Chickpea and Kale Curry (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Protein-rich chickpeas are upgraded by a delicious sauce made of kale, cashews, and delicious spices. A quick meal that is perfect served alone, over rice, or alongside a fluffy piece of naan!

Hi friends! Do you love Indian food? Because I love Indian food. But, let me tell you – that relationship was tested a year ago, on a date with The Worst person ever.

I was pretty excited when I matched with this guy on Happn* back in February 2016. He seemed cute, we worked in similar fields, and – most importantly – he was 6’3. Sign me up!

*A proximity-based dating app which I downloaded solely because I was afraid to talk to a beautiful boy at my gym in person. I quickly grew tired of setting my Tinder radius to 1 mile and swiping on the elliptical, and this was the next best option… before I learned he was a) gay and b) in a 3-year relationship with another gorgeous man. Sigh.

We agreed to meet up at Jyoti Indian Cuisine in Adams Morgan at 6 PM on a Saturday evening. This was perfect – I was living in Clarendon at the time, and would be heading to a friend’s birthday party in Shaw at 9, so I was already most of the way there!

I arrived after my date, and headed inside – only to find two men, both of whom looked like my date, facing away from me. Crap. This was going to be a duck duck goose scenario (which I hate) – but I went for it. I tapped the man closest to me on his shoulder… only to find that it was not my date. However, the confused hubbub alerted my actual date to my presence, which is when he stood up to hug me, and I realized that he had gained a significant amount of weight since his photos were taken. No matter – I was in this for the free food and drank, and nothing more.

We settled in at the table,  and I alerted him to my situation.
J – Hey, I have a birthday party in Shaw at 9, so I’m in this for the long haul – want to grab a bottle of wine?
Date – Yeah, but I actually don’t have a job right now and am living at home with my parents, and they charge me rent to live there, so like can we split the cost?
J – *Internally screaming*
J – …how about I just get the next round??


Ok. Maybe this was going to be harder than originally anticipated. No big, though, I’ve been on a lot of dates – how bad can it get?!


Date – Yeah, I’m like, super into music.
J – Oh, awesome! I love music! What do you use? Spotify, Soundcloud?
D – …what are those? I use iTunes. But, like, I knew ‘Party Rock Anthem,’ like, 3 MONTHS before it was cool.
J – Oh, haha, in like 2008…?
D – Two thousand ELEVEN, thank you very much!!
J – *dives under table*

D – So I have this buddy who like, always says the funniest shit. Like, this one time, he said “Tequila makes me weird.” How hilarious is that? We should put that shit on a bumper sticker!
J – …isn’t the saying ‘tequila makes her clothes fall off?’
D – *stands up, comes around to my side of the table, whispers in my ear* Jess! Don’t give me those ideas in public!
J – *dies inside*

…and that was just the beginning. He then told me that I should run a 5k with him in July (it was February, also NO), and that he couldn’t wait to spend NEW YEARS with me (FEBRUARY!!!!!!)

I needed to leave. And guys, I pride myself on being a very kind person – but in this instance, I had to do what I had to do. I told my date that I needed to go to the bathroom, gathered all my belongings, and deflected.
D – Why are you bringing your coat to the bathroom?
J – I’m on my period.

Boys NEVER question a girl filled with raging hormones!

So, I raced into the bathroom, and then – when I was sure he wasn’t looking – bolted out of the restaurant and down 18th Street towards Shaw. 10 minutes later, the texts began.
D – Where are you? Is everything ok?
D – Do you need help? 
D – Seriously, where did you go?

I blocked his number, deleted the ensuing Facebook friend request, and managed to ignore his invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Alas, I thought that my impression of Indian food was forever tarnished – until I got takeout the next week and remembered a) how delicious it is and b) how nice it is to eat takeout and drink a bottle of wine by yourself.

Now, this isn’t takeout, but it’s JUST as good – potentially better – and much cheaper and healthier. All the more room in your budget for wine!

Chickpea and Kale Curry

To make this curry, you will need:
– 1 large yellow onion, diced
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 t cumin
– 2 t turmeric
– 2 t paprika
– 1 t chipotle pepper
– 1 t black pepper
– 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
– 1/2 c vegetable broth
– 10 oz kale, chopped, stems removed
– 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 15-30 minutes
– 1 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
– 2 T nutritional yeast
– 2 T tomato paste

First, heat a large non-stick saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add your onion and saute 4-5 minutes, until translucent and golden brown. Add your garlic and cumin and saute for another minute, until fragrant. Add the remainder of the spices and saute for one more minute.

To the onion mixture, add your vegetable broth and kale. Cover with a lid and cook until the kale is wilted and bright green, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the kale is cooking, strain the cashews from the water you’ve been soaking them in and add them to the bowl of a large food processor. To the food processor, also add the nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and almond milk. Blend until smooth.

Once the kale and onion mixture is ready, add it to the food processor and blend until you have a creamy green sauce. This will be the basis for your curry. Return this sauce to the saucepan over medium heat.

Drain and rinse your chickpeas, then add them to the sauce on the stove. Saute until warmed through, and then serve! I had this plain because I’m poor and lazy, but I hear rice, quinoa, or naan would be great accompaniments

Team no more sad desk lunch!