Week 23: Kale Colcannon + Cranberry Thyme Sauce + Ginger Spiced Parsnip Quick Bread

With the falling temperatures and the blustery days, it’s time to fortify with deeply nourishing and hearty dishes. This week I made colcannon (or stamppot) for the first time, and I know this will be a go-to late autumn and winter dish. It’s mashed potato and steamed kale, loaded with butter and sauteed leeks, so definitely hits all the hearty-comforting-nourishing spots. I paired it with a vibrant cranberry-thyme sauce, and I’m never looking back. To finish it all off, a ginger spiced parsnip quick bread – I’m anticipating a delicious breakfast of a thick slice slathered in butter and a cup of chai.

More Magnificent Meal Musings:

Ginger Spiced Parsnip Quick Bread

This recipe is adapted from a carrot quick bread recipe by Pretty.Simple.Sweet. I added in candied ginger for an extra kick, and a couple more spices to enhance the flavours.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil canola, etc.
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parsnips or carrots or combination of the two
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger finely chopped and tossed in a bit of flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan (you can also use muffin tins, and reduce baking time)
  2. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. Beat together eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed (or hand beat) until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, add the oil slowly and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla extract until combined. Fold in carrots until combined. Fold in dry ingredients just until combined. Don’t overmix. Fold in candied ginger.
  4. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow loaf to cool completely.

Kale Colcannon

Colcannon is an Irish dish using mashed potatoes, kale (or cabbage), and leeks or scallions. I made this colcannon with a combination of potato and sweet potato, and then added in lots of kale and leeks sauteed in butter. My coworker tells me there is a similar Dutch dish called stamppot. Wherever it comes from and whatever you call it, it is hearty, nourishing, and perfect for this chilly November weather.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 6 potatoes, medium to large
  • 2 sweet potatoes, medium to large
  • 1 bunch or bag kale, ribs removed
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (to make this vegan use a nondairy butter. I like Melt brand)
  • 2 leeks, white a pale green parts only, sliced in small rounds
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and toss in potatoes and sweet potatoes. Set a steam basket on top (or if you don't have one that fits, start a separate pot of water boiling), add kale, cover, and steam. Allow kale to steam until tender but still retaining it's colour, about 5-7 minutes. Boil potatoes and sweet potatoes until cooked through, about 20 minutes (give or take, depending on the size).

  2. In a separate pan, gently heat butter and add in leeks. Cook slowly until leeks are tender.

  3. Place cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes into a large bowl (I chose to keep the skins on, but you can peel them off at this point). Mash.

  4. Finely chop cooked kale and then fold into mashed potato mixture. Add in the leeks and butter, and salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add in more butter for a creamier texture.

  5. Serve with cranberry thyme sauce and sausage or nut loaf.

Cranberry Thyme Sauce

Cranberry sauce has been officially elevated by the savoury and pungent flavour of fresh thyme. I don't know if I'll ever make cranberry sauce without it. Whips up in no time, and brings vibrancy and that tantalizing sour-sweet flavour to your favourite late autumn dish (perhaps kale colcannon?).

Cook Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves


  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Simmer until cooked down into a sauce, stirring frequently. Serve.