I can't get enough of kale. It's cheaper than chips (pun intended), widely available and is packed with more nutrients than most vegetables or meat on this planet. I call it the superfood because it contains more iron than beef if we do a per calorie comparison, packed with anti-oxidants, helps prevent lung and cavity cancers as well as cardiovascular disease and rich in calcium. But wait, there's more, it contains omega 3 and has practically 0% fat. Read more about it here.
In the past, I've struggled to get Lil L's friends to eat vegetables when they come around on a play date. For most of the week, the main entrance of my flat is comparable to that of a revolving hotel door with kids coming or going all the time (no, I'm not running a nursery but Lil L has a busy social life). Most of them are incredibly fussy eaters with a hate list longer than my arm. I've refused to succumb to sausage and mash or spag bol (still getting used to that term), both of which I can only stomach a few times a year nor kill myself with exhaustion by cooking two separate dinners each night.
I have found that if you encourage kids to experience and enjoy diverse cuisines, they'll naturally increase the repertoire of foods that they eat and develop a more mature palette. I've dealt with kids who declared that they'd never ever eat duck, mushrooms, Asian dishes or greens only to scoff them down by the spoonfuls. Kids are absolutely brutal and natural food critics. No holds barred. Some of the Michelin starred chefs (not naming names here but we know who they are) who can't deal with negative feedback probably have never cooked for kids on a daily basis.
Kids just adore chips or crisps as they call them here. Well, so do I. Hence, the ever expanding girth. These kale chips taste divine and are far healthier option than potato crisps. You can also crumble and sprinkle them over donburi or rice like furikake. Remember to store the kale chips in airtight container. The minced chicken donburi can be prepared in less than 10 minutes. All in all, a healthy and nutritious meal in no time at all. I've only dared to put this on the blog after getting rave reviews over the past few weeks from kids who'd never eaten Japanese food before.
A bag of kale (approximately 200g)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil
Sea salt (optional)
1. Preheat the oven at 140˚C. Put baking paper on the tray.
2. Wash and dry the kale. I normally put mine into a salad spinner but do it in batches.
3. Toss the leaves in extra virgin oil. I don't add extra salt but just a tad is more than ample.
4. Spread them over a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. I bake mine in no more than 140˚C
so that the leaves can dehydrate but not burn.
Minced Chicken Donburi (adapted from Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking)
*please note that I tend to guesstimate so taste as you go along
500g minced turkey or chicken or pork
6-7 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons caster sugar
An inch or two ginger, grated
1. Dump all the ingredients into a pan, wok or pot. Keep stirring until nearly all the liquid has evaporate which will take 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Serve with rice. You can add boiled eggs, spring onions or kale chips.