Okay, so I know it’s been over a month since New Year’s, but I’ve been motivated recently to stop my ‘holiday’ eating mindset and get ready for bikini season! For most of you bikini season seems decades away, but here in Los Angeles bikini season has been in progress all winter.
I absolutely love vegging out in front of the TV and eating snack food. Okay, so my snack food was usually relatively healthy including air popped popcorn, Greek yogurt, and fruit. But, my proportions were getting bigger than ever. Now I limit myself to veggies and sometimes a sugar-free jello with a tad of peanut butter to settle my couch potato cravings.
However, crunching on carrot sticks, celery, roasted zucchini, and steamed broccoli started to get boring. Then, my friend introduced me to kale. Oh yes, my new love, kale. Uncooked it can be one of the most unappetizing vegetables out there. But, when either sautéed or baked, it is a wonder food!
Kale only has 33 calories per 1 cup chopped (raw), zero grams of fat, fiber to fill you up, lower your blood sugar, and curb your desire to overeat. Kale provides about 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids which help regulate the body’s inflammatory process. It is also filled with carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals that can cause oxidative stress and cancer cells. And you can’t forget, kale is loaded with vitamin C, which lowers blood pressure, strengthens your immune system, and prevents age-related ocular diseases, vitamin A, which boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and keeps our reproductive hormones healthy, and manganese, which helps with cellular oxidation.
My favorite way to eat it is in the form of chips. Yes, you heard me, chips! Here are some guidelines for making kale chips. The seasoning, up to you! Go ahead get creative. I sometimes put onion and herb seasoning, garlic powder, dill, ground pepper and a dash of salt, or even cayenne pepper to give it a little kick.
One bunch of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil (or sometimes I just spray the leaves with cooking spray)
Seasoning of your choice
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- If kale is wet, thoroughly pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Remove the tough stems and tear leaves into small to medium sized pieces.
- Put kale into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with seasonings. Use your hands to toss the leaves to make sure they are evenly coated with oil and seasoning.
- Put kale onto a baking sheet, or two, making sure the leaves don’t overlap.
- Bake until most leaves are crisp about 8-12 minutes total, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through (if necessary).