Eat to the Beat: Cheesy Kale Chips & Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

October 27th, 2012 1:23 pm by Kelly Garbato

 

The song: “Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Cheesy Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food

The connection: Battlestar GalacticaSeason 3, Episode 10, “The Passage”

 

Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food (0015)

 

So this is one of those food-song pairings which is less obvious and thus requires a lengthier explanation. As much as I love Battlestar Galactica and could ramble on and on about it for days, I’ll try to keep it short and simple. This is a food festival, after all.

For those who aren’t fans (OH MY GODS WHY NOT? YOU ARE MISSING OUT EPICALLY!), the basic premise of BSG is this: after a decades-long truce with the Cylons – sentient robots built, enslaved, and oppressed by humans – the Twelve Colonies are attacked by their “children” (now evolved into android form). Humanity is destroyed. Decimated. Entire cities and planets are colonized by the Cylons – or wiped off the map altogether. The ~50,000 human survivors – most of whom were off-planet, traveling in spaceships, when the attack occurred – flee, with the Cylons in hot pursuit.

At turns, the Cylons aim for the extinction of the human race – or peaceful (yet dominant) coexistence with them. Meanwhile, the humans want nothing but to escape the Cylons; to find a new planet to settle and rebuild human civilization. The duration of the four-season show follows our “heroes” (not really; not always) as they search for the mythical planet of earth, supposedly settled by their ancestors so many centuries ago.

While BSG touches upon a number of heavy topics – democracy, warfare, slavery, civil liberties, abortion – the themes of home and family can be found throughout. Forced to live on cramped, uncomfortable ships for years, some of them subjected to horrific working conditions, the survivors are just that: surviving. Nothing more; for many, less, as war, disease, and hunger ravage the population. The hope of finding a new planet to settle – a new home – is all that sustains them.

In the meantime, they must learn how to make do with their actual homes: the warships, prisons, and luxury liners that carry them through space. (Even in wartime, inequities persist!) The survivors find friends, forge alliances, fall in love, start families. They struggle to find normalcy in the midst of a perpetual emergency.

 

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Though they do eventually find earth, it’s a shell of a planet, ravaged by nuclear warfare. Uninhabitable; in no better shape than the planets they fled. (Oh, humanity. Will you ever rise above your violent nature?) While their faith is shattered, they keep searching. What else is there to do but forge on? In time they find a new earth – earth as we know it – and at long last they stop running; they settle the planet, together, humans and Cylons alike. Among the refugees is young Hera, a human-Cylon hybrid – the first – who will one day come to be known as Eve.

In my own mental BSG soundtrack, “Home” is the very first track (followed at a close second by History Repeating), and for obvious reasons. Home is where you find the people you love. Home is where you are, where you want to be. Home is where you make it, but not always in the place you imagined it.

And how does the kale figure in, you ask? Season 3, Episode 10 (“The Passage”) saw the fleet facing starvation after their food stores were contaminated. In search of sustenance, they stumble upon the “Algae Planet,” which has “an abundance of primitive plant life in the form of waterborne algae which the refugee fleet stop to harvest for food.” While the mission doesn’t go altogether smoothly, the fleet successfully replenishes its food supply. Naturally, much grumbling about the lackluster menu ensues.

 

Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food (0022)

 

Even though it’s actually algae they harvest, I can’t help but think of kale every time that episode comes to mind. But not in a bad way! I’m convinced that there would have been much less complaining about the food if only they just knew how to prepare it properly. Too bad they didn’t have any nutritional yeast (or Lane Gold) on hand!

Which brings us to the Cheesy Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food! I tried to make these months ago – back when I was reviewing the book – but the husband accidentally brought home cabbage, and it was all downhill from there. Luckily, the second time’s the charm – once I had a bunch of honest-to-goodness kale to work with, it was smooth sailing. The kale is seasoned with olive oil, salt, nutritional yeast, and cayenne pepper and baked until crispy. A pretty standard recipe, I think, and very tasty. Addictive, even.

They don’t quite taste like tortilla chips as Gold promises, but they’re still good! And healthy! (Seriously, where’s all that junk food I was promised? Wink, wink.)

Just remember to remove the stems – ALL OF THEM. Seriously, even the teenty tiny tertiary baby stems! I left a few little veins intact, and had to eat around them, so tough and gross were they.

 

Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food (0028)

 

The leaves – dissected as they are at multiple points by the stems – will be much smaller, but also easier to work with.

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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One Response to “Eat to the Beat: Cheesy Kale Chips & Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros”

  1. Sarah (appifanie) Says:

    I refused to watch for so long and then I did and I LOVE IT. So great. I also love kale, so win!

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