quinoa with kale, raisins and chickpeas

Hello chickpeas!


I have made a new goal for myself- to stop being lazy when it comes to dinner. Or more specifically, put together a main dish that is not simply a snack plate or a salad composed of everything in the fridge at least 2 x per week. This may not seem like a big deal for all of you food bloggers extraordinaire out there, but for me this is going to be challenging. While I absolutely love dreaming up and making interesting breakfasts, desserts, snacks and sometimes even lunches, by the time it gets to dinner, I simply have no motivation or desire to get into the kitchen and create. Then before I know it, it’s 6 pm and I’m starving- leading to scrounging for leftovers or making a mish-mashed plate. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s still healthy, I miss eating good food at night! I miss truly enjoying my final meal of the day in the same way I enjoy the rest of my meals.

I will probably keep these meals simple (can’t expect me to go from 5 min meal prep to 1 hour can we?), but sometimes just putting a little thought into preparation can turn simple ingredients into a delicious meal!

So this (hopefully) will be the first of many main dish recipes coming from here!


Kale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For this recipe it all started with kale. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse! While it can be quite intimidating to work with at first, it’s actually super easy to incorporate into pretty much any dish. It is absolutely loaded with vitamins K, A and C, folic acid as well as loads of important minerals like iron and calcium. It is also very rich in glucosinates which have cancer-preventative benefits. Not to mention it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds meaning it is very important in maintaining whole body health and keeping stress-effects on your body, both nutritional and non-nutritional, down. I discussed the concept of nutritional stress in more detail here.

Also I just learned, courtesy of whfoods.com that cooking kale by steaming it can help fiber-related components of kale bind with bile acids in your digestive tract. This means the bile acids are more easily excreted which helps lower cholesterol! Go kale!


Anyway, I had some kale that was starting to wilt in my fridge and considering how awesome it is, I simply couldn’t allow it to go to waste. I decided to pair it with protein-rich quinoa and chickpeas for a meal that would keep me full for a few hours (because another one of my goals is to not snack after dinner unless I’m really hungry). I tossed some raisins in too because I am a huge fan of sweet and savoury components in meals.

I absolutely loved how this dish came out. It is a great combination of savoury, sweet, zesty and just a little heat which makes it incredibly satisfying. It comes together really quickly (about 20-30 min) and includes greens, a grain (or psuedograin in this case) and a protein. Not too shabby for my first attempt eh? ;)


Quinoa with Kale, Raisins and Chickpeas (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

Serves 4.

  • 2/3 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 1/3 cup vegetable broth or vegetable bouillon and water to equal 1 1/3 cups
  • 4 cups packed kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • one 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp good quality sea salt
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • nutritional yeast and chopped walnuts for serving (optional)

Place the quinoa and broth in a large pot, bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. In the last couple minutes add the kale on top and give a quick stir. Cover and let cook for 2 more minutes. Set aside.

While waiting for the quinoa to cook heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and once hot add the garlic and chilli flakes. Sauté until starting to brown and are fragrant (a couple minutes. Add the chickpeas and lemon zest and cook until warm, about 2 min. Add the quinoa, kale, raisins and salt and stir to mix well. Add the cherry tomatoes last stir over the heat for 1 minute. Serve with some nutritional yeast and chopped walnuts sprinkled on top.

This dish is best eaten the day made, although is good as leftovers as well. If you are planning on saving some for a later date, I suggest sprinkling it with some lemon juice and maybe a drizzle of olive oil before serving.


With that, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • What would you like to see more of here? More main dish recipes? Desserts? Other topics besides recipes?
    • I love creating and writing about a lot of topics so I’d be open to suggestions
  • Is there a meal you guys seem to slack on more than others? How do you overcome this? Any tips?
    • I slack on dinner as I explained above and I’m not sure how to motivate myself at night- maybe doing more meal planning?
  • Plans for the Weekend?
    • Heading to Montreal for a family get-together, then Canada’s Wonderland on Monday!

Have a great Thursday everyone! Weekend is almost here!

I am submitting this post to Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysAllergy Free Wednesday and  Wellness Weekends!

