How do you incorporate kale into a meal? The green, leafy superfood can be eaten raw or cooked, and taste and look different depending on the recipe. Tucson’s Food Conspiracy Co-op uses raw kale to make a salad that, like most of its other offerings, highlights locally grown produce.

That recipe and more are featured in “Tucson Cooks,” a cookbook the co-op, on North Fourth Avenue, produced. It’s launching the book Saturday (see “If you go” box).

“The Kale and Chickpea Salad is my favorite,” said Jesse Powell, who manages the Conspiracy Kitchen at the co-op.

The Food Conspiracy Co-op has been selling local produce and health foods since 1971. Recently it teamed up with its vendors to put together a cookbook that focuses on local goods and seasonal produce.

“Tucson Cooks” includes 26 recipes and offers new ideas for delicious food, said Coley Ward, Food Conspiracy marketing manager.

Customers have been asking for recipes from Conspiracy Kitchen’s deli since it renovated its kitchen and added a hot bar and salad bar last summer, Ward said.

The recipes in the cookbook are a compilation of popular deli meals, Powell said. From homemade soups to sides, entrees and desserts, “Tucson Cooks” covers all the bases.

Along with 16 Conspiracy Kitchen recipes, the cookbook features recipes from nine local growers, bakers and even ice cream makers.

Sleeping Frog Farms, a Food Conspiracy Co-op vendor, has two recipes in the cookbook. Farm co-owner Debbie Weingarten said the recipes are meant to shed light on what vendors are cooking and eating and highlight the people who supply the co-op.

“We want our customers to experience their food,” said Kate Randall, co-owner of Antigone Books, where the launch party will be held.

The co-op strives to bring local vendors front and center, advocates healthy foods and is working to get people to incorporate fresh ingredients into every meal.

“Part of our mission is to promote healthy food choices in our community,” Ward said.

Kaleigh Shufeldt is a University of Arizona student who is an apprentice at the Star. Contact her at or 573-4117.