A few days ago, Lisa Lillien, AKA “Hungry Girl,” asked a million-dollar humdinger of a question:
“If someone offered you a MILLION DOLLARS to never eat CHEESE (in any form) again, would you do it??? WEIGH IN!!!!”
Until today my answer would have been “Not for a BILLION dollars!” but now I’m not so sure… because today, I went to my local hoity toity yuppie grocery store (which we can’t help but love) and bought something called nutritional yeast. It’s made out of some organism from the fungi family, so it’s vegan-friendly if you’re into that. But that’s not the best part. This stuff is freakin’ delicious! It tastes really savory, I guess what you’d call “umami,” just like cheese but without the sodium and cholesterol and saturated fat. It’s also high in micronutrients, but personally I care more about the YUM factor.
I used the nutritional yeast to top my homemade kale chips. Yes, kale, which according to the CDC is the fifteenth healthiest vegetable in the entire world. I’ve made a real 180, healthwise: from Ben and Jerry’s to banana ice cream, from starch and trans fat-laden Chinese snackies to crispy chips made out of green leafy vegetables. And I’m not depriving myself one bit.
Okay, sorry, back to the food. Kale chips. Dirt’s gift to mankind. I swear they taste infinitely better than they look in my photo! All it takes is to bake ’em at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 min. There are lots of different variations – just Google kale chips! – but this is how I make mine:
Super Umami (with Nutritional Yeast)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Put about 100 g (or however much you want) washed, chopped and dried kale on a baking sheet (I used parchment paper so we wouldn’t have to use too much oil).
- Spray lightly with oil. I used my favorite EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, for future reference) and a Misto oil sprayer but you can use any cooking spray you want!
- Season evenly with about 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper if you want.
- Bake for 10-12 min or until crispy!
Hot ‘n Spicy
- (same as steps 1-3 above)
- Season with salt, pepper, cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and red pepper.
- (same as step 1 in “Hot ‘n Spicy”)
- Season with garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, Italian seasoning, and thyme.
There are so many variations out there but these are my three favorites!