Ooh, I am excited about this one!
Here’s the deal: I hate leafy greens. I hate lettuce. I hate salad. I may be the only vegan out there who does not, will not, no way no how, eat salads, ever. As such, it completely baffles me to hear people, even (especially) seasoned veg*ns, lament the fact that there’s nothing veg they can order at [insert restaurant name here] except a salad. No! I believe that 100% of the time, this is NOT true; there IS something else you can order or request. I’ve eaten at every kind of restaurant, from barbecue to Austrian food, without consuming a single salad, my entire life.
Anyway, that is why I have featured greens or lettuce in this blog a mere three times in over two years: once when I finally resolved to try a green smoothie, once when I shocked my boyfriend by eating a bite of lettuce in Dallas, and recently when I ate a kale chip at 105 Degrees in Oklahoma City at a dinner with Ani Phyo. The last of those occasions brings me to this.
The very day I returned from that amazing event, I stopped by the Merc in Lawrence, where I picked up a bunch of kale on a whim. It felt surreptitious, clandestine in a way, like I was working under the radar of my own bias, sneakily breaking a commandment of my own personal foodie religion. But that kale came home with me, and by the end of the night, inspired largely by recipes of Ani and Averie, I’d improvised my own dehydrated coated-kale chips.
The take-home point of all this is: I ATE GREENS!
Per serving: 121 calories, 6.5g fat (.5g sat), 13.3g carbs, 3g fiber, 5.5g protein
- 1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- ½ a large red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup soaked cashews
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- Place all ingredients except kale in a blender.
- Purée, adding a splash of water if needed.
- Add the mixture to the chopped kale in a large bowl.
- Toss to coat the kale thoroughly. You’ll need your hands for this, and yup, it gets messy! Spread the kale on mesh-lined (with or without Paraflexx sheets) dehydrator trays.
- Dehydrate at 105-115 degrees for 6-8 hours, or until crisp, flipping once halfway through.
- But you didn’t think I’d leave you dehydrator-less people hanging, did you?! You can instead bake these in a 300-325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, watching them closely so they don’t burn and flipping them halfway through. Alternately, you can turn the oven on the Warm setting, leave the oven door ajar, and bake them for a few hours (I don’t know how many, sorry—just keep an eye on them); the low-temp baking will mimic the effects of a dehydrator.
I made a half batch, reversing the amounts of sunflower seeds vs. hempseeds (for frugality’s sake) and adding an extra heaping teaspoon of chili powder.
You’ll have to visit Averie’s page for the full recipe, which I highly recommend you do. It’s not just for kale chips—hell, dip French fries in it if you want to!
Yield (full batch): 8 servings (about 2 cups).
Per serving (about ¼ cup): 102 calories, 7.8g fat (.5g sat), 4.2g carbs, 2g fiber, 5.3g protein.
You can have this whole snack – a mountain of kale chips and a big scoop of cheeze dip – for barely over 200 calories, yet it nets you nearly 11 grams of protein. Ok, ok, I concede—score 1 for leafy greens!
Is there any ultra-popular vegan food/dish/ingredient you simply can’t stand?