Monday, July 9, 2012

Cheesy Kale Chips...In My Car

You know, for a girl without central air in her house, you'd think I'd dread the hot and hazy Baltimore days. I don't enjoy sweating. I don't enjoy seeing my hair frizz. And I definitely don't enjoy the feeling of sweat beads rolling down the side of my face. EWWW.

But I love it when the temp goes above 95 degrees because it's actually hot enough to bake something in my car. If you're going to get scorched, you might as well get a tasty treat out of it, right?

I've made cookies and fruit roll ups in my car, but I decided to go the healthy route: kale chips. I know, I know. Kale is ridiculously anti-climactic compared to cookies and fruit roll ups, but trust me...these things are addicting. Jack, my co-worker, rolled his eyes, crinkled his nose, and lamented the kale and eggs his wife "makes" him eat for breakfast. He was most decidedly not excited about me making kale chips. But after he ate one, he kept reaching for more and said they taste like cheese popcorn. Everyone in the office liked them, with the exception of one party pooper. But there always has to be one party pooper, doesn't there?

Here's the thing - the ingredients to make the Cheesy Kale Chips are a bit untraditional. The really "weird" ingredient is nutritional yeast (not to be confused with Brewer's Yeast). I picked everything up at my local health food store, and if I were you, I'd walk in the door of the health food store, march myself up to a one of the clerks, show them the list of ingredients and say, "Let's go on a scavenger hunt!" Seriously, don't stress yourself out trying to find it. They'll know exactly where to look. Nutritional yeast is worth finding because it gives the kale the "cheesy" flavor. Per tablespoon, nutritional yeast has 130% of your daily vitamin B-12, 4 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and 60% of your daily folic acid! All in ONE TABLESPOON! It's seriously delicious stuff that you'd never know is super healthy for you too.

If these feels too ambitious for you, DON'T give up. Take a bunch of kale, make sure to wash and dry it (must be dry or else the water will steam the kale and you don't want that), tear it up, and drizzle it with olive oil (2-3 Tbls) and sprinkle it with some salt. Massage the oil and salt into the kale pieces, lay the coated kale pieces on parchment paper lined trays, and "bake" in your car for 2-3 hours. Seriously...you will be amazed at how addicting they are.


Jack is hoarding the cheesy kale chips!


Cheesy Kale Chips
Recipe lightly adapted from Pride & Vegudice

1 bunch curly kale
1 cup cashews (raw, not roasted or salted)
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt

Place the cashews in a medium sized bowl and cover with water. Let the cashews soak for a minimum of 3 hours. This will soften the cashews and make them easier to blend. You can even do this step the night before, if you'd like, and let the cashews soak while you sleep.

Remove the tough, woody stems from the kale leaves and tear them into bite-sized pieces. Thoroughly wash and dry the kale (a salad spinner is great for this) and drop the pieces into the biggest bowl you have. Kale seems to expand.



In a food processor, drop the garlic cloves through the shoot while the food processor is running. When the garlic is chopped, stop the food processor, add everything but the kale, and process until everything is smooth. It should look like a really thick salad dressing.



In a large bowl, toss the "cheese sauce" and kale until the kale is thoroughly coated. Try not eat it straight from the bowl like I did. Seriously...I could have eaten the whole bowl just like that.



Line two large cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper (I only brought one with me to work). Arrange the kale pieces on the cookie sheets so there's still a little space in between them. At this point, you can either pop these in an oven at 200 degrees for around 45 minutes... or you can bake them in your car.

Make sure it's 95 degrees or hotter outside and your car is parked in full sun. Drape a bath towel over the dashboard so you don't accidentally melt it. Place the cookie sheets on the dashboard, make sure you don't need anything from your car for the next few hours, shut the door, admire your kale chips, and then walk away. The heat from sun will turn your car into an oven and the kale chips will dry out. They should be completely dried in 2-3 hours. Try not to eat them all... like Jack and me.

4 comments:

  1. stupid question...did you drain the water from the cashews or add it too in the food processor? #cantwaittomakethesetomorrow

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No stupid questions! Yes, drain the water - you want it look like the picture above. It should be like a thick dressing. Have fun!

      Delete
  2. Thank you - I figured as much I just didn't want to mess them up as I have been pining over this recipe since you posted it! Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are soooo good! We make them in the oven now and/or just eat it raw. Thanks again for such a great recipe!

    ReplyDelete

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