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Lemon Pepper Kale Chips

O ~ M ~ G!   Kale Chips are my new addiction.  And now that I have perfected the drying time and technique to incorporate flavor, I am starting to get border line obsessive compulsive over them.  I can’t stop eating them.

 

Lemon Pepper Kale Chips by: Its All About Me Fitness

Lemon Pepper Kale Chips
by: Its All About Me Fitness

The cost for these puppies in major health chains is astronomical.  If you invest a little in a good dehydrator, in a months time, you probably would be able to recoup the price of the appliance.  I had a friend just find a good deal on Craigslist for $10! 

Saturday I had a bunch of extra kale in the fridge and decided that before it went south I’d throw it in the dehydrator.  Feeling a little adventurous I opted to try a lemon flavor……and it turned out better than I had hoped. 

The Spicy Kale Chips that I made the other week are explosive in flavor from all the cayenne I added to them, so I wasn’t sure how the lemon would hold up against the strong flavor of cayenne.  But the lemon held it’s own with these kale chips.  They turned out just as bursting with flavor as the spicy variety.  And at the very end, and on a whim, decided to grind some fresh black pepper over each tray and it just turned out fabulous.

Lemon Pepper Kale Chips 

  • 1 bunch of organic kale (any variety)
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced, seeds removed
  • 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Wash and dry the kale leaves.  Remove the thick stems and tear or chop into bite size pieces
  2. Soak the raw cashews in two cups of filtered water for 1 hour.
  3. Zest each lemon and then slice them in half and juice.  Set aside.  (Tip: if you roll the lemon between the counter and your palm before slicing and it will make it easier to remove the juice from the lemon)
  4. Take the soaked cashews, lemon juice, salt and garlic powder and pulse in a food processor until a smooth paste forms. 
  5. Next, add the zest and pulse a few more times until incorporated.
  6. Massage the cashew butter into the torn kale pieces making sure to evenly and thoroughly coat each piece of kale.
  7. Spread onto the dehydrator trays in a single even layer.  Use as many trays as necessary to use up all of the kale.
  8. Sprinkle each tray with a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper to taste. 
  9. Repeat until all the kale is placed on trays.
  10. Cover and turn on the dehydrator and let dry for approximately 1-3 hours depending on how many trays you have and how big your kale pieces are.  It may take longer depending on these variables. 
  11. After they are completely dry, remove the kale chips and store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week. 

What flavor combinations of kale chips are your favorite?

 

Spicy Kale Chips & Word of Caution

I wanted to share with you my new favorite snack. These suckers are highly addictive and do not last long in my house. Even the BF was asking for a batch of his own after this weekend. I can’t say they replace a good ‘ole bag of Herr’s salty potato chips, but they are, nonetheless, very good. They melt in your mouth, and they are healthy and provide a ton of vitamins and minerals because Kale is jam-packed with a ton of healthy goodness!

Spicy Kale Chips

I have made a few flavor variations so far, but the spicy version is what I come back to as my favorite each time. I use my dehyrator to dry them, and have not tested them in the oven. But for the price of a batch of organic kale and a few hours in the dehydrator, it pays for itself by making your own. The price of a small 8 oz container can run you upwards of $6 – $7 dollars depending on where you buy them. The most expensive item on my ingredient list is the raw cashews which I buy in bulk from Whole Foods.

Recipe: Spicy Kale Chips

  • 2 bunches of organic kale (any variety)
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded (red, orange, or yellow)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 whole jalapeno (seeded)
  • 1 Serrano pepper (seeded)
  • 3/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tamari
  • 1 cup soaked raw cashews

Clean the kale in a large sink of cold water to remove dirt. Remove leaves from the sink and place on a sheet pan lined with paper towels or spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water.

Remove the thick stems and use only the leafy green part. Discard the stem pieces.

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Tear the remaining larger leaves into workable pieces. I like my pieces no bigger than the size of my palm. They dry more evenly that way.

Meanwhile, soak the raw cashews in 2 cups of filtered water for approximately and hour until soft. Drain the water and add them to the food processor. Add the peppers, lemon juice, vinegar, cayenne, garlic and tamari and process until smooth paste forms. You may have to scrape the sides down a few times until everything is incorporated.

