Chickpeas and Kale

In the Kale-for-Winter post I had already described how I typically stock up on this healthy treat before winter by blanching in broth and freezing for soups and stews. This vegetarian (or vegan with just a small change) recipe is an example where I use one of my 'treasure packages'. I call them that because I love this 'green gold' that much. Kale is a superfood with many health benefits. Like Popeye and his spinach, I feel stronger when I consume it. This is where my work before winter pays off because this recipe is so tasty and easy to make, and all I have to do to finish it is to drop one of my kale-frozen-in-broth packages into the pot at the very end. If you really don't like kale, another potent green vegetable will work too, including spinach.

This is not a chickpea stew, nor is it a soup. It's a light meal, best served over basmati rice and with some crusty bread on the side. Super yummy on a cold winter day! (pictures are quick shots from the test kitchen. Better photos to come!)

Ingredients and preparation - Vegetarian Chickpeas and kale

Serves 4 (this can be easily frozen too, so make more for those busy days if you wish!)

  • 4 cups (organic) canned chickpeas, rinsed and set aside
  • 1 cup chopped or sliced carrots
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced through a garlic press
  • 1 TSP paprika
  • ¼ TSP kosher salt
  • ½ TSP ground cumin
  • ½ TSP crushed red pepper
  • 3 ½ cups (fat-free, lower-sodium) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups chopped fresh kale
  • Some olive oil
  • To serve: prepare basmati rice with a chicken or veg bouillon cube in the water to add flavour to the rice

Method

  • Add 1 cup carrot and chopped onion to olive oil in a heated pan
  • Sautée for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onion doesn't need to caramelize but become glassy
  • Add garlic, and sautée for 1 minute more, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn.
  • Add chickpeas, paprika, salt, cumin, and red pepper and stir it in for about half a minute or so.
  • Add chicken broth, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • At this point if you use fresh or frozen kale, stir it in and give about another 10 minutes or to personal taste for tenderness.
    • If you're using spinach, let the chickpeas cook for 30 minutes instead of 20 and just let the spinach wilt into the pan at the very end, it will not need to cook more.
    • As mentioned, I use my previously blanched kale that I keep in the freezer, which I drop into the pan to heat and cook along for another couple of minutes to heat it all through.
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