Wanting to Waste Not

Just back from a trip to Oregon, and I was struck by how all the trash cans say “waste” in big letters. There’s a judgement implied there, I believe. And I’m never more sensitive to excessive waste than after a day of travel–the number of untouched napkins headed for the dustbin is appalling.

I’ve been thinking about minimizing my waste in the kitchen as well. You’re already into the kale chip trend, perhaps, but have you thought of pickling those thick discarded stems? And if you’re not yet making kale chips, you should be. After that revelation, there’s no end to the options. I want to make chips out of literally everything. The greens from my CSA beets and radishes are prime candidates.

Look at all those chips!

After washing and drying the greens, rip them into chip-sized pieces. Toss them in olive oil (or a flavored oil) (I bet those chili pepper infused oils would be good) and a salty seasoning–note a little goes a long way! Lay the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 (if you hate the idea of having the oven on, lower the heat, lengthen the time). A spatula makes for easy removal, and they are ready to serve.

This recipe is the same for kale and probably any green. Smitten Kitchen has the excellent idea to crunch the chips over popcorn. Embrace your hippie Oregon side–nutritional yeast, anyone?

I’m going to be approaching all my CSA items thusly, so send along any ideas.

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