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Vegan Planet: Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes with Baby Kale

Friday, September 19, 2008


Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes with Baby Kale

The summer veggies in our garden have given way to the wonderful fall crops that we’re already beginning to pick. Rows of kale, chard, and endive are still at the “baby” stage — making them all the more tender to enjoy. We also planted Buttercrunch lettuce and Butternut squash — the only “butters” you’ll find in this house!

That first touch of autumn in the air makes me want to make warming fall-weather food, so I paged through Vegan Fire & Spice and found lots of recipes ideal for the cooler weather. I decided on the Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes because its colors remind me of autumn, it’s easy to make, and the flavor is wonderful. Just before serving, I added some of that tender baby kale from the garden (lightly steamed) and served it over brown basmati rice. Below is the recipe as I adapted it.

Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes
Recipe adapted from Vegan Fire and Spice by Robin Robertson © 2008, Vegan Heritage Press. For a variation, add a teaspoon or two of curry powder.

2 sweet potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon cold-pressed canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup water or vegetable broth, or more as needed
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby kale, lightly steamed

Steam the sweet potatoes until just tender, about 20 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the water, reserved sweet potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer until the mixture thickens and the flavors are blended, about 15 minutes.
To thicken the liquid, blend about 1 cup of the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth, then stir it back into the saucepan. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the kale and serve over rice.
Serves 4

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oh my goodness! this is soooo yummy : ) ! i made it with spinach instead of the kale, and used chopped fresh roma tomatoes instead of canned. it's a very authentic curry, yet it's quite simple to make. just the thing for a busy--but hungry--vegan on a cold winter's night!
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