Curried Chickpeas with Kale

It’s been one of those weeks. You know, when you start out with the best of intentions…  a Sunday trip to the store, a fridge stocked full of fresh food just waiting to be turned into something delicious. And then life happens, work takes over and next thing you know you find yourself eating a LaraBar at your desk at 8 p.m. wondering how long an uncooked whole chicken stays good in the fridge. Does this happen to you? Or is it just me?

My problem is I do enjoy to cook, but often my eyes and intrigue are bigger than my tight schedule allows. If it’s going to be a busy week, I try to make a few staples (grains, beans, veggies, etc.) in advance and keep them in the fridge so I can throw something together in a pinch. This chickpea recipe is a great one to keep on hand. You can use canned chickpeas or make your own ahead of time (they’re so much better, and cheaper too).  To turn them into a meal, all that’s left is a little chop and saute and you’re about 15 minutes to done. Simple as a chickpea.

Curried Chickpeas with Kale


1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
3 tbsp Thai green curry paste
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 tsp tamari or soy sauce
juice from half a lime
1 tbsp honey
cilantro, chopped (optional)


Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and 2 tbsp curry paste. Stir until paste is dissolved into mixture. Add chickpeas, tamari, sweetener and lime juice. You can add water if the mixture becomes dry as it simmers. Add kale and stir to mix with chickpeas as the greens begin to wilt and reduce down. Cook for about five minutes, then add coconut milk and warm (not boil) another minute or two. Stir in 1 tbsp curry paste evenly throughout.

Serve as is or over brown rice and topped with cilantro.


Thai Curried Chickpeas With Coconut Rice

A few weeks ago I decided to do a little protein experiment. I was curious to see if I could live without meat. I have no intention of giving it up completely (no qualms here about eating anything with a face) but I just wanted to see how I felt without it, if I craved it, if I even missed it, and how it would feel to get my protein from plants. This all came about because class last weekend presented two opposing views on the subject. Sally Fallon Morell, first proved to us that people should be eating lots of high fat animal protein – including organ meats and broths made from bones – for optimal health. The next day Neal Barnard, an MD, proved the vegan diet is the way to go. It’s no wonder we don’t know what the heck to eat! Nutrition science is really unlike any other. It’s the only science where two bi-polar theories can both be proven right. This stuff just wouldn’t fly at NASA. But in the kitchen, it’s kosher. How can that be so? Because there is no control in nutrition. No two people are exactly alike. And different people thrive on different types of food. So Sally Fallon’s advice to eat half a stick of butter on your oatmeal might suit one, and Neal Barnard’s new four food groups (grains, beans, fruits, veg) might be just what another needs. I realize this doesn’t exactly tell you what to eat. But the message behind this presentation of conflicting views is that we have to experiment, try things out and see what makes us feel our absolute best. You can learn so much about how food affects you by just changing things up. I’ve scoured the Web and collected some vegetarian and vegan dishes to try. I gave this one a whirl the other night. It was quick to make and tasted delicious! I loved the coconut rice. I know, I know, it’s white rice. Oh well. A girl can only take on so much at once. And the soft coconut rice was the perfect compliment to the tinge of spice. I’ll definitely be making this again… whether I turn out to be a carnivore or not.

Coconut Rice

What you need:
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup water
What you do:

Heat coconut oil in medium sauce pan. Add rice and stir until grains turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and water. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. When it’s done, fluff rice with fork.

Thai Curried Chickpeas

What you need:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
1 medium tomato, diced
juice from half a lime
1 tbsp natural sweetener like honey or agave nectar
cilantro, chopped

What you do:

Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and 1 tbsp curry paste. Stir until paste is dissolved into mixture. Add chickpeas, tamari, sweetener, lime juice and tomatoes. You can add water if the mixture becomes dry. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1-2 minutes. Add coconut milk and warm (not boil) another minute or two. Stir in 1 tbsp curry paste evenly throughout. Add cilantro.

Serve over the rice.


Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup

I bought the herb turmeric months ago after reading about it’s healing powers and thought I’d give it a try. It’s hailed as a digestive aid, inflammation fighter and cancer defender. It can also be applied directly to the skin to heal wounds and eczema. But until a few weeks ago all it had done is brighten up the spice cabinet with a little yellow.

It was time to put this guy to work. I tried this Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup in Cooking Light. Mine was a bit amateur – I didn’t have coriander or fish sauce and I swapped the snow peas for frozen peas and carrots. But you wouldn’t have known the difference. I was also missing the pad thai noodles, but I did have some leftover cooked spaghetti squash in the fridge. Worked just like noodles. Inventive, no? This is my new favorite now. I’ll definitely be making it the next time the temperatures drop below 30 again.

Recipe serves 7

Here’s what you need:
4 cups water
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
1 package pad thai noodles or brown rice noodles
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 tsp red curry paste
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken stock
1 can light coconut milk
1 pound shredded cooked chicken (or diced)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp sugar (or substitute agave nectar or honey)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
7 lime wedges

Here’s what you do:
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spinach and peas to pan; cook for 30 seconds. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add noodles to pan; cook 3 minutes. Drain; add noodles to spinach mixture in bowl.

Heat canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and the next five ingredients (through garlic) to pot; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth to pot and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk to pot; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Pour chicken mixture over noodle mixture in bowl. Stir in cilantro and red pepper. Add dash of cayenne if you’d like. Serve with lime wedges.