Friday, February 24, 2012

Food Of The Day: Kale chips

For the past year or so, everyone has been social media-ing about kale chips.

I never understood the fascination.

Then I made some today for the first time and, now, I get it.

I think what didn't excite me is that I am not a huge greens person. Also, I am lazy and the thought of washing, drying and then separating a gigantic bale 'o kale was not something in which I would invest time.

But, today, I was perusing the produce section at Wegman's and I happened to spy a huge bag of pre-washed, pre-cut kale. This is the kale equivalent of Yuppie Eggs. So, I was in. Seriously, this esta un krapload de kale.

Anyway, when I got home I got on Twitter and hit up some WW-ing friends for advice. Dacia was quick to give me the 411. She's lost 90 lbs in one year and has undergone an amazing transformation in so many ways. Seriously, check out her blog.

Dacia pointed me here and making these chips really is easy. I did the easy oil & salt route. I put 6 cups of kale in a bowl, 1T of olive oil and sprinkled it with kosher salt. Baked it for 14 minutes at 350 and below is the result.

I like the picture at the top of this post a little better as it gives you an idea of what the individual chips look like. The "group pic" just looks like a big salad.

However, it was a pretty delicious gang of greens. Until today, I had only had kale in smoothies. I didn't love it, but I also didn't dislike it. Kale is so ridiculously good for you, I had no problem including it in smoothies because of its nutritional awesomeness.

But, lathered in oil and salt? Kale is delicious. Funny how that works. Salt and oil is always a winner, as you know, and the greens were crunchy, mild and not bitter. It didn't taste like I was eating a handful of grass off the front lawn.

Next time, I would drop the amount of oil down to 1/2T. I think I could use less oil, still get a good result and save 2 Points Plus.

I counted today's snack as 4 Points Plus for the 1T oil because I ate the whole damn thing (seriously, it was like a bag of chips to me). Dacia noted that when she ran 2T of olive oil and the 6C kale through WW's recipe builder on eTools, it's 9 Points Plus for the whole thing.

She is a better WWer than I because I will not count that as 9 Points Plus. Truth be told, I hate the Recipe Builder because it calculates Points for Points-free food when they are included in a recipe. I understand why Weight Watchers does this, but I don't agree. I'm not taking a 5-Point hit for 6C of kale, which if I ate all by their lonesome would be 0 Points Plus.

I'm not urging anyone to overthrow the Recipe Builder, your mileage may vary, but I'm being honest about how I count it in this case. Hell, I didn't get to 282 lbs by eating too much kale.

Anyway, this was a great snack. While I was waiting for the chips to cook, I was eating raw kale bits out of the bag because, hey, they were there. And, even raw, they were great. Next time I put out raw veg and dip for an appetizer, I am including kale. It was very good and would be more fun to eat than, say, gigantic broccoli crowns.

I can also envision having these salty devils instead of popcorn next time we're watching a movie at the house. No, I can't imagine sneaking a bag into a real theater. Although...

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