(Vegan Parmesan Kale Chips)
WORDS: Johnny Lozano
What I’m about to say might be wildly controversial, but skateboarding has—at times—glorified drug use.
Shocker, I know.
But seriously, let’s examine this for a second: While hard drugs are thankfully less promoted in skateboarding (and indeed are sometimes obstacles that we encourage our idols to overcome with unending love and support), skateboarding has an on-again/off-again love affair with the green. For as long as there have been graphics there have been images of sweet leaf under our feet (well, some of us); Japanese investors spent $63 billion on a skateboard-born company that reached stunning popularity by adorning the sticky on socks.
And, of course, there are companies that go beyond mere imagery and concoct an entire aura based around the perceived lifestyle associated with drug use. Yes, I’m looking at you, DGK. Yes, I’m talking about the endless ambient smoking clips in Parental Advisory; the skate tracks laden with illicit references; and, of course, the decks with red-eyed characters galore. Love it or hate it, by Ryan Gallant’s admission in his Nine Club episode, this questionable marketing was Kayo’s bread and butter for years.
I write all the above without condoning or condemning. You do you; I’ll do recipes.
Speaking of, this week’s recipe—parmesan kale chips—is a different kind of green with a lot less controversy surrounding it (although it was finally bumped off the list of top ten superfoods). I got this recipe from my buddies at NU Food, another vegan food company run by skateboarders and snowboarders looking to imbue our worlds with healthier options. The world of vegan extreme sports-based consumer packaged goods is small but tight-knit, so a collab has been in the cards for a while…Villager, hit us up.
You may have tried store-bought kale chips before (and if you have a trust fund, you can maybe even afford them on a regular basis) and thought “meh.” But these take the flavor up to an eleven without tasting processed. They pack a satisfying crunch like the chips you’d reach for during a session, but instead of offering empty calories, they provide a ton of vitamin K, B vitamins and even a little more protein than a bag of Lays. Best of all, you don’t have to hide them in your shoe’s stash pocket!
- 1 bushel of kale
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast aka nooch
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- a pinch of cayenne
- 4 tbsp. vegetable oil
- When buying kale avoid the bagged stuff and just go for the bushels. Bagged kale typically has a lot of stems (last weed reference, I promise).
- Give the kale a good wash. Tear off pieces of kale from the stem, about the size of potato chips, or however big of a chip you’ll want. Keep in mind they will shrink.
- Blend the cashews, nooch, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne in a food processor or blender. Pulse blend to avoid warming the nuts and turning them into cashew butter.
- Once it’s well blended mix 6 tablespoons of your parmesan mixture with 4 tablespoons of your vegetable oil in a separate bowl. Massage your mixture in a large bowl with your bushel of kale chips. Spread one layer of your kale chips onto a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes at 275 degrees. Once they’re looking crispy, take them out, let them cool, and dig in!
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