Kale Week: Tahini Kale Chip Recipe and Dehydrator review

February 25th, 2011 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Dehydrator Recipe, Kale, Nut Free, Nutritional Yeast, Raw Food, Soy Free, Vegan 19 Comments »

And so, Kale week continues! We started this event with a fun recipe for Sweet Onion Balsamic dried Kale Chips, and then I shared a review for pre-made kale chips, in case you didn’t want to bother making your own. And now, to wrap things up, I’m including a Tahini un-cheese, nut-free Kale Chip Recipe for you to enjoy. I’m also hosting a fun Mr. Linky with links to other Gluten-free kale recipes. To join, just click the link at the bottom of this post. Rules? Where we’re going we don’t need rules- except, well, you have to link a kale RECIPE* and add a link to this post on YOUR post. So I guess there are rules. Oops. Maybe I need to pick my quotations more carefully.

Ok, you got me. I’m a rule-girl, but only because I want this post and Mr. Linky to celebrate the joy that is kale. Old posts are ok, and multiple posts are ok; just add a link to this post to your post!

*No reviews or unrelated links please. If you have a kale product review comment on my Kale chip post and I’ll add you.

Speaking of kale, one of my favorite ways to prepare it is in the dehydrator. People ask me all the time which dehydrator I use. Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Nesco.**

I have the Nesco 700-Watt Round Food Dehydrator. The DH bought it for me for my birthday two years ago, as we were expecting Baby Yum. Shortly thereafter we moved and then had Baby Yum and I was far too busy and, I might add, intimidated by said device, to use it. It lived in our storage shed for quite some time, nestled in with our suitcases and holiday decorations. Oops. The DH was not happy with me, to say the least. I knew I would use it someday, though. I just needed to get over my reluctance to read the manual and figure out how the thing worked. But when I finally did get the courage to use the thing (two years later), I couldn’t figure out what had taken me so long. The dehydrator couldn’t be simpler. You pick your dehydrating temperature, put your food in the racks and plug it in. Take food out when it has achieved the desired texture. Cleaning the racks is a bit of a pain. My dishwasher is always far too busy to use for dehydrator racks, so I have to do them by hand, which I hate. I don’t trust my sink to be clean enough for food that won’t be superheated, so I take them to our shower and hose them down there. Not ideal. I’m thinking of having the DH put in an additional utility sink in our garage where I can do special hand wash. Now that would be useful.

So, I have the round Nesco and like it. But, truth be told, if I’d shopped a little later, I would have bought the Square-Shaped Nesco after it came out on Amazon. Square is a nicer shape for raw flatbreads, like you can make with recipes from the I am Grateful cookbook, and you can line it with parchment paper more easily. You can line the round one with parchment, but cutting it to shape is a nuisance. If you read the reviews on Amazon (click on the pictures of the respective dehydrator) people like the square one as much as (or more) than the round one. Both have very positive reviews, though. One more plus of the square dehydrator is that you can get more on the square trays than the round trays. *yippee* Unfortunately I guess I’ll be using a round one until it bites the dust. Guess I’ll have to use it a lot to speed up the process!

**I didn’t get anything free for writing this, more’s the pity. I just thought I’d talk about it here rather than trying to cram a good response in 140 characters on Twitter. ;)

I shared this post with Gluten-free Wednesday.

Gluten-free Kale Recipe Carnival:

Tahini un-cheesey Dehydrated Kale Chip Recipe
1/2 large bunch of kale or 1 small bunch of kale, deveined.

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari
1 tsp. liquid mustard
2 tbsp. diced sweet peppers (yellow, red or orange)- I used two mini sweet peppers
Enough water to form a smooth sauce that can be drizzled

Special equipment: dehydrator, food processor or sturdy blender

Rinse your kale and then spin dry in a salad spinner or press dry between clean towels.

Combine sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender and combine until everything is smooth. Add water as needed so that the sauce can be drizzled or poured.

