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.
Such a simple, feel good meal! Definitely perfect now that the rush of the holidays is coming on!
This looks yummy and very autumn-esque. How do you thaw the frozen chickpeas?
This is such a classic combination. Sausage and kale always make me think fall. 🙂
It is, Joanne! Easy and stress free 🙂
Heather, after they’ve been cooked & drained, I portion them out into jars and freeze. When I’m ready to use them, I just pop them in the fridge or on the counter. They thaw in just a couple of hours. It’s totally easy!
Thanks Eileen, I agree – perfect for fall.
THIS LOOKS AMAZING!! I have been following you for awhile but this is the first time I’ve commented, hello!
Question: do you have any substitute recommendations for chickpeas? I am in the Peace Corps and the closest chickpeas are a 9 hour bus trip away…
Lentils? Locro? A kind of bean?
Just curious to see what you have to say, I’ll try something out on my own here regardless, or as they say here in Paraguay “SI o SI.”
Nicole, you could definitely substitute in lentils de puy (green french lentils) or black lentils. Brown ones *might* work, but you won’t get the same texture as with the chickpeas. Red lentils would be too mushy here. You could try navy beans or kidney beans but the texture won’t be the same. Good luck!
I have all the ingredients to make this dish and believe me I will. I generally use either canned chickpeas or dried, depending on my mood and laziness but I would never have thought to freeze them after cooking. What a brilliant idea!!
frpzen chickpeas is a fantastic idea. Does the texture and taste remain the same? We’ll try this with some seitan sausage (we also make and freeze these for convenience).
Looks great! I have some kale in the garden and I need to use it. 🙂
Joanne, I always make a huge batch when cooking dried chickpeas so freezing the extras just makes sense! Enjoy 🙂
Keen, yes, the texture isn’t any different. And yes on using seitan sausage – this could easily become a great vegetarian dish. One day I’ll make some seitan!! I used to buy it and loved it when I was a vegetarian.
Enjoy, Jennifer – a delicious way to use up kale!
Fantastic!! Green lentils are actually the easiest to find here. Thanks for taking the time to make the recommendation, I’ll be making this next week for sure!
I cook, portion, and freeze my chickpeas in jars too – always good for no-brainer type of weeknight meal. This is my kind of recipe – thanks for sharing!
Nicole, glad I could help. Please let me know how it goes!
Indeed, Jess! I really love using dried beans.
I love the simplicity of this recipe. I am a huge fan of kale, but not so much when it comes to chickpeas. Perhaps making this recipe will change my mind:)
Really, Connie? I didn’t think there was anyone who didn’t like chickpeas. Yes, change that mind 🙂
Well the peace corps stars aligned: I was in a city where I could buy garbanzo beans, I bought the last of the winter kale from a neighbor/farmer, and it is a lazy cool rainy day here instead of the normal 38C days. So, re-hydrating those beans without AC on a gas stove was not miserable.
It turned out beautifully! Thanks for the recipe. Following food blogs from Paraguay (in an opposite hemisphere with opposite seasons) is usually just torture/bordering on sadomasochism. It’s always a pleasant surprise when something actually works out.
Nicole, so glad you could try the recipe! I follow a few Australian blogs, so I know how you feel 🙂 Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed this dish!
I made this tonight and it was delicious. So simple too! I added some chicken broth to it so it had some sauce for the rice. A new fave. Thanks!
I’ve been meaning to make this for a while (re: years) and FINALLY did it this way today. I definitely spiced mine up with the sausage and some spices with heat; it was marvelous. Also, spinach instead, toward the very end. It is hearty and lovely, thank you!