A Saint Patrick’s Day Salute to Green Vegetables and a Recipe for T-Rex Kale Chips

The first thing that comes to mind when we think of Saint Patrick’s Day is the color green. So to celebrate, we grabbed a bunch of beautiful dinosaur kale and turned the bright green leaves into T-Rex Kale Chips. With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to add green to your family’s table, and kale chips are an easy way to do that. It’s impossible to eat just one.

Kale is the queen of greens, bursting with vitamins A, C, and K (good for bone health), the mineral calcium, and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, important for healthy eyes. This gorgeous green is available in three varieties: curly, ornamental, and dinosaur (also known as Tuscan). It belongs to the same family of vegetables as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, so-called cruciferous vegetables.

T-Rex Kale Chips

Makes 4 Servings

Google the words “kale,” “chips,” and “recipe” and you’ll get over two million results. No kidding! Kale chips are easy to make; all you need is one bunch of kale, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. But there are endless variations — you can use all sorts of interesting seasonings including chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, or vinegar — which you’ll quickly discover when you search for the recipe.

  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale (about 12 leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.

2. Wash and dry the kale leaves (if the kale is not completely dry, the chips may not get crispy). Cut lengthwise in half to remove the center ribs and stems. Place the leaves in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil. (Feel free to use your hands and get messy.) Arrange in a single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

3. Bake (one sheet at a time) until crispy, about 30 minutes. Devour!

Nutrition Information per Serving (6 chips):  50 calories, 3.5g fat (0.5g saturated), 30mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g protein, 110% vitamin A, 70% vitamin C

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We reached out to our fabulous Facebook friends and asked them to share their favorite green veggies. Here’s a delicious sampling of their answers:

> Jess: My 4-year old’s fave is broccoli, served raw with ranch dip. My fave is leafy greens, blended with fruit in a green smoothie.
> Foodtritionist: Loving roasted kale lately. Even my picky husband loves it….!
> Jennifer: Steamed broccoli with a squirt of fresh lemon, roasted asparagus, and raw spinach. We made green orange Julius yesterday and it was a hit!
> Elizabeth: My son’s current favorite is broccoli … he can’t get enough! And we have been roasting it in the oven with just a little olive oil, salt & pepper (often with cauliflower).
> Jill: Artichokes and Hollandaise!
> Dana: Asparagus, roasted with EVOO, a little garlic powder, some chili flakes, and s&p. I like to cook them until the tips are just crisp. Roasted broccoli is really good, too. And I love grilled artichoke with a lemon-garlic aioli.
> Jennifer K: Broccoli — raw or roasted. Mine is asparagus and my husband’s is Brussels sprouts, but those are harder sells to my kids.
> Jennifer O: Oh! And I forgot to mention! I have an 8-month old and I’ve been making most of her food. I got the book you featured on the podcast. Anyhoo…on a whim one day, I steamed up a batch of kale and puréed it. That is the food my baby cannot get enough of! She seems to prefer green veggies over any fruits. I think I’ve got a future foodie on my hands here :)
> Elizabeth V.: Asparagus on the grill drizzled with EVOO and kosher salt.
> Cynthia: Love spinach! We usually eat it as a sub for lettuce in a salad, and we like to add frozen spinach in fettuccini too.
> Sara: This may sound like a weird combination, but my mom makes this awesome dish of sauteed okra and potatoes. My family never leaves any leftovers anytime she makes it.
> Megan: Fresh spinach. We add it to pasta and even pizza!
> Jennifer: Collard, turnip and mustard greens steamed with a few large cloves of garlic sliced thrown in. Squeeze a lemon on it and a dash of sea salt, and it goes so quickly!
> Doris: Swiss Chard, bok choy, beet greens, and other combos of leafy green veggies sauteed in EVOO with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is yummy. I avoid using salt, so I sprinkle black pepper and fresh or dried herbs. Favorite herbs: basil, chives, dill, parsley, rosemary, thyme, chervil, cilantro, oregano, marjoram, lavender. Experiment. Be creative. Enjoy!!!
> Heidi: We also love broccoli, Brussels sprouts or asparagus sauteed in olive oil, garlic and sprinkled with sea salt (sometimes we add a dash of lemon juice). I actually let the veggies sit on the bottom of the pan (without stirring) just long enough for them to get a few nice dark spots…they taste almost grilled that way. Can’t wait to read the green veggie post!
> Kimberly: Asparagus….lightly steamed, a bit of smart balance and then a light sprinkle with Murray River pink salt (I have become a salt snob…just on my lightly steamed veggies…had to fuss at my husband cooking with my pink salt). We also like it grilled but the kids only go for the steamed.

For some of our favorite green veggie recipes, check out the following recipes:

>Crazy Good Cream-less Creamed Spinach
>Collard Greens with Raisins and Pine Nuts
>Kale and Vegetable Soup with Farro

More ideas are welcome! Make it a green and healthy day ….

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