Your Waffle Iron Is Lonely: Feed It Kale

Guess what! August 24th is National Waffle Day! I know. Please leggo whatever toaster crap you were about to assault your taste buds with and make your own. And, ooh, ooh, double guess what! If you miss August 24th you get a second chance because August 25th is International Waffle Day. It is also my Dad’s birthday, although he is actually known for pancakes.

There is a waffled item for every palate out there. Proof can be found in Will it Waffle? by Daniel Shumski, writer of the blog Waffleizer.

It all started with his quest to waffle whatever he could. This led to a blog, that led to his cookbook. As I leafed through, I saw that I could probably get rid of my stovetop, microwave, and oven and subsist in the wild with nothing but a waffle iron and a dream. And sunscreen. But that is another story.

Now, I know that an entire cookbook devoted to one single food sounds extreme, but that’s only if you are limiting your concept of waffles to the thing you put some butter and maple syrup on at brunch. A valid format, to be sure, but I beg you to expand your mind and jump into the groovy world of waffling that extends far beyond simple breakfast fare. You can even waffle falafel! Far out.

I enjoyed that Shumski includes a wee bit of a history of the venerable waffle, including the invention of using waffles to hold ice cream i.e….the waffle cone! Anything that leads to ice cream cannot be too terrible. Waffles were also once so popular in France that they had to have laws written about them. That really says something about the value of the waffle. Then again, have you eaten in France? I’d start a fight over a simple piece of toast. That country knows its carbs.

As I perused this book I started bookmarking pretty much everything. The only things I didn’t want to make were the things like burgers—and that is only because I am a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian I decided, for once, to give y’all a vegetable recipe. It is vegan and gluten-free to boot! This may be a sign that kale chips have jumped the shark, but Shumski has invented waffled kale. I kid not. Crank up your waffle iron for the loveliest kale chips you could ever dream of.  Although if you are having dreams about kale chips I fear for you. Wake up and make them.

Crispy Waffled Sesame Kale adapted from Will It Waffle? by Daniel Shumski

  • One bunch of kale, flat or curly (I used the flat, or lacinato, kale), washed, dried, stems trimmed off
  • 2 tsp. of sesame blend oil OR 2 tsp. plain bland oil with a few drops of 100% sesame oil blended in (I used a vegetable oil blended with a bit of 100% sesame)
  • kosher salt (I used coarse grained sea salt)

Heat up your waffle iron! If it has controls, heat to medium. Mine does not have temperature control so I just…let it heat. Toss the kale with the oil(s) in a large bowl until leaves are nicely coated. Lay pieces to cover the iron in a single layer-totally fine if there is some overlap. Close iron for 30 seconds, then open. The kale will have shrunk some so you can redistribute it for a more even single layer. I used a pair of chopsticks to manipulate the kale without burning my fingers. Close again and cook for about 6-8 minutes more. Start checking earlier though. Your oven temperature may cook it way faster. If one leaf looks done before another, by all means, take it off! It may not be totally crisp, but take it off. It will continue to crisp as it cools. Repeat this process until all the kale is used. Sprinkle with salt and gobble it up like the kale-head you are. Live the rest of your day knowing that if all else fails, you have waffled kale. You are a winner.

(Image and recipe viaWill it Waffle)

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