Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chickpeas and Kale (No Added Fat)

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I am looking forward to our annual Triangle Vegetarian Society Thanksgiving. We host the country's largest vegetarian (all vegan) Thanksgiving and sold out with more than 700 seats combined for it and Monday's pre-Thanksgiving.

Tonight, I decided to cook with chickpeas. I had forgotten to soak the chickpeas overnight, but putting them in ample boiling water and letting them soak for four hours worked out fine. Here is what I did.

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 2 or 3 cups boiling water
  • Approx. 1/2 cup water
  • (optional) Three 1" squares of kombu
  • 2/3 head of kale, stems and leaves separated
  • 1/2 medium onion (halved "around the equator") cut into 1/4" half moon slices with another 1/4 of the onion cut into 1/4" cubes (maybe 4 or 5 T) and reserved
  • Baby bok choy cut into 1/2" slices root through leaves
  • Small bell pepper cut into approx. 1/4"x3/4" slices
  • 1T miso (I used chickpea miso, but any kind is fine)
  • 6T water
  • 1t fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1t black sesame seed
  • 1/4 t ground cumin


  1. I put the dry chickpeas in the ample water and let them soak for about 4h; I wish that I had soaked overnight, but hoped that 4h of boiling water soaking followed by 28m of pressure cooking would cook the chickpeas well (it did!).
  2. I cut the kale stems into 1" lengths.
  3. After 4h, I drained and rinsed the chickpeas, then put in enough water to just cover them in my Instant Pot pressure cooker.
  4. I added the kombu and kale stem pieces, then cooked at high pressure for 28 minutes.
  5. After the pressure cooking and when I was ready, I slowly released the pressure and removed the top, then drained the liquid.
  6. I roughly hand tore the kale leaves into approximately 1" squares and added them to the Instant Pot, as well as the onion, bok choy, and bell pepper.
  7. I turned the Instant Pot on in saute mode.
  8. I stirred frequently until the greens cooked down significantly and the onion started turning transparent, about 6 minutes.
  9. I mixed the miso with 6T water and lime juice so that it was homogenized (by simply stirring with a spoon).
  10. I turned the Instant Pot off and took the cooking pot out, then added the miso mixture, black sesame seed, cumin, and reserved cubed onion, then served.


The dish came out well. The kale was a little too chewy for my Dad so, in hindsight, I should have cut it into smaller pieces for him. But we all enjoyed the taste and certainly good nutrition of tonight's meal served with tomato topped with hemp seeds, as well as carrot. (My daughter prefers raw kale and I served her dinner earlier - raw kale, crispy smoky tempeh, and tomato with hemp seeds.)

Ideas for the future

Since I wasn't cooking the main course for my daughter, I could have generously added ginger, but we were out. I'd add a tablespoon of finely chopped ginger in the saute. Because of my Dad, I couldn't add garlic, but 2 cloves of chopped garlic also added in the saute, and maybe 2 cloves chopped garlic pressure cooked (to give a mild roasted garlic flavor) would have been nice. I could have doubled the miso and wonder if 2T miso + 6T water + maybe 2t lime would have been nice.

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