Coconut Kale Quinoa

I'm consciously trying to eat more calcium-rich foods every day because my calcium level is consistently low and I can't add more supplements to my daily routine. So! My new motto is: Put some kale on it. Not quite as catchy as Put a Bird on it but close.

This quinoa dish is filling enough to be a main course but works well as a side dish for a protein if you're trying to add some smug to your day but aren't willing to give up your meat (Shawn). It also works really well as a base to layer on a nice curry.

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced (approximately 1/4 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
1 - 400mL can coconut milk, divided
Approximately 1 cup vegetable broth or water
2 large kale leaves, stalks removed and leafy bits sliced thinly (you want to end up with 3 - 4 cups of cut kale)
1 - 400mL can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
zest and juice of 1 lime
salt, pepper, and Tabasco Sauce to taste

Optional Toppings: fresh cilantro, green onions, hemp hearts, chia seeds, chopped nuts, toasted coconut flakes, lime wedges

Directions

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, about five minutes. Add garlic and quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.

Shake coconut milk can well so the cream and liquid are incorporated. Set aside 3/4 cup. Pour remaining coconut milk into 2-cup measuring cup and top with broth or water so you end up with 2 cups of liquid. Add to quinoa and stir well. Bring to a boil, add kale, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the 3/4 cup coconut milk you set aside and stir in chickpeas and lime zest and juice. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco Sauce.

Top with your toppings of choice.

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Creamy Tomato Spinach Soup with Quinoa and Chickpeas

This soup is satisfyingly rich and creamy but the protein and leafy greens have it firmly planted on my healthy list. I used coconut milk with trepidation (I usually use it in curries and soups full of ginger and chilis) but it works here to add a nice creaminess to the soup without using actual cream.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup dry white wine*
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (796mL) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (400mL) can coconut milk
2 cups broth
1 (540mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 (300g) block frozen chopped spinach, not thawed**
1/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings:
grated parmesan or asiago cheese
finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Serves 8.

Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat.

Add onion, carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 7 - 10 minutes until onions are translucent. Don't let your pot get too hot or you'll scorch your garlic.

Add white wine and cook, scraping up tasty bits from the bottom of your pot, until liquid is reduced by approximately 2/3.

Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, broth, and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer until carrots are very tender. Buzz with immersion blender until smooth.

Add spinach and turn heat up until soup boils. Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is tender (approximately 15 minutes). Add basil and oregano. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Top with grated parmesan or asiago cheese and finely chopped fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.

* If you don't have wine, skip this step and increase your broth by 1/2 cup.

** If you just have fresh spinach, use about three cups, chop finely, and increase your broth by about 1/4 - 1/3 cup.

Creamy Tomato Spinach Soup with Quino and Chickpeas.jpg

How to Make Meringues from Chickpea Liquid...Seriously

chickpeas.jpg

I was scrolling mindlessly through Facebook last week and I saw a post about making meringues from the slime chickpeas are canned in.

I was sceptical to say the least.

So I drained a can of chickpeas and was thoroughly disgusted by the discovery that the liquid chickpeas are canned in is kind of...snot-like. A lot snot-like.

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I followed the recipe exactly, except for the whipping time. The recipe says it will take about 15 minutes for stiff peaks to form but I had them after 8 minutes. The pictures show the chickpea slime at 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 8 minutes whipping. I was worried about over whipping so I continued with the rest of the recipe at 8 minutes instead of whipping for the full 15. It could have something to do with humidity and your specific location? I don't know. #science

I piped the meringue into nests because I wanted to fill them with berries and cream, the same way I would if using meringue made with egg whites. The chickpea slime meringues puffed up noticeably, much more than I remember egg white meringues ever doing (but I make meringues maybe once a year so this isn't a reliable statement).

Sorcery!

Sorcery!

The chickpea meringues are interesting. They don't taste like chickpeas at all. They're very similar to egg white meringues but they're not exact. The texture is off. They're airier and a bit dusty. They're just weird. You'd never guess they were made from chickpea slime but I wouldn't go out of my way to make them for anything apart from the appeal of making something from liquid that's normally just poured down the drain.