You know those days when the things on your todo list suddenly sneak up on you? Yeah, having one of those. Since November I’ve been participating in Paleo Pen Pals, a really awesome pen pal exchange where once a month I exchange a paleo ingredient with another blogger (or reader). Then I have until the 25th to post a recipe using that ingredient.
What day is it again? Yeah…the 29th. To be fair, I did make this before the 25th, I just didn’t get a chance to write the post until now. Then again, this recipe isn’t exactly the most creative (or really at all creative). My paleo pen pal Lauri sent me some awesome spices that are supposed to be used in soups. However in my rush to just get something done, I coped out and made something incredibly basic.
At first I wasn’t even sure if I should bother posting, but decided that I owed my pen pal a post. She put so much effort into picking something out for me that it would be super uncool to not write about it.
Lauri sent me three amazing spices: Freeze dried shallots, French Style Bouquet Garni and Aleppo Red Pepper Flakes Crushed. She wrote in her note that she had looked at a recent post of mine and thought these would help cheer me up about the Whole30 (so sweet of her!). Although it’s too small in the picture to see, these spices came from Savory Spice Shop, which also happens to have a website.
On the side of the jars, they print instructions on how to use them. The shallots can rehydrate with a little water, the bouquet garni is supposed to be steeped in soups or stews and the red pepper you can just sprinkle on. Since I didn’t have anything in my kitchen to make soup, I decided that the red pepper would be the easiest to use.
From my CSA box that I wrote about last week, I had a bunch of kale that needed to be used. Ever since Jake saw it in the box, he’d been not so subtly suggesting we make kale chips.
So I grabbed the kale and tore off the leafy green part from the stem. Grabbed a zip lock bag, tossed the leaves inside (the stems went in the trash). Poured a little less than 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the bag and gave it a soft massage. I’ve learned that if you put too much oil on the leaves, they’ll turn out greasy instead of crunchy.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees (F). You really don’t want to burn your chips. Keep it low and slow. Then on a cookie sheet with some tin foil, spread your leaves out evenly. I sprinkled the Red Pepper lightly over all of it and placed it in the oven for about 20 minutes. You want to keep an eye on them because you don’t want them to burn.
The finished product is on the right. Jake and I practically inhaled them as soon as they came out. And the Red Pepper spice was unbelievable! It really is chunks of red pepper, not some cheap powder from the grocery store. The spice to it was far more complex than the typical paprika or chili powder I normally use.
In fact, it was so tasty, that I immediately decided to make roasted brussel sprouts with the same method!
After spreading them out on the tin foil (seriously makes cleaning up a breeze), I sprinkled the spice on it. Then roasted them for 20 minutes at the higher temperature.
If you’ve never been a fan of brussel sprouts, I highly recommend you try roasted them. Not only is it easier than cooking them in a pan, but it’s a completely different flavor. (PS. If you’ve been eating brussel sprouts out of those microwavable frozen bags, no wonder you hate them! Once you try fresh ones you will never go back. Seriously).
You can kind of see the red pepper flakes in the final picture. So good. I’m seriously considering putting in an order from their website after I run out. Thanks so much Lauri!