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Killer Kale Recipes

Kale is great in salads and smoothies, but the possibilities to bake and season those bunchy, crunchy leaves is endless.
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Killer Kale Recipes

Kale has not only become the veggie of the month, but the veggie of the year.  And as best as we can tell, it’s going to be around as a tasty wellness staple for quite some time to come. Kale is great in salads and smoothies, but the possibilities to bake and season those bunchy, crunchy leaves is endless. In fact we love it so much at #couchkills that you shouldn’t be surprised if you see a boatload of kale recipes popping up on the site. So to get things started here are a couple of simple but very tasty ways to make some on-the-go healthy kale snacks. This first recipe, Easy-Cheesy Nacho Kale Chips, is the closest recipe we’ve created yet that captures Trader Joes amazing Nacho Kale Chips.

Easy-Cheesy Nacho Kale Chips:

  • 2 large bunches of kale, washed, dried and de-stemmed
  • Easy-Cheesy Nacho recipe

Nacho Cheese

  •  1 1/4 cups cashews, soaked
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning (or make your own – onion powder, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, and chili flakes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder or cayenne (use less if you prefer it not too spicy)

Blend all ingredients in a high-power blender such as a Blendtec Designer 625 until smooth.


1. Break kale into chip size pieces.

2. Place kale pieces in a large bowl, pour Nacho Cheeze on top and mix thoroughly with your hands.

3. Transfer coated kale pieces to dehydrator trays covered with non-stick sheets.

4. Dehydrate at 110ºF for 3 hours or until the top feels dry to the touch, then flip onto mesh.

5. Continue dehydrating until fully dry.

6. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bags in a cool and dry place.


The second of our kale recipes is a little more simple.  If all of that prep is too much for you, here is a very easy way to make kale chips.

Simple Kale Chips - Killer Kale Recipes

(Image: Joy, cc2)

Simple Kale Chips:

1 bunch curly kale, rinsed, dried, stems removed, leaves torn into 3-inch pieces
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Toss rinsed and dried (very important!) kale with olive oil, and salt to coat.

2. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp, watching carefully so they don’t burn.

For flavor variations:
Spicy Chips – add 1 teaspoon hot sauce in when tossing with olive oil and salt
Smoky Chips – add ½ teaspoon smoked paprika when tossing with olive oil and salt
Lime-Chili Chips – add zest of lime and ½ teaspoon chili powder when tossing with olive oil and salt
Asian Chips – add 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds when tossing with olive oil and salt


And last but not least among our kale recipes: pesto.  Kale is an excellent alternative to basil for making pesto. This delicious, healthful pesto is excellent with whole-wheat pasta, grilled chicken, and on flatbreads and sandwiches.

Kale Pesto - Killer Kale Recipes

(Image: Elana’s Pantry, cc2)

Kale Pesto:

3 large fresh bunches kale, rinsed
Freshly peeled garlic (5-10 cloves, to taste)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for topping
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/3 zest of lemon


1. Remove and discard ribs from the kale leaves.

2. Steam the leaves for 5 minutes then plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain well and squeeze out any extra moisture.

3. Place garlic cloves and sunflower seeds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pulse until finely chopped.

4. Add the steamed kale to the food processor bowl, and pulse until the kale is finely chopped and combined with the nuts and garlic.

5. Scrape into a mixing bowl. Stir in the olive oil, cheese, salt, pepper and lemon zest.

You can refrigerate this for up to 1 week, or freeze it for several months.


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