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Kale chips ’n cheezy dip

September 2, 2010

Ooh, I am excited about this one!
Here’s the deal: I hate leafy greens. I hate lettuce. I hate salad. I may be the only vegan out there who does not, will not, no way no how, eat salads, ever. As such, it completely baffles me to hear people, even (especially) seasoned veg*ns, lament the fact that there’s nothing veg they can order at [insert restaurant name here] except a salad. No! I believe that 100% of the time, this is NOT true; there IS something else you can order or request. I’ve eaten at every kind of restaurant, from barbecue to Austrian food, without consuming a single salad, my entire life.

Anyway, that is why I have featured greens or lettuce in this blog a mere three times in over two years: once when I finally resolved to try a green smoothie, once when I shocked my boyfriend by eating a bite of lettuce in Dallas, and recently when I ate a kale chip at 105 Degrees in Oklahoma City at a dinner with Ani Phyo. The last of those occasions brings me to this.

The very day I returned from that amazing event, I stopped by the Merc in Lawrence, where I picked up a bunch of kale on a whim. It felt surreptitious, clandestine in a way, like I was working under the radar of my own bias, sneakily breaking a commandment of my own personal foodie religion. But that kale came home with me, and by the end of the night, inspired largely by recipes of Ani and Averie, I’d improvised my own dehydrated coated-kale chips.

The take-home point of all this is: I ATE GREENS!

1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
½ a large red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup soaked cashews
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt (or to taste)

Place all ingredients except kale in a blender.

Purée, adding a splash of water if needed.

Add the mixture to the chopped kale in a large bowl.

Toss to coat the kale thoroughly. You’ll need your hands for this, and yup, it gets messy! Spread the kale on mesh-lined (with or without Paraflexx sheets) dehydrator trays.

Dehydrate at 105-115 degrees for 6-8 hours, or until crisp, flipping once halfway through. But you didn’t think I’d leave you dehydrator-less people hanging, did you?! You can instead bake these in a 300-325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, watching them closely so they don’t burn and flipping them halfway through. Alternately, you can turn the oven on the Warm setting, leave the oven door ajar, and bake them for a few hours (I don’t know how many, sorry—just keep an eye on them); the low-temp baking will mimic the effects of a dehydrator.

Yield: 6 servings.
Per serving: 121 calories, 6.5g fat (.5g sat), 13.3g carbs, 3g fiber, 5.5g protein.

I admit it—these are shockingly good all by themselves, unsullied, unadorned. But that didn’t stop me from trying out Averie’s “spicy Doritos” cheezy dip recipe to go with them.

I made a half batch, reversing the amounts of sunflower seeds vs. hempseeds (for frugality’s sake) and adding an extra heaping teaspoon of chili powder.

You’ll have to visit Averie’s page for the full recipe, which I highly recommend you do. It’s not just for kale chips—hell, dip French fries in it if you want to!

Yield (full batch): 8 servings (about 2 cups).
Per serving (about ¼ cup): 102 calories, 7.8g fat (.5g sat), 4.2g carbs, 2g fiber, 5.3g protein.

You can have this whole snack – a mountain of kale chips and a big scoop of cheeze dip – for barely over 200 calories, yet it nets you nearly 11 grams of protein. Ok, ok, I concede—score 1 for leafy greens!

Is there any ultra-popular vegan food/dish/ingredient you simply can’t stand?

If you like this, you might also like…
Raw cashew-macadamia nut hummus
Raw cumin-walnut flatbread/crackers
Curry-lentil crackers w/spinach-avocado dip

17 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2010 10:46 am

    Looks scrumptious. I have kale in the same way and have not turned back!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 3, 2010 10:11 am

      I’m so glad I tried that kale chip at 105 Degrees, otherwise I might never have made these!

