the taste space

Easy Cheezy Chickpeas and Kale

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on August 22, 2013

Easy Cheezy Chickpeas and Kale

I have already mentioned some of the delicious flora (ok, the fruit) in Texas (local oranges, grapefruits and avocados! We’ve even seen a papaya tree here!) but what about the fauna?

1. Mosquitoes. I am well acquainted with mosquitoes, thankyouverymuch, but they are simply merciless here. Worse of all, they target me (not Rob), and they leave large welts. In Canada, I would rarely be targetted and it was a mild reaction.  I had a lot of bites in Colombia, but still none were as large and bothersome. Judging by my co-workers (n=6), all new females have been scourged with the same problem. Thankfully, they have abated somewhat but sometimes they still catch me in my front yard. I blame all my sweating in this Texan heat.

2. Ants. Talking about bug bites, you have to be careful around ants here. I don’t know if they were fire ants or crazy ants (I did not make that up), but they are vicious and will bite and leave pus-filled lesions. Not nice. They caught me once as I was sitting on a sidewalk, helping to fix Rob’s flat tire. Hopefully it will be the last.

3. Frogs.  I also know what frogs are.. although I haven’t really hung out with them too much. While we don’t live near a swamp, after a rain, frogs have been known to hang out ALL NIGHT LONG, CROAKING. I haven’t seen them, but that is who I am blaming for my sleepless nights.

4. Lizards. This is a new one for me (I had to ask what it was – someone thought it was a gecko but we don’t think so. salamander? small iguana?) It is a small guy and there is one right outside our home. I hear they eat bugs, so I am not worried. Eat those mosquitoes, yo!

5. Armadillos. Apparently armadillos can be found in Texas, but I have yet to see any. Judging by the presence of a Houston Armadillo Removal service, they must be found locally. ;)

6. Snails. OK, we have snails in Toronto, too, but I rarely see them in my garden. I used to see them squashed on the bicycle trails, actually. I haven’t seen wild snails here either, though. Although, what I found most amusing is that I had snails in my kale from Rawfully Organic. Organic kale, indeed. My homegrown organic kale gets massacred by aphids in Toronto, but here, there are snails!

And every time I say snails in the kale, I think of bananas in pyjamas! For the record, pajamas is the American spelling. My blog is my spelling refuge. I add extra u’s as I see fit. ;)

This was my long-winded interlude to tell you all about a super simple dish: cheezy chickpeas and kale. A cooked version of my Easy Cheezy Chickpea Salad, this is nearly as simple, although it does require dirtying a skillet. The combination of coconut oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and garlic create a lovely nude sauce. The chickpeas soak it up but become nicely cheezy afterwards. I liked this warm, straight from the stovetop and they were very nice cold as leftovers the next day.

Do you have any fun local animals? I imagine raccoons could also be seen as weird creatures for the uninitiated. This fun video of a raccoon walking on a utility wire was shot very close to where I used to live in Toronto.

Easy Cheezy Chickpeas and Kale

This is my submission to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.



Easy Cheezy Chickpeas and Kale

Adapted from Fannetastic Food

1.5 tsp coconut oil
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
2-3 tbsp water (or broth), as needed
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cups kale, stemmed and thinly sliced (I used 75g)
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in chickpeas and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add water as needed. Once chickpeas are heated through, add nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Add kale, stir to combine and add water if sticking. Cover and allow kale to wilt, approximately 2-3 minutes, until it turns a brilliant green. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste.

Serves 2.

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15 Responses

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  1. Laura said, on August 22, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    Careful with those armadillos if you ever run across one; they can transmit leprosy to humans! Also, try sticking a dryer sheet in your pocket to ward off mosquitoes. :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on August 22, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      Leprosy is definitely something I don’t want. I hear they can also transmit leishmaniasis which I don’t want. I guess, best to stay away. And a dryer sheet warding off mosquitoes is news to me! It must be the smell? Like citronella?

  2. Rob said, on August 22, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Yay spelling refuge!

    And yes, I have seem armadillo roadkill while cycling.

  3. Nancy said, on August 22, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    I lived in Tx 16 years and fire ants are horrid. If you notice you probably didn’t get bit once and that’s because when they bit they send out a signal to others to attack! Aren’t they sweet! Armadillos are very destructive to yards. They burrow and destroy anything in its path, brushes, plants, your yard so be glad you haven’t seen any alive! I live in Alabama now and we have all the same issues!

  4. Allysia Kerney said, on August 22, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    I’ve come to the conclusion that we have very similar taste in food! And mosquitoes were pretty bad in Austin too, though they’re actually quite a bit worse in Saskatchewan for some reason. They’re practically non-existent in Toronto, thank goodness! And lizards are very cute, it was fun seeing them around. :) And I forgot about the snails but you’re so right, when it rains they’re everywhere in Texas!

  5. sprint2thetable said, on August 22, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I can’t believe you haven’t seen armadillos! I remember them being all over the side of the road (roadkill). Ick.

  6. julia said, on August 22, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    I lived in Texas once, and those armadillos are so freaky!

    Here in LA I think the strangest new urban wildlife is the coyotes. It’s one thing to see them when you’re hiking in the Angeles National Forest, but they’re everywhere in my (dense, urban) neighborhood, just walking down the street at night. I have to wonder how many chihuahuas they manage to snap up– the coyotes in the city are themselves pretty meager-looking.

  7. Hannah said, on August 22, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    BANANAS IN PYJAMAS REPRESENT.

  8. Joanne said, on August 22, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    I’ve found a few worms in my kale before…not fun. I’m not sure I could deal with all that crazy fauna!!

  9. Tami said, on August 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    I love garbanzo beans! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. Be sure to stop by again and enter to win one of three free Vegan Delish Recipe Apps for the iPhone & iPad!

  10. coconutandberries said, on August 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I’d get pretty excited if I saw an armadillo! I could live without the ants and the mosquitoes though :S We live along a river so have lots of frogs and river birds in the garden as well as muntjac deer. The deer come out at night and eat our vegetables!
    This looks like simple, tasty food at its finest.
    P.S. I had no idea Canadians used the ‘u’ in spelling too. Thought it was a British thing only.

  11. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on August 23, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Americans spell pyjamas pajamas? That’s almost as startling to discover as the number of animals you have living around you! Fortunately chickpeas and kale are always a safe combination :)

  12. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on August 25, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Poor you with all those bugs! I am totally the person all the mosquitoes attack while leaving everyone else alone, so I feel your pain!

    This dish sounds really nice and I just stocked up on nooch :) I will definitely have to try this. I am so bored of all my dinners!

  13. kimmythevegan said, on August 26, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Mmm simple yet delicious sounding!!
    Sounds like I lucked out… when moving from Kitchener Ontario to Northern California, I definitely said goodbye to a lot of bugs. Poor you :(


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