Kale Chips

Everyone is crazy about kale. I’ve seen it baked, sauteed, fried, juiced, and made into cocktails. I myself like spinach and was very hesitant to try kale, hearing that it was a tad more bitter and greener. But I heard about the magic of kale chips, and decided I had to try it out! This experiment happened a few months ago actually, but I took pictures with the intent to eventually blog about. Clearly I’m on top of things. Here’s how it went.

kale

This is kale, go out and buy you some kale.

Pull kale off the stalks, and discard them. I used kitchen scissors to cut it off. Wash and dry the kale in your fancy salad spinner that you got on sale for $5 at Bed Bath and Beyond, because someone had drawn one line on the top with permanent marker. Thank you Bed Bath & Beyond clearance.

Pull kale off the stalks, and discard them. I used kitchen scissors to cut them off. Wash and dry the kale in your fancy salad spinner that you got on sale for $5 at Bed Bath and Beyond, because someone had drawn one line on the top with permanent marker. Thank you Bed Bath & Beyond clearance.

Toss kale with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. You can try a variety of spices but I went with some basic garlic powder.

Toss kale with olive oil, salt, and pepper, with the assistance of your T.A.R.D.I.S. and Daleck shakers. You can also add a variety of spices but I went with some basic garlic powder.

Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (because who likes cleaning?). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Take out when browning on the edges and crispy-crunchy.

Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (because who likes cleaning?). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Take out when browning on the edges and crispy-crunchy. I am currently in amazement that my oven was ever this clean, some how it is now very browned and in need of a good scrub down.

Try these crispy little leafy chips out....

Put on a paper towel to absorb extra oil and then try these crispy little leafy chips out….

The Verdict: I did not like kale chips. They had a very bitter taste to me, similar to brussels sprouts or other cooked lettuce-y things. I don’t like cooked lettuce or spinach (unless it’s in dip) or brussels sprouts. So this was kind of a failed experiment for me. BUT I am glad I tried them because I enjoy looking for ways to eat more vegetables.

Despite not loving these, I do love to eat veggies! Sometimes it feels expensive to eat healthy but I work vegetables into my meals without over spending, or wasting them, by buying frozen veggies. I have broccoli, zucchini, onions, peppers, carrots, corn, and green beans in my freezer right now. I always purchase the generic, store-brand bags of frozen vegetables and cook them up however I want. They are very easy to steam in the microwave, roast in the oven, or cook em’ up in the pan. Buying frozen veggies is perfect for me too, because I tend to let vegetables rot in my fridge when I buy them fresh.

Overall my kale experiment was a personal fail, but I’m interested to try other types of kale prepared in other ways. My co-worker eats it for lunch as a salad all the time and is a kale-aholic. Maybe it’s a love it or hate it kinda thing? But I know that if I ever come across the opportunity to try them again when someone else is preparing them I’ll give it another try!

Mexican Food is calorie free, right?

I’m in TEXAS! I currently live on the Eastern Shore where I’ve lived all of my life. But I’m relocating to be closer to Mr. Wonderful, who lives in Texas. In order to job search, interview, and look at apartments I am visiting him and his family for 10 days. I am very happy to get to see him, even though he works 8am-5pm everyday. I’ve visited this great state at least ten times in the past five years but I’ve never been able to think about living here. It has completely changed my perspective visiting. I am now trying to remember road names, grocery stores, restaurants, and just getting a feel for the area.

What I’m thinking that I’ll have to adjust to the most is the food! Mr. Wonderful lives in the southern part of the state, so the Mexican cuisine is out of this world. As is the barbeque. And the sweet tea. Usually when I visit I am in vacation mode, and we all know that calories don’t count on vacation! But will I be able to shake this vacation mindset when I move here?

So far I’ve had Mexican food every single day. From enchiladas to queso to breakfast tacos, I can feel the potential pounds packing themselves onto my middle. I’m getting in some casual activities, and all the apartments I am looking at have fitness center (no crazy expensive gym membership!), so I plan on being active once I call this state my home. But unless I run 20 miles a day, I think I’ll still have watch how much Mexican I eat. The biggest issue, which is also the most delicious issue, are the tortillas. Fresh, homemade tortillas are like no other food you have tasted. By themselves they are a belt-buster, but then you load them with meat, cheeses, and sauces and you are asking to go up a few dress sizes. The key, as always, is moderation. Boring, bland, moderation. Obviously the idea of moderation does not excite me. I think what’s better for me is only eating the things I actually want, not whatever is set down in front of me. I usually eat chips and salsa, rice, beans, sweet tea, extra tortillas, and extra tacos out of habit/convenience. If it’s right there, why not? I’ll have to instead put myself in the state of mind to eat what I want to eat, not everything in site. This is applicable to everyday life as well! Don’t think of it as saying no to some things, think of it as saying YES to the foods you want!