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Kale Chip Fail

Damn. Today I pressed my luck and got The Face from John.

In retrospect, I should have recognized how risky it was to try to replace his beloved barbeque potato chips with homemade kale chips. John has eaten potato chips with his lunch pretty much every single day since he was old enough to chew, so I shouldn’t have underestimated his resistance to disrupting his lifelong routine, nor his undying love for Lays. But a lady I met in line at the Farmer’s Market went on and on about how much her picky, fast-food loving children love kale chips and beg her to make the chips for them, so figured it was worth a try.

I thought: “Hey, kale chips are crispy and salty too, so maybe he won’t notice!” Plus, they’re nutrient-rich and have a wonderfully unique flavor. He should love them, right? WRONG.

With a look of grave dismay, he started at the crispy dark green intruder on his plate, apparently trying to vaporize it with his intense glare. Caving to my pleas, he agreed to try one, or rather, a 1 square millimeter corner of crispy kale. ‘That is seriously disgusting,” he declared. “It’s worse than the dried seaweed strips that they always try to get me to eat when I’m in Japan.”

Oh well, I guess that means more kale chips for me! Since the vast majority of people who try kale chips love them, I’ll still include the recipe just in case you’d like to try it, too. If you try them, please post a comment to let me know how you like them. But if you’ve got a die-hard potato-chip lover like John who you’re trying to convert into being a kale chip fan, prepare yourself for a potential face-off with The Face!

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale, center rib removed and leaves torn into large chip-sized pieces (personally, I like using dinosaur kale for chips since the texture lends itself well to this recipe)

1-2 tbsp olive oil

Smoked sea salt*, to taste

Optional: lime, or brown sugar, or chili powder

* Smoked sea salt imparts an incredibly smoky flavor that is just simply delicious. I get mine from

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Completely dry the kale – this is essential or else it won’t turn out crispy. Toss kale with olive oil and spread out in single layer on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt. If using lime or chili powder, sprinkle it on sparingly. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until kale is crispy. If using brown sugar (which creates a lovely and subtle salty-sweet flavor), sprinkle it on after removing the kale chips from the oven.

Defeated by an elephant turd

Operation Carnivore Conversion experienced some serious setbacks during the holidays. Sadly, John’s willpower failed when confronted with “blackjack steak,” which was especially demoralizing for me since this marinated tri-tip looks like an elephant turd. Seriously – he fell off the veg wagon for this ugly black slug. Can you believe it? I’m still struggling to understand how meat-eaters can gnaw on something like that looks like this. Hearing his moans of pleasure, I believe we have identified John’s kryptonite.

You won this round, blackjack, but I will win the war. See, John has other weaknesses that I’m more than willing to exploit. For example, he would rather eat lint than grocery shop, so his only chance of getting blackjack is if our friends bring it over. Ha ha, gotcha blackjack!

Unfortunately for me, one of our smart-ass carnivore friends overheard me celebrating this fact so he launched a counter-mission called “Operation Enduring Meat” and vowed to slip John a blackjack every now and then. Dammit!

Well apparently it’s game on! Now I have to work extra hard to make veggie meals ultra appealing so that John will crave them. Hopefully one day, he too will wonder how the hell he ever ate something that looks like an elephant turd!