Kale Crisps

Kale crisps are easy to make and surprisingly delicious. If you’re looking for a healthy, savoury snack, you’ve come to the right place. Kale crisps remind me of crispy seaweed so as well as snacking on them whilst watching a film, I also crumble them over rice or noodle bowls. I’ve seasoned this batch with toasted sesame oil and chilli flakes to enhance that Asian, seaweedy flavour, but you can flavour your crisps exactly how you like them. Some other family favourites: nutritional yeast and garlic/onion powder (cheese & onion), smoked paprika and maple syrup (smokey bacon), or just plain old salt and pepper! Share your favourite flavour combos in the comments.

Kale is a real Irish superfood, full of fibre and vitamins, most notably vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B-6. Kale crisps are a fun way to get all that goodness in.

*All the ingredients pictured below can be added to your organic veg order and delivered to your door. We deliver to every address in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • approx 14 curly kale leaves (any type of kale works)
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (or any oil you like)
  • chilli flakes to taste (or other flavours you like, see above for ideas)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Method

  1. Turn the oven on to 150C (130C fan) and find your largest baking trays. Line the trays with baking parchment – we sell a 100% compostable one.
  2. Rinse the kale and dry it thoroughly. I place the rinsed leaves onto a clean tea towel then use a second tea towel to blot the leaves dry.
  3. Tear the kale leaves from their stems and place in a large mixing bowl. Do not throw the stems away, they are delicious finely sliced and sautéed. Use in stir fries or add to risottos or stews…
  4. Add the oil, salt, chilli flakes and sesame seeds to the bowl and mix and massage the seasoning into the leaves. Break up any large pieces as you go.
  5. Spread the leaves out onto the lined baking trays, it’s best if they are in an even layer and not overlapping.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until completely dried out and crispy. You will need to stir them half way through.
  7. Allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They are prone to loose their crispness so eat the same day or you can try adding a few grains of rice to the bottom of the container to act like silica gel packs in bought kale crisp packets. Just be careful not to eat them accidentally.

Purple Sweet Potato, Bean Chilli & Garlic Lime Kale

Have you tried a purple sweet potato yet? They are absolutely stunning and oh so delicious! I can never resist a baked sweet potato with a smokey bean chilli so here’s my quick and easy recipe. I’ve served it with lots or gorgeous garlicky kale spiked with lime too. So yum! What will you make with your purple sweet potatoes? I’m thinking purple gnocchi next, or maybe a purple sweet potato pie! Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 purple sweet potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp each cumin seeds, ground coriander, smoked paprika and chilli flakes
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin black beans
  • 2 limes
  • another tbsp of oil
  • 4 large handfuls of kale
  • 4 more garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Scrub the sweet potatoes, prick them with a fork, pop them in a roasting dish and get them in a 200C hot oven to roast – they should only take about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the smokey bean chilli. Dice and then sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until soft and taking on some colour.

Add the spices and sauté for a few minutes to toast them and bring our their flavours.

Add the tin of tomatoes. Half fill the tin with water then swirl out all the tomatoey juices into the pot.

Drain and rinse the two tins of beans and add them to the pot to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile make the garlic and lime kale. Rinse the kale and tear the leaves away from the stems. Put the leaves in a bowl and the stems on the chopping board.

Finely chop the kale stems and the extra 4 cloves of garlic. Sauté them together in the tbsp of oil until soft. Then add the kale leaves and the juice of a lime. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes to wilt the kale. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve the baked potatoes with the bean chilli and kale. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lime to the middle of each baked potato. Enjoy!

Pak Choi Kimchi

Like all fermented vegetables, kimchi is incredibly good for you. Luckily it’s mind-blowingly delicious too…and very easy to make yourself. I’ve made it with pak choi, seaweed and little radishes this time but you can play around with the ingredients and make it your own. Use local, seasonal vegetables for the best results. Here’s my quick tutorial video so you can see how easy it is to make yourself. Loads more fermenting inspiration in my book which is available to add to your veg order here. Any questions? Pop a comment down below and I’ll get back to you asap. Liz x

Ingredients

  • 2 large pak choi
  • 2 bundles of radishes
  • 1 handful of dried seaweed
  • 1 tbsp natural salt
  • 3 fresh chillies (or dried to taste)
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves of garlic

Method

Gather and rinse your ingredients. Find a large jar, a chopping board, a sharp knife, a spoon, a rolling pin, a blender, a mixing bowl and a small jar or glass that fits snugly inside your large jar. Ensure all your equipment is nice and clean – no need to sterilise.

Reserve an outer leaf or two from your pak choi. These will be used as ‘followers’ at the end of the recipe.

Slice the rest of the pak choi into bite sized pieces and put them in the large bowl.

Thinly slice the radishes and add them to the bowl too.

Rinse and slice the seaweed too (if you are using nori, no need to rinse first) and add it to the bowl.

Add the salt to the bowl and use your hands to tumble the ingredients and evenly disperse the salt. Sit the bowl to one side to give the salt time to dissolve and start drawing brine out of the vegetables.

Meanwhile make the spice paste. Take the green stalks off the chillies and roughly chop them. Put them in a blender. Peel and chop the ginger and add that to the blender too. Peel the garlic and then blend the 3 ingredients together into a bright space paste.

Taste the salted vegetables and add more salt if needed. They should taste pleasantly salty and should now look wet and wilted. If they are too salty, add some more vegetables eg grated carrot or another pak choi.

Mix the spice paste through the salted vegetables. Be careful not to get any on your bare skin. Wear gloves or use a spoon.

Then pack the mixture carefully and firmly into the large jar. Use the rolling pin to tamp down each new layer to ensure no air pockets are left in the jar. Leave at least an inch or two of head room in the jar.

Now cover the chopped vegetables with the ‘followers’ (the leaves you reserved earlier). Tuck everything neatly in under the brine. Use the spoon to help tuck the leaves down the sides of the jar and ensure no little floaty bits are above the brine.

Weigh down the ‘followers’ with a small glass/jar/ramekin. See the video above for more details.

Then close the jar – if you are using a clip top jar, remove the rubber seal to allow gases to escape, otherwise just close a regular jar loosely or remember to ‘burp’ the jar every day to allow gases to escape by briefly opening and closing it.

Put the jar on a tray or in a bowl to catch any overspill and set it on a dark shelf to ferment at room temperature for at least one week. Keep an eye on it. Does it need burping? If so, do it over the sink! Have the gases caused the veg to rise up above the brine? If so push the weight down to expel and air bubbles and get everything neatly under brine again.

After one week at room temperature, taste your kimchi. It should be tangy, spicy and delicious. If you are happy with the tang-level, remove the weight and pop the jar in the fridge. It should last well for at least one month, if not many more.

*Tips to make your fermented food last longer in the fridge: No double dipping! Consider transferring the ferment to smaller jars before refrigerating.