Kale & Chickpea Stew over Creamy Polenta

I hold this recipe close to my heart because it was the first meal I ever cooked with my work family.  I mentioned previously that I work with some pretty awesome people.  I haven’t always been that lucky, but for some reason, this particular group of people is stellar.

KaleChickpeaStewCreamyPolenta

They were even willing to put their meat-eating habits aside long enough to cook this vegan dish for dinner with me.  We settled on a chickpea stew because my co-worker Hanna actually had just gone to Costco and bought canned chickpeas…in bulk.  She is probably still working her way through them :).

KaleChickpeaStew

The first time we made this was last winter and it was a real crowd pleaser.  We all have different palettes and eating habits and yet we all enjoyed this.   At that time, we poured it over pan-seared polenta cakes.  This time, I tested it with creamy polenta instead and it was still a winner.

CreamyPolenta KaleChickpeaStew2

It’s kind of like a vegan shrimp & grits which happens to be one my hubby’s favorites that he only gets to enjoy if we go out to eat somewhere.  Poor guy.  I don’t think he minds too much though (if he does, he doesn’t tell me).

KaleChickpeaStewCreamyPolenta2

I especially like to enjoy this meal when it’s nice miserable and cold outside.  It’s food like this that helps me to accept winter.

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Kale & Chickpea Stew over Creamy Polenta {Vegan} {Gluten-Free}

Stew Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of Kale (about 12oz), de-stemmed and torn
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground Coriander
  • 1/3 tsp ground Cumin
  • Pinch of ground Cloves
  • 2 15oz cans of Chickpeas (do not drain)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Polenta Ingredients

  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 cup ground Polenta
  • 1-2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Bring water to a boil in a large flat-bottomed skillet.  Add the kale leaves and toss until they are bright green and wilted.  Drain the water and set the kale aside. In the same skillet, heat the oil and over medium heat, add the onion, garlic and tomatoes.  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the spices and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add the chickpeas and their liquid and bring to a boil.  Add the kale and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, start working on the polenta by bringing the water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add the polenta and stir occasionally until all of the liquid has been absorbed.  Add the almond milk, a little bit at a time, until the polenta reaches your desired consistency (I like mine thick and creamy).  You may have to continue to add milk depending on the time it sits (it thickens quickly).  Serve in individual bowls and top with the kale and chickpea stew and season with salt & pepper to taste.

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