Seasonal Veggie of the Week: Kale (#2)

Check out this week’s second recipe for Kale Week! Both kale and sweet potatoes start coming into season in Ontario this month, so this is the perfect opportunity to use a bit of both in the recipe below. But before you get cooking, take a look at these quick tips on how to cut kale before cooking with it.

  1. Fold each leaf in half over the stem, making sure that the topside of the green is folded inwards
  2. Cut the folded leaf away from the stem and discard the stem
  3. Cut the leaves up into the desired size according to your recipe


Sweet Potato and Kale Chili

sweet potato kale chili

Serves: 4

Time: 40 minutes


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 red chili finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (Optional – for extra heat)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 400 g tin of kidney beans – drained and rinsed
  • 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large handfuls of kale
  • Salt & pepper , to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the sweet potatoes, onion and garlic. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes until the veg has softened slightly.
  2. Stir in the chili, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and cumin and cook for a futher couple of minutes.
  3. Add the kidney beans and chopped tomatoes, stir to coat the vegetables thoroughly then simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Add a little water if it becomes too thick.
  4. At the last minute, add the kale. Don’t over cook it, just let it wilt slightly so it retains colour and texture.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!


Seasonal Veggie of the Week: Kale

Welcome to Week 4 of our Seasonal Fruit/Veggie of the Week series! This week’s seasonal veggie of the week is quite popular, but still tends to cause a bit of confusion in the kitchen: Kale.

Kale is a vegetable in the cabbage family, originating from the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor where it has been cultivated, eaten and used for medicinal purposes for over 4000 years. In addition to being cooked in food, it was also used to treat bowel problems by the ancient Greeks. It was introduced to western Europe by the 1200-1300s. Like cabbage, kale is an extremely hearty vegetable that is easy to grow and can tolerate cooler climates. It first comes into season in June, but can continue to be harvested until the ground freezes in early winter. Because it is so hearty, kale has historically been consumed most during times of famine and food shortages.

Kale was first brought to Canada by Russian traders in the 1800s, but it only started to become more popular in Canada as an edible vegetable in the 1990s. Kale has since become extremely popular as a “super food” in North America because of its important nutrient content. 1 cup of chopped kale provides you with 134% of your body’s daily Vitamin C requirements and 133% of your Vitamin A requirements.


Kale Pesto Pizza


Makes: 1 large pizza

Time: 30 minutes



  • 1 batch/1 lbs pizza dough
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese (or vegan mozzarella to make vegan, ex. Daiya mozzarella style shreds)
  • 1 cup lightly packed kale, chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Optional garnishes: red pepper flakes

Kale Pest (yields about 1.5 cups):

  • 3 cups (about 1 small bunch) packed kale, thick ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup pecans or walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, depending on their size
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven. If you’re using a baking stone or baking steel, place it in the oven on the top rack. If you’re using store-bought dough, check the instructions of the package. It might need to rest at room temperature while you work on the pesto.
  2. Make the pesto: In a food processor, add the kale, pecans/walnuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt and several twists of freshly ground black pepper. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the oil. Process until the pesto reaches your desired consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper if necessary.
  3. Prepare the pizza dough as directed. If you’re using store-bought dough, I’d roll it out into one large pizza. I like to roll out the dough on pieces of parchment paper for easy transfer to the oven. For best results, roll the dough out as thin as reasonably possible while maintaining an even surface level.
  4. Top pizza with an even layer of pesto (you may end up with extra pesto, which would be great on pasta or as a sandwich spread, etc.). Sprinkle cheese over the top. Lastly, in a small bowl, toss 1 cup chopped kale with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Rub the oil into the kale so it’s covered with a light, even layer. Distribute the kale evenly over the top of the pizza.
  5. Transfer pizza to the oven, either on a baking sheet or onto your preheated baking stone. Bake until the crust is golden and the cheese on top is bubbly (about 10 to 12 minutes on a baking sheet, or as few as 5 minutes on a baking stone). If desired, top pizza with a light sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Slice and serve.



April 2015 Recipes

photo 1 (1)
photo 5 (4)

Kale Chips

photo 4 (3)

photo 4 (2)

photo 1


  • Approximately 6 cups of kale. We used three heads.
  • Approximately 1/3 cup olive oil *enough to coat the kale.
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of paprika


  1. Wash kale and dry kale. Make sure that your Kale is well dried, this will help the oil and spices adhere to the leaves.
  2. Tear the kale into bite size pieces. Leave out the spines and stems.
  3. Arrange the kale in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet
  4. Bake in 350c oven until crisp and dark green, 12-15 minutes.

