“Cheesy” Kale Chips Recipe

I’ve recently set out on a mission to prune my cookbook collection, and it has felt wonderful.

It is not a quick process, but it’s a fairly straightforward one: every weekend I pick one book, two at the most, to go through carefully, leafing through its every page and marking the recipes that call to me. For some I’ve already done the work years ago when I first acquired the book, and I have been surprised to see that few of the recipes I had tagged then still do anything for me now.

Soon enough the kale and sauce relinquish all their moisture, leaving you with crisp pieces of kale generously coated with an ultra flavorful, cheesy cashew crust.

Often times it’s a type of recipe for which I’ve since found My One (say, my granola recipe or my chicken stock formula), and it feels great to sit back and cherish those without thinking I need to try every one else’s version. Other times it’s recipes that simply fail to spark the excitement of the cook I have become — and I have trouble even remembering what moved me to tag them in the first place.

Once I’ve marked the recipes I’m interested in, I decide if there are enough to warrant holding on to the entire book, or if I can just scan the corresponding pages and pass the book on to someone else. In the process I also take into account the non-recipe value of the book, of course: if it can serve as a reference book in my cooking and in my work, if it is particularly well written, or if I have an emotional draw to it (we’re allowed those, right?). And if I decide the book can stay, I create a quick index card to list the recipes I’ve tagged and the page number, and slip it inside for future reference.

Choosing RawGena Hemshaw’s Choosing Raw is among the ones that recently made the cut, and with no hesitation: it’s the first cookbook by the author of The Full Helping, and in it she shares her take on a vegan and (mostly) raw lifestyle. I admire Gena’s writing on her blog — she strikes a rare balance between informative, inspiring, and approachable — and her book is just as enjoyable, as she provides the reader with the thorough information and delicious building blocks essential to plant-based eating.

Among the recipes I enthusiastically tagged was the one for cheesy kale chips. I’ve made oven-roasted kale chips before, simply dressed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, but this was my chance to reproduce the more substantial “cheesy” chips I’ve bought (and scarfed down) at natural foods stores in the US and in the UK, which typically call upon cashew “cheese”.

It turned out to be one of the easiest and most rewarding recipes I’ve made in a while: you simply tear curly kale into bite-size pieces, dress them in a no-cook sauce whizzed in the food processor, and let the oven (or dehydrator) do the rest of the work. Soon enough the kale and sauce relinquish all their moisture, leaving you with crisp pieces of kale generously crusted with an ultra flavorful, cheesy cashew coating.

Join the conversation!

Do you like to make kale chips? What’s your favorite flavoring or technique then? And how do you manage (or attempt to manage) your cookbook shelf?

PS: How to make the most of your cookbook collection, Cucumber and avocado quick nori rolls also inspired by Gena, and 50 Things to do with kale.

Tag your pics with #cnzrecipes

Want to try this? Please share your pics on Instagram and Twitter -- I can't wait to see them!

Cheesy Vegan Kale Chips Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Cheesy Vegan Kale Chips Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of curly kale, about 700 grams (1 1/2 lb)
  • 130 grams (1 cup) unroasted and unsalted cashews, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small red bell pepper, about 150 g (1/3 lb), seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste (shiro miso, available from Japanese markets and natural foods stores)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 20 grams (1/3 cup) nutritional yeast

Instructions

  1. Wash the kale carefully and spin it dry in a salad spinner. Cut off the spines (keep for soup) and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding any stringy bit that gets in the way. This should yield 400 grams (14 ounces) leaves. Spread out on a clean and dry dishtowel, and leave out to dry for 1 hour.
  2. Kale
  3. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the soaked cashews, lemon juice, bell pepper, miso paste, salt, and nutritional yeast, and process until thoroughly puréed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Cheese and pepper sauce
  5. Put the kale leaves in a mixing bowl and pour the sauce over them.
  6. Kale + sauce
  7. Stir the sauce into the kale until thoroughly combined; you could use a spatula, but in fact your (clean) hands will work better.
  8. Kale + sauce 2
    If using a regular oven:
  9. Line one or two baking sheets (depending on their size) with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat, and arrange the pieces of kale in a single layer, leaving them a little space to breathe and making sure the leaves are all unfurled, with no thick glop of sauce on them, which would take longer to dehydrate.
  10. Kale on baking sheet
  11. Preheat the oven to 75°C (165°F) and dehydrate for 2 1/2 hours, or until completely dry and crispy, switching the baking sheets every half-hour or so, and flipping the chips halfway through.
  12. If using a dehydrator:
  13. Arrange the pieces of kale on two dehydrator trays lined with nonstick sheets, and dehydrate at 46°C (115°F) for about 8 hours, flipping the chips halfway through.
  14. The texture of the chips is best on the day they're made, but they'll keep well for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.

