Posts tagged ‘kale’

February 14, 2010

Toronto’s newest raw hot spot: Cruda Cafe

Thanks to the Toronto Vegetarian Association, veg-minded folks in Toronto are kept well-informed of new restaurants opening in the city. It was through a TVA email update that I first learned a new raw cafe would setting up shop in the St. Lawrence MarketCruda Cafe. I’ve been meaning to visit the Market since moving to Toronto, but unbelievably hadn’t made it down there yet. Since next week is reading week at school, I have a bit more free time and decided to check out both Cruda Cafe and some of the other eats St. Lawrence Market has to offer.

According to the description on TVA’s website, “Cruda Cafe (meaning RAW in Spanish) is the most vibrant, vegan cafe in the heart of downtown Toronto. Located inside the beautiful St. Lawrence Market landmark. We serve vegan organic living foods available to eat in, take out and catering.”

Cruda offers a variety of wraps, soups, salads, juices, smoothies, kombucha and desserts. My bf and I both decided on wraps with fresh veggies. He opted for the cashew pesto, while I went for the raw hummus, and we both loaded them up with carrots, greens, sprout, avocado, and more. The wrap itself was made from corn, and they have a variety of other wrap flavours, including one with sundried tomatoes. They were delish!

According to the owner, Claudia, they have been open for only a week and a half, but have been super busy in that time. Good news, and not surprising given a) the growing popularity of eating more raw food b) the fact that Cruda’s food is really, really good! I noticed on the wall that Claudia has studied at Alissa Cohen’s raw chef school at her five-star raw restaurant Grezzo in Boston. Cool!

I’ll definitely be back.

Last night, I made Kristin’s raw Sweet Potato Apple Curry soup for supper, and paired it with a kale, avocado, red pepper, sprout, and dulse salad. I loved it! Kristin, you’re amazing!

Finally, happy Valentine’s Day! The day started with pineapple-mango-banana smoothies for me and my sweetie. I’m not big into V-Day as a commercial holiday, but if any tasty food is involved I’ll do a recap post.

January 27, 2010

Spicy raw kale chips

Let me start this post by explaining just how much I love kale. It’s my absolute favourite kind of green, and my top choice is always the straight-up, curly green variety. Sadly, my local Whole Foods hasn’t had any of the curly green goodness on the shelf for the past few days, so I’ve been forced to resort to the purple and dinosaur varieties (which are also great, just not quite the same).

I often consume two or more servings of kale per day — usually in a breakfast smoothie, a lunchtime salad, and maybe another way, too. That’s why I was immediately intrigued the first time I saw kale chips on the raw goods shelf of my favourite health store. It took me awhile to try them (possibly because of the hefty price tag), but once I did, I was hooked. I recently made my own for the first time, coming up with a recipe based on a few that are floating around online.

Kale chips: on their way into the dehydrator

Raw BBQ Kale Chips


1 big bunch of kale

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons tamari

liquid smoke (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

water (to thin, as needed)


Tear kale into bite-sized pieces in a large bowl. In a blender, combine remaining ingredients until smooth. Add the mixture to the kale, and massage with hands until kale is well-coated with the seasoning. Spread kale on lined dehydrator trays, and dehydrate at 115 F for 6-8 hours, or until crisp. This a great snack to dry overnight. If you don’t have a dehydrator, apparently you can also pop them in the oven at the lowest temperature, leaving the door open a crack until they’re done.

These chips didn’t stand much of a chance in my house after they came out of the dehydrator. They were devoured within the hour, eaten so eagerly that I neglected to take a photo of the finished product – oops! Honestly, kale chips are just too good. Even potato chip addicts will fall for their crispy deliciousness.

This is a totally versatile snack, as there are tons of options for variations on the seasoning. Next time, I might try a wasabi garlic twist. Or maybe a cheesy version.

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