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Jennifer’s Kale & Leek Colcannon

Jennifer John

Leek icon
In season now

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins


75g butter

4 medium leeks, finely sliced

200g kale

800g floury potatoes e.g. King Edward, peeled

150ml semi skimmed milk

Veg Portions / Serving: 1


Recipe donated by Discover Great Veg for Veg Power. Photography by Discover Great Veg |

Warming, comforting mashed potato – it’s creamy and familiar, and leeks and kale are a perfect addition to get some veg into the dish without being offensive.


Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the leeks and turn over in the butter. Add a tablespoon of water and season to taste.

Let the leeks sweat for about 5 mins over a medium heat, stirring from time to time, then add the kale. Stir everything around, add another tablespoon of water and cover again. Leave to sweat for a further 10 mins until both vegetables are soft and buttery. You might need to add a little more water half way through.

Meanwhile cook the potatoes in boiling water until just tender while the greens are sweating. Heat the milk, drain the potatoes then gradually add the milk to the potatoes and mash until smooth.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Show kids how to peel the potatoes, and get them to add water to the greens pan for sweating, and then to fill the saucepan with cold water for the potatoes. Have them mash the potatoes when they are ready.



While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.



Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.



The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Jennifer John

Jennifer John, a trained home economist and a member of the Guild of Food Writers has been working with the Discover Great Veg campaign for many years, including, developing recipes.

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