To be honest, I’m not usually one to jump on health food trends. Prime examples: rice will always have a better texture than quinoa, peanut butter will always taste better than almond butter and cow’s milk (well, all dairy really) will always down smoother than nut milk (accept in a delicious latte from Echo Coffee, but that’s neither here nor there).
Kale is another good example. I ate it raw in a salad once. Once being the key word. It’s too tough for me and I hate how people act like it’s interchangeable with spinach. IT’S NOT. Spinach, my favorite vegetable, is tender, delicious and undetectable in a green smoothie. Kale on the other hand is rough, stiff and entirely detectable in anything it’s ever been in (but also, I probably need a better blender).
However, the kale chip craze was one I was all over. Actually, I had kale chips before the trend truly started at a taste panel during my very first magazine internship. I saw “Kale Chips” on the menu for that day and was a little intimidated. Like I said, health trends worry me a bit and the only chips I wanted to be eating were made of corn or potatoes. I couldn’t have been more wrong, they were delicious. Light and crisp, they melted in your mouth covering your taste buds with salty, garlicky perfection. My food editor and I ended up stealing all the leftovers to take back up to our cubicles, and I’ve been addicted ever since.
After years of the same, reliable kale chip recipe popping out of my oven, I decided it was time for a hybrid of favorite foods: kale chips and of course, pizza, and these crispy kale cheese sticks were born.
A store-bought crust for easy weeknight prep brushed with garlic and olive oil and topped with seasoned kale and veggies over creamy mozzarella and Parmesan. This dippable dinner (or hors d’oeuvre) is the perfect combination of crispy, crunchy, melty and saucy. My friend Ashley and I have not gotten ourselves to stop eating it (Seriously, it’s bad. Like twice a week bad. I’m eating it right now). We’ve even passed on our addiction to her entire family.
- 1 personal size prepared pizza crust (I use either the Whole Foods or Sprouts Gluten Free Pizza Crust found in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 1 cup curly kale, torn, stem removed
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- Additional vegetables optional
- ¼ cup marinara sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together garlic and olive oil. Using a pastry brush, rub half of the mixture over the prepared crust. Toss the kale in the remainder of the olive oil and garlic mixture.
- Top the crust with the mozzarella. Then spread the kale evenly on top of the mozzarella. Add any additional desired vegetables (I use a handful of chopped mushrooms, but sliced red onion would be great too) then sprinkle the Parmesan over top.
- Bake for about 10–15 minutes or until the cheese and kale are just slightly browned.
- Slice into strips and serve with warmed marinara sauce.
Thanks for those of you who gave feedback last week, I love hearing from you! It looks like I’m finally going to start dabbling into those “Adventures” I’ve been promising with some travel posts as well as my mini adventures in Arizona. So check back on Thursday for my very first Adventure post. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I spent this last weekend in Milwaukee and I can’t wait to recap the details!