Kale your cravings with these healthy Halloween recipes

Halloween is everywhere – the convenience store, supermarkets, dollar stores and front gardens all sport pumpkins, goblins and ghosts to remind us that Halloween, perhaps one of the most outlandish celebrations, is just around the corner. And just in time, Foodland Ontario has come out with special recipes in readiness for this witching night of costumes, fun and of course, good eating!

Kale Dip

This devilishly good dip is especially tasty served with toasted tortilla triangles or baguette slices, red pepper slices and carrot sticks. It provides quick energy on an evening of fun.

Toasted Tortilla Triangles

4 10 inch (25 cm) tortillas cut into 12 wedges

1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil

Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using pastry brush, brush each tortilla with olive oil; sprinkle evenly with sea salt. Stack tortilla one on top of each other and using a sharp knife of kitchen scissors, cut in half, quarters then each quarter in 3 equal portions to create 12 wedges of each tortilla. Arrange pieces in single layer on prepared baking sheet and bake 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.

Cool on cooling rack. Makes 48 pieces. Use immediately and store remainder in cookie tin or up to 1 week.

Kale Dip

1/2 cup (125 mL) diced pancetta, (about 2 oz/ 60 g)

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped shallot

4 cups (1 L) finely chopped and stemmed kale

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pkg (250 g) light brick cream cheese, cut into cubes

1/2 cup (125 mL) grated carrot

3/4 cup (175 mL) shredded aged cheddar cheese

1/4 cup (50 mL) low fat mayonnaise

2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp (1 mL) crushed red pepper flakes

1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup

In large nonstick skillet, over medium heat, cook pancetta for 3 minutes. Add shallots and cook, stirring until softened, about 2 minutes. Add kale (with water clinging) and garlic, cover and cook about 4 minutes or until kale is wilted, stirring halfway through. Stir in cream cheese and carrot; cook, mashing cream cheese with wooden spoon until melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, mayonnaise, mustard and red pepper flakes.

Spread into shallow 3 cup (750 mL) oven-proof baking dish. Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for 20 minutes or until hot and creamy. Drizzle with maple syrup; serve with tortilla triangles and veggies .

Kale, Apple and Quinoa Salad

This nutritious salad, packed with vitamins and fiber, is ideal for lunches, potlucks, and as a side dish. It would make a quick meal on an exciting evening such as Halloween especially served with a cup of soup!

Kale can be prepared by tearing the leaves off the tough stem and discarding the stem. Leaves can either be torn or cut into small bite sized pieces.

Dressing:

3 tbsp (45 mL)     each, white wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp (15 mL) liquid honey

1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala or curry powder

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) fresh black pepper

Salad:

4 cups (1 L) stemmed kale torn or cut into bite sized pieces

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chick peas, drained and rinsed

2 – 3 apples, quartered, cored and cut into chunks

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cooked quinoa or rice

1/3 cup (75 mL) diced red onion

1/4 cup (50 mL) each, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries

In large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, honey, garam masala, salt, pepper and garlic. Add kale and toss lightly to coat with dressing. Stir in chickpeas, apples, quinoa and onion. Cover and refrigerate salt for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

Just before serving, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and cranberries. Makes 8 cups (2 L) or about 8 servings.

Jan Main is an author, cooking  instructor and caterer. Connect with her at janmainskitchen@gmail.com

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