Notes

This recipe is adapted from Genna Hamshaw's Choosing Raw.

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/vegetables-grains/cheesy-kale-chips-recipe/
  • lisa

    Hi Clotilde, I just tried your charred broccoli and avocado salad recipe this weekend…so fantastic and addictive! After enjoying your blog for a long time, I’ve also finally picked up your French Market cookbook, and I hope to make it to your signing on the 29th. Like you, I’ve been weeding out my cookbooks lately, and I know your recipes will brighten up winter for me and my happy taste-testers…

  • Caroline Schurman-Grenier

    I really need to make these! I love buying them but they are so pricey! This definitely looks just as good!

    http://mademoiselleaventure.blogspot.ca

    • You’re right, this is definitely a money-saving recipe. They are not available at stores here in Paris so I’ve always bought them as a special money-is-no-object kind of treat, but they are indeed very expensive.

  • These look so wonderful and a great way to save money! The chips are around $6 USD at our local store and you get just a few pieces…can’t wait to make these!

    • I agree! Plus, half the chips are actually just crumbs at the bottom of the bag. :)

  • The kale chips looks good and I’ll try and buy some at the Sunday morning market in St Antonin-Noble-Val, if I can find it, the rural French farmers are rather conservative in the veg. they grow. I love the way one recipe leads to another, I read the comment about the charred broccoli and avocado salad and looked at it, but that too will have to wait until I can buy an avocado; and then I found the interesting upside down cornmeal and broccoli cake, for which I’ve got all the ingredients, so I’ll have a go today.

    • Do let me know if you see it at the market! It’s made a comeback so there’s hope. Also, it’s fairly easy to grow if you have a small garden patch. And please report back on the broccoli recipes as well!

  • Hi Clothilde, I just discovered your blog via Bloglovin’ and I’m delighted with your lovely recipes. It’s great to “meet” another food blogger living in France and blogging in English. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much Jane, I hope you find a few dishes to adopt into your repertoire!

  • Kathryn Bloxsom

    These kale chips look amazing- I love kale chips (usually I do a salt and vinegar version) and I am so excited to try the cashew cheese. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative to the miso? I am not sure I will be able to find that.

    • I would either substitute tahini if you have it, or skip it entirely. Let me know if you try the recipe!

  • Really fine Work Chef. Will Definitely Try your recipe. Please visit my Page as well For some Fine recipes regarding

    Caprese Skewers.

    http://www.capreseskewers.net

  • ALPHA.MALE

    I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

    http://www.boycottamericanwomen.com

    .,., /,., ., .,/,., ., .,/,/,.

  • Brittany Powell Parich

    Hi Clotilde, I made these last night (with lacinato kale because that’s what our CSA delivered) for my husband’s birthday dinner. We both loved them–thanks for posting the recipe. The one thing I’d do differently is to use the same amount of topping on twice the kale.

    • Thanks for reporting back! Did you use the oven of the dehydrator?

      • Brittany Powell Parich

        I used my oven, which seemed to work just fine. I needed three half-sheet pans, which means, I suppose, I’d have to do it in two rounds if I wanted twice the kale.

        When we ate the leftovers the next day, they were soft instead of crispy, which made them seem a bit like vegan kale jerky–not bad at all.

  • Lekha

    These look good, Clothilde! I like anything that doesn’t need frying. The Chinese fry green leaves without adding anything and serve them with fried bamboo shoots which the toss with salt and toasted sesame seeds.
    please tell me whether I need to add ‘nutritious yeast’ and what is it exactly?

    • You can read more about nutritional yeast here. It’s a vegan ingredients that has a cheese-like flavor, and that’s the role it plays here.

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.