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Crispy Kale BLT

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Vegan Planet: Crispy Kale BLT

Monday, February 20, 2012


Crispy Kale BLT

As a fan of crisp-roasted kale, I’m always experimenting with ways to season and use the deliciously crunchy leaves. Recently I’ve been seasoning them with a smoky mixture, giving the kale a bacon-esque flavor. They were especially good layered in the Tofu Benedict with Sun-Dried Tomato Hollandaise I made last weekend.

In the same way that I enjoy using fried dulse leaves as a bacon alternative in BLTs (see my Avocado, Dulse, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches recipe in Quick-Fix Vegan), I reasoned that crispy kale “bacon” would also be ideal in the iconic sandwich.

I especially like the addition of avocado in a BLT. When made with kale, I suppose we could call the sandwich a TALK -- for: Tomato, Avocado, Lettuce, and Kale. I made my TALK sandwich as a wrap and added a ribbon of vegan mayo and sriracha. At the risk of making a bad pun, this wrap was the “TALK of the town!”   (groan...)

Here’s the recipe I used for the crispy kale bacon. I’m still tinkering with this recipe – the smoky flavor is fairly mild, so I’m working on ways to amp it up a bit. But it’s still pretty good as is. If you like kale chips, then you’ll like this!
Crispy Kale Bacon

1 bunch kale, stemmed and cut into strips
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar or agave
Smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or spray it with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the kale, sesame oil, liquid smoke, and sugar, tossing to coat the kale. Sprinkle lightly with smoked paprika and salt and toss again.
Arrange the kale in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, then turn the kale over and bake until crisp but not burned, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

IN OTHER NEWS: If you don't follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you may not know that Gary had endoscopic surgery last week to remove a hairball.  He's doing great now.   I also want to thank all of you who expressed your care and concern during this ordeal.  Gary and I are extremely grateful and touched to know that so many people care.   Your good wishes helped make a tough week a bit easier.

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Robin, you need to add those "pin it!" buttons to your blog, because I would so be pinning this to Pinterest! I love me some crispy kale. :)
Chessa, Definitely on my "to do" list -- have to find time and figure out how to do it. Thanks!
Yay, I saw this recipe on Facebook, and just so happened to have a bag of kale from Trader Joe's that I needed to use up! It'a roasting now, and smells amazing, Thank you ^_^
Glad you found the recipe in time to put your kale to good use. Hope you enjoy it, Becky. (I love the way it smells roasting, too!)
Robin, thank youso much for this recipe. I LOVE kale,, and am always trying to find new and interesting ways to fix it..this sounds like it fits the bill just perfectly. Truly, thank you!!
By the way, I took some kale out of the freezer the other day to put in some home fries. It was from our garden. I had tried a new way of freezing kale: wash it. dry it and put it in the freezer. That was it. When I took it out and it thawed out, and it looked and tasted just like I had just picked it!!
Connie, It's my pleasure! I hope you like this as much as I do. Thanks for the tip about freezing kale. I'll definitely give it a try next time I find myself with an abundance of kale.
I've had roasted kale. It's toasty and has a very potato-chip-like texture. I never thought of using it like one would use crispy bacon! What a fun idea! And what an absolutely GORGEOUS samich!
Thanks, Karen. That crunchy potato-chip texture is the very reason I thought of using roasted kale in a BLT. I love other vegan bacon made with tempeh, tofu, mushrooms, eggplant, etc. etc., but none of them provide that crunch. Until now, that is, thanks to kale!
This looks great and I can't wait to make it! I agree with Chessa, please ad a "pin it" button. So glad Gary is doing better.
Linda, I actually did add a Pin-It button (it's at the top right-hand side of the page)-- not sure if I did it right. In the meantime, I pinned this photo to my own board on Pinterest, so you can definitely pick it up there!
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