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Kale, Zucchini and Curried Chickpea Sautee

After being on the road I came back home to find a sorry looking kale bunch, green zucchini and half a yellow onion. They were spared the compost pile by throwing them into a quick and hearty lunch.

The recipe is quite spicy (even for my Mexican palate) - if you are sensitive to spice dial back on the serrano pepper (either devein and remove seeds, or eliminate it altogether), and reduce the red pepper flakes.

My ever-stylish and equally health-conscious friend Allison once showed me a cool way to quickly separate kale leaves from their stems. It is brilliant and simple and I use it all the time - see this video.

If I were to do this again with a fuller fridge, I would have sauteed the onions and veggies with some with green tomatillos, and have chopped up some fresh cilantro to add at the end.

Don’t skip the lemon and lemon zest: the acidity really adds a punch. If you don’t have it at hand, sub for a green lime, or your favorite vinegar-based Mexican sauce. If you eat dairy, a dollop of greek yoghurt on top would be a good addition.


1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained 1 tablespoon of vegetable seasoning (see Note) 2 cups of water (or vegetable broth instead of seasoning)


bunch of kale leaves (~5 lacinato stems) 1/2 green zucchini, cubed 1/2 a yellow onion, sliced 1 garlic clove, minced 1/2 serrano pepper, minced 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 tablespoon minced ginger (about a large coin-sized round) 1 teaspoon curry 1 teaspoon tumeric 1/2 teaspoon garam masala 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes salt extra virgin olive oil 1/2 yellow lemon + zest

Quinoa: bring to a quinoa, vegetable seasoning and water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Turn off heat, fluff with a fork, and leave covered.

Sautee: Meanwhile heat about 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a pan, and sauté the onion and garlic, stirring frequently so it doesn’t brown. When the onion starts to become transparent, add the ginger and sauté for ~1 minute.

Add minced serrano and zucchini, stirring just enough so that ingredients don't stick in order to get zucchini lightly browned. Add drained chickpeas, season with spices, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cover and cook, stirring often until chickpeas smell nutty.

Add kale leaves and toss until bright green and only just wilted. If pan looks a little bit dry you can add some water to the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Assembly: Put a large scoop of the quinoa on a plate, and top with an even even larger spoonful of the chickpea sauté. Squeeze the lemon on top, and grate the zest. Enjoy!

Serves 2 as main, 4 as side

Note on Seasonings: I use kosher vegetable seasonings. Not only are they very flavorful, but they are usually the ones made of “real” ingredients and vegetables you know. You can find them in the kosher aisle of most supermarkets.

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