our spartan kitchen: sweet orange kale chips

During one of my numerous spare moments today – all my moments were spare – I moseyed outside to inspect the garden. I had heard tell, or Mother had told me, rather, that various plants were springing from the ground. Really, I did not need her to inform me; the growth of the garden is easily visible from our back window, which is yet another reason for me never to stray past the picnic table ten yards from our back door. I’m rambling.
Anyway, while I gamboled in the garden, I spied two leafy plants with purple veins that several weeks and many inches of growth ago Mother had claimed were kale. I doubted her then. This afternoon, though, they did indeed appear somewhat kale-like, albeit with abnormally flat leaves. So, I returned to the house to do what any inquisitive person would do: google it! Of course, Mother was right; red Russian kale is flourishing alongside the prolific weeds in our massive swath of garden space. Knowledge in hand, I marched back outside with some kitchen shears and drastically reduced the size of the two plants. When one has plenty of kale in one’s garden, there is nothing to do but make kale chips!

Wash the kale.

Dry the kale.

De-vein the kale.

 Pride oneself in the pile of kale stems remaining behind.

Zest an orange.

 Cover the kale in orange zest, sugar, and olive oil.

 Spread the kale. Use parchment paper.

 Bake the kale.

 Exercise vigilance.

 Cool the kale.

 Eat the kale.

And, ignore the strange appearance of the kale. It looks like leaves. It is a bunch of leaves. Get over it. Its crispy, sweet orangeyness should help.
When the kale chips are gone, accept the fact that you consumed them all. It was inevitable. What does it matter, anyway? They are just a bunch of leaves.


Sweet Orange Kale Chips


  • 1/2 a bunch of kale (4 cups or so?)
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (the zest of one orange, more or less)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash, dry, and de-vein the kale. Shred it to the size you would like your chips to be. Toss kale with the other ingredients until all the leaves are evenly coated. Spread out the kale in a single, even layer on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, until chips have turned patchy brown and green. Leave your oven light on, and check them constantly. Remove the chips at the edges of the baking sheets as they brown. The ones in the center may take a bit longer to cook. Let them cool for a few minutes before munching away; this allows the sugar to harden and the slightly soft parts of the chips to become crispy. Eat as many as you can before someone else discovers them and you have to share.



  1. Love this recipe and I’ve been wondering whether to do kale chips with the last of our red kale so I can take them out and put in tomatoes. I’m going to try this one. We loved the chips you made when you were here. Thanks, Love, Grandma

    1. Good luck! You could always just eat the kale, too. We put it in our salads last year, I think. Although, we did that when the leaves were tiny and had less of a strong flavor.

  2. Oh glorious day, I’ve been wanting to make some kale chips but hadn’t found a recipe until just now! Great idea with the orange zest. I may add some ground red pepper or chipotle powder for a little kick. Thanks!

  3. Claire!!!!!

    When are you going to come cook for me?????
    Everything you post looks so good and sounds so good (I love the range of your vocabulary, hehe).

    Alas, I guess my family will have to settle for boring vegies :)

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s