This post is a part of Real Food Wednesdays and Pennywise Platter Thursdays.
I told you yesterday how I tried and failed with rainbow chard, now let me share with you some great ways of getting your green on using kale and spinach!
I had read about Kale Chips and I thought, "My family would never even go near something like that." However, my daughter is on an eating plan right now that requires two meals a day to have at least two servings of green vegetables. After burning out on the usual suspects, it was time to venture into new territory. When I told my daughter what I was making she said, "NO! Don't make kale! I hate kale!" After I assured her that she didn't have to like it, she just had to be open minded and try it, she calmed down. And when she actually did try it, she loved it. She now asks for kale chips everyday! The taste is similar to popcorn or if you use spinach I think it tastes like pumpkin seeds. If you use spinach and kale both, do them in different batches or use separate trays because of the different cooking times.
Kale (or Spinach) Chips
1 bunch kale (or spinach) I use a half a bunch each time
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Wash & dry kale, then place in single layer on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I used a kitchen oil spritzer to evenly distribute oil on the kale (mine is from Pampered Chef but you can find similar items here or here on Amazon). I took about a teaspoon of sea salt in my hand and rubbed my hands together all over the kale to evenly salt it.
Place in the oven and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until crisp (if using spinach you will need to cook it for closer to 15 minutes). Watch carefully when it's getting close to time- burnt ones don't taste good!
My parchment paper is a little dark because I was reusing a sheet I had made something else on previously (cookies I believe). Here is a great tip for you: because I used half of the bunch of kale, I saved the parchment paper & reused it the next day to make the second batch with the other half of the kale. Now, wait- don't throw the paper away yet! Make yourself a batch of Sourdough Cracker dough and roll it right out onto the parchment paper. You see, after a couple of batches the paper has the perfect amount of extra oil & salt on it for your crackers. I wanted to use up more of my spinach (I had several bunches) so before I rolled it out I tore some spinach into pieces & incorporated it into the dough.
I didn't stop there though. Last time I had a bag of basil I had more than I was ready to use then, so I measured out the amount of leaves needed for a batch of Spinach Basil Pesto and put it in bags right into the freezer. I was ready to make pesto this week so a day or two earlier I got a bag of basil out of the freezer to thaw & then put those leaves right into the food processor. They don't look pretty then, but once everything mixes together you can't tell anything is different. I didn't have any pine nuts for my pesto, so I decided to use pecan pieces instead. I may do that from now on- have you seen how expensive pine nuts are? Wow!
Those spinach crackers taste awesome dipped in Spinach Basil Pesto- yum! Now I'm really getting my green on- but wait, I'm not done yet! (It's fun to sound like an infomercial sometimes...)
Don't forget about throwing a few fresh spinach leaves into your smoothies. If you've got some spinach or kale that is about to go bad you can do this: lightly steam them, while still hot put them in the blender along with a few tablespoons of coconut oil (the heat from the leaves melts the oil) and a little bit of milk just to help things move around.
Puree until smooth, pour into an ice cube tray, and place in the freezer. Once they're frozen solid you can put them in a bag in the freezer. Throw one or two into your smoothies for a boost of healthy greens & healthy fat too!
OK, whew! Now I'm done! Did I wear you out too?
Have some fun with greens this week!
P.S. Do you know about the US Wellness Meats Giveaway at Nourishing Days blog? You can enter for a chance to win an $85 gift certificate- yeah & yum!