Cameron Stone Dishes on Chard Chips | Contributing Columnist

Cameron Contemplates Julia Child
Cameron Contemplates Julia Child

Austin, Texas-based Cameron Stone grew up in a family without a focus on the dinner table. Food was a necessity, not a culinary journey. Her trim, body-conscious mother—-a vegetarian—-prepared plain vegetables, eschewing fats like butter and oil. Now, as a late twenty-something, Cameron has grown to love her kitchen and is always searching for innovative, delectable ways to serve up healthy eats.

Her chard chips are an invention that is wholly her own. Kale chips might be all-the-rage right now, but Cameron’s twist signals a totally-original take on the baked-vegetable snack. She is a sassy, intelligent writer with a unique gift for humor. Read on!

Bake It
Bake It

If you are like me, you can’t get enough salt. Somebody should buy me a salt-lick I love it so much. I adore snacks like chips, but knowing how awful my body feels after I eat them, I try to stay away from my favorite treat. They make me feel greasy, and my stomach immediately experiences the bloat—-who wants that? I needed to figure out how to get my crispy, salty munchies, while keeping the nutrition high and calories low.

I try to eat as much Swiss chard as possible and always keep my refrigerator stocked with it. Chard doesn’t keep well, though. One night, I had to do something with my chard  leaves before they spoiled and I was not in the mood for another salad with steamed veggies. All I really wanted was some SALT and bite. I decided to roast my chard leaves to see what happened.

Bite It
Bite It

Heat your oven to 400-degrees. Place the leaves on a baking tray and brush them lightly with EVOO…extra-virgin olive oil. A little EVOO goes a long way, so be careful! Finish by dusting it all with salt (sea salt, of course!) and pepper. Bake between 5-8 minutes, depending on the leaf—-some are dense with water and others are flat and dry.

Make sure you get rid of the beautiful red stems—-those don’t roast well! In a short time, you have a plate full of crispy and SALTY goodness. They might not look pretty, but didn’t your mother teach you to not judge a book by its cover? Bite in and taste the natural bitterness of chard combined with the richness of the EVOO….while getting your salt on.

Popcorn, skip it; chips, skip it; CHARD, choose it.

There’s nothing more fun than challenging yourself to find new ways to make the same old healthy foods taste yummmmm-o! Any other baked-vegetable fiends out there? Tell me about it.

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