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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Kale Fail

Lately, I have seen an awful lot of hype regarding kale chips.  Recipes abound all over the internet - on the Weight Watchers site, AllRecipes, Skinnytaste...everywhere.  They've even made it into the grocery store in highly priced single-serve baggies.

I realize that I am probably late to this little party, but I figured that maybe I should look into this phenomenon.  I checked out some different recipes and noticed that they all seemed highly rated by the public.  That's a good sign, right?  Everyone says they were surprisingly delicious, and terms I saw included:  "to die for," "a healthier alternative to regular chips," "fantastic."  You get the picture.

So I picked up a healthy looking bunch of kale at the grocery store the other night and got to it.  I settled on this recipe from The Food Network, since it seemed nice and quick.  (Every recipe I found was for a different heat setting and time period.  This one blasts the kale at 425F for 15 minutes.)

First step - wash and dry the kale.  Done.

Second step - cut away the tough middle stem.  I chose to tear it, since I didn't want to dirty a knife needlessly.

Third step - tear leaves into small chip sized pieces.  I combined this with #2.  Warning to anyone who hasn't worked with kale before: look closely at those leaves - they harbor little green insects that almost look like they are part of the leaf.  I hope I got them all, but if I didn't, it didn't kill me.  (Or as my father would say, extra protein!)

Step four - toss leaf pieces with olive oil and seasonings.

Step five - wait patiently as your chips roast to crispy healthy perfection in the oven, stirring halfway through the roasting time.

After taking the "chips" out of the oven, I impatiently popped one into my mouth.  Definitely crunchy.  Fantastic?  An alternative to regular chips?  I think not!  It just tasted like you would expect a roasted leafy garnish to hot grass.  Crispy as it was, you just can't chew it enough to break down the fibers of the leaves...or is that just me?  I'd say that it was a waste of $1.99, except that I still ate most of the "chips," hoping they would grow on me.  They did not.  At least I got in more vegetables that night, and healthy oil (still going strong on my WW plan).

Okay, I will admit that I am not a big fan of kale, though I have made a good pea soup that used it as extra veggies (cut into thin strips).  I have no problem relegating this particular vegetable to the salad the greenery dividing the dishes.

*Sigh*  Am I the only one totally unimpressed with the kale chip phenomenon?  There have to others out there like me...