Borsht (Beet Soup)

photo 5 (2)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley


  1. Wash beets and place them in a pot of boiling water. Cook until beets are tender enough to insert a fork. Fill a bowl or sink with cold water. When beets are soft plunge them into the cold water. When the beets are just cool enough to handle cup them in your hands and use your thumbs to peel off the skins.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add broth, potato, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the potato is just tender, about 8 minutes. Add beets and vinegar; return to a boil.
  3. Cover and continue cooking until the broth is deep red and the potato is very soft, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Serve the soup with a dollop of the horseradish sour cream and a sprinkle of parsley.

Apple Raspberry Crumble with Oat-Walnut Topping

photo 3 (1) photo 5


For the Topping:

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

For the Filling:

  • 3 pounds baking apples (such as Macintosh or Cortland)
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a shallow baking dish.
  2. Make the topping: Whisk the oats, flour, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Stir in the walnuts. Work in the butter with your fingers until evenly moistened.
  3. Make the filling: Peel the apples and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Toss with the raspberries, granulated sugar, flour, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Transfer the filling to the prepared dish or ramekins and dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Squeeze handfuls of the crumble mixture and scatter on top of the fruit. Bake until golden and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes.
  5. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Watermelon Basil Salad


  • 1 cup watermelon
  • 1 cup kale (cut into ribbons/slaw-style)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 5 leaves basil
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  • Wash kale, tomatoes, and basil under cold water – this keeps them crisp and fresh!
  • Julienne the kale [click here for a quick video on how to do this]
  • Cut cherry tomatoes in half
  • Cut watermelon into cubes
  • Julienne the basil
  • Slice the onion
  • Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper – adjust to your preferred taste
  • Toss all the ingredients together – voila!


This recipe is brought to you by PeerConnect’s chef peer coaches. Come out to the market for free samples of a new recipe each Thursday!

Veggie of the Week: Kale pt. 4

Preparation and Serving:
– Should be washed thoroughly in running water and swished in saline water for about 10-15 minutes in order to remove soil, dirt and any fungicide/insecticide residues
– Just before cooking, remove tough stems, and separate wilted leaves from healthy ones
– Kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other such strongly flavoured ingredients as dry-roasted peanuts, soy sauce-roasted almonds, red capsicum flakes, or a sesame-based dressing.
– Flavor is noticeably reduced When combined with oils or lemon juice
– When baked or dehydrated, curly kale becomes similar to potato chips, kale chips can be seasoned with salt or other spices
– Can be mixed with mashed potatoes, used in soup or stew, can be boiled and served with a grain such as rice, can be braised and eaten alone or with other greens, can be used in juice and/or smoothies

Kale-Apple Smoothie

Kale-Apple Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

3/4 cup chopped kale, ribs and thick stems removed
1 small stalk celery, chopped
1/2 banana
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup ice
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Place the kale, celery, banana, apple juice, ice, and lemon juice in a blender.
2. Blend until smooth and frothy.
3. Enjoy!

Veggie of the Week: Kale pt. 3

Selection and Storage:
– Kale is at its best during winter months from November until March
– Buy fresh green leaves featuring crispy, crunchy, brilliant dark blue-green color.
– Extremely perishable so should be used quickly

Stir Fried Kale

Stir Fried Kale
Makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bread crumbs
3 bunches kale – washed, dried, and shredded

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan.
2. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir until soft.
3. Mix in breadcrumbs, and cook and stir until brown.
4. Stir in kale, and cook until wilted.
5. Serve hot or warm.
6. Enjoy!

Veggie of the Week: Kale pt. 2

– Kale is very high in beta carotene (our body converts this into Vitamin A which is important for growth and development, maintaining a healthy immune system, and good vision)
– High in vitamin K (used by the body to synthesize certain proteins which are used for blood coagulation, as well as the development of bone and other tissues)
– High in vitamin C (essential nutrient!)
– Rich in calcium (crucial for healthy cells, bones, and teeth)
– Source of lutein and zeaxanthin (maintain eye health)
– Contains bile acid sequestrants (lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat)

Kale Chips

Kale Chips
Makes 6 servings

6 cups torn stemmed kale
2 tsp olive oil
1 pinch salt
1 pinch paprika

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
2. Toss together kale, oil, salt and paprika; arrange in single layer on parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
3. Bake in oven until crisp and dark green, 12 to 15 minutes.
4. Enjoy!

Veggie of the Week: Kale

– Kale is also known as borecole
– Can have green or purple leaves
– Kale is related to broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and brussels sprouts
– Can reach heights of six or seven feet!
– Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe
– Curly leafed and flat leafed cabbage existed in Greece in the fourth century BC which are considered to be the ancestors of today’s kale
– Kale leaf colours range from light green through dark green and violet-green to violet-brown
– Freezes well and tastes sweeter and more flavourful after being exposed to a frost

Lemony Kale

Lemony Kale
Makes 4 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
6 cups torn stemmed kale
2 tsp lemon juice
1 pinch each salt and pepper

1. In skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Stir in kale; cook until slightly wilted and dark green, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper.
4. Enjoy!