This is a story with a happy ending.
However, it started with this:
I burned my hand on top of "The Ukrainian"'s stove while flipping some kale chips in his oven. It was my first attempt, and they came out pretty good.
How did I suddenly get into kale-chip making? Well, "The Ukrainian" bought a bag of kale from Trader Joe's. Not wanting to subject him to raw kale, I decided to make chips.
First, I rip the stems off the pieces. Stems = no good. If you are using one tray to bake them, you probably only need about 1/4 of the bag or less. Do NOT cram the kale on the tray, or else they will crowd and not crisp properly. Remember that greens shrivel up, so this doesn't make very much more than what I show at the bottom of this post. If you want more, bake two trays.
Then, a drizzle (1 tsp) of olive oil, a tiny pinch of salt, and a large pinch of nutritional yeast flakes. You can experiment with toppings (such as paprika), but do NOT overdo the oil. The kale should be very, very lightly coated. You can use tongs or your hands to distribute everything evenly.
"Bake" at the lowest setting your oven can go. For me, it was 170 degrees. If you have a fancy dehydrator, even better. I set the oven at a minimum of 30 minutes, though it may need longer. Dehydrators will definitely take longer. It's all trial and error. You don't have to toss or flip in the oven very often, though I do recommend it (without burning your hand!!!).
Here are the finished chips. They are crispy and don't cost $5.99 for a small bag!
To go with this, I made rajma masala from the Happy Herbivore cookbook. As you can see below, I finally bought proper garam masala from World Market (love!). This recipe is more like an Indian-inspired chili recipe. It cooked up VERY quickly!
When I added the garam masala, a wonderful, warm aroma wafted immediately.
I served it was a sprout salad with rice vinegar dressing.
For the dressing, I used 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp Bragg's liquid aminos, and 2 tsp rice vinegar.
For dessert that evening, I made some chia pudding. I will talk more about this soon enough. :)