Yes, I know it’s been a while since we’ve chatted. Allow me to summarize the past 6 months for you in a nutshell: I rebranded my former organization, broke my foot (while cooking) the night before a major press conference, dropped the lid of a Le Creuset pot on the same foot two months later (again, while cooking), and now I’m presently pursuing a career change. Yes. It’s been quite an interesting time in the land of Lady Sensory. I can’t really tell you what my next move will be just yet but I’ve received several wake-up calls (or shall we say, “several swift kicks in the pants?”) over the past several months that will undoubtedly put me in the right place, both physically and mentally.
Despite all of this, I have dabbled at some new local dining establishments, continued to cook and beverage accordingly, and managed to avoid any further injuries. On the cooking end – this past summer I signed up for a local CSA share called the Good Food Collective (GFC). This share supports local farmers and provides seasonal offerings. I liked it so much that I continued it during the fall months. I also enjoy that it’s kind of a crapshoot and I’ve had to contend with several culinary challenges in the form of vegetables that I wouldn’t ordinarily pursue while shopping at a Wegmans. Nothing like breaking out of your comfort zone, right? I will say that if I never get another kohlrabi again it will be too soon!
So I had a few surprises in my share this past week, one of which was in the form of collard greens. I’d never used them before but was told by one the GFC staff that I could replace kale for collard greens. I found this highly amusing. Here’s the reason why: my old co-worker/friend used to make fun of my kale chips, complain about how they smelled up the office, and claimed that she tried to like kale but just couldn’t get into it. She even bought me kale chips for my birthday as a joke. Fairly recently, another friend of mine has been dealing with both gallstones and a kidney stone. When this was discovered, the same co-worker told me all about her kidney stones how her doctor informed her she needed to avoid dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens. When collard greens were mentioned she promptly responded to her physician, “Now you wait. No. Just no. I am a black girl. I will give up all of that other green stuff. But collard greens? Not negotiable.”
As a result of her hatred for kale I was a bit skeptical of substituting collard greens. However, I decided to give collard green chips a whirl. I rolled with a slightly different recipe than the one that was featured on my friend’s blog, but those who like a little kick will find these chips to be a very flavorful and fun addition. I also added some chipotle for a spicy and smoky-bacon-type note. These came out rather delicious. And certainly, feel free to substitute with kale if that’s your bag.
Lady Sensory’s Kick in the Pants Collard Green Chips
1 bunch of collard greens
1 1/2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil (I used Wegmans Basting Oil)
1/2 tsp salt (or more, if you prefer – I used the pink Himalayan variety)
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper flakes
1 pinch – 1/8 tsp of the following: cumin, cayenne, red pepper flakes, and Hungarian paprika
Place two racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Chop collard greens into bite size pieces, rinse well and dry or spin in a salad spinner. Place greens in a bowl. Combine salt, black pepper, chipotle flakes, and desired amount of cumin, cayenne, red pepper flakes, and paprika with a mortar and pestle. Sprinkle mixture over the greens. Drizzle the greens with the garlic-infused oil and massage well. Place the greens on the parchment-lined cookie sheets and cook for approximately 10 minutes, rotating the trays at 5 minutes. When greens appear crisp and slightly golden, remove from oven and place in a bowl to serve. Make sure you have a tasty beverage or two on hand since these have quite a spicy kick.
I have another “surprise vegetable” post on the way so stay tuned. In the meantime, I’ll continue to spread the word about my availability: