A Satisfying Crunch

I have been rather disappointed in the selection of vegetables at the grocery store lately. Something just doesn’t seem right about highlighting only certain vegetable and shoving other fantastic treats off to the side. For example: carrots, broccoli, and asparagus are always out in the big, main display while goodies like beets, parsnips, and rutabaga are pushed off to the side, represented in limited quantities next to the herbs and vast array of mushrooms.

I expressed this sadness to family members, who, I believe, were entirely too logical. Of course the most prominently displayed vegetables are the ones that most people buy and eat, hence their location in the store. But shouldn’t it also be that veggies that most people don’t eat are displayed just the same to draw attention to themselves and encourage people to try them? Can we not discriminate among our healthy, tasty friends? Must we shy those few, precious, delicious goodies to the back corner while the regular heavy hitters are first at bat? When did this turn into a baseball game? I think I’ve lost track of what I am saying here…

Of course, part of the reason there is a bit of this one-sidedness with certain foods is the availability  of them to the stores. I have been looking for beets for weeks now, waiting until they make their appearance so I can snatch some up and roast them into that sweet symphony of flavor. Seriously, roasted beets is like music in my mouth. Amazing. Yet, we seem to be having a slight shortage of them up here in Alaskaland because I have not found any for weeks. It’s making me sad to scan the many amazing food sites out there and see beets but not have any to eat myself.

This is why, when I went to the store earlier this week and found some kale that wasn’t in the that’s-insanely-expensive-I-can’t-afford-that-as-a-recent-college-graduate organic section I snatched up a bunch of the beautiful leafy greens.

Over the summer, while my parents and I were getting fresh veggies from the farm, we ended up with a lot of kale and no real idea of what to do with it. I had seen that kale chips had been all the rage and though about giving them a try. After trying out a few batches I found Dad and I were hooked. Ever since the snow has begun to fall and the farm stopped sending goodies for the season I have been craving these kale chips.

With the kale I bought at the store, I made a batch this morning (yeah, for breakfast, what of it?) and they were every bit as good as I remember. Many foodies claimed the chips are addicting and while, yes, I have been craving them for months, I would not necessarily say they are totally addicting. Sure they taste  great, with just a hint of olive oil and salt, keeping the flavors simple, but to me what is really, completely, and totally addicting is the crunch. These things simply fall apart and crumble in your mouth in a very satisfying way.

That being said, let’s cease our vegetable and other food discrimination and try new things! My challenge to you this week is to try something you have never had before. Let me know in the comments what you tried and what you thought!

Also, try these guys:

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale chips
1-3 Tbsp. olive oil (use as much to lightly coat amount of leaves)
Hearty pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get out ungreased baking sheets, as many sheets as needed for all the chips.
Tear leaves off of kale stalk and break into bite size pieces.
Place pieces in bowl, add in olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Lay kale pieces on baking sheets, careful not to overlap.
Bake for 3-5 minutes, then check on chips. (I have found my chips seem to cook up rather fast. Some recipes say 7 minute cooking time, others say 15. It’s a bit of a trial and error, but be careful, they tend to go from just right to burnt fast.)
Continue baking at short intervals, checking on chips to see when they reach desired crispness. If using more than one baking sheet, repeat with other sheets.
Place in bowl, munch, let break apart into your mouth, and enjoy!

Another great thing about these chips is that they are a healthier alternative to potato chips and satisfy even the strongest salt craving!

Also: trying to get a poll going to see what to do with a fun ingredient. Comment here with any ideas!

Poll time! Ingredient I want to use is Nutella: What should I make? What would you like to see here?

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