A large portion of my childhood consisted of living on a macrobiotic diet. As a kid, I wasn't much of a fan of brown rice, beans, burdock, seaweed, squash, and steamed leafy vegetables. I especially hated kale and after exiting that type of dietary lifestyle I thought that I would never eat kale again for the rest of my life. But something happened. My tastebuds changed and as I became a "grown-up" I started to crave the clean, fresh taste of the ingredients commonly found in macrobiotics. 10-year-old me would not believe it, but I often miss that food from my childhood. Now our pantry is full of seaweed, our vegetable crisper is full of leaves, and we always have a container of umeboshi plums on hand (which is amazing on a steamed ear of corn, by the way). Next to Hungarian food (my obligation by birth), Japanese is my favorite cuisine. And oddly enough, I now love kale.
Kale, as I am sure you have noticed, is all the rage right now, which is pretty refreshing in light of the other recent trend foods out there (bacon, cupcakes, mac 'n' cheese...). It's incredibly healthy, versatile, and hearty.
One of my favorite ways to eat kale is via kale chips. Raw foodists make these by dehydrating pieces of flavored kale (which is how the ones you buy by the bag are made). They are either very simply seasoned, or are smothered in a nut or seed-based sauce before making them crisp. Unfortunately, most of us don't own a dehydrator. But luckily, you can easily make kale chips in your oven! It does change some things. Lightly dressing the kale is very important, so that the oven has a chance to make all the water evaporate -- otherwise you are left with soggy pieces of chewiness. And the oven-variety is best consumed right away -- crisp and even a little warm. It's not really for storing -- but I mean, why would you NOT want to finish a whole bowl in one sitting?
SESAME AGAVE KALE CHIPS
A crispy, sweet, and salty delight.