KALE sun-dried Tomato Walnut PESTO and Kale chips

Any delicate green or herb does well in a Pesto twist.  
However, KALE, sun-dried tomato and walnuts kick into gear for a refined punch.

I'd like to honour Celtic wanderers who discovered KALE...
a descendant of the wild cabbage.

Parc de la Nature, Laval, Québec

It has been expressed that kale leaves are like...
" Cleansing pads that scrape toxins away from your body. "

This lovely textured green brims with vitamins A, C and K.
It's also boasts its competing minerals of calcium, magnesium and potassium as well.

First off, I need to fess up to the fact that kale had remained for the longest time a leafy green I stayed away from.  So, you may ask, after having made this...gluten-free Tortilla Veggie Ricotta QUICHE...how did I turn around and become a huge fan?  Well, you may say that my love of crispy chips did the trick ;o)  
Actually, the real reason I ventured off to other competitive greens was because I was using kale all wrong...all along!  It would have helped if I knew not to eat the stems.  Yes, I did.
Parc de la Nature, Laval, Québec

The very first time I had used kale was in an Asian dish.  It turned out awful. Actually, top 10 worst dishes I ever admit to have made.   I was completely oblivious to the fact that the stem and its thick outreaching ribs should not be consumed.   I just couldn't get past the gnarly chewiness of these non-edibles.  They had seriously deterred my palate from enjoying the best part....the leaf only!   What a shame it would have been for me to bypass this amazing, nutritional leafy green.

My unusual mind change was the day I snacked on kale chips.  

Since then...I've been constantly making my own versions. 
Therefore, chips saved the day.  
Kale was once more in my good graces...
embraced by my need to snack without too much guilt.

Here's my quick version for making these crispy sweet and savoury KALE CHIPS.
Voila, a guiltless kale crisp snack was born.   
They are incredibly addictive...
even Hubby was fighting me for them. 

Parc de la Nature, Laval, Québec

Here's a light alternative to traditional fried chips
Crunchy, healthy snacking on Kale chips...I call them my: 
Smart KALE chip snack


. 1 bunch [8 cups / 200g] of Kale, washed and dried
. sprinkle of sea salt
. pinch of granulated garlic powder
. sprinkle of organic sugar
. generous drizzle of grape seed oil

. Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4.  Position oven rack in the center of the oven.  Prepare two parchment lined baking sheets.
1. Clean * and spin off water from the kale leaves.
2. In a large bowl, place the cut kale pieces and add the salt, garlic powder, sugar and a generous drizzle of oil.  Hand toss until the kale leaves are well coated.
3. Arrange the kale in single layers and bake one sheet at the time for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges become a dark green and lightly shriveled.


Here's another great way to enjoy Kale...
in a pesto sauce of course ;o)

KALE sun-dried Tomato Walnut PESTO 
yields ... 2 x [2 cups (250ml)] jars


. 1 large bunch of Kale (about 8 cups)
. 10 sun-dried tomato slices
. 1/2 cup (80g) raw walnuts
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) sea salt
. 1/4 cup (20g) Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
. 1 small roasted garlic clove (optional)
. 1/2 cup (125ml) e.v.Olive oil
. 1/2 cup (125ml) grape seed oil

1. Clean* and spin off water from the kale leaves.
2. Place all ingredients in a high power blender and pulse a few times at first.  Finish by blitzing until a smooth consistency is achieved.
3. Immediately pour into glass jars.  Store in the refrigerator.
4. Either use the pesto sauce in the next few days or freeze the jar without worry of breakage.  If doing the latter, remember to thaw it in the refrigerator the night before use.

* cleaning tip for kale:  Only the leaf part is truly edible.  Just tear the leafy part off its ribs and stem.  Use the stems for a possible homemade vegetable stock.  Washing:  Fill up a clean sink or basin with cold water...1/4 cup (50ml) white vinegar and a generous sprinkle of salt.   This will insure that pesticides disappear from the leaf crevices.  Keep pushing and swirling those leaves in this water cleanser.   Remove the leaves and re-fill sink or basin and rinse.  Strain and if possible, it's best to put them through the salad spinner.

Kale supports your cardiovascular system, digestive tract as well as...
a gives you a fair amount of Omega-3 as it fights inflammation with its flavanoids.

The next time you see that bouquet of kale...
grab it and come join me in transforming this green into some easy and tasty recipes.

Or...at the very least...
use it to furnish a skimpy bouquet of flowers you received ;o)

Have yourselves a wonderful week everyone.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

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