works. Repeat, adding layers of kale and sauce until kale and/or sauce is used up.
You'll probably want to scrub the heck out of your hands, but you still have to add your kale to the dehydrator trays, or to the oven. I used the dehydrator, so YMMV if you use the oven! I tend to throw everything in on a low-ish setting, then leave it overnight. Depending on how OCD you are, you can try to spread the kale out, or you can glop down larger handfuls, smear them on the sheets, make sure there's at least SOME airflow, and hope for the best. I've tried both ways: spreading the kale out obvs takes longer, but it is more aesthetically pleasing afterwards and has a shorter drying time. The "Glop and smear" method is faster, and easier, but takes longer to dry. Choose your own adventure.
Your chips are done when they are crunchy. (sadly, dehydrating is not an exact science.) I put them in a ziploc and squeeze as muuch extra air out as I can. Oh: and if you accidentally drop a tray on the floor, I have it on good authority that dogs like kale chips. At least, mine do.
Happy kale chipping!