Add the kale to a large mixing bowl. Dump the cashew spread on top of the kale and massage into the leaves until all leaves are coated evenly.

Spread out in a single layer on the dehydrator trays and lock into place. Dry until leaves are crisp. This takes anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours depending on the thickness and the coating on the leaves.

I usually rotate the trays half way through and remove the pieces that are completely dry to a separate container. Continue drying until all pieces are fully dry.

Will keep in an air tight container for up to 4-5 days.

Caution: During my first attempt at making kale chips, I used raw garlic. And a lot of raw garlic. Like 8 cloves of RAW GARLIC!

DO NOT DO THIS!

Unless you want your entire house to wreak like garlic including your clothes, hair, furniture and even your dog ~ DO NOT USE RAW CRUSHED GARLIC.

Please ~ I speak from experience when I tell you that raw garlic will burn your eyes, nose and throat. Your children will go to school thinking they smell like garlic. You will have your co-workers sniff your clothing to MAKE sure you don’t still smell like garlic. You will taste garlic in the back of your throat for days afterward. Heed my warning and just use garlic powder and not too much, or you will be warning your friends and neighbors as I am doing now.

Now, go make your own kale chips and enjoy!

True story all! All OF IT!

Beans & Greens Soup

Wow,  almost a whole week since I’ve posted!  But I have to be honest, things have been a little hectic in my neck of the woods.  Picked up a nasty virus which caused a wicked head cold, and then on Sunday we had a group ski trip planned so I had to suck it up and we headed up to the slopes.

It’s never a fun day when you realize when you’re just too old you can’t seem to do the things that you once might have excelled at years ago.  I know, I know, your giggling, but seriously, I admit it ~ I’m getting old!

Included in our group ticket was passes for lift ticket, ski/snowboard rental, and a FREE lesson.  Well me and the BF are pretty good skiers at this point. We’ve been skiing now consistently every year for the past five years so we don’t fall anymore (well some of us) and its become a very enjoyable winter get-a-way.  Well this past weekend we had this hair brain idea that we would all switch.  BF and I would try snowboarding and my son would try skiing!  Seemed like a great idea at the time!  HELL NO!  Two trips down the bunny slope and the BF was done!   It took me a few more to convince my ego that this just wasn’t going to happen.  Of course, fall #1 wasn’t so bad, fall #2 ~ yeah yeah it was worse, but almighty fall #3 was a doozy!  Wrecked my shoulder and hip on that fall.  And at that moment ~ yep you can say it ~ I realized I was getting to old for this god damn shit!  And within 20 minutes we both had our ski’s on at it was back to the same.

Not the same story though for the 17 Y/O show off.  Josh decided to put on the skis’ and to forego the lesson and down he went.  No lesson! No clue how to stop! Not an inclining how to turn, but down he went.  Alright now here’s the kicker.  Do you think he fell, NO! The little stinker was skiing backwards in a matter of 45 minutes!  At that was it!  I’M OLD!  It’s okay folks!  I can take it!  We still enjoyed our day, but boy oh boy was the following days brutal!  Hip pain, shoulder pain, stuffy nose and to top it off PMS!  So there you go ~ no posts!

But I’m back now, and back in the kitchen and today I got my cook on and made up a great big pot of Kale and Bean Soup.

Good thing too, because my refrigerator was getting pretty stark.  You could actually see shelves which is pretty unusual for me.  I’m usually stocked to the brim.  Tomorrow is Sunday Prep Day, so looking forward to getting back to normal and having some decent eats in the house.  But for now I’m going to go have a nice hot bowl of bean soup. You should too!

Beans and Greens Soup

Beans and Greens Soup

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15 oz can of white beans
  • 2/3 cup of orzo
  • 10 oz organic kale (could substitute fresh spinach here)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Saute the onion for 3 minutes and then add the minced garlic.

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Saute for an extra minute.

Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

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Add the beans and the orzo and cook 10 minutes until the orzo is tender.

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Add the greens and simmer for 5 minutes until wilted.

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Season with salt and pepper and serve.

I love soups all kinds of soups and I always have them on hand for a quick dinner or to take for lunch!  Until tomorrow’s Sunday Prep ~ D

 

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