Lean Green


On the first days in January when everyone is ready to buckle down and get their health back on track, this recipe will make you feel good about what you’re putting in your body. Gone are the sugary treats and champagne, make room for wholesome foods. Simple ingredients of kale, carrots and chickpeas are the stars, and you can add craisins, cheese, or rice to fill this meal out. It can be eaten as a side salad, dinner salad, stuffed in a wrap or pita, served over rice. You name it. This dish is versatile, nutritious with those dark leafy greens chickpea protein, and filling.

Roasted Kale, Carrots and Chickpeas

Roasting vegetables is as easy as it gets, other than eating raw. On a baking sheet, add any vegetable you want. Season however you want (start with olive oil, salt and pepper), and roast for 30-60 minutes, depending on the vegetable. Add a protein and a grain and your meal is done.

For this recipe, I highlighted the kale, but the chickpeas were an unexpected delicious addition.


  • big bunch of kale
  • lots of carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • craisins or dried cherries
  • parmesan cheese, grated
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne


Kale is a green vegetable that I used to be scared of. It looked too much like a plant growing in gardens and I just couldn’t imagine eating it. I also didn’t know what to do with it. I bought a large bunch of organic kale for $1.99. That is so affordable! Don’t say eating right costs a lot. Take your bunch and rip off the leaves from the stalk. I did it by hand, you can cut if you want. Soak it in water and slosh around. Just to get any dirt off that remains. Dry really well in paper towels. This can also be done in a salad spinner. Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. Again, make sure it’s dry.

Peel carrots and chop into little rounds.

On a foil-lined baking sheet (makes for easier cleanup), add carrots and kale. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 375* for 15 minutes. I did this on one baking sheet, but the carrots take longer. You could either start the carrots first and add the kale, use two baking sheets, or remove the kale after 15 minutes. The carrots needed about 40 minutes to get soft.




For chickpeas:

  • In a mixing bowl, add chickpeas, 2 T olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne. Toss together and pour in a separate baking sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 450*. Don’t let burn, check halfway through and mix.

When the kale is done, it is crispy like a chip but not burned. It is best served immediately or the same day so it doesn’t go soft. The carrots are soft with a little bite left, and the chickpeas are crunchy and spicy. They look like spicy peanuts, but since chickpeas are a great source of protein, they aren’t fatty like eating a handful of peanuts. These would be a great party appetizer or to have as a snack.

To assemble as a salad, combine kale, carrots, chickpeas, a handful of craisins (about 1/2 cup) and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. This does not need a dressing, as it would wilt the crispy kale.


If you serve it in a wrap, I added barbeque sauce. (I like Flat Out Wraps. So big, under 100 calories, doesn’t taste like cardboard.) I think BBQ sauce goes great with kale and the spicy chickpeas.


Also, making sure the kale is bite sized helped with the ease of eating it. It is still a tough green and hard to break off. Having already cut pieces took away some of the toughness.

I promise you will feel good about yourself after you eat this.

This recipe was part of a blogger ingredient challenge featuring kale this week. To see the other posts, click these blog links.

  • www.nutritionella.com
  • www.dixiechikcooks.com
  • www.andloveittoo.com
  • www.dixiechikcooks.com
  • P.S. New CultureMap column about why you shouldn’t go on a diet now.–Don’t resolve to lose weight this year. Ban the diet!

    And this one about the popularity of food trucks Food trucks revolutionize Houston dining.


    Have you tried kale? Are you trying to eat extra clean this week?

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    1. Mmmmm….looks great! I wish I had some kale right now!!!

      I love kale chips! Super delicious and healthy!

      I am definitely cleaning up my diet this week- I have my race on Saturday! :)

    2. I love kale!! And though I’m not trying to eat “cleaner”, I am trying to eat less sweets, which usually translates to cleaner in general because I love fruits, whole grains and veggies- the only processed stuff I usually go for is sugar!! Great recipe!

    3. Thanks for the reminder of how easy it is to roast chickpeas. I always forget about those and they are a perfect side or snack. Happy New Year Marci!

    4. YUM! What a great idea! I love anything in a wrap and crispy kale looks soooo good! PS. I never thought of roasting chickpeas. I want to grab a handful of those!

    5. I cannot wait to try this. It sounds amazing!


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