kale chips

Remember these?

The crunchy greens that had me swooning in a Colorado mountain town are back. Say hello to kale chips. So much more than just a stand-in for Doritos.

kale chips

With my oven already roaring at 400° from two other dishes and a healthy bunch of lacinato kale in my fridge, I finally got around to try making these myself. (Lacinato kale is different from the regular curly kale you often see in grocery stores. It’s sometimes called “dinosaur kale,” and like any self-respecting T-Rex, it holds up particularly well to heat.)

lacinto kale

What triathlete out there doesn’t love a good salty snack? Maybe it’s all the salt we lose on those mammoth bike rides, or maybe it’s just a good old fashioned craving. And when a salty snack also brings things like beta carotene, vitamins K and C, calcium, and antioxidants along for the party, who can resist? (Those basic nutrients we’ve only recently decided to turn into “super foods” or whatever the current buzzword is.)

kale chips

Well kale is as superfood as they come, and it tastes great too. It’s nutty and not as heavily sulfurous as some of the other cruciferae specimens. It comes in a dark mineral green, which to me says “healthy” like coffee beans say “personality.”

kale chips

Crisped-up in a hot oven with just some good olive oil and salt, there is no better destiny for the wrinkled kale leaf. Paired with a cold beer and some sweet evening relaxation, these guys guiltlessly merge all the goodness of salad with the addiction of tortilla chips.

But then I remember the salsa. Oh, the salsa. Too heavy for such dainty chips as these, and just not the right flavor match either. I can’t let the salsa down!

kale chips

And so I don’t toss the tortillas—with their calories and lack of antioxidants—because they’ll come in handy one day when I just don’t care about so-called Superfoods. But until that moment comes, I’ll take the Super, and all the taste that comes along with it.

Kale Chips


1 bunch of kale, washed, stemmed, and torn into chip-sized pieces

olive oil

your favorite salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Toss the kale pieces in a big bowl with a few drizzles of olive oil. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt (kosher, sea, Celtic, or harvested from the rocks of the coast, your choice). Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the edges of some of the pieces have just begun to brown. Remove to the counter top to cool, and serve as a snack or appetizer.

4 thoughts on “kale chips

  1. November 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    looks good jen – thanks again for having me!

    1. November 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm

      opps i commented on the wrong post… the kale chips do look great too!

  2. Anonymous
    November 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I totally made these the other day because there was an over-abundance of purple kale wilting in the fridge! One word of caution though: when the kale is purple, it’s a little trickier to tell when they’ve burned! :)

  3. Mark
    February 7, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    So delicious!