You know how certain situations just feel as if they’ve been that way forever? I mean, I can’t even recall what our lives were like before we had Elsie and Chaser. The first time I visited New York City, I felt totally at home, and knew I’d be back often. With some of my blogging friends, it was as if we’d known each other all our lives, right from that first email exchange. And of course, with all the book buzz that’s gone on in the past week, it already feels as if my cookbook has been around forever!
Well, it was the same with me and the HH. After we’d been dating for what felt like a long time, we decided to move in together. The HH packed up his belongings in huge cardboard boxes, hired a moving truck and made the arrangements to move in to my place on Friday afternoon. The plan was to unload his things while I was teaching at the college, then head over to the storage facility to house the remainder of his belongings that weren’t coming with him. I left work early that day to help with the unpacking. As I drove up the street and spied the empty driveway, I thought, “Ah, well, he’s not here yet.” In fact, he’d already been and gone, and was on his way to the storage locker. I unlocked the door and swung it open to see the my living room piled high with boxes, milk cartons of record albums, stereo equipment, rolled rugs and multiple suitcases that all hadn’t been there that morning, and my knees just about buckled. “Ohmygod,” I thought, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!!”
Well, I’m happy to say that it took only until the following morning for us to ease into a routine that has, pretty much, stayed with us to this day. With the HH, there was no “adjustment period”–it just worked from Day One, and I felt as if we’d been sharing our space forever (that was sorta how I knew he was “the one”).**
It’s the same with some foods you introduce into your diet, isn’t it? I mean, chia seeds are just there, as if they’ve always been. Who can imagine life without green smoothies any more? Even though I never ate coconut oil (well, not intentionally) until my 40s, it’s now a staple in my diet that seems as if it’s been established for decades.
And kale chips? Well, kale chips just eased into my life without any fanfare, sort of the way the HH and I moved in together. No drama; and within a few bites, I knew they were going to be part of my culinary repertoire pretty much forever.
Oh, hang on a sec.
Did I just compare the person I love most in the world to. . . kale chips?
Why yes, I suppose I did. But really, kale chips are pretty lovable, aren’t they?
I don’t remember the first time I ate kale chips; I just know that I loved them. I’ve been spoiled by the amazing products available here in health food stores, so for a long time, I had no desire to make my own. But then. . .
Yes, my friends, these are BBQ kale chips that you can make in an oven, even if you don’t have a dehydrator. They are crispy and crunchy and frilly and fill your mouth with little fireworks of spice and smoke and a slight sweetness. They’re anti-candida diet friendly. They are made from kale, one of the healthiest foods on earth. And man, are they delicious.
I hope you give these a try. They’re a great way to encourage people who are otherwise green-phobic to try some leafy greens. And if you’re like me and already like kale on its own, they’re a great way to eat, oh, an entire head of kale in one day.
Before you know it, you’ll feel as if they’ve always been there for you.
**Yes, you have my permission to groan.
Easy Oven-Dried BBQ Kale Chips
The beauty of this recipe is that you mix it up in 5 minutes, then bake it for hours–while you go off and do other things. The chips never become too hot in the oven, so it’s easy to “taste test” as you go along to ensure they’re crispy enough.
2 small heads kale (or one very large head), stems removed, washed and dried (don’t chop the leaves)
1 cup (160 g) raw cashews
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) smoked paprika
2 Tbsp (30 ml) Bragg’s aminos, wheat-free tamari or soy sauce (use 1 Tbsp coconut aminos for soy-free)
1 small sweet red pepper, cored and cut in chunks
1 cup (240 ml) grape tomatoes or chopped tomato
1/2 to 3/4 cup (120-180 ml) water, as needed
3-5 drops plain liquid stevia, optional
Preheat oven to 160 F (70 C). If you have a convection oven, put it on the convection setting. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Place the kale in a very large bowl (if you have too much kale, divide it in half and coat one half at a time).
In a high-powered blender, combine the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. The mixture should be thick and just pourable (but not as loose as soup or juice). Pour the mixture over the kale (if you split the kale in two, use only half the mixture for the first batch, then pour the second half over the rest of the kale later). Using clean hands, toss the kale in the mixture until the kale is evenly coated. Carefully place the leaves on the parchment, trying to keep it in a single layer if possible.
Bake for one hour, then check the kale. If the tops are mostly dry, gently flip each leaf over to expose the moist underside; bake another hour and check again. At this point, some of the smaller or flatter leaves will be totally dry and crisp. Simply remove those to a clean bowl or container (try not to eat most of them, as I did). Continue to bake the remaining leaves until they are all completely dry and crisp, another 1-2 hours. Allow the chips to cool and then store in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 8 normal-person servings (or 3 of my servings).
NOTE: If you have a dehydrator, you may of course prepare the chips in it. Dehydrate until dry and crisp (most kale chip recipes suggest 6-9 hours at 115F/46C).
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, vegan, low glycemic.
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