71 thoughts on “quinoa with kale, raisins and chickpeas

  1. Pingback: raw veggie stir fry | the veggie nook

  2. I love one-dish meals, stuff like this included. Kale is my favorite of the greenies, I throw it in a lot of stuff, including smoothies! I only tried raisins in Moroccan/Indian dishes and use the spices that go with it. Next time I make a one-dish quinoa dinner I gotta try throwing some raisins in. :)

    The meal I’ve been slacking on is lunch. Since breakfast is usually the same and dinner is (almost) always planned, lunch has been cold leftovers or a repeat of breakfast. Haven’t been making salads as often as I used to, especially after tallying the calories: 670! If I left out the delicious goat cheese, it’ll bring it down to around 500. If I get rid of olive oil, 400. No avocado, 350. Maybe I should use measuring spoons for these high-fat items…small measuring spoons! :)

    • Raisins are good in everything, I know you’ll love them with your quinoa! Kale is awesome too- such an amazing food and so much band for your buck!

      Lunch is a tricky one since it’s usually something you have to bring with you. Yes, salads can really start getting high on calories when you start piling on the toppings. But what I usually figure is, as long as the toppings are high quality whole foods, live avocado and nuts, it’s okay to have a high calorie meal because they are so nourishing. I don’t really believe all calories are created equal. All about balance right? Thanks for sharing :)

      • You’re totally right about not all calories being equal. With coconut oil and avocado, I feel really good! But with an equal amount of calories from Sonic (my indulgence!) I am wiped out. :P You know I put coconut oil in my coffee EVERY day! I don’t blend it anymore, just stir it, but boy, what a difference! :D

  3. Woo hoo, good resolution Gabby! Looks like you’re doing great so far! Quinoa dishes are yummm. My dinners are usually simple too – although I tried to get a bit more elaborate for my boyfriend who requires a bigger meal/more substantial meal than me.

    • Thanks Heather :) I’m doing all right with it so far! It’s such a pleasure to sit down to a simple, yet delicious meal so I think I’ll keep it up simply because I am enjoying it so much!

      Maybe I just need to get someone to cook for too lol. That would be a great motivator :) Your boyfriend is a lucky man to have you cooking for him!

  4. I’ve made the same resolution to stop being so lazy where dinner is concerned…I need to start making quinoa every weekend and having it ready to mow down on from Monday to Friday. (And this looks like a fine recipe to try while I’m at it :))

  5. I think its common to slack on at least one meal a day…we all live such busy lives (work, school, family) and trying to pull of 3 made from scratch meals a day seems impossible. I tend to slack on lunch just because I make it a point to have a great breakfast to start my day (and Im usually starving when I wake up!) and I like to take the time to make a wonderful dinner to end my day. I think by doing that you will find yourself snacking less at night, which is better for you over all anyways!

    I love this dish you put together..so good nutritionally! I think when you combine a green with a grain (or pseudo grain!) and beans, you have so much going on! Tons of protein from the garbanzos and a complete protein from the quinoa!

    I love your insight into health and nutrition related topics, so, as much as I love to see good recipes, I also like to read informative posts from you too!

    Hope you have a good weekend girl! It sounds like it’ll be busy and fun!

    • You’re so right. When I slack on dinner (which has been more often than not) I don’t feel as satisfied and snack a lot after, which isn’t the best. I’m hoping I’m able to motivate myself a bit more to put something more special together!

      Thanks! Greens, a grain and a bean is a winning combination. You cover all your bases nutritionally and there are so many ways to mix it up!

      I will definitely try and keep the informative posts coming :) I’m glad you enjoy the ones I write!

      You have a stellar weekend yourself Shelby!

  6. Hi Gabby, I’ve been subscribed to your blog for a while, but I don’t think I’ve yet commented. I love making dishes like this, and to be honest, it’s this kind of thing that would be my answer to your second question, though I’ve not tried adding dried fruits. Perhaps apricots would be good with some Moroccan spicing in the quinoa? I don’t usually have a slump and not feel like cooking, perhaps because I’m bored of spending my days job-hunting :-( and I often finding myself stripped of the pleasure of cooking my evening meal because other family members step in *sigh*. And this weekend? More job-hunting, cooking, working-out, perhaps even taking a walk in the woods with my brother (he has autism and LOVES the outdoors) if the weather picks up.

    • Hey Hannah, thanks for coming out and commenting! Adding dried fruitis a great way to add interest to a main meal. Apricots are great in Moroccan dishes! Dried cherries and cranberries are good options too.

      Yes, I read your post on your Grandam liking to help you out. They mean well I suppose, but I totally understand- I don’t like when people mess with what I’m cooking lol.

      That weekend sounds lovely, except for maybe the job hunting! Not my favourite task lol. The walk sounds especially lovely!

