Saturday, December 1

That's Nacho Cheese! Chips

Hubby has a new addiction: Kale chips. It's true. My macho green-food-hating spaghetti-loving Italian husband likes kale chips. I swear. He asks for a carton every day to take with his lunch.
 
Don't believe the photo. In real life, nacho cheese kale chips are crisp, crunchy, dry and addictive. This picture makes them look deceptively green, cold, and salad like.
 
The best part: It's not just kale. I've now expanded my repetoire to cabbage chips, too. And he likes them! He really likes them!
 
Here's the recipe, with a little South-of-the-Border twist. Warning: Raw chips work best with a dehydrator. If you don't have one, try drying them in your oven at the lowest possible setting with the door cracked open.
 
Calories? Not far removed from nothin', because there's no oil, no fat, no frying, no starch, no cheese. And they still have all the addictive properties of Pringles.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bag or large bunch of kale
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 1/3 C nutritional yeast*
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 roma tomatos
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper (less if you don't like spicy)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (less if you don't like spicy)
  • 1 tsp chipotle seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • water, if required to make ingredients more blendable
 
Optional ingredients that add flavor, but also calories
  • 1 C sweet corn
  • 1 C black olives
  • 1/2 med. avocado
  • 1/3 C raw pumpkin seeds, soaked for at least 1 hour

Instructions
  1. Wash and de-stem kale. Tear into medium pieces. Set aside.
  2. After destemming cilantro, add all remaining ingredients to blender. Rough chop using pulse function.
  3. Pour blended ingredients over kale, and lightly massage until kale is covered with sauce.
  4. Transfer to dehydrator sheets, in single layers.
  5. Dry at highest temperature for one hour, then turn temperature down to 108 degrees and continue drying until chips are crunchy and crisp, about eight hours.
  6. Transfer to air-tight containers.
 
*Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy, nutty flavor without the calories. Very high in protein and vitamin B12, too. I buy it in the bulk food aisle of my local grocery store. Nutritional yeast and brewer's yeast and baking yeast are not interchangeable. Despite the shared name, they are unrelated substances. Here's an article about the differences and benefits.

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The cutest Italian couple ever, talking about 50 years of marriage. That's amore!