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April 2016, Page 2

A simple tip for Kale Chips

Kale chips aren’t new.  One might even say they’ve been trending off and on for a while.  But for real, they are a great way to get that salty-snack-fix, while actually eating something full of nutrients.  I have a quick tip for kale chips today that might make them worth a try if you haven’t already made them.

 

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I tried making kale chips quite a few times, but didn’t ever have success in creating actual crunchy, able-to-be-grabbed “chip” consistency.  But for some reason I had been thinking it was easier to buy bagged kale for making this snack.  Then one day my husband picked up the kale for me, and he noticed whole stalks of kale were way cheaper than bagged kale leaves, so of course that’s what he brought home.  That’s when I discovered I could create way better kale chips if I use whole stalks of kale, and tear them myself. I also have a confession to make.  I will throw you out of the way and take all the salt and vinegar chips there are if I have the chance.  Even though I don’t really care for regular potato chips.  Because salt and vinegar.

 

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So here is a super simple recipe that makes a quick, salty – vinegar-y snack that’s full of nutrients as well.

 

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Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Whole kale stalks make the best kale chips, and combining salt and balsamic vinegar fill a junk-food-craving with whole food that's actually good for you.
Author:
Recipe type: paleo snack
Ingredients
  • 2 large bunches of kale stalks
  • large pinch (about ½ teaspoon) kosher salt
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Strip leaves from kale stalks and tear by hand into large bite-sized pieces.
  3. Whisk together olive oil and vinegar.
  4. Toss kale leaves in oil and vinegar mixture, lightly massaging to soften the leaves.
  5. Place kale onto parchment-lined rimmed cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Bake kale for 20 minutes or until dry and crispy, checking and turning kale after ten minutes.

 

What’s your favorite salty snack? Do you have a favorite kale chip recipe?

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Decide. {Five Minute Friday}

CHOOSE!  My daughter likes to firmly assert this command when, in typical “me” style, I hesitate on whether to pull out into traffic, turn at a given intersection, or I’m trying to decide on one flavor of tea over another.  She’s teasing me, making a movie-reference, and at the same time often gently challenging me out of analysis paralysis, into moving on with life.

 

I’m at my worst in a fabric store; I want every. single. one.  Still, after years of not sewing consistently, I can’t walk into one and not long for the patterns and textures – it could be granny-flowers or hipster corduroy –  I’m sure I could make into something lovely for my home.

 

Sometimes, when there’s too much of a good thing, it isn’t a good thing.  One year my mom thought it would be a great idea to put a ten dollar dollar-store gift card into each kid’s stocking.  Ten dollars.  At the dollar store.  Even after multiple attempts to encourage them that they could save their balance for later, I nearly dragged my children from the aisles of mostly-meaningless STUFF they would not want past the day we took it home.  There was too much; too much choice.  My second nearly had a breakdown from the overwhelm.

 

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Last night, some sweet friends and I gathered to study the book of Esther together and pray for each other.  As we shared our personal needs, a pattern emerged.  For the most part, each of us had at least one request for help in “balancing our time,” choosing between several good opportunities to serve our families, our churches, or our workplace.  As go-getter-women, we each struggle in some way with having to decide which opportunities are ones worthy of our investment.  And there’s this thing that’s difficult for my mind to process: that there isn’t always necessary one choice that has to be the one.

 

Esther is a story of how God’s people have once again turned from their faithful, gracious, giving God.  When He has lavished them with provision and love, protected them from attack, and given them His attention and love, they have chosen lesser things.  We do this, don’t we?  We go for the cupcake when we really need an apple and maybe a glass of water with lemon.  We plunk down in front of a movie instead of losing ourselves in a work of great literature.  We spend an hour gabbing with a girlfriend over our woes instead of writing a note to a friend in need of encouragement (ouch, pointing back at me again).

 

Esther, this chosen-by-God Hebrew girl, finds herself in a beauty pageant in which the prize is to wind up in a harem.  By all accounts, she makes a choice to honor the wishes of her adoptive dad, when he asks her as she enters this new life, to keep her heritage a secret.  In a harem.  A woman’s worst nightmare.  What’s incredible, though, is that in Esther, and throughout time, God doesn’t act solely in response to our decisions or even the decisions of those around us, be they wise or ridiculous.  Of course, there are often-to-always consequences for our choices.  But because of the very nature of who He is, this not-like-us God works through even the stupid choices, to get things done according to His agenda… the one in which He works all things for good, for His children, and for His glory.

 

So yes, I have to choose.  Daily, especially in this privileged land, I must decide between a myriad of options for everything from what I eat to what I wear, what I listen to, to where I go.  And really, I need to choose, as the proverb says, wisely.  I need to seek His heart and ask Him exactly what He wants me to do next.  But His word tells me if I’m His girl, I’ll hear the whisper of my Papa’s heart, over my shoulder, telling me what His will is.  And more, His history tells me that even when I don’t listen, when I decide to go for the lesser, He is gracious beyond what my short-sighted eyes can see.

 

What choices are in front of you that give you opportunity to choose the higher road, the most soul-nourishing, the most honoring, the most loving way?  Have you experienced grace when you made the lesser choice?

 

Thankful for grace…

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{On Fridays I try to keep up with a wonderful group of writers who challenge themselves to free-write for five minutes on a shared topic. Click to Kate’s page Five Minute Friday to see what others are saying!}