Coconut Spinach and Chickpeas with Couscous

A dinner that takes just 10 minutes to prepare is a sheer delight, especially when it is healthy, minimally processed, and beautifully fragrant with coconut and spices.

200g couscous (the photograph shows giant wholewheat couscous)
200g baby spinach
50g kale, destemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
150g baby button mushrooms
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
1 bell pepper, medium dice
1 can coconut milk (well shaken to combine)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch chilli flakes
salt and pepper
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1. Cook the couscous according to the packet directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over a medium heat, wilt the spinach. You may have to add it in batches. A splash of hot water will help speed things up.
3. Add the kale, mushrooms, chickpeas, and peppers. Stir to combine.
4. Add the coconut milk and spices. Cook until the mushrooms shrink a little. Season to taste. Add the cherry tomatoes and warm through.

Amaranth with sun-dried tomatoes, kale and chick peas


A rich breakfast dish or a light lunch with lots of colour and flavour.


For the amaranth
1/4 cup amaranth
3/4 cup water
2T sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (dehydrated, not
the jarred kind)
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t turmeric (or more to taste — I use 1/2t)
1T nutritional yeast
1T cashew butter

For the chick peas
1/2 cup cooked chick peas
1/2T curry powder
1/4t red Thai chili (or similar and/or to taste)
1/2T tamari
2t cooking oil
Sea salt and red or black pepper to taste

For the kale
1t cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 cup green kale, stemmed and chopped
1 scallion, minced (2″-3″ green reserved for garnish)
1T nutritional yeast
Sea salt to taste


First, start the amaranth, then roast the chick peas and kale. In a small sauce pan with a lid, bring the water to a boil. Add the amaranth, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the amaranth has formed a sticky consistency. Stir frequently

Add the remainder of the ingredients except the cashew butter and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Cook another 3 minutes and remove from heat. Add the cashew butter and yeast. Stir to combine. Let cool a few minutes.

At about the 10 minute mark, start the chick peas and the kale. Preheat the oven to 450F. Whisk the curry, tamari, and red chili, and toss the chick peas to fully coat. Toss the chopped kale in the oil, sea salt and scallions.

Add both the chick peas and the kale (separately) to a roasting pan or baking sheet and roast for about 8-10 minutes — until the chick peas are lightly dry but not chalky and the kale is a vibrant green. Be careful not to overcook; remove either if it becomes ready. When done, toss the kale with the nutritional yeast. Season the chick peas, kale and amaranth to taste.

To plate make a small circle of amaranth, add the kale, the chick peas, garnish with the scallions, and serve.

Chickpeas, kale, and kamut with red pepper, olives, and capers

Dressed with garlic, chili and tamari, this is a simple, vibrant dish with no added oil or sugar but lots of flavour.


For the chickpeas, kale and kamut
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup kamut
2 cups green kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 red peppers (about 1 1/2 cups), 1/2″ dice
1 cup cooked chickpeas

For the dressing
2 scallions, minced
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T tamari
1T lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1T kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1T pickled capers, minced
1t nori flakes
1t purple dulse flakes
2T cold-milled brown flax seed
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Chopped walnuts, sliced ripe pear, clementines, sauteed mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, will all add flavor, texture and nuance to this dish. Roasting the chickpeas separately with a little tamari and chili or the dulse and nori will also add nuance.


In a small sauce pan with a lid, toast the kamut for 2-3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed and the kamut is soft by nicely chewy (expect about 1 hour). You could reduce cooking time a little by soaking the grain overnight.

While the kamut is finishing up, assemble the kale, red pepper and kale in a large bowl. When the kamut is ready, increase heat to medium high, add the scallions and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, toss to coat, and stir fry for another minute. Add the lemon and tamari. Deglaze the pan. Remove from heat. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Add the kamut and chickpeas to the kale and red peppers and toss to combine.

Let stand 5 minutes to wilt the kale lightly. Season to taste. Dish out and serve.



Spicy, sweet potato fries, chickpeas, and kale in curry-spiced, sesame-ginger gravy

Lightly spicy, rich and sweet, this is a relatively simple but colorful and flavourful dish.


