Sometimes I want to chow down like a teenager: just lie in front of the TV watching something craptastic, and snarf a crispy, salty snack.
But my ever-present adult voice knows that no amount of salty goodness will ever recreate that fleeting combination of utter lack of responsibility and complete, open possibility.
Doesn’t mean I won’t try, though.
One could argue, I suppose, that I should be past mindless, indulgent snacking – that all meals and snacks should be deliberately consumed, with full consciousness of the activity, eaten at the dining table with a napkin on my lap.
Most days, I eat my breakfast doing the “get ready for work hustle,” I eat lunch with a knife and fork in the corporate overlords’ kitchen, I eat dinner at the table with my handsome husband, and eat snacks where and when I can: at the running track, in the car, on the bed, walking from one meeting to the next.
I’ve given up just about every other vice; once in a while, I eat like an animal, and I like it.
A few weeks ago, The Minimalist in The New York Times offered a recipe for chips made from nori. I tried the recipe as written and with some variations; one of my variations was a late bloomer that eventually won me over.
The chips do NOT taste like potato chips. The Minimalist mentioned potato chips so many times in his piece, I think my expectations were inappropriately set. So let me repeat: These do NOT taste like potato chips.
However, they are crispy. They’re salty. And with the addition of sesame seeds, they’re pretty darned tasty. Plus, each sheet has just 10 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein. But they do NOT taste like potato chips.
The first one I ate caught me by surprise, and I wasn’t sure I liked it. But then I banished the idea of potato chips from my mind (These do NOT taste like potato chips.), and ate a few more. Then I decided they were pretty good – and a great option when hormone poisoning is making me want to storm, ransack, plunder, and pillage the “Salty Snacks” aisle at HEB. They also have the added bonus of taking just 15 minutes to make, so they’re a good emergency snack.
Nori Chips (that do NOT taste like potato chips)
Each sheet of nori makes approx. 8-10 chips.
Nori sheets, find ‘em in the sushi case of a regular grocery store
Garlic powder *see note below
Olive oil or Pam organic olive oil spray
1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Lay a sheet of nori on a cutting board. Wet your hand in the tap, then spritz the nori with the water from your hand. Your goal is to make the nori pliable enough to fold in half, but not to soggy it starts to turn back into seaweed. Err on the side of too little; you can easily add more. Sprinkle the nori with sea salt, and fold the sheet in half. The water should make the two halves stick together so you have a double-thick chip. If it doesn’t stick, spritz with a little more water. (You can also brush with water or use a spray bottle, but why involve another tool? As much as possible, food prep should be done with your hands.)
3. Use kitchen shears or a very sharp knife to cut the nori sheets into strips. I cut mine into eighths, but it really doesn’t matter.
4. Transfer strips to a cookie sheet in a single layer. Spray with the organic Pam spay or brush with olive oil. (Again, you can use your fingers to apply the oil), then sprinkle with a garlic powder and sesame seeds.
and plain salt. Sesame was definitely the best.
5. Bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes; they will crisp and turn a lovely dark, glossy green.
6. When chips are done, let them cool and then crunch! crunch! crunch!
A note about garlic powder:
Read the labels! Some varieties include MSG and other crap. I like McCormick California Style Coarse Grind Blend Garlic Powder with Parsley. The ingredients? Garlic, sunflower oil, parsley. Sprinkle with abandon!
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