      Good luck on finding a job! Just keep plugging away, it will pay off soon I’m sure! In the mean time, enjoy having your freedom to cook and workout whenever you want :)

  7. I always slack on supper…I’m good at preparing for breakfast and lunch but when I get home from work I just want to veg on the couch instead of jumping right into the kitchen. The only problem is I’m starving as soon as I’m done work!

  8. Oh gosh, this is totally me too! I throw together enormous bowls of veggies and tofu and nuts and quinoa and happily eat it, then I plot and blog snacks and dessert. This looks like a fabulous ‘proper’ recipe to throw myself into instead ;)

    • Ya having a sweet component makes it feel like you are eating dessert at the same time. I find them more satifying generally too because you are getting all the flavour components in one go (sweet, salty, bitter and sour…). I hope you like it :)

  9. I make a dish like this pretty often, but I’ve never thought to put raisins in it! Genius! It really takes the dish to a whole new level!

    To answer your questions:
    I can’t think of anything I want to see more of. I love your recipes and I love that you provide information on each of the ingredients, and since you do that all the time, you’re pretty much perfect in my eyes!

    I’m a grazer, so I eat a big healthy breakfast (acai bowls, lately), then graze until dinner. I need to start focusing on lunches. :-)

    It sounds like you have an awesome weekend planned! Have a great time! It’s our anniversary on Saturday, and though it’s not totally stapled down yet, I think we’re going to Palm Springs for the weekend. We’ll see! Take care! xoxo

    • Aww thanks Kristy! I hope you try the raisins- they add such an interesting component to the dish!

      You are just the sweetest, your comments always make me smile. I will keep on keepin’ on ;)

      I have days where I can be like that too especially since my breaks at work sometimes suit multiple snacks instead of a lunch. I guess we all just have to do what works for us!

      Oh Happy Anniversary to the two of you! Palm Springs sounds lovely- make sure you take lots of pictures! Have a lovely weekend my dear!

  10. I have no idea about Canadian dishes since I always thought Canadian dishes are similar to American dishes.

    I would love to see more of your unique dishes, something veganized, something that was never veganized. I do enjoy unique veganized dishes, sometimes they may work, sometimes they may never work!

    I seem to slack on dessert recipes. I don’t really make desserts. So I guess I would love to see more of your vegan and gluten-free desserts.

    I’m not sure we have a weekend thing here in the U.S. (Oregon), but I guess it’s a beautiful sunny week, good time to be out and about :)

  11. You just made me love you even more – adding raisins MAKES this dish! I love this, all the pretty colors and flavors! I love quick and healthy dinners….I do am a habitual snacker after dinner- always something sweet, I have trying to change over to tea when the hunger strikes but really all I want is ice cream!

    • Thanks Heather! I absolutely love adding fruit, dried and fresh, to my meals. It adds such an interesting component to the dish!

      I have tried drinking tea instead of snacking…it’s just not the same no matter how good the tea is!

  12. This looks amazing – love kale in dishes like this, and love tomatoes, chickpeas, quinoa…I think you’re onto a winner! I totally have become lazy too at dinner. That’s why my blog is packed full of breakfast/snack recipes. Seems I’ve been putting the most thought into those lately! I’m all about the quick and speedy – sauteed veg and a veggie burger is my go-to!

    • Thanks Anna! Haha mine is full of breakfasts and desserts/snacks too. There’s just something about the sweet stuff ;) Glad I’m not the only one who feels like a slacker when it comes to dinner! I’m glad you like the recipe :) I love cooking kale up like this too!

  13. I hear you!! I have totally fallen into a food rut with salads/stir frys every night! I have SO many cool recipes from all the fab blogs I now follow so just need to stop being lazy!!! I’m on it!!

  14. Fabulous Gabby!! Great goal on dinner – and trust me I totally hear you :) If I didn’t have the family to cook for (it’s been a long time!) I’d likely blow dinner off most nights – I’m often not that hungry come dinnertime either and prefer to eat light in the evenings. This combo not only looks beautiful but is full of sustaining nutritious foods, what a way to start! :) Have a great trip to Montreal – I am off to the country for a work retreat (code: zero internet OR cell service)…

    • Thank you Shira! I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one! I was beginning to feel like a bad food blogger!