  2. Mom permalink
    September 2, 2010 1:56 pm

    Yea! Greens for Amber! Looks tasty and what a great idea for a healthy snack!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 3, 2010 10:15 am

      Yep, at least I now have a couple of foolproof ways to get myself to eat greens…

  3. September 2, 2010 6:43 pm

    Although I would rather eat my kale raw, every time I see kale chips, I really have the urge to make them! If they taste like Doritos I think I would be in love. 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 3, 2010 10:17 am

      The coating and the dip are similar in flavor, so they go together really well. And the dip seriously does taste like Doritos!!

  4. September 2, 2010 7:52 pm

    Amber, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want a cheezecake buffet when I visit, I want a never-ending platter of these. It’s almost impossible to find kale in Australia… wanting wanting wanting!

    P.S. Congratulations on your greenering!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 3, 2010 10:19 am

      I didn’t know kale was so scarce there! Now I feel kind of bad for usually hating it :[ But, a neverending platter of these doesn’t sound like a bad idea… 😀

  5. September 3, 2010 3:23 pm

    “reversing the amounts of sunflower seeds vs. hempseeds (for frugality’s sake)”–SO SMART!!

    I tell people that any amount of cashews, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, etc…in my recipes, nothing is usually ever “so” precise that one cannot reverse things. Or ad lib and tweak b/c lets face it, the avg person doesnt have hemp seeds layin’ around but they do have sunflower seeds and can probably snag some cashews. So glad you like the dip!!!! It’s great on everything from raw veggies to thinned out w/a little water as a pasta sauce…like in that lasgana you just made!

    And the kale chips, glad you like my recipe. I have used agave in the past as you have in this one, and i have a HUGE sweet tooth…but…I actually prefer my kale chips w/ no agave but i know matthew kenney and ani use agave in their kale recipes, pretty sure if memory serves.

    Anyway GREAT job, thanks for the linky love and shout outs…glad you liked the eats!!


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 5, 2010 10:02 pm

      “Love” is an understatement when it comes to this dip :] It’s by far the best “cheezy” raw dip I’ve ever tried! It’s hard not to eat it with a spoon =X

      As for the agave, yeah, I saw it in so many other recipes that I decided to throw some in there. I can’t say I actually noticed it in the end product, but oh well!

  6. September 5, 2010 8:02 pm

    These look fabulous! I made some kale chips a while back but these look even better – and I like kale! The cheezy dip looks like a must as well!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 5, 2010 10:03 pm

      Oh man, if you already like kale, you would LOVE these! The double hit of cheeziness (in the kale coating AND the dip) is over-the-top crazy good.

  7. September 14, 2010 2:26 am

    Amber, your blog is so much fun! I have been lost here for an hour now (in a good way)! Yey thanks for commenting on my blog so I can find you! And I cant believe that in my 3 years of Raw Food eating, I STILL haven’t tried making Kale Chips- I will now and your recipe is the first I’ll be using, thank you! xxTanya

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 15, 2010 11:16 am

      Thank you so much, Tanya! I’m glad we discovered each other’s blogs, and I’m really happy you found yourself getting “lost” here :] I’d love for you to try my version of these kale chips. Let me know how they turn out!

  8. June 23, 2012 7:45 pm

    Hey Amber, question for you – does the baking method really get them crisp for you? For me they weren’t even close to crisp, and then I ended up burning them!
    Tonight I tried faking a dehydrator with my oven by turning it on looooow (225) and leaving them for a few hours, turning occasionally. Seems to working much much better.
    Just curious. 🙂

    • June 23, 2012 7:50 pm

      The baking method worked well for me in our old apartment, but I haven’t tried it yet in our new one. There is a VERY fine line between crisp and burnt, and I’ve found that every oven is different, so it can take some experimentation. The low-temp method is probably best, though I don’t use it because it wastes a lot of energy – well, and because I have a dehydrator! But it sounds like that’s the way to go for your oven. 🙂

      • June 23, 2012 7:57 pm

        Ha, k just curious if I was doing something wrong. I should buy a dehydrator… and a new house with a new kitchen so I have *room* for more appliances! 🙂

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