Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kale Chips and Brussels Sprouts

Who knew kale chips and brussels sprouts were so delicious? Not me and certainly not my children. Below are 3 recipes that I wish I could say I had been using for years because they are so yummy.  More importantly my children could have been eating these nutritious veggies expanding their list of veggies from 6 to 8. 

Of my own free will I would not readily chose to cook kale and have zapped brussels sprouts in the microwave on the rare occassion.  I only contemplated cooking these veggies because in the months leading up to the holidays I saw chefs on TV cooking brussels sprouts in a tempting way. And for years the radio hosts on Martha Stewart's Morning Living radio program have been singing the praises of kale chips.  I was intrigued by how everyone would lavish "yums and mmmmm" over the food, but didn't have the nerve to cook them.  Why not you ask?

  1. HOURS:  I assumed that making kale chips would take hours. My prior experience with making banana chips was a 17-hour wait using the food dehydrator.  I ate most of the bananas while in the process of dehydrating because it took so dang long. We donated our dehydrator because it occupied up a lot of space and had only used it 4 times.
  2. THE SMELL: I was turned off with the thought of cooking brussels sprouts because...well, frankly they smell like farts when cooking which isn't very appetizing. I had only cooked frozen sprouts before and I assumed the fresh ones would smell worse.
Getting my family to eat healthier has been weighing heavily on my mind. We need to eat more fish and green veggies. I decided it was time to take the plunge. When I got home from the grocery store I showed my husband the brussels sprouts. He was amused that they grew on stalks. He thought they grew in the ground like little cabbages which sounds so cute.  The recipe below is one that I had scrawled on a 3x3 post it note.  I don't remember where I got this recipe. I have recipes lying around the house on various papers and in spirals.
The solution to the bad smell from cooking brussels sprouts is to burn a lot of candles throughout the house while cooking.  The smell does go away and it is definitely worth it!

  1. Cut sprouts off stalk and remove yellow leaves.
  2. This is when I pre-heat my oven to 400 degrees because cutting the sprouts off the stalks and peeling the leaves can take more than a couple of minutes and I find it wasteful to have an oven on for no reason.
  3. Rinse well in a colander.
  4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and tumble sprouts onto pan.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. 
  7. Gently toss to coat brussels sprouts evenly.
  8. Roast for 35 minutes.  
  9. Stir sprouts in the middle of roasting.

Pre-heat about 2 inches of oil at a medium setting.  
Clean and towel dry sprouts.  It is important that you dry the sprouts or the oil will splatter. 
You can cut the sprouts in half if you prefer more of the sprout to be fried. 
Fry brussels sprouts for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
The sprouts should be light brown.  
DO NOT fry in high heat or the oil will pop like crazy.  
Place on paper-towel lined plate.
Season with salt and pepper.


Hubby and I want to eat healthier, but we love to eat crunchy things. There's just a satisfaction we receive from the crunch.  However, there's not really a lot of health food that is both crunchy and delicious and it feels as if we are on a never-ending search for healthy, crunchy food that is low in carbs.  
While dropping my kids off at school I heard Betsy Karetnick on the radio talking about kale chips again and she said it was fast and easy to make - not the hours I assumed. 

The Martha Stewart Kale Chips Recipe was a little vague. I was a first time kale user and it didn't say what to do with the stalks. So I searched for more recipes. There were a lot to chose from and I was a little overwhelmed. I am definitely jumping the kale chip bandwagon a little late.  

I found 2 recipes that I liked and combined them to suit my personal way of cooking.
http://www.shutterbean.com/kalechips/   I like this recipe because she used the word "glug" to describe the amount of olive oil to use and presented pictures.
http://eatdrawlive.com/kale-chips/  I like this recipe because it uses coconut oil and spices.

I tried using both oils.  Olive oil gives it a nutty flavor and coconut oil has no flavor at all which is what my kids prefer - no taste.

Rhonda's Kale Chips Recipe
1 bunch of Kale
Olive oil or Coconut oil (I used about 2-4 tablespoons. This really depends on the amount of kale you have)
Coarse salt
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.  
  2. Cut the kale leaves off the stalk.  You can tear off the leaves but a knife is faster.  
  3. I leave some leaves large and cut some in half. (large for me; smaller for kids)
  4. Rinse leaves well and dry with a salad spinner but towel drying is fine.
  5. In a large bowl toss the kale with the oil. 
  6. Place kale on parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer.
  7. Sprinkle salt to taste.  Be careful it's easy to over-salt.  
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 
  9. Upon immediate removal from oven sprinkle with Parmesan cheese so it will melt. 

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