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Bonus E Post – Egg Salad – It’s What’s for Dinner

I am on a quest to make as many home cooked dinners as i can.  I am approaching the two week mark since I started, and while some days were “cheater” days (we went out to lunch once and had left overs for dinner, and my parents took us out to dinner one night, and we had leftovers the night after), except for a Friday night pizza and a movie, I have been in the kitchen every night making something for dinner – even if it was just reheating those leftovers.

As a Catholic kid, Lent always meant no meat on Friday.  A lunch staple was egg salad.  I am not an egg fan.  I would never wake up in the morning and want eggs for breakfast if there are pancakes, blueberry muffins, or even Oreo cookies available instead.  My grandfather used to make my sister Bean and I hard boiled eggs for breakfast once in a while, but he would careful cut the top off, stuff the hard cooked egg with creamy butter, and sprinkle a healthy dose of salt on top.  It was  heaven in an egg cup.  But egg salad for lunch was just plain gross.  I hated Fridays during Lent.

But as an adult, I’ve come to terms with the place egg salad serves in my life.  It’s a quick, go to meal on a night when we need to go grocery shopping.  It is strangely comforting on a chilly day for lunch.  There are days, despite my dislike of eggs, I just crave egg salad.

Here’s the thing, though.  I can’t eat egg salad out.  No matter how appealing it sounds, the taste of egg salad in a restaurant or diner just always seems off – too much mayo, onion, celery – something to ruin the taste that I’m familiar with.  And I don’t want it paired with anything – no soup, no bed of lettuce, no weird side dish.  I might be okay if you toss a few chips next to the sandwich, but mostly, I just want it plain.

Worst of all – I cannot eat the egg salad that has fallen out of the bread during eating.  I know, weird, right?  I think it’s a textural thing.  There has to be either nice soft white bread around the salad, or their has to be warm toast.


So – here’s how I make my egg salad – check out the precision with which I prepare this.

6 hard boiled eggs, still warm from the pot, chopped finely

Mayonnaise – enough to moisten the eggs, but not enough to make it slimey (I use a big spoon, and it usually takes about 3 heaping spoonfuls – serving spoon size)

Mustard – usually about a tablespoon or two – just to add a slight “deviled egg” flavor in the background

Salt and Pepper

I prefer to serve it on toasted bread, and I prefer it cut into four triangles, which almost makes it seem like four tiny sandwiches, and makes me forget about the fact that there’s still some level of my being that dislikes egg salad.  No lettuce, no tomato, no celery, and definitely no avocado.  Blech.  I might get brave and try tossing in some chopped bacon someday.  Someday.

I’m such a weirdo.

Kale Chips – There Just Might Be Something to Healthier Eating

So, you know when you’re on a diet, you start missing food.  You may not have even eaten all that much of it when you weren’t dieting, but as soon as you feel like you can’t have something, it becomes The. Most. Important. Food. EVER.

Chips are kind of that food for me.  I could go from birthday party to birthday party and rarely think about eating a potato chip or a Dorito.  But put my fat arse on a diet and tell me things like chips are a forbidden food, and I won’t rest until I have some.  So there.

But today, I’m here to tell you that my chip crisis has been solved!  Thanks to my fabulous friend Faith, I have discovered the joys of Kale Chips!  Yes, that’s right, kale.  As in the green, curly, leafy stuff that you move off to the side of your plate and act like you don’t see it there.  Someone once described the taste of kale to me as a cross between a brussels sprout and asparagus.  I once described kale to them as something I’m not eating, even in the event of an apocalypse, where the only thing that survives on this earth is me and kale.  So how can calling something this nasty “chip” make it so appealing?

Before attempting, I grilled Faith on the important stuff – taste, texture, and kid rating.  It all sounded positive, so I picked up an enormous bunch of kale at the grocery store and figured I’d give it a try.  If nothing else, it was $2 towards my free Easter ham from the local ShopRite.  And honestly, if they’re terrible, it’s not my fault – kale is supposed to be terrible.

These were oh my gosh so easy to make.  You wash and thoroughly dry your kale leaves, and separate them from the thick vein that runs through the middle.

When you’ve finished, rip any big pieces into bite sized (chip sized!!) pieces.

My $2 bunch looked like quite a bit of kale, especially when ripped into pieces.  Don’t worry.  The mound of kale will soon be reduced dramatically.

Once your kale is clean, cut, and ripped, you drizzle olive oil and some seasoning on it.  I used just sea salt on most of it, but on a small batch, I used Garlic Bread Sprinkle from McCormick.  It contains a little garlic powder and a tiny bit of parmesan cheese, and is great to make garlic bread or to sprinkle on popcorn or vegetables.

I tossed the kale in a big bowl in the olive oil and seasonings, although you could probably just as easily use a cooking spray.  When I was sure I’d gotten some of the seasoning on each piece, I put them on a flat cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

In the oven at 350 degrees, my chips were ready in just about 12 minutes.  They should be crispy but not burnt (the crispier they get, the more delicate they are, and the curly parts get crumbly).  They are delicate and crispy, and I’m not sure which I loved more – the salted ones or the garlicked ones.  Both are absolutely delicious.

Now, you can certainly make these less healthy by adding too much oil or the parmesan cheese (which really was just a tiny amount in what I used), but kale on it’s own has only about 25 calories in a cup.  Even if you add olive oil and salt, you still have a snack that’s less than 3 grams of fat and under 60 calories.  Compared to the over 150 calories and nearly 11 grams of fat in an ounce of potato chips, and you’ve got a healthy, kid friendly snack that you won’t have to sneak around to eat once you tell people you’re dieting!

Thanks, Faith, for the great idea!