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.
Roasted squash slices with vegan nutritional yeast gravy
Kale in tomato sauce
Mongolian cauliflower and Chana masala
with rice and quinoa
Pasta with green pesto and broccoli
Tacos with refried beans, lettuce, homemade pico de gallo and guacamole
Kale with olives and capers
Arugula Salad with Portobella Mushrooms
Baked potato wedges
Baked good of the week: chocolate cherry cake with frosting
Balsamic Sweet Onion Dehydrated Kale Chip Recipe
1/2 large bunch of kale, or 1 small bunch of kale, deveined
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
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!