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.
Fold each leaf in half over the stem, making sure that the topside of the green is folded inwards
Cut the folded leaf away from the stem and discard the stem
Cut the leaves up into the desired size according to your recipe
Sweet Potato and Kale Chili
Time: 40 minutes
2medium sweet potatoes – peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1red chilifinely chopped
1/2tspcayenne pepper (Optional – for extra heat)
400gtin of kidney beans – drained and rinsed
400gtin of chopped tomatoes
2large handfuls of kale
Salt & pepper, to taste
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.
Stir in the chili, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and cumin and cook for a futher couple of minutes.
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.
At the last minute, add the kale. Don’t over cook it, just let it wilt slightly so it retains colour and texture.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to recipe #3 of Bok Choy week! We were selling some lovely large bok choy at yesterday’s market for $2.00 per head. Check out the pictures up on our Instagram account: goodfoodmarket_gbc.
Remember that large bok choy can often be used in the same recipes as baby bok choy. As the name suggests, baby bok choy is simply bok choy that hasn’t reached full maturity. Many people find it easier to use because it can be cooked whole without the need to cut it up. It also has a somewhat sweeter flavour than fully mature bok choy.
Bok Choy with Garlic and Sauce
Time: 10 minutes
16ouncesbok choyor baby bok choy
1 1/2tablespoonsoyster sauce (for vegetarian/vegan version, use Hoisin)
1teaspoondry sherry or shaoxing wine
ground black pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add bok choy. Boil for 1 minute and drain. Rinse under cold water and drain again. Set aside.
In a pan over high heat, add oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add bok choy and all the other ingredients and cook for 2 minutes.
Turn the heat off and transfer bok choy and sauce to a plate. Serve immediately.
Welcome to recipe #2 of Bok Choy Week! If you’re not sure how to clean and prepare large bok choy before using it in your cooking, here are 5 simple steps to follow:
Trim off and discard the ends of the stems
Wash the entire bok choy, or the quantity you intend to use, under cold water, paying special attention to the bottoms and groove of the stems where dirt often collects
Cut and separate the leaves from the stems
Cut the stems into 1/2 inch pieces
Start cooking the stems first since the leaves cook faster
Note: These instructions are best suited to large bok choy. Baby bok choy is often cooked whole, though you will still need to wash them and possibly trim the bottom.
Many of the ingredients for today’s recipe are regularly available at our market: Garlic, ginger, sweet potato, bok choy.
Thai Curry Vegetable Soup
Time: 30 minutes
2Tbspneutral (low flavour) cooking oil
1Tbspgrated fresh ginger
2TbspThai red curry paste
1small sweet potato (about 1 lb.)
1bunch baby bok choy (or equivalent large bok choy)
4cupsvegetable or chicken broth
13 ozcancoconut milk
1/2Tbspfish sauce (optional)
3.5ozrice vermicelli noodles
Handful fresh cilantro
Sriracha to taste
Prepare the vegetables for the soup and garnishes first, so they’re ready to go when needed. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger using a small-holed cheese grater. Peel and dice the sweet potato into one-inch cubes. Wash the bok choy well, then chop into one-inch strips, separating the fibrous stalks from the delicate green ends. Thinly slice the red onion and roughly chop the cilantro.
Add the cooking oil to a large soup pot along with the minced garlic, grated ginger, and Thai red curry paste. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and curry paste over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
Add the diced sweet potato and chopped bok choy stalks to the pot (save the leafy green ends for later) along with the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
While the soup is simmering, bring a small pot of water to a boil for the vermicelli. Once boiling, add the vermicelli and boil for 2-3 minutes, or just until tender. Drain the rice noodles in a colander and set aside.
Once the sweet potatoes are tender, add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar to the soup. Stir, taste, and adjust the fish sauce or brown sugar if needed. Finally, add the bok choy greens and let them wilt in the hot soup.
To serve, divide the rice vermicelli among four bowls. Ladle the soup and vegetables over the noodles, then top with red onion, cilantro, a wedge or two of lime, and a drizzle of sriracha.
Welcome to Week 3 of our Seasonal Fruit/Veggie of the Week series. We hope that you’ve been enjoying these recipes so far! This week’s seasonal veggie of the week is Bok Choy, a hearty vegetable that starts coming into season in Ontario in June.
Bok choy is a type of cabbage originally native to China. Other names used include “Chinese cabbage”, “Chinese savoy”, pak choy, pok choi, bai cai, xiao bai cai, Shakushina, cai thia, and cai trang con. Written evidence dates its cultivation back to at least the 15th century, but archaeological evidence suggests it may have an over 6000-year history. This would make it one of Asia’s oldest cultivated vegetables. Bok choy is high in vitamins C and A, and so has also been used as a medicinal plant to treat coughing, fever and stomach illness.
Bok choy grows well in colder climates and can be grown here in Canada. Chinese immigrants first brought the vegetable to North America in the 1800s, and bok choy has been grown in Ontario for at least 40 years.
For those new to using bok choy, try out this classic beef stir fry recipe:
Easy Classic Chinese Beef Stir Fry
Time: 23 minutes
2tbsp+ 1/3 cup water, separated
2tbspsoy sauce(Use ordinary all-purpose soy sauce such as Kikkoman)
1tbspoyster sauce (optional)
2tbspChinese cooking wine or dry sherry (or substitute with chicken broth)
Dash of black pepper
1garlic clove, crushed
7 oz / 200 g beef, thinly sliced (Cut against the grain, this ensures tenderness)
1/2small onion, sliced (yellow, brown or white)
1/2red bell pepper, sliced
1small carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly on the diagonal
3baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise (or equivalent large bok choy)
2stems scallion/shallots, cut into 1.5″/3cm pieces
Steamed white rice
Fresh cilantro / coriander(optional)
Combine the cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl, mix until smooth.
Mix in remaining Sauce ingredients except for the 1/3 cup water.
Place the beef and 2 tbsp of sauce in a bowl and mix gently. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Add 1/3 cup water into the remaining sauce. Set aside.
Heat oil in wok over high heat. Add garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
Add onion and cook for 1 minute.
Add the beef and cook until it changes colour from red to light brown but not cooked through.
Add bell pepper and carrots and stir fry for 30 seconds.
Add sauce and cook for 30 seconds.
Add bok choy and scallions/shallots and cook for a further 1 minute until the sauce is thickened.
Remove from heat immediately.
Serve with rice, garnished with sesame seeds and cilantro, if using.