2 sweet potatoes, about 6″ long, peeled and sliced lengthwise in 1/2″ fries (about 3 cups)
2T tamari
A pinch coarse sea salt
2t sriracha (or similar, or to taste)
1/2 cup millet flour
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped

For the gravy
1T curry powder (or individual spices if you prefer)
1 scallion, minced
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
2t ginger, grated and minced
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup tomato passata (or puree)
2T sesame seed butter
1T arrowroot powder dissolved in 2T cold water
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Other greens go well in this dish, but will wilt more quickly. The ginger should be slightly more prominent to complement the sesame in this dish. but you can always use your own spice blend in place of curry powder. Freshly ground or popped spices have more flavour. Add some dried chilis with the other dried spices for more heat. I use dried chickpeas that I’ve simmered with kombu usually in a large batch for this type of dish — about 2/3 cup dry will yield 2 cups cooked.


Preheat the oven to 450F or to the highest temperature to which your baking paper is rated. Whisk the tamari, sriracha and salt. Toss the sweet potatoes in the mixture until well coated. Toss them lightly in the millet flour (just a light dusting).

Add the fries to a baking sheet lined with the baking paper in a thin, even layer. Bake for about 35 – 45 minutes (depending on the temperature) until well cooked and lightly crispy, turning periodically to ensure even cooking. Ovens vary; use the texture as a guide.

At about the 15 minute mark, start the gravy. Bring a large pan to heat on medium. Add the curry powder (or your dry spices) to the pan and toast for 2 minutes or until they are nicely aromatic. Add the scallion, garlic and ginger and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the stock, bring the pan to a light simmer, and add the chickpeas.

Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, add the sesame seed butter and passata and stir until dissolved. Simmer another 5 minutes or so until the fries are ready. Stirring continuously, add the arrowroot mixture slowly until it thickens. Add the kale and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook another 1-2 minutes stirring frequently, until the kale is nicely wilted and bright green.

When everything is ready, plate the fries, ladle the chickpeas and kale over top, and serve.

Fresh pappardelle with chickpeas, maitake mushroom, sun-dried tomatoes and kale

A simple pasta with a light, but satisfying and flavourful sauce.


For the pasta
1 cup semolina flour
1t tapioca flour
2t cornstarch
1/3 cup + 1T water
2 liters water with 2t coarse sea salt for boiling.

For the sauce
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/4 cup scallion, minced (2-3 scallions)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/2T dried green herbs (I use herbes de Provence)
1 cup maitake mushrooms, trimmed and broken into 1″ strips
2T sun-dried tomatoes (dehydrated, not jarred) rehydrated in 1/4 cup water
2 cups green curly kale, chopped coarsely
2T nutritional yeast
2T pasta water
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Other mushrooms will work here, but maitake (also known as hen of the woods or signorina mushrooms) have a lovely mild flavour and a soft texture, as well as a good nutritional profile. A little kalamata olive in this dish would also be nice. If you make the chickpeas from dried, about 1/3 cup dried will yield 1 cup cooked. Replace the pappardelle with fettuccine, linguini or spaghetti if you prefer. Replace the kale with small broccoli florets, flat leaf parsley, spinach, or other greens — just be sure to adjust the cooking time and the amount to your taste.


Start the tomatoes, then the pasta, and then the sauce.

Bring 1/4 cup water to a boil and reconstitute the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Mix the semolina flour, the tapioca flour and the cornstarch. Add the water and mix until a smooth elastic dough forms. Knead for another 2 minutes. Let the dough rest, covered with a warm moist tea towel in the mixing bowl for about 15 minutes.

When the dough is ready, roll out on a lightly floured board to a large rectangle about 1/8″ thick. Cut the pappardelle in long strips (10″ – 12″ by 1/2″), preferably with a pastry cutter. Let the strips dry on the cutting board while you make the sauce.

Bring a large frying pan with a lid to heat on medium high. Add the oil and sea salt. Add the scallions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and green herbs. Saute for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, the sun-dried tomatoes and their water. Deglaze the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the pasta is ready.

Bring the 2 liters water to a boil. Add the salt. Add the pasta. Swirl the pan to separate the pasta. Boil lightly until for 2- 3 or until the pasta is done (it will float). Drain gently, reserving about 2 tablespoons of water for the sauce. Add the water the sauce and stir to combine. Rinse the pappardelle with cold water and set aside to finish the sauce.

Add the kale and stir to combine for about a minute or two until the kale is nicely wilted but still a vibrant green. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Season the sauce to taste. Plate the pasta, add the sauce and serve. Garnish with additional nutritional yeast if you like.