November always marks the start of the busy season around here. Not only am I busy helping run the web business I run with my husband, the real kicker this time of year is my greeting card business. I’ve got holiday craft fairs to prepare for, wholesale orders to fill and etsy sales to take care of. No doubt it’s a lot of work, but it’s all part of the life I’ve created for myself: no boss, no commute, no 9-5. I have no real complaints – it’s a good life.
So when work life starts taking over, it’s good to have a deliciously quick meal as part of your repertoire. I made this for the first time last spring and thought it was fantastic and have made it a few times since. It uses all the ingredients I usually have on hand and it’s easy to put together. Busy days loves meals like this. I was inspired by a Mark Bittman dish that I had bookmarked ages ago from the New York Times but when it came down to it, I created something of my own making.
I use dried chickpeas here that I cook and then freeze for ease of use (they’re super budget friendly & taste better too), but 1 large can of drained chickpeas would be fine here. The fresh sausage I used was plenty spicy so I didn’t bother adding in extra spices besides the cumin which gives this dish a lovely earthiness. But if you want something hot & spicy, add in some dried chili peppers or a few shakes of sriracha. And certainly, you can leave out the sausage for a vegan/vegetarian dish – or throw in your favorite veggie sausage slices when you add in the kale.
elsewhere: Need another granola option? Head to Poppytalk this week for a crunchy maple granola. It’s got sesame seeds & coconut to round things out and it’s the perfect way to wake up in the mornings.
cumin toasted chickpeas with sausage & kale
2 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c chickpeas, well drained
1 T ground cumin
3-4 spicy italian sausages
1 bunch of kale (about 6-8 leaves),tough stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
In a large skillet, pour in olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and let everything sweat a bit until soft and fragrant – give it 5 minutes. Add in the chickpeas and the cumin, stirring well to combine. You want the chickpeas to get lightly toasted, dry-ish and slightly nutty, so stir occasionally and let them toast for 8-10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, slice the sausages length-wise to remove the casings. Crumble the sausage meat into the skillet and toss things around once in awhile until the sausage is half-way brown. Stir in the kale and let everything cook down for another 5 minutes or so. Serve over rice. Makes 4 hearty servings or 6 regular ones.