These Crispy Kale and Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas are about as healthy as it can get, but in case you’re worried that these nutrition packed bowls will taste like rabbit food, think again! Besides the wide variety of textures to keep things fresh and fun, there is a whole lot ‘a flavor going on too, making these bowls anything but boring.
Even though I do my best each day to eat well and choose healthy foods, some days that just doesn’t happen. Maybe I’m out of the house and on the go all day, or maybe I’m away for the weekend and the healthy foods I’m used to eating just aren’t on the menu. It happens, and it’s nothing to get overly stressed out about. Really…getting overly stressed in these situations can actually be worse for your health than eating a donut for breakfast if that’s the only thing available. That may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.
When I’ve had a day or two where I haven’t eaten the healthiest foods for my body, I do my best to bounce back by cooking something extra healthy, such as these Crispy Kale and Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas. In other words, a meal that is full of fresh, healthy ingredients, vegetables, and that uses minimally processed ingredients. My body feels so much better after eating a meal like this to get back on track.
Check out the nutrition benefits you’ll get when you eat a serving of these Crispy Kale and Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas:
- More than one-fourth of your daily needs for iron will be covered. Yeah, even without any “king of iron” meat, these bowls will have you covered, and with all the extra Vitamin C you’ll get, your body will absorb that iron more efficiently too. Bonus!
- You’ll get almost twice the recommended daily amount of immune-boosting Vitamin C per serving.
- Almost HALF the amount of fiber you should consume in a day can be found in a serving of these quinoa bowls.
- There’s over 3 times the recommended daily amount of vision-boosting, healthy-skin-promoting Vitamin A
- The bowls are loaded with several B Vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and pyridoxine). The B Vitamins play an important role in making sure the body can efficiently use the energy it gets from food. Who needs/wants more energy? Yeah, I thought so…
(don’t) Focus on the Fat
Let’s be honest…when you look at how much fat is in each serving of these Crispy Kale and Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas, I’m guessing you might catch your breath a bit, or shake your head thinking I’m crazy for calling a meal “healthy” when it has 28 grams of fat per serving. But, as I’ve mentioned before in my posts, and as I’ll say again…
Healthy fats SHOULD be eaten REGULARLY
I’m not going to write much more about this here, because this post is already long enough, however, below are 3 short reasons why the amount of fat in these quinoa bowls should not concern you…
- The fat will HELP your body absorb the beneficial vitamins these bowls are loaded with. Without added fat, certain vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E, and K) are hard to absorb, which means, without the added fat, they wouldn’t actually do much for your body.
- Fat helps maintain a more even blood sugar level, which means that after eating a serving of the bowls, you’re much less likely to get the munchies a couple hours later. Without the added fat, your blood sugar would spike more quickly and fall back to a lower level sooner, which is what can make you crave more food (to boost your blood sugar back up).
- Of the 28 grams of fat per serving, about 2/3 of that fat is monounsaturated fat. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, monounsaturated fat is the type that gets all the hype for being so heart healthy.
If those three reasons aren’t enough to make you embrace the amount of fat in these Crispy Kale and Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas, consider this…the amount of fat in an average restaurant serving of a hamburger and fries is 48 grams of fat, which is way higher than the 28 grams in these bowls.
P.S. While these Crispy Kale and Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas are meatless, that’s not a requirement to make them ultra-nutritious. You can easily add some grilled salmon for even more beneficial nutrition or add sliced grilled chicken or grilled shrimp to boost the protein a bit.
By the way…if you love the combo of quinoa and kale, check out this Kale-Quinoa Salad for another recipe to try!
Crispy Kale and Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas How-To Photos:
After rinsing and draining the canned chickpeas, pat them dry with paper towels.
Toss chickpeas on a small shallow baking pan with garlic, oil, salt, and spices
Bake until browned and outsides are a little crispy – they may pop/crack at the end.
While the chickpeas are roasting, cook quinoa. I like to use the tri-colored variety for this, but the plain white variety works well too.
Here is the finished quinoa.
Spread torn kale into an even layer in a large shallow baking pan; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.
Bake until kale is crisp – it shrinks down a lot!
Mix the dressing in a screw-top jar (or whisk it together in a bowl).
Add shredded carrots, green onions, cumin, and some of the dressing to the quinoa
Toss it together
Arrange the chickpeas, kale, and quinoa mixture in four shallow bowls. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
- 1 15-ounce can reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds or ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup dry tri-colored or white quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup purchased coarsely shredded carrots
- 2 green onion tops (green parts only), thinly sliced
- 8 cups torn, trimmed fresh kale
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange one oven in the center of the oven; arrange another rack one level below center. For Roasted Chickpeas, gently pat the rinsed and drained chickpeas dry with paper towels. Arrange chickpeas in an even layer in a small shallow baking pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with garlic, chili powder, and coriander. Toss to coat. Spread to an even layer. Bake on the rack in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until chickpeas are browned and look mostly dry, stirring once or twice (beans may pop and crack toward the end of baking time).
- Meanwhile, for Quinoa, in a small saucepan cook cumin seeds (if using) over medium-low heat for 30 to 60 seconds or until seeds smell very fragrant, shaking skillet frequently to prevent burning. Transfer cumin seeds to a medium bowl; set aside. Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve; rinse well with cold water and drain. Transfer quinoa to the same small saucepan. Add water and ground cumin (if using); bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 13 to 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is just tender. Drain off excess cooking liquid if needed.
- Transfer quinoa to medium bowl with the cumin seeds. Stir in carrots and green onion tops. Set aside.
- While quinoa is cooking, prepare Crispy Kale. Rinse kale and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange kale in an even layer in a large shallow baking pan (such as a half sheet pan). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon coarse salt. Toss lightly to coat. Transfer pan with chickpeas to the lower oven rack. Place pan with kale on the center rack. Bake kale for 12 to 14 minutes or until kale is lightly browned and crisp, stirring once halfway through baking.
- For Lemon-Orange Dressing, in a screw-top jar combine lemon juice, ¼ cup oil, the orange peel, mustard, and ½ teaspoon salt; cover and shake well. Add 3 tablespoons of the dressing to the quinoa mixture; toss to coat.
- To assemble bowls, arrange quinoa mixture, kale, and chickpeas evenly in four shallow bowls. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
- 4 servings
- 472 cals, 14 g pro, 47 g carb, 28 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g sat fat, 12 g fiber, 651 mg sodium