Month: January 2014

Curry Kale Chips

Kale is nothing new. It’s becoming the trendiest green in all the land, and for good reason. It’s insanely good for you, versatile, not too strongly flavored, and since it’s heftier than most other leafy greens, can stand up to just about anything, which means a lot in the winter when all you want is a hearty bowl of soup.

But I’m not here to talk about soup. I’m here to talk about chips! Again, the heft of the kale makes it the perfect candidate for a crunchy, healthy chip. You can use any kind of kale: curly, Lacinato, even red Russian. I chose to go with Lacinato, or Tuscan kale, because it has a smoother texture than curly kale, has a thinner stem so you can basically eat the whole thing, and has larger leaves, perfect for big chips and dipping.

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Kale wilts down a lot. It is full of water so when you add heat, the water evaporates (duh). I cut up my kale chips pretty large because I know they’ll shrink. Plus, who wants dingy little one-bite kale chips? Not me.

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I add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and curry powder to the leaves before I put them in the oven. This way, everything sticks, and I can always add more seasoning if needed when they’re done cooking.

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See? Look at how much they shrunk down!

My favorite part about kale chips is you can eat the equivalent of an entire bag and not feel guilty. Add a great salsa or dip and you have the perfect snack or appetizer. I found this amazing sweet potato salsa that actually has both kale and curry in it, so I knew it would go perfectly with my chips (and it did!).

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Check out the salsa here.

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch Lacinato kale, rinsed and chopped into 3-inch squares

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1-2 tsp. curry powder, depending on your taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss kale with olive oil, salt, pepper and curry powder. Arrange leaves in one single layer and bake 12-15 minutes, until crisp. Enjoy with your favorite dip or salsa! How easy is that??

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Curried Acorn Squash Soup

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As I’m trying desperately to stay warm this winter, I’ve managed to find ways to appreciate the season: via root vegetables, leafy greens and citrus! The winter’s most plentiful produce has made its way into many of my meals, and this weekend, my trip to the Union Square Farmers Market resulted in this hearty, comforting pot of curried acorn squash soup. I must admit, I was looking for butternut squash, but when the only thing I could find was acorn, I seized the moment and the end product left me pleasantly surprised (I didn’t know how sweet acorn squash could be!). You can tweak this recipe as much as you like, whether its changing up the type of apple, squash, seasoning, or adding other winter ingredients like leeks or parsnips. The pos-soup-bilities are endless!

INGREDIENTS

1 4-lb acorn squash

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 tart apple, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp curry powder

salt and pepper

4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

DIRECTIONS 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse squash and poke various holes in the skin using a fork. Bake squash for 45 minutes to an hour, until tender.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots and celery and saute until they begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the onion, apple, curry powder, salt and pepper and cook until everything is tender, about 10 minutes more. Add the stock and lower the heat until the squash is cooked through.

Once the squash is soft and cool enough to handle, peel the skin and break into pieces. Add the squash to the soup and simmer for about 5 minutes more.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Add any additional salt and pepper if necessary.

The soup will keep up to a week and freezes wonderfully!