Today is a fun day because I get to post a recipe from Brendan Brazier’s new book, Thrive Foods!
Brendan’s a hottie, dontcha think?
And, of course, he’s VEGAN! Yay for strong, smart vegan men (including my husband: love you, honey).
I was sent this book to review and I read it with a bit of a skeptical eye, the reason being that his bio says he is “recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on plant-based nutrition.” Oh really? That’s a pretty big statement. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading the book! I especially liked all the information about the environmental cost of food production. That’s part of the vegan argument that I’m not that knowledgeable about so it was great to learn more.
I was intrigued by this piece of info: “For the average American, switching to a plant-based diet would prevent more CO2 from being released into the atmosphere than by eliminating driving altogether.” I’m a Californian and I do love my car, so this made me feel a little less guilty about driving (note: I carpool and take public transportation whenever possible to further reduce my carbon footprint).
As far as the nutrition info in the book, it was good but not comprehensive. But, I don’t think that was the purpose of this book. I did learn about something called sachi inchi seed which I had never heard of before. It is supposed to be a great source of omega-3s so I’ll have to look for them online (the book directs readers to saviseed.com ).
I also really liked the recipes included in this book. I chose to make the Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips because 1. I used to looooove eating sour cream & onion potato chips when I was little and 2. I have only made kale chips one other time and it was a disaster.
To prevent another kale chip mishap, I followed the directions carefully. I started with a bunch of organic curly kale:
This is important: wash the kale before you pull it off the stalk (reason being because it’s a lot easier to dry this way). I put the kale in a large bowl of water and rinsed it thoroughly:
Then I dried it on a clean towel:
Then it was time to pull the leaves off into chip-sized pieces:
I just threw away the stalks although I’m sure you could juice them if you wanted to. Next I combined the flavorings in my Vita-Mix, but you can also use a regular blender. The ingredients included cashews, water, onion powder, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, salt and fresh parsley which I had to leave out since I forgot to buy some (printable recipe below):
The next step is to pour the cream over the kale and lay the pieces out on two parchment-lined baking sheets:
Then, you just bake them at 250 degrees for about 60-70 minutes. The instructions said to toss once during cooking, but mine didn’t really toss well so I just kind of moved them around. Here’s what they looked like when finished:
Mmmmm, they were SO GOOD! Now I understand what all the fuss is about with kale chips. The book also has a BBQ version that I want to try next.
Here’s the recipe, I re-wrote it in my own words and made the parsley and salt optional since I left them out.
Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips – 4 Servings (posted with permission)
1 bunch curly kale
1/2 cup cashews, soaked in 1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Wash and dry kale leaves thoroughly. Pull off kale leaves from stalks in chip-sized pieces and put into large bowl. Combine the cashews and soaking water, onion powder, garlic powder, vinegar, salt and parsley in a blender and whirl until smooth. Pour mixture over kale leaves and use hands to distribute cream over all of the leaves. Lay out leaves on two parchment paper-lined baking sheets and bake for 60-70 minutes or until crispy.
Alternatively, you can put kale chips in a dehydrator at 115 degrees for 10-12 hours.
From what I understand, Brenda is also the creator of Vega Foods , the vegan protein powder supplement. He has also authored a number of other books. If you want to find out more about his work, check out his Thrive in 30 website .