Tuscan Kale & Cauliflower Curry with Chickpeas

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If you’re anything like me, you run in to roadblocks in the kitchen almost every day. What to make, ingredients to have on hand, cooking time, etc. It’s life. We get by. Even if dinner ends up as cereal with milk, there usually aren’t too many disgruntled customers.

If you follow my dinner posts on Instagram, you probably already recognize some of the usual suspects in my kitchen. From throwing in an egg for protein to tossing every vegetable in the pan – dinner can be anything. Play with the flavor.  Swap out the veggies. Switch your proteins around. It’s all good.

You also know that I love curry. From a haphazard cabbage curry to a polished palak paneer, curry rocks. When served over Basmati rice, it is perfect. It’s one of those dishes that spring from nowhere on a busy evening. You can take advantage of whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand and it’s quick to prepare. Add in a protein and go to flavortown and you’re there. Your dish has arrived. Dinner is served.

Well it happens that way in my head. A few more steps are thrown in. But like I said above, a great curry can be born from whatever you have lying in your fridge. Well, most of the stuff. Don’t try and make a curry out of marshmallow fluff! Did I just admit to having marshmallow fluff in my house? Oops.

This curry I’m sharing with you, like the others, was born out of necessity. Some amazing Tuscan Kale was taking over some valuable real estate in my fridge and I didn’t want it to go bad. My husband wanted something with chickpeas. I wanted the kale. It’s cooperation. Or something like that. Regardless, it tasted great, it’s a great vegan curry and it cooks up super fast.

I heated up a large pan with some olive oil and add in some onion, garlic and traditional curry spices.

Next I added the cauliflower and it it cook a few minutes to soften. About 5 minutes.

I then added the Kale and Chickpeas. The kale will wilt pretty quickly.

After that, I added the canned tomatoes and some vegetable broth.

I let the mixture cook for another 5-10 minutes – letting all of the flavors meld while simmering.

While everything cook, I had some basmati rice going in my rice cooker.

Dinner took about 20 minutes to cook. It was perfect – especially for these chilly days.



Hope you enjoy!

Tuscan Kale and Cauliflower Curry with Chickpeas
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • half teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-2 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, washed and broken up in to florets
  • 1 bunch of Tuscan Kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup vegetable broth

Instructions
  1. Heat up the oil in a large pan.
  2. Add in the onions, ginger and garlic and let soften a bit. About 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat.
  3. Stir in the spices and add the cauliflower florets.
  4. Cook about 4-5v minutes to allow the cauliflower to soften.
  5. Add in the kale and the chickpeas. Stir well to mix up the spices. Allow the kale to wilt a bit. About 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add in the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir well and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Taste and season as necessary with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with warm Basmati rice.
  9. Enjoy!

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Curried Spinach and Chickpea Veggie Burgers

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Let me tell you something about myself. I love veggie burgers. I often judge a restaurant by three things; their veggie burgers, their grilled cheese and their onion rings. I know they sound like simple dishes, but often, they’re what I turn to when I go out to eat. And if those dishes are not good, uh oh.

So I’m always trying out new flavor combinations for veggie burgers at home. It’s a great weeknight dinner and they tend to freeze well for future meals.

This spinach and chickpea burger fell together. I was in the mood for a falafel flavor without the falafel and the mess it comes with. I needed simple. I also had some spinach I wanted to use up and I didn’t want to turn it in to a salad.

I’ve been keeping my Cuisinart food processor out on the counter lately, so these came together super fast.

I mixed up a can of chickpeas, an onion, some garlic and the spinach in the food processor. I then added some spices.

I formed them in to burger shapes and then lightly fried the burgers in a pan that was coated lightly in olive oil. I just wanted them to brown and hold together.

I then placed them in an oven at 375 to finish cooking.

I enjoyed these with a salad, while my kids devoured them on a sandwich thin along with extra spinach and sliced avocado and French fries on the side. Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Curried Chickpea and Spinach Burgers
 
Author:
Recipe type: Burger, Sandwich, Veggie Burger

Ingredients
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bag of baby spinach – about 3 cups
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in a food processor.
  2. Form mixture in to burgers.
  3. Pan fry in a large sauté pan.
  4. Finish cooking in an oven at 375. It should bake for around 10 minutes or so.
  5. Serve them dressed with your preferred burger toppings. Enjoy!

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Grain Free Collard Green Burritos

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I’ve been trying to make some changes in regards to what I eat this summer. As more and more amazing fruits and vegetables are available and super fresh, I am trying to consume fewer processed foods. While I do that, I am also trying to cut back on some processed grains, easing up on my intake of wheat and rice products. I feel better, have more energy and feel good about what I am eating. No worries, I still indulge a bit. Just making sure that what I put in my body is quality.

A recent vegetable share included these massive collard greens. I’ve never cooked with collard greens before. Many of the recipes I saw online and heard about from friends was all about simple sautes. I knew that I wanted to do something different with these wonderful greens, but wasn’t quite sure what.

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As I glanced at these ginormous leaves, I thought about using it as a wrap of sorts. Why not use it in place of a tortilla.

I quickly gathered up a few veggies, along with a can of black beans, and sautéed them up in a pan along with some spices.

While the veggies were sautéing, I washed, trimmed and steamed the collard green leaves.

I let the leaves cool for a couple minutes and then I laid them on a cutting board, added some of the bean mixture, and wrapped the leaves up like a burritos.

