This summer, Dishes Inspired by Disney is sharing fun recipes inspired by Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Sofia the First. My kids and I are working our way through these great pirate and princess recipes, starting with Jake’s Buried Treasure Banana Pudding last week and moving on to Jake’s Veggie Pirate Treasure (AKA: spicy veggie chips and popcorn party mix) this week!
I must be honest, the kids and I were a little skeptical of this recipe. We’ve had bad experiences with kale chips in the past, and combining them with popcorn and beet chips? Well, there were a few raised eyebrows in the Maynard home when we read through the recipe the first time. BUT … guess what? The recipe turned out great! My oldest daughter Cate was especially enamored with the final product. As she was munching away, she randomly said, “This is super good, in my opinion.” I responded with, “Oh, good. So you like it?” She replied with a simple yet emphatic, “LOVE.” It was adorable, and I am beyond happy that she wanted to chow down on this healthy veggie snack!
For this installment of 3 Kids, a Mom & a Kitchen, I was joined by Cate (9) and Anna (6). I’m beginning to think I should rename this column “2 Kids” because kid #3 (Owen, who is 2) is always napping when we do our cooking projects! It’s a shame because he loves cooking with us. Next time we’re going to have to wait until nap time is over before we start cooking …
Choosing the Recipe: Jake’s Veggie Pirate Treasure
We had a lot of fun with last week’s pirate recipe, so we decided to stick with the theme. Plus, my kids love anything with popcorn.
Rankings: This Recipe Was a Surprising Success!
As I mentioned before, we weren’t too sure we were going to like Jake’s Veggie Pirate Treasure, but we actually did! Well, Anna was a little so-so. She said that it was too spicy for her. She liked all the components of the recipe (the veggie chips and the popcorn), she just wished there wasn’t so much seasoning. Cate, on the other hand, thought it was mighty delicious and ate almost the entire batch herself!
Steps Where Kids Can Get Involved
This recipe definitely needs adult supervision, but it’s still a good one to make with the kids. There are many steps where they can help out, from measuring to mixing to helping to wash and dry the veggies. Slicing the beet chips, however, is an adult job.
The tasting went great! Well, actually, we almost didn’t have anything left for the tasting. Both Cate and Anna kept stealing kale chips and seasoned popcorn while we waited for the beet chips to cook. They were very excited when they were finally allowed to dig in. They both enjoyed this snack, but Anna didn’t eat nearly as much as Cate or I – the spiciness got to her. Cate, however, was happy to taste, taste, and taste some more!
We added several notes to this recipe based on our experience. Hopefully the notes are helpful for you as you make your own Pirate Veggie Treasure!
Jake’s Veggie Pirate Treasure
Courtesy of Dishes Inspired by Disney
- 1 bunch kale, rinsed and dried
- 1 golden beet, sliced thin
- 1 red beet, sliced thin
- 2 cups popped popcorn (Note: We used 4 cups popped popcorn)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Remove kale leaves from stem and tear into pieces.
- Toss kale with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Lay out on a baking sheet pan and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. (Note: We lined the baking sheet with foil prior to laying out the kale to assist with clean up.)
- Bake the kale chips in the oven for 8-12 minutes or until crispy. (Note: If you break the kale up into small pieces prior to baking, they crisp more quickly and easily.)
- Place the sliced golden beet in a bowl and toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Lay the beets evenly on a baking sheet pan and then cover with another sheet pan. This will keep your beet chips flat and crisp. (Note: We lined the baking sheet with foil prior to laying out the beets, then laid a piece of foil on top of the beets before placing the second baking sheet on top. Easier clean up!)
- For the red beet, repeat steps 5 and 6. You prep the beets separately so the colors don’t bleed. (Note: The original recipe has you prep the red beets first. If you do the golden beets first, you don’t need to wash the cutting board/knife/mandoline slicer/bowl before moving on to the red beets because the golden beets don’t bleed color as much and the yellow does not affect the red if it does end up getting on the red beets a bit. Also, our cookie sheet was large enough to accommodate both colors of beets in one batch; we just kept them on opposite sides of the pan.)
- Bake the beet chips for 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Remove the top baking sheet and allow to cool. (Note: At 20 minutes our beets were still not crispy, so we removed the top pan and let them cook another 5-10 minutes uncovered to finish them off.)
- In a small bowl, mix together paprika, onion powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder, pepper, and the remaining salt (about 1/2 tsp.). Place the popcorn in a large bowl and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then sprinkle the BBQ seasoning and toss again to coat. (Note: We used twice as much popcorn than the original recipe called for and also didn’t quite use all of the BBQ seasoning, and it was still quite flavorful and spicy.)
- Add your baked kale and beet chips to the coated popcorn and give another quick toss. Enjoy!