When was the last time you cleaned out your freezer, down to the last spare item and leftover bit? For me, the answer is perched someplace between “never” and “rarely.” I use my fridge constantly, and frozen leftovers make frequent appearances in my weekly dinners, but it’s not often that I make an effort to use up each and everything I’ve preserved.
This week, I’ve been doing some major house cleaning, which has led to all sorts of fascinating discoveries. Juice pulp from 2011, courtesy of Valerie. Sunshine Burgers that have turned into bricks. Thanksgiving stuffing from last year. Flax seeds that I distinctly recall transporting from NYC to D.C. when I moved here. It seems I need to explore the depths of my freezer more than once a year. The upside of this excavation is that I found some sprouted corn tortillas, and this led to the tasty tortillas with creamy kale and toasted chickpeas that you see today.
I always think it’s a fun exercise to take inventory of what’s on hand and then find ways to turn it into a good meal. So, along with the tortillas, here’s what else I had on hand: 2 cans chickpeas. 1 head kale. The usual array of nuts and seeds. Lemon. There were other veggies in my fridge, but those were the standout ingredients. With last week’s creamy kale salad with apples and walnut dressing in mind, I figured I’d make some easy tortillas with kale and chickpeas. To give it all extra flavor and texture, I roasted the chickpeas first.
Roasting chickpeas gives them wonderful flavor and an irresistible, crispy texture. It’s actually something I do all the time, but it’s never occurred to me to blog about it. For this recipe, I kept things super simple, and I tossed them in a mixture of tamari, cumin, smoked paprika, and a little vegan Worcestershire sauce. Into a 375 degree oven they went, for 35 minutes. And out they came, toasty and delicious!
I have been known to sit around eating these guys with a spoon. But they also make a delicious packed snack, and they add a lot to salads! And over the weekend, I found out that they’re perfect tortilla stuffers, too.
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and then patted dry)
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon safflower, grapeseed, or canola oil
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 head curly or dinosaur kale (about 8-10 leaves), de-stemmed, washed, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- Creamy raw dressing (recipe below)
- 8 6-inch corn or whole wheat tortillas
- ½ cup cashews or walnuts, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or 1 pitted Medjool date
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- Preheat your oven to 375F. Toss chickpeas in the tamari, oil, cumin, paprika, Worchestershire sauce, and lime juice. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until chickpeas are crispy, stirring once or twice during cooking to prevent burning.
- While the chickpeas roast, blend all dressing ingredients together in a high speed blender till smooth. Place the kale pieces into a large mixing bowl and "massage" the kale with the dressing, using your hands to manipulate it firmly and help to wilt it down.
- When the chickpeas are done, stuff each corn torStuff each tortilla with about half cup each kale and chickpeas. Serve.
- These tortillas combine so many of my favorite things—kale, a good dressing, toasty chickpeas. So many of my favorite things, in fact, that I could totally overlook the fact that corn tortillas are not among my favorite things.
Delicious. I hope you’ll like this easy vegan lunch dish as much as I did!
Before I go, I want to thank you all for welcoming my everyday, simple food with so much love. Today I was thinking that, since I started writing CR, my life has changed in so many ways. I have a new career, a new lifestyle (student vs. full time working), I’m in a new city, and in between all of those shifts, my relationship with raw foods has gone through various transformations, my ED recovery has gotten firmer, and I’ve come into my own as someone who publicly talks about my struggles with food.
Throughout all of this change, you guys have encouraged me to be myself, in ways as small as saying “hey, we don’t mind if you just post an iPhone photo of your lunch!” and ways as profound as welcoming my decision to get a post-bacc. I’m so grateful. Thanks.