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  • Writer's pictureKristen Nickels, MS, RDN, LD

Dietitian's Choice: Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Kale



Looking for the perfect recipe to help you meet your New Year’s goals AND keep you warm this winter? Look no further! This recipe for Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Kale is packed with both nutrition and flavor. It has protein, fiber, and fat, all of which promote satisfaction, and its warming spices will leave you feeling cozy at the end of a cold day. It can be made on a stovetop or in an instant pot.


Here are some things to know about the ingredients in this dish:


  • Cauliflower and kale are both in the family of cruciferous vegetables, which are rich in nutrients and phytonutrients and help promote the body’s natural detoxification processes.

  • Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are high in fiber. Once cup of cooked chickpeas contains 50% of daily fiber needs.

  • One cup of chickpeas also contains about 1/3 of daily protein needs, making them an excellent vegetarian/vegan protein.

  • The combination of fiber and protein is great for controlling blood sugar and satisfying hunger.

  • Between the vegetables, chickpeas, and coconut milk, this dish is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fat.

The flavor of this curry dish is so rich and diverse that you’ll almost forget all the nutritional goodness it has to offer. Not a fan of cauliflower, chickpeas, or kale? No problem! See Variations below to customize it to fit your preferences.

Serve warm over rice, or with pita bread or tortillas for dipping. It’s also delicious all by itself, which makes it a lower carbohydrate meal, too. Feel free to add some red pepper flakes for extra spice or some cooked chicken for extra protein. Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen to enjoy later.


Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Kale

Time: 30 minutes to prepare and cook

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large head cauliflower, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons curry powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 14-ounce cans coconut milk

1 cup water

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

5-6 leaves kale, torn into pieces (about 6 cups, loosely packed)

3/4 cup cilantro, chopped for garnish, optional

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or stockpot over medium heat. Add cauliflower, and sauté for several minutes. Add garlic, and sauté for several more minutes, until cauliflower and garlic begin to turn golden brown.


Add curry powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.


Add coconut milk and water, and stir to mix. Add tomato paste, and stir until dissolved.

Turn down heat to medium low. Add chickpeas and kale, and simmer for several minutes--until kale is wilted and entire dish is warm.


Garnish with cilantro if desired, and serve warm.


Variations:

If you're not crazy about cauliflower and/or kale, a large crown of broccoli can be substituted for the cauliflower. Not crazy about broccoli either? Omit totally and add vegetables of your choice (note that this does remove the benefits of the cruciferous vegetables discussed above but will still give you a nutrient-packed, flavorful dish). Sliced carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, or onions can all be added for extra flair and flavor. Add them in to sauté at the beginning.

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