Saturday, October 5, 2013

Kale Tail

Oh my! I've sprouted a tail! And so has my friend, Jason!

Our Kale Tails.

Indeed-ily-do! These tails do resemble kale stems! You are such a smarty pants!

Truth be told, our tails sprouted just after we destemmed some kale, in preparation for baking some kale chips.

Jason and I have been getting together to do some cooking. Jason is a work/climbing friend. Jason works at Amazon, where I used to work. And Jason was an instructor with the climbing class that I took back in 2010.

We've been cooking in Jason's kitchen, because Jason has an incredible kitchen. He has lots of counter space and more kitchen gadgets than both Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table, combined. He has more drawer volume dedicated to containers for leftovers than the entire square footage of Candice's Tiny House. (Well, almost.) Yet, as a bachelor, his humongous refrigerator is practically empty. Go figure!

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Jason's kitchen situation is very different than mine. As you know, I have downsized, and everything I own now fits in my tiny four-door Toyota. Including all of my kitchen things.

(Suffice it to say, that not only would my kitchen things easily fit within Jason's kitchen, but so would my Toyota.)

Just recently I bought an 18-gallon Rubbermaid bin so that I could easily store and transport all of my kitchen items within a single container. This bin contains a medium-sized pot, a small frying pan, four(!!) sets (that's a luxury for a minimalist) of matching dishware, my favorite big mugs, a coffee grinder (used for the sole purpose of grinding flaxseed), a mason jar (for growing sprouts), and a few other miscellaneous utensils.

If cooking in Jason's kitchen with Jason's assortment of cooking gadgets is like a sunny, warm day, then cooking with my stuff is like the darkest, coldest night in hell. That's why cooking will always be done in Jason's kitchen.

Jason and I have made some yummy dishes. I'd like to share my two favorites recipes with you. As I'm not a foodie, it's unusual for me to mention food. So, you should know that these recipes must be outta-this-earth tasty! Not to mention easy to prepare!

Baked Kale Chips
Serves: 4

4 cups of kale (1 bunch), stems removed, torn into chip-size pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the over to 350°F. Line a 10 X 15-inch backing sheet (nonstick) with parchment paper.
  2. Wash the kale and trim the stems from each piece. To ensure hearty laughter, insert the base of the stems in the rear waistline (pointing upward) of your pants and the pants of any other cooks in the kitchen. Spin the kale dry in a salad spinner and blot any remaining moisture with paper towels.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the kale with the olive oil until thoroughly coated. For curly kale, you may need to massage the pieces with your hands to work the oil into the crevices. Toss with the salt. Spread the kale in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake until the chips are crispy, about 15 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Cool the pan on a wire rack until the chips are cool. Serve immediately.
(Recipe from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes: Quick and Delicious Mouthwatering Dishes for the Healthy Cook. My addition is in red.)

Baked kale chips are fantastic! But even yummier is grilled okra with sumac!

Grilled Okra with Spicy Sumac Seasoning Salt
Serves: 2-4

24 okra
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sumac* 
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (a pinch)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

*Look for sumac in the spice aisle of specialty foods stores or Middle Eastern markets.
  1. Prepare grill for high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the thyme, sumac, cayenne, and salt.
  3. Trim off the little stems on the end of the okra pods (optional).
  4. In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil over the okra and use your hands to toss until the okra is evenly coated.
  5. Sprinkle the seasoning blend over the okra, tossing the okra with your hands again to evenly coat.
  6. Put the okra in a grilling basket or skewer the pods to keep them from falling through the grill grates.
  7. Grill the okra un-covered until nicely charred, about 4-6 minutes on each side.
  8. Serve the okra hot off the grill or soon afterward. When refrigerated, leftover grilled veggies quickly become soggy.
(Recipe from

The recipe included this photo of the grilled okra:

How the grilled okra is supposed to look.

Don't worry about really charring the okra. Ours looked more like this, and they were damn tasty:

Our grilled okra.

Happy addiction to these two healthy snacks!

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