      Have fun on your retreat! Man they must really want you all to pay attention to take away all connections to the outside world ;)

  15. Yes I know what you mean. I was struggling to make dinner on time for when my husband got in from work since having a baby so I now start the day making dinner before I’ve even had breakfast! I recently started using a slow cooker and it’s been great. There is always last minute things to do with babies at dinner time and this way it keeps it hot until the moment it’s served. Although I usually have a massive green salad with a bit of cooked food on top of it though. I think I slack at lunch time either having a big batch of soup in winter, a salad if I can be bothered or lately green thickies for lunch too to save time.
    I think I’d love to see more healthy snacks, especially sweet treats with ingredients the average vegan would have in their kitchen anyway. I’m like you, I have been trying so hard lately to only snack in the evening if I’m hungry but sometimes you really just need a sweet healthy treat. I also am always interesting in new salad combinations too. The recipes I usually make from the web are ones that I have the ingredients in anyway. I rarely go out and buy special ingredients that I wouldn’t have bought anyway. Many thanks.

    • That’s a really good idea using the slow cooker! I just find i work so early it’s unrealistic for me to start dinner before I go to work. Hopefully I get a more normal schedule soon and can make use of it more!

      I’ll definitely try and concoct more snack recipes with easy ingredients! I actually have one I made a while ago I can share. I’ll do my best to help with those after-dinner cravings :)

  16. I’m the opposite of you: Dinner is the meal that interests me THE MOST! This salad looks amazing and healthy and LIGHT- kind of the trifecta for me these days :)

  17. Yay! I’m so excited you posted this recipe, I can’t wait to try it! This sounds amazing and so nutritious! I am planning on getting back on track this weekend when I have time to cook so I can be prepared for next week. This week has been so hard since I’m out of the house for 12-16 hours a day and don’t have decent meal options. Definitely going back to high raw starting tomorrow! Although I’ll try and get my fill of raw foods today when I can too ;) This dish is definitely on the menu though!

    I don’t have a specific meal that I get lazy for, I get lazy for a few days though when work is really busy. It is so hard to keep up with meals and now that it is 90-100 degrees nothing will really keep in the car. Boo!

    Have fun in Montreal! My mom wants me to go with her because she went there once and loved it :) We haven’t had a girl’s weekend in a long time too so we’ll have to make it happen! Take lots of pics!

    • I really hope you like it! It’s really tasty, but simple so it’s great for a quick dinner! Ya you’ve been so crazy busy, I don’t blame you for not cooking, I definitely wouldn’t either! High raw is so key for resetting yourself, good luck!

      What have you been doing for meals lately? I hate when life gets too fast and you don’t have time to make something for work. The options I have near me are really awful too so it just sets me up for a bad day!

      I will definitely have fun! I’m not sure how many photo-worthy sites I’ll be seeing, I’m going to see family and won’t have too much time to do anything else, but I’ll do what I can :) Montreal is an awesome city, totally make it happen! You would love it!

      • I only have control of one full meal when I work so I make sure breakfast is super heathy and filling. I bring a raw bar of some sort with me to snack on during the day and the rest is at the mercy of the catering hall. I’ll usually eat a plate of fruit and veggies at the cocktail hour and dinner depends on whether or not I get an option of what I want. I have been lucky enough the have places make me a nice plate of grilled veggies and sometimes I don’t get a choice and they put whatever meat dish in front of me and I don’t eat. It all depends. It sucks though because if we shoot during cocktail hour and I don’t get an option at dinner I am running on a major energy drain. That’s not good when you have to get up early and do it again the next day!

        Have fun with your family :) I’ll tell my mom that we’ll have to make Montreal happen :)

      • Wow I don’t know how you work without eating sometimes, you must be a superwoman of some kind lol. It’s nice that sometimes you get a good plate though :)

        Thanks so much Sarah, enjoy your weekend!

  18. Hey Gabby,
    This looks like a great meal! I find myself eating leftovers throughout the week – a big batch of soup, dal or a dressing really helps. I even make one batch of oatmeal for the week, too. I find I want to be more flexible, instead of relying on a bona fide recipe for every meal. Working with good dressings seems to be helping. I am always looking for more great main dishes, preferably one-pot, if you are taking requests… and more bean recipes! One can never have too many recipes for beans. :-)

  19. haha, this post really made me smile! I am quite similar to you! I love making breakfast and lunch (which i actually have to make the day before or i take salad ingredients to work and make it there- hello office :( but for dinner i am often quite tired and sometimes even cram in a run or something so afterwards i just wanna relax and eat! (often dont get out of the office until late) my dinners therefore are super simple and take no longer than half an hour MAX! but then once i am fuelled i get creative again and sometimes prepare my lunch for the next day or make some crazy raw truffles. a bit weird i know but thats how i roll..

*Comments make my day*

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s