My mom spotted me eyeing the kale used to anchor the stems of a fruit bouquet at Thanksgiving, and we joked that I like to eat the garnish.
But it got me thinking, the garnish is a good place to look for raw foodies at a restaurant or at a party, looking for things to eat. I won’t necessarily condone canvassing a restaurant for shreds of kale and pieces of parsley from your fellows diners…don’t give raw foodies a bad name!...but keep in mind that most restaurants will have garnish items (like kale) available, so you can always ask them to add it to the mix to spice up a big salad or plate of veggies. And no one will be the wiser is you grab a few extra pieces of parsley off a cheese or fruit display, and it could spice up your salad a little, not to mention give it a little nutrition kick. So go ahead, eat the garnish!
In that spirit, I got home last night after several days of Thanksgiving travel, and was definitely happy to get back to my dehydrator, and the variety it provides…I have some raw pizza going in there now, and also my favorite snack: kale chips!
I already know how they’ve turned out, because I snagged pieces at various stages of crispness (including not crisp at all) throughout the day…and they are, as usual, delicious, although not as complicated as when I usually make them.
Usually I use a pesto, but today, I was without basil. So I tore up my kale into medium pieces (the size of a large Tostito), washed it very well, and prepped it for chipification in the following ways:
Salt & Pepper Kale Chips
Drizzle of olive oil…about as much for a similar quality of salad. Probably about 1-2 tablespoons for a big, loosely packed bowl of kale
Salt & pepper to taste…BE CAREFUL with the salt. You want to salt the kale until it tastes like it could use just a tiny smidge more, but then don’t add any more. The chips taste saltier (or more peppery, garlicky, or whatever) once they are dehydrated
Smoosh the S&P and oil into the kale with your fingers, so the leaves are evenly coated…dehydrate at 105 for 3-4 hours or so.
Spicy Kale Chips
Same thing as with the olive oil & salt above, but instead of black pepper sprinkle on chili powder…again, be careful of how much your use, because the flavors concentrate once the kale it dry.
Leftover Tomato & Basil Kale Chips
I had leftover tomato sauce, about a quarter cup. I had used a 1:1 ratio of fresh tomatoes and soaked & drained sundried tomatoes, one clove of garlic and a pinch of salt in the original recipe. To the quarter cup that remained I added about a tablespoon of olive oil and a small handful of fresh basil, and an extra pinch of salt. Massage into a big bowl of loosely packed kale, and dehydrate…may need a little longer than the others, like 5 hours, because the tomatoes are extra wet.