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It worked out perfectly. Will definitely be making these again.

 

Grain Free Collard Green Burritos
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • Collard Green Leaves (1 per burrito)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions
  1. Wash and trim the stems off of the collard green leaves.
  2. Bring some salted water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the washed and trimmed leaves to the pot. Steam the leaves for just a few minutes.
  3. Heat up the olive oil in a large saute pan.
  4. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook another 5-7 minutes. The veggies should be soft.
  6. Lay a collard green leaf on a flat surface.
  7. Place around three tablespoons of filling in the center of a leaf.
  8. Wrap the collard green around the filling, like a burrito. Folding the sides in first and then rolling up.
  9. Serve with a salad.
  10. Enjoy!

Grain Free Collard Green Burritos

Meatless Monday: Cumin and Cardamom Spiced Cauliflower Soup with Homemade Croutons

My daughter’s recent vegetarianism has been a welcome treat for me. Aside from the whole 2 to 1 mentality of the vegetarian to meat-eater split, food prep has been easier in other ways. My picky 10-yr-old is suddenly willing to try more foods. After explaining to her that being a vegetarian didn’t meat that she could eat endless bowls of mac & cheese, she finally began to understand. We discussed the virtues of eating healthy proteins and good veggies with our meals; she has really dived in to a better, rounded diet.

Just a few short weeks in to what my husband hopes is a passing phase, my daughter is willing to eat an increased variety of vegetables as well as beans and fake meats for her protein. This is a kid who in the past would have the same yogurt every single day for lunch. This is a success. 
I asked her to help with our meal planning. She suggested soup for dinner. Soup. Soup, really??! On such a hot day? My husband thought it would be a good idea. I am always impressed by people who can eat and cook hot things throughout the summer. Regardless, I made them happy. I set out to make some soup for dinner as well as some croutons to go along with. 

Cumin and Cardamom Spiced Cauliflower Soup
Ingredients:

7-10 cardamom pods – crack them a little
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
3 tsp. cumin powder
1 head cauliflower, broken up
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
salt
pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Directions:
Heat up your soup pot
Add the cardamom pods and the cumin seeds to the pot. Toast them for a minute or two. They will start to get fragrant.
Add the oil to the pot.
Add in the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 3 minutes to let them soften. 
Add in the cumin and the chopped cauliflower. Stir up and let the cauliflower toast a bit in the oil. 
Add in the carrots and celery and cook for a few minutes.
Cover with the vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cover with a lid. 
Cook for about an hour.
After an hour, the mixture should be soft. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
Serve and enjoy!

Cardamom and Cumin Spiced Cauliflower Soup
Homemade Croutons
Ingredients:
2-3 cups of cubed crusty bread (I used some focaccia)
olive oil
salt (to taste)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400.
Lay out the cubed bread on a baking sheet.
Toss with olive oil and some sea salt.
Toast in oven for about 7-8 minutes. 
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Cool and store in airtight container.

Baked Salmon with a Cumin Rub

This morning, I did something that I rarely remember to do. I took something out of the freezer to defrost. Gasp! In my morning rush, I can usually only handle my coffee and the kid’s lunches. In that order. As I was literally running out the door, I did a mad dash to the freezer and grabbed a couple of Ziploc pouches of frozen salmon. I buy large quantities of salmon at a time, and then freeze in meal size pouches. IIn theory, it’s a smart thing to do – when the process works. I often forget to take it out and am left scrambling at 5:30, and often running to the store for some fresh, defrosted fish or a brick of tofu. Things worked out in my favor today. This meant that a tasty and healthy dinner could happen in a reasonable amount of time. We even covered all of the basic food groups!  Rah, Rah!

Baked Salmon with a Cumin Rub
Ingredients

1 pound of salmon fillet
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 tbsp. crushed ginger
1 tbsp. cumin
salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix the olive oil with the spices.

Rub the spice paste on to the salmon.

Let the salmon marinate for about 20 minutes.

Bake in the oven for about 11 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the salmon.

Serve with a salad and some brown rice. Enjoy!

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Morrocan Chicken Over Couscous

Someone recently shared with me a Moroccan chicken dish recipe that is cooked in the crockpot. It sounded good, but I am not so big on crockpot cooking (even though I secretly want to be). I decided to adapt the recipe to make it on the stove and also upped the spice ante a bit as well. I was very happy with how easy it was and how well it turned out. Even my 7-year-old asked for second helpings. She ate the chicken and didn’t just pick out the olives! She never asks for second helpings, unless its mac and cheese. So this was the ultimate compliment a mom could get.

Morrocan Chicken Over Couscous
Ingredients:

1 cut up chicken
salt
pepper
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
2 carrots, chopped, or a good handful or baby carrots, cut up
rind of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup of white wine
handful of green olives
In a large pan or dutch oven, heat up some olive oil. Add in the ginger. Saute 1 minute.
Dust your chicken with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken to the pot and brown on both sides for 5-10 minutes per side.

Add in the onions and the garlic. Cook for a few minutes. Add in the spices.

Add the lemon rind and the lemon juice. Add in the carrots.

Add the broth and the wine. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, cook up the couscous. Couscous is super easy. Put the desired amount of couscous in a bowl, and the same amount of boiling water, and cover and let sit for 5-7 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

About 3 minutes before serving the chicken, toss in the olives.

Serve the chicken over the couscous. Enjoy!
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