Monday, December 13, 2010

Spicy garlic kale chips

Until recently, I'd never been able to wrap my tastebuds around kale. It's uber-nutritious, sure, but I've always thought it smelled like dirt. Literally.

Then, on one glorious evening last year, I went to a dinner party at my dear friend Lauren's house. She's an amazing cook. During grad school, when I was subsisting on Lean Cuisines and enough coffee to cause heart palpitations, Lauren was whipping up pear and gorgonzola tortes from scratch. Her food is awesome.

On this particular evening, she made kale chips. Like a small child, I wrinkled my nose and made the universal facial expression for "I'm grossed out." But she convinced me to try one, life was forever changed. Those kale chips were delicious. I scarfed them down like they were Doritos. From that moment on, I was a convert. A zealot. I effing love kale chips now.

I've experimented with a few recipes over the last few months, and this is a new one. On my last trip to Whole Foods, I'd seen both spicy kale chips and garlic & onion kale chips, but they were both, like, $7 for a few ounces of green leafy awesomeness. I can't afford to spend $7 on something that will only last me two days, so I decided to do some experimenting. I wanted to combine the garlic and onion flavor with a bit of heat, because DC is supposed to get a wicked arctic blast this week, and spicy food warms me up when my coat only gets the job partially done. I threw some cayenne pepper, onion powder, and fresh garlic in with some olive oil, coated the kale, and was quite happy with the result.

Start with one head of organic green kale, cut into strips with the stems (largely) removed. If you're lazy like I am, you can use a clean pair of kitchen scissors.

1 t onion powder
1 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t sea salt

Crush 3-4 cloves of garlic into the spice mix and combine with 2-3 T olive oil

This is where it gets messy: massage the olive oil, garlic, and spice mix into the kale leaves, distributing the mix as evenly as possible.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Check at the halfway point to re-distribute them in the pan; the ones on the outside cook faster than the ones in the middle.

Once done, scarf them down straight off the pan - or box them up for a mid-afternoon snack at work (hence the lovely Tupperware containers below.) 

Happy kale-ing!


  1. Love me some kale chips! I will be trying this mix of spices, its about time I change it up from soy, garlic, honey and sesame (I've made this same mix, literally 10 + times...) Thanks. I like your blog style, found you via Oh She Glows. Keep blogging :)

  2. Thanks, Jess! I'll have to try the soy, garlic, honey, and sesame recipe -- it sounds awesome. :) Thanks for the blogging encouragement, too -- I appreciate it!

  3. Hello again Lillian. :-) I think you and I have similar tastes in food because after trying your lentil soup I tried this one and woah. Awesome. I linked to it in a post I made trying to encourage my lab-mates to eat more veggies. (I hope you don't mind!) Thanks again for the idea. Look forward to reading more!

  4. No problem, Karla! (Sorry I'm just now responding, oh, a mere two months after your message. I'm neck-deep in wedding planning, and that has taken over my life recently. I figure weddings are like zombies, in that they both try to eat one's brain.) Thank you for the link-back on your blog - and BTW, your blog is awesome. I especially like the tagline! :)