Baked Kale Chips
Every year since 2013, my husband and I have attended Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. If you haven't heard of it, I highly suggest doing a quick search (and perhaps a quick trip there!) because it's so freakin' cool. After the theme park at Universal Studios closes for the day, they set up and open for the night between 7pm to 2am. The main attractions are the mazes, and they aren't really mazes, like where you can get lost through and have to find your way out, but mazes where you will get freaked the f out. Think about it, Universal Studios is a production company, they make movies and TV shows, and really good ones that is. So their mazes, scare zones, and other Halloween attractions are on POINT. You will feel like you are in a scary movie, but safe from the reality of it. Zombies straight out of The Walking Dead will pop out of no where to make you piss your pants. I am not one to get scared easily, but I have to give credit because in the last 3 years, I have let out more than enough (real) screams at HHN.
My favorite attraction, every year, is the Terror Tram. You hop on a tram and it takes you down somewhere...but it's hard to tell where you are, considering it's nighttime and pitch black, and you get dropped off at what seems to be a gate to nowhere. And just as the tram leaves, a SWAT group will come running after you with chain saws. You can smell the gasoline in the air just as you can smell the fear coming out of your pores.
This year, I wanted to take advantage of the trip by doing HHN on Friday night, then exploring the theme park on Saturday. Last Christmas, my best friend got me a season pass to the park due to the recent opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. So we're really excited to actually experience Universal Studios for the first time. The (not so) down side, is that we planned this trip before I was told to start the elimination diet. Therefore, my day has been a series of prepping.
Last weekend, kale was on sale for $1.69 at Whole Foods. I had originally planned on going to the farmers market, because it's cheaper, but when I saw that sale sign, I thought to myself, that this would be the perfect time to make kale chips.
In addition to the kale, I'll be bringing black beans and rice (currently soaking for 12 hours), chicken breasts and ground beef, gluten free oatmeal, chopped lettuce and spinach for salads and a ton of elimination diet friendly snacks. Personally, these aren't the most appealing meals but it'll do much better than paying $15 for a salad with only lettuce and meat. Since Universal Studios has a parking garage, a cooler in the trunk isn't a bad idea.
P.S. I had a handful of instruction photos for my reader's benefit, but I unknowingly formatted my card before realizing what I had done :(
Baked Kale Chips
- 1 bunch of curly kale
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- spices of your choice (I chose garlic powder, onion powder and paprika for this batch) about 1/4 teaspoon of each, not too much
- salt and pepper to taste
- if you're not on an elimination diet, try adding almond meal or a light marinade
- remove the kale from the stem, there are several ways you can do this. I like to rest my kale on the cutting board and slice the slides. some people like to rip it off with their hands. choose which method suits you.
- rinse the kale, place on a pan with paper towels or clean dish towels and pat dry with another. because kale is so curly and has so many ruffles and crevices, I let it dry for a few hours, coming by to toss and pat dry every hour or so.
- once the kale is dry dry dry, preheat the oven to 350°F
- in a large mixing bowl, add your coconut oil and spices. toss and massage the mixture into the leaves using your fingers and thumb.
- arrange the kale in a single layer directly on a metal baking sheet, no parchment or non-stick platform needed
- sprinkle with salt and pepper
- bake for 15-20 minutes, but keep an eye on it after 10 minutes. My oven can get very hot and my first batch burned after 10 minutes, however after that every batch came out fine at exactly 15 minutes.
- if the leaves are soggy after 20 minutes, turn off the oven and leave the pan inside the oven to allow the kale more time to dry out
- Since kale is so delicate, you can store then in a container instead of a bag. Tupperware and jars are great to store in. I just recently finished a large container of spinach so my kale will be stored in there since I made so much of it!