I like to have something with strong flavor and crunchy to put on my salads to make them more interesting. So far I've been using Jungle snacks dehydrated kale chips. These work well but at $8 for a bag that lasts about a week, it's an expensive habit. Are there cheaper options? Maybe I could make it myself but I don't have a dehydrator nor do I have space for one in my apartment.
UPDATED: Also, I don't eat nuts, nightshades in large quantities, egg, diary, or pork.
Oh god, make your own kale chips. It kills me how much people are charged for that little container when big fat bunches of organic pesticide free are just a few bucks. Some folks use oil and seasonings when they make, I literally just wash, pat dry, de-rib (saving ribs for stock) and toss on a cookie sheet to crisp up. I shake the pan and stir the greens until all are nice and crispy, then grom. Maybe I'll sprinkle a little salt on their but I like the earthy flavour on its own or to enhance my meal as usually my food is pretty rich in flavour. I have a recipe for you at the end.
The below can all be enhanced with additional spices and such to fit how bold you want the flavour.
2 bunches kale
2 tablespoons fat
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt, I like large flake, and black pepper
*whatever other spices you want to add in
Oven to 375. Rinse kale and pat dry thoroughly. Remove ribs and roughly chop or hand tear the leaves. Pat leaves dry again. Toss with fat, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Kale does not need to be in a single layer, as it will shrink in volume as it cooks. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so, until leaves are tender, crisp on edges and slightly browned.
I've been known to use pickles, but my favorite crunchy is chunks of fresh celery and I just let the olive oil and vinegar marinate the salad for a few minutes while I cook the main dish. The celery is still crunchy but the lettuce absorbs some flavor.
I've also tried the crispy bacon and poultry skin mentioned by the others. Or, if you like meat chunks in your salad you can brown the chunks to crispy on one side in butter. Definitely not hard to swallow the chunks then!
For salads I like Cabot or Tillamook White Hard Cheddar Cheese crumbles for a strong flavor. Plus chopped up bacon bits sprinkled on the salad. And for strong flavor I use Good Seasons Italian Dry Mix in the hour glass container they sell. I use Now Brands Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil rather than olive oil. Don't like the Omega Sixes... along with organic Apple Cider Vinegar. I add 1/8th fresh ground black pepper for additional zing in the dressing mix.
Carrots: just peel and chop or peel and grate them. Gives the salad a nice crunch. Onions: chop em up celery:chopped avocado: cut in cubes I Absolutely love CORIANDER!!! simply rinse and fine chop minced garlic drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice You can always throw in some chopped up chicken breast, steak strips, tuna etc for a complete meal!
Whatever's left that's crunchy in your hot frying fat. Bacon bits are especially good. Dump fat and bits on the salad hot and get a nice wilt on the lettuce, then garnish with some black pepper and vinegar.
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