A new leaf. 2

March 18, 2013

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Kale, kale, kale. It’s ubiquitous isn’t it? Every way I turn someone is blogging about kale. I know I should eat more of it. I’ve been meaning to. It arrives in my fortnightly veggie box and then sits on my fridge shelf, overlooked in favour of glossy, almost-black eggplants or crisp, jadeite coloured bok choy. When I lived in Vancouver and frequented Capers on West Fourth Ave (now Whole Foods Market), they had a list of the most nutrient dense foods according to the aggregate nurtrient density index. Top of the list was kale. What a show-off!

I have sliced it raw into salads before but lately I’ve been most curious about kale chips. Chips, you say? Oooooh, I do love a chip. Of course I knew they wouldn’t taste like real chips but once again I was seduced by the idea / magic of transforming one thing into something else quite unlikely (like this recipe). Besides, this week’s veggie box had an abundance of kale and a recipe for kale chips. The recipe has three ingredients. Come on now, my inner critic reprimanded me, surely you can manage that?!

Well, alright then.

Kale Chips:

Kale / Cavalo Nero

Olive Oil

Salt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Cut the thick ends off the kale and rip the leaf away from the central stalk. Wash and dry thoroughly with a teatowel (don’t leave damp!). Roughly chop into large bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to lightly coat the leaves. Spread leaves onto a baking tray in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake until crisp (about ten minutes)

As easy as that? Yup. I did learn some things in the process. My kale was old and tasted a little bitter, even though the texture was great and I threw on a little too much salt. I need to try it again with fresh kale and maybe experiment with a little extra flavouring, like these ideas. I’d like to see if my kids like them, as many people say kids do, and I imagine they would be good served with soup or on top of salads.

I’m glad I finally tried making something new. It seems to be the week for new tastes. Today we went to Grounds of Alexandria with the babes which, if I could subtract a portion of the maddening crowd, would be my idea of heaven. I wish I could beam you up and take you there, you would die. A beautiful, productive fruit, vegetable and herb garden, set in amongst terraces and rusting glasshouses, bench seats and cafe tables dotted all around. Everything is green and healthy and lush – basil leaves the size of my palm! There is a hand-built shed for the kids with a slide that comes out one of the windows, planter boxes full of flowers, seats made of logs, fat pavement chalk for drawing any old place they please. Even better than all that, in B1’s opinion, are the chickens and baby pig. The pig is called Kevin Bacon. Of course. Today they had an additional market stall selling fresh berries and home-made lemonade; it really is a sigh-worthy, delightful place. Well, except that everyone in Sydney agrees with me and it was Heave-ing.

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We escaped the crush by heading into the cool of neighbouring Salt Meats Cheese, to wander the warehouse aisles for pasta flour and other treasures. They have himalayan salt boards which look like thick, pink marble slabs, a cheese room, shelves and shelves of Italian pastas and cakes and biscuits. Then I found this!

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Raw chocolate. Something else I’ve been hearing a lot about. Here , at My New Roots, for example, or here at The Guardian. Am I swayed by anything with “chocolate” in the title? In the same way that the “chips” part of “kale chips” picqued my interest? Um, yes. But, to justify myself, according to people in the know raw chocolate is loaded with more antioxidants and phytonutrients than the regular stuff. I bought a heart shaped “Luvju” by Living Earth, which contains evaporated coconut nectar instead of sugar and something called “wildcrafted gubinge”. Huh? I dunno, it tasted damn good. I’m saving this bar, seasalt flavoured dark chocolate by Fine & Raw for another time (like, tonight with Downton Abbey, for example, you didn’t think I’d show a civilized amount of restraint did you?!). Don’t you think it would make the perfect writing accompaniment? With a cup of strong black tea? Perhaps an Orange Pekoe, or even Pu-erh? Oooh, the possibilities…..

So that was my week in food. A few new things to taste and experiment with. I’m still convinced I’m channelling the Northern Hemisphere spring. It’s all about new food, new adventures budding and blooming at the moment. Fork and Fiction website design by (the lovely) Tabitha Emma went live! Yippee! Fork and Fiction facebook page went live! Fork and Fiction launch week is being planned! And personally? Well, we have some news you will be hearing about very soon….

Hugs, Hannah x

2 comments

1 admin { 03.18.13 at 3:10 am }

Wow–do beam me up–I’d love to get in on that action. I mean all of it. Did you ever want to be in someone else’s life for a while? Well, unless you’re leaving out a mugging and being punched in the face by the flailing arms of a tantrumming toddler, it seems like your life is worth stepping into!

I’ll be checking out that chocolate online. Me too–anything with that word gets my attention. Hmm. Better see what’s left in the Emergency Chocolate stash right now…

2 admin { 03.18.13 at 3:41 am }

I ended up eating the entire bar during Downton Abbey. SHOCKING. But wow, it was incredible. Highly, highly recommend x

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