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Spiced Chickpea And Kale Stem Stew + Let’s Waste Less Food

spiced chickpea and kale stem stew // gratitude and greens @genyam // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #recipe

spiced chickpea and kale stem stew // gratitude and greens @genyam // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #recipe

Last week, I arrived in the Great Lakes region. Lewis spends most of his summers here working for a camp he first attended as a camper and has tried, endlessly, to have me visit. It’s a part of the world I’ve never been to, and I saw the beautiful green and blue hues from my seat on the plane. Patches of trees and bodies of water, big and small, formed the stunning landscape beneath. I’d heard of how breathtaking it would be, and I finally saw, for myself, how wondrous this part of the world was.

One night, Lewis and I walked out to the dock on the lake. The stars were brightly shining and we watched my first-ever lightning storm. Bright flashes of red, orange, and white filled the sky, and the next morning, we awoke to pure sunshine and a clear blue sky. The night after, we canoed to the middle of Lake Nebagamon and went stargazing. Everything I saw left me in awe of nature’s beauty and power, a reminder that the Earth and Mother Nature are very much alive, despite the fact that we continue to poison the earth with toxins and trash, a result of our excessive lifestyles and the broken systems that structure our society.

spiced chickpea and kale stem stew // gratitude and greens @genyam // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #recipe

At the beginning of 2015, I wrote a post about my goal to waste less this year. Here’s an update, eight months into the project: I now cycle, have a flourishing vegetable garden, and you will rarely find me without my water bottle, reusable cutlery + glass straw, and a grocery bag ready. The past few months have made me incredibly aware of how much waste we generate, and this applies not just to material things, but to food, as well. I shared a link to John Oliver’s segment on food waste in my last post, but I’ll share it again for those who missed it >> Last Week With John Oliver: Food Waste

As my blog continues to evolve, I hope to share more tips and recipes to help others reduce their waste. There are so many delicious ways to use ingredients that are normally tossed, and one of the ways I have reduced my food waste is by getting creative in the kitchen. This spiced chickpea stew is a great way of preparing kale stems that are often neglected and binned. Kale stem is, in fact, edible, and while it is extremely tough when raw, kale stem is actually quite enjoyable when cooked long enough. All you need is patience and some good seasoning! Although I tend to avoid stews and soups during the summer, this vibrant stew is the perfect dish to take advantage of tomatoes during tomato season, when they are the ripest and very best. Not that I need anymore warmth during the summer, but the spices pack some extra heat!

spiced chickpea and kale stem stew // gratitude and greens @genyam // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #recipe

SPICED CHICKPEA + KALE STEM STEW
Serves 2.
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 large tomatoes, chopped or a large can of whole tomatoes (28oz or 796 ml)
  • 1 1/4 cups kale stems
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut  oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the chickpeas, bay leaf, and a generous pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow the chickpeas to cook until done, around 45 minutes.
  2. While the chickpeas are cooking, heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium pot. Sauté the garlic and onion with the spices until soft and translucent. Add the kale stems, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Cover with a lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 35-45 minutes.
  3. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve with bread, quinoa, or rice.

Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,
Gen.

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17 Comments

  1. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    August 1, 2015

    Yes! No food waste! Just as I use my carrot tops and peels of every veggie and fruit, it would make me sad to throw any of it away!
    This is a beautiful stew, so nourishing, filly, perfect for the yearning soul! XOXO

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      August 4, 2015

      Thanks girl! There are so many ways to use up food scraps without throwing them away. I love that it makes me more creative! xo

      Reply
  2. Lisa | The Viet Vegan
    August 1, 2015

    I applaud your efforts for being waste-free! I recently bought metal straws (actually that day we met up in the markets!) and I’ve been using them a lot. I should totally bring one around with me, that’s a genius idea. Love the use of kale stems in stew—you’re totally right, they’re edible and delicious when cooked right. Kind of like broccoli stems <3

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      August 4, 2015

      Yay for reusable straws! Did you get them from the Good Egg? They have terrific reusable ware in their shop. That’s where I got my glass and bamboo straws! xo

      Reply
  3. Sarah | Well and Full
    August 3, 2015

    This is so great, Genevieve. Not just the delicious recipe, but your dedication to environmentalism and making the world a better place. I’ll admit, I’m definitely guilty of being wasteful when I could recycle or reuse. So it’s really great when I stumble upon a reminder to contribute to the well-being of our planet, something that should be a priority of ALL of us. :)

