I have a treat for you today – a perfect little recipe that can be made from pantry staples or typical weekly groceries…
As much as I’d like to, I don’t get the chance to visit a farmer’s market each week. The truth is that I tend to do most of my shopping at regular grocery stores. In Sydney, this means Woolworth’s (Woolie’s for short) or Coles. While they don’t stock every vegan ingredient, they do carry most of the staples that I use in my day-to-day meals. Last week, I came across this awesome Winter Leaf bag of fresh greens containing kale, spinach and baby beet leaves. It was promptly added to my shopping cart (or trolley, as they’re known down here).
Today, I needed to come up with something to make for Vegan MoFo… and more importantly, for lunch! I decided to make something with the bag of greens, as well as a can of chickpeas I had in the pantry A Google search lead me to Cara’s version of FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Cosmic Cashew Kale and Chickpeas with Confetti Quinoa. Even though quinoa takes next to no time to make, I decided to go with Cara’s version simply because I was really hungry and needed to get food in my belly ASAP. As per the original recipe, I ended up using more cashews. The kale in the recipe would have to be my kale+spinach+baby beet leaves, and the red bell pepper would have to be a julienned carrot since I was all out of peppers, but hey, sometimes you have to make due with what you’ve got, right?
Oh, and I didn’t have any basil on hand so I had planned on using cilantro (fresh coriander), which I pretty much always keep on hand. In the end, I forgot to add the cilantro, but this was still really great. This warm salad is creamy, comforting and very filling. I initially planned on eating the whole thing, but was fully stuffed after eating just half of it. Go chickpeas + kale!
December 11, 2013 – Readers have been asking me how I get perfect Julienne-cut vegetables. It’s not handy knife work on my part! I use this OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler. You could also use a mandoline – but watch out that you don’t slice your fingertips off! A Microplane Cut-Protection Glove is a great way of preventing that from happening!
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1-2 carrots, julienned (or medium bell pepper, diced)
- 1½ cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
- 1 bunch kale, central stems removed and leaves thinly sliced, or a 10oz package of chopped kale or other hardy greens
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh basil or cilantro, minced (optional)
- Drain the cashews and place in high speed blender or food processor with the broth and garlic. Blend until completely smooth, and set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet or dutch oven over medium-low heat and cook the onion and carrots (or pepper) for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Stir in the chickpeas. Increase heat to high, and add the greens and 2-3 tablespoons of water, stirring to combine everything. If using kale for the greens,cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until it’s tender.
- Stir in the cashew sauce, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes, until sauce thickens. If using, garnish with basil/cilantro before serving.