My day here in Texas started much like my other weekdays, with the sound of foghorns (a reminder of home in the SF Bay Area) transmitting from my cellphone alarm at 5:00 a.m. to go teach exercise class. I am, and always have been an early riser, so there’s (relatively) little pain in awaking so early (it largely depends on how late I stayed up reading). I get a little bit of time to collect my thoughts and ideas for the day before heading off to teach, and a chance to glug a cup of tea for a pre-workout perk (I love you, Yorkshire Gold…)
Mid-slurp, I made the decision. It’s about snacks. Healthy snacks. High-powered snacks. Protein-packed snacks. Fruity snacks. It’s how I prefer to eat most of the day. So for awhile, I am going to share a lot of my favorite portable snacks here on Power Hungry. You can think of them as mini-meals, portable food, or whatever you like if you don’t like the connotations of “snacks.”
Part of the reason for my focus on portable food is that I am training for Ragnar Chicago! Do you know about Ragnar? It is a 200-mile running relay race that you complete with a van-load of friends over the course of a day and a half. I am so excited!!! We are running from Madison, Wisconsin (have never been) to Chicago. As I get ready, I’ve been more focused than usual on making ready-to-eat, portable foods to keep my energy high.
These kale chips are a perfect example. I know you’ve seen many a kale chip recipe, but these have a protein twist. The kale chips made with a spritz of oil and sprinkle of salt are irresistible, but they need to be eaten immediately. Moreover, they are delicate. By contrast, these chips are sturdy, crunchy, cheese-y, and will keep in an airtight container for several days. Moreover, they pack a protein punch thanks to the addition of pea protein powder.
Happy munching–and look for many more powered-up snacks in the days and weeks to come!
- 1 pound curly kale, rinsed and thoroughly dried
- ½ cup unflavored pea protein powder
- ½ cup marinara sauce
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vinegar (I used red wine vinegar; any variety will do)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the tough stems and center ribs from the kale; tear the leaves into approximately 3-inch pieces.
- In a large bow, whisk the protein powder, marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, vinegar and salt until blended and smooth
- Add the kale leaves to the bowl, dredging the leaves in the paste so that it adheres--really get your hands in there! Mush the leaves around so they are well-coated.
- Arrange the leaves in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (they should look fairly dry and will seem squashed/flat--that's normal!); turn the chips over.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes longer (check periodically), until they are completely dry and stiff and the coating is golden brown. Cool completely in pans.
Replace the Parmesan cheese with ⅓ cup nutritional yeast seasoning or flakes.