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      August 4, 2015

      I’m glad this was a helpful reminder! I never want to be pushy about these things but it makes me happy to get people thinking. It’s never too late to start living a bit greener :) xo

      Reply
  4. Meg @ Noming thru Life
    August 3, 2015

    Oh my this looks fantastic! And I appreciate your desire to teach others how to waste less. Have you seen the documentary Just Eat It? It’s about food waste in the U.S. Also the Great Lakes area is my fav. Although I’m kind of bias as I’m from Northern Michigan originally. ;) I miss the woods, the night sky and the cool air. Living in Ohio now, and it’s just gobs of humidity and people – both ugh. lol.
    P.S. I’m so happy I stumbled across your blog – it’s beautiful! I’m headed to your IG now, to check it out too :)

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      August 4, 2015

      Thank you so much Meg, you’re too sweet! I haven’t seen the documentary Just Eat It but I really enjoy watching documentaries and it sounds like something I would be interested in seeing. The Great Lakes area is so beautiful and you are very lucky to be from Northern Michigan! Haha, I feel you on the humidity- my parents live in Hong Kong and the humidity there is ridiculously gross. I never noticed it when I was living there but whenever I go back it’s just uncomfortably humid. Thank you for stopping by the blog, I’m excited to go through yours! xo

      Reply
  5. Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
    August 3, 2015

    Stargazing, being out in nature, and watching a good storm are my favorite things to do. I love living out in the country these days largely for that reason ♥

    I also love not to waste food {including kale stems}. I used to cook them, but these days I just give them to my pups — food scraps like that form part of their meals and they love it {especially vegetable tops :)}. But I’m all for recipes using those broccoli and cauliflower leaves, kale stems, etc. — why waste all that good stuff? :)

    This looks delicious! I’ve been eating tons of chickpeas lately — always game for more ways to prep them :)

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      August 4, 2015

      Thanks Audrey! It’s so adorable that your pups love veggie scraps. I’ve tried to feed veggies to my dogs and they didn’t like them that much. They did, however, love fruit! I really enjoy living in a city but I hope to live in the country at some point in my life. I think I’d be more in touch with my surroundings, and even though I already love nature, I think it would give me an even bigger appreciation for the natural world. xo

      Reply
  6. Anna
    August 4, 2015

    Beautiful approach and meal!

    Reply
  7. Shanna | Kiss My Bowl
    August 5, 2015

    Genevieve, this looks and sounds delightful! I am totally down for being waste free, absolutely. There is a new restaurant in Edmonton called Salvage (I have never been, because well… Calgarians don’t really like Edmonton ;)) it’s entire premise is using what is about to be thrown out by other restaurants and grocers. Totally awesome, this waste less movement is the bomb.

    Reply
  8. Grace @ Earthy Feast
    August 6, 2015

    I just signed a change.org petition yesterday about ugly fruits – apparently supermarkets throw away tons of produce that is perfectly fine to eat just shaped a little weird, I couldn’t believe it! Our country needs to work on the food waste issue for sure but it really starts with the individual. Loved reading your words on the topic and this stew looks amazing!

    Reply
  9. Vegan Wild Rice Burgers
    August 10, 2015

    […] << spiced chickpea + kale stem stew […]

    Reply
  10. Danielle + Rooting The Sun
    August 12, 2015

    Hi Genevieve! I love how you touch on just being able to harness some simple sweet patience to enjoy the benefits of the kale stems. I definitely think society’s connection with nature is weakened and disproportionate – considering all of our staples that derive from within. Being able to cultivate a waste-less kitchen is rekindling that relationship. Beautiful recipe, I am excited to try this.

    Reply
  11. rubbishclearancechelsea
    September 30, 2015

    Everything looks so delicious! And all the pictures make me go to the kitchen and start cooking some zero waste food myself!

    Reply
  12. Cora Walton
    November 3, 2015

    It is great that you are trying to reduce the waste you produce. I have also started to look more for the rubbish I create. First I started with the food waste. I have a compost and at the same time I try not to throw almost any food away. Now I am trying to use less paper and disposable, one time products. :) Thanks for the lovely recipe! Greets and good luck! :)

    Reply

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