Saturday, May 19, 2012

Snacking on Kale Chips

It has to be due to my body feeling better after the kidney transplant, and possibly the medication I'm on, but I've gotta say..my appetite has definitely increased substantially. I was about 114 pounds (I'm 5'6) prior to the transplant and while I was still on dialysis.  That was March 1 and previously. Now, it almost 3 months post op (Wow, time does fly...doesn't it!) and I weigh 128 pounds. So I've gained a good 15 pounds..and I can't say that I'm upset about that. I'm quite happy! I was really skinny previously. Skinny to the point where my co-workers and bosses and such would ask me if I was okay, why do you look so skinny, etc.  I had lost a lot of muscle mass from not being too active and spending a lot of time in bed. Once I get the go ahead from my doctor to go back to work, I plan on joining a gym.  I look forward to it as I have not gone to a gym/been a member of a gym for a long time.

But i digress! In my never ending eating and snacking quest, it became apparent to me that I was going to need to find healthy snacks to fill my belly.

A few days after I thought this, I coincidentally happened to be watching Giada on the food network and she was making kale and sweet potato chips.  Don't think I can go wrong making those to snack on!  The first time I made them, I made both kale and spinach chips, since I usually have them on hand to make my green smoothies, which have also been helping with my appetite.  They were delicious! Thought I did make one mistake which I will discuss further on into the post.

This time, I was determined not to make any mistakes. This time, since I had a lot of kale and not so much spinach, I decided to make kale chips only.

First, I put my pre-washed kale on my baking tray. Ideally, this would have been parchment lined, but because my mom keeps the parchment somewhere that nobody knows except for her (LOL) I had to simply use tin foil.  Not ideal, but hey..what can you do?

Next, I drizzled the kale with enough olive oil to lightly coat all of the kale. It was maybe a tablespoon or so. After I put the olive oil on, I massaged each of the leaves to ensure that the olive oil had covered all of them, especially since kale does not lie flat like spinach does.



After there is enough olive oil on the kale, sprinkle with salt and black pepper.  Now, here is where I made my mistake- I added too much salt! As the kale cooks in the oven, it shrinks, and the salt becomes more concentrated.  So my mistake was adding too much salt after it had baked.  So this time, I added a very minimal amount of salt.



After this, I put the tray of kale into my oven which was preheated at around 250 degrees F. After about 10 minutes, I turned the kale over and let it bake for about another 7-10 minutes. But remember-everyone's oven is different, so keep a close eye on your kale chips, especially when you're making them for the first time.

They shrunk quite a bit! I should have made more!
After I removed the tray, I tasted it to see if it needed more seasoning. It did, so I sprinkled just a tiny bit more salt and pepper on them.

Then, that's it! I drank my smoothie (this time it was apple, pear, frozen strawberries, kale, spinach, banana, flax, almond milk, ice, and wheat grass) and snacked on my chips.




...and yes..they were very delicious. ;)





  In fact, I'm going to go make some right now.  It's 10pm right now and I could really use a snack! :)



EDIT AFTER MAKING MY KALE CHIPS AFTER THIS INITIAL POST: This batch of kale chips was just too perfect. It was a nice snack to eat while doing some work on microsoft word.  Also, check out the wallpaper on my blackberry. It's Buddy and the oh so famous "Boo". I love them so much..even though they're not mine and I've never met them :\



I cannot stand it! They are sooo yummy! I'm just sad that I didn't make more :(

There are a couple of spinach leafs mixed up in there somewhere too :)


This was my favourite leaf. Look how delicious and perfect it is! It's almost too pretty to eat! ("Almost" being the operative word here Haha!)




I hope this post will inspire you to make this recipe!  If this post inspires you to make these kale chips, let me know. Most of the ingredients you will likely have at home already (olive oil, salt and pepper) and kale is so very inexpensive.

Last minute tips/info:
Remember- once you bake them, they WILL reduce in volume quite drastically..so when you spread the kale out and think to yourself "Man! That is WAY too much kale!!!"...add another handful or two after that! :)  And when you eat them, they will crunch lightly then pretty much dissolve in your mouth. It's not the same sensation as eating a hard and crunchy potato chip, but to me, it's just as satisfying. Also, try to space the kale leafs out on your tray and not let them overlap.  Lastly, kale leafs are curly and bendy, so make sure you open them up so that they are relatively flat.

Yummerrrrs!

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