Put your kale leaves in a medium or large bowl and drizzle with the sauce, massaging into the leaves. Put the seasoned kale on two or three racks of a dehydrator and dehydrate at 115F for around four hours or until you have completely dry, crunchy chips.

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Welcome to Kale Week: Menu +Raw Balsamic Onion Kale recipe

February 21st, 2011 yum Posted in Dehydrator Recipe, JM friendly, Kale, Nut Free, Raw Food, Sugar free, Vegan, snack 18 Comments »

Welcome to Kale Week! This week I’m celebrating the joys of an often unappreciated winter green, kale. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C, and manganese; a very good source of copper, tryptophan, calcium, vitamin B6, and potassium; and a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, folate, phosphorous, and vitamin B3. (source: WH Foods) That being said, I haven’t always enjoyed kale or found it to be especially yummy. That changed however when I made my first batch of oven-baked kale chips, and I became deeply obsessed with kale when I finally made dehydrated kale, smothered in a delicious homemade tahini dressing before it was dried. You might say that I became a woman obsessed with the green stuff. I started considering making a weekly batch, and researching recipes. A friend of mine made an enticing recipe for salt and vinegar kale chips recently as an entry in Adopt-a-gluten-free blogger, and it made me think. So kale chips could be flavored like potato chips, but without the potato and without all that deep frying. Hmmm… And then this last week I went to Safeway and found myself down the snack aisle with a growling, hungry stomach. Very bad. I found myself walking out with a bag of sweet onion balsamic vinegar potato chips. Salt and Vinegar with a twist! I ate some and liked them, but thought that they could be better if they were raw kale chips and dehydrated instead of fried. I took heart from my brave friends who had made vinegar kale chips before me, and went my own way with it. Some hours later, I had my own balsamic-sweet onion kale chips in a lovely bowl on the table, which I pressed on the DH. “Kale?” he protested. “Trust me,” I insisted. And so he did. And even my greens-hating DH had to admit, this recipe was pretty darned awesome. I knew it was a success when the Baby Yum, recovering from flu and a persnickety tummy, crammed the leaves in her mouth and reached for more. I hope you enjoy it too.

Look for my review of a packaged gluten-free, vegan kale chip company this Wednesday, and a recipe for an un-cheese dehydrated kale chip recipe this Friday. I plan on adding a “Mr. Linky” to Friday’s post, so get ready to share your favorite Kale recipes there!

Because there really aren’t enough days in the week, I thought I’d include my menu for the week as well.

Monday: Vegan
Roasted squash slices with vegan nutritional yeast gravy
Kale in tomato sauce
Gluten-free biscuits

Tuesday: Indian
Mongolian cauliflower and Chana masala
with rice and quinoa

Wednesday: Italian
Pasta with green pesto and broccoli

Thursday: Mexican
Tacos with refried beans, lettuce, homemade pico de gallo and guacamole
Kale with olives and capers

Friday: American
Arugula Salad with Portobella Mushrooms
Broccoli slaw
Baked potato wedges

Baked good of the week:
chocolate cherry cake with frosting

This menu was shared with Org Junkie and Gluten-free Smiles. The recipe was shared with Diane with Real Food Weekly

Balsamic Sweet Onion Dehydrated Kale Chip Recipe
1/2 large bunch of kale, or 1 small bunch of kale, deveined

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 medjool date, pitted
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)

Needed equipment: dehydrator, food processor or blender

Rinse your kale leaves and spin dry in a salad spinner if you have it. Otherwise, pat dry with a paper towel.

Combine vinegar, oil, date, and onion in small food processor bowl or sturdy blender. Blend until you have a smooth sauce.

Put your kale leaves in a medium or large bowl and drizzle the sauce on your leaves. Massage it into them and then spread them out on two or three dehydrator trays. Sprinkle with salt. Dehydrate them on 115F for around 4 hours or until they are crunchy and dry, like delicious dried leaves. Yum Yum!

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