B and I are friends with a really cool couple who recently moved to California from the East Coast. They’ve taught us the fascinating social modality of tailgating, which involves gathering in a parking lot before a concert and sharing food and drinks.
Last week, during one such tailgating session, someone pulled out a bag of “Pizza Kale Chips” from a natural foods supermarket. We all skeptically tried some, but sure enough, they really tasted like pizza. I took a picture of the ingredients list with my phone and got to work on creating this homemade recipe.
If you’re a fan of pizza and a fan of chips, then you will enjoy this recipe—even if you’re not a fan of regular kale chips. They smell uncannily like pizza as they dehydrate in the oven, and the taste really hits that spot when you need a salty, savory snack. And they’re perfect for enjoying while loitering in a parking lot.
Note: After a day or two, your kale chips will lose much of their crispiness. To bring back the crunch, simply spread the chips on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven at 300°F for 5 minutes.
1 bunch curly kale
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and drained
⅓ cup water
¼ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 170°F. Line an 18 × 26-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Wash the kale and pat dry. Cut out the long, thick stems and tear the leaves into 2- to 3-inch-wide pieces. Put them in a large bowl and set aside.
Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
Add the creamy cashew mixture to the bowl of kale. Use your hands to mix well, coating each piece of kale. Spread the kale evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
Put the baking sheet in the oven and use a wooden spoon to prop the oven door open a couple of inches (this allows moisture to escape). Check on the kale every hour, flipping the kale pieces after 2 hours. It should take about 5 hours for the kale to become really crispy. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.