Cashew Lime Kale Chips
Plus, meet the Pittsburgher campaigning to bring kale to France.
Photos by Leah Lizarondo
The title I really wanted to give this post was “How to Eat a Pound of Kale. All By Yo Self. In One Sitting.” Because, really, that is the gist of this recipe. That bunch of kale you bought at the grocery store or received in your CSA share may seem daunting. Sometimes it’s left forgotten in your crisper, only to be found limp and lifeless at the end of the week, too far gone to resuscitate.
Well, those days are over. Soon, I will have you buying two bunches of kale a week. Mark my words.
Remember the old Lays hook “Bet you can’t eat just one?” Well, there is a reason for irresistibility. It’s called the “bliss point.” Economics nerds, I’m not talking about that bliss point — although it stems from the same principle. I’m talking about the precise engineering that goes into a potato chip. When you munch, you’re not eating an innocent, fried, paper-thin slice of potato with a little salt. You are eating a thoroughly researched, consumer-tested slice of sophisticated design.
Designed for what? Designed to trigger a morphine-like sensation in your brain. It’s salt, it’s fat, it’s crunch, it’s mouthfeel. No one stands a chance. You can eat just one. Just one 50-pound bag. That’s why the processed food industry is $1 trillion dollars strong.
Let’s funnel some of that money into the kale industry. Don’t believe such a thing exists? Then let’s create a kale industry!
It may sound funny, but that’s exactly what Pittsburgher Kristen Beddard has been doing … in Paris. Beddard moved to France in 2011 and steadily grew more anxious as she realized that she could not find kale anywhere. I mean, how can that be possible? This green is the new black. And she couldn’t find it in the capital of food and fashion?!
There was only one thing to do: fight for the proliferation of kale in Paris. In 2012, after a year of not getting enough of the 45 different flavonoids in this king of cruciferous vegetables, Beddard launched The Kale Project.
It’s one of the best campaigns for a vegetable. Kale lobbyists in this country should take notice. The New York Times certainly did. In just 365 days, Beddard has successfully created a Google Map of places where kale can be found in Paris, started a kale planting campaign and has built a loyal following. This year, she is starting to work with more farmers outside of Paris and is soon launching an ambassador program in other countries such as Spain, Romania and Mexico City.
Those who already love kale will understand this passion project. Those who don’t should try this recipe. It’s hot, sour, salty and sweet. It’s crunchy. Bet you can’t eat just one.
Say it with me: Kale est la vie!
Cashew Lime Kale Chips
1 bunch kale (about 8-10 large leaves) de-stemmed and roughly torn into 3-inch pieces
½ cup raw cashews, pulverized in a grinder or food processor (pulse it so it doesn’t turn into cashew butter!)
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
¼-½ t salt
¼ t pepper
⅛ t cayenne or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all the dressing ingredients except for the cashew.
3. Toss with the kale, making sure that you coat all the pieces.
4. Sprinkle ground cashews and toss again.
5. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes, checking at the 10-minute mark to make sure chips are not burning.
6. Serve with some lime wedges. Enjoy!