carrot, kale and chickpea heaven


I find that I often get in a food-rut when I’m cooking for myself. It becomes so much easier to make the same tried and tested dishes over and over again if I know that they are seasonal, easy, cheap and healthy. It feels as if I must already know all the meal-options in the world (madness!) so I just vary between the same handful. At the moment, I’ve been eating a lot of vegetable soups and curries with squash, carrots, potatoes and mushrooms. But I was completely knocked out of my food rut when I tried an unusual dish from my Ottolenghi cookbook. I am now completely inspired to try new meals because its clear that I haven’t tried it all. There are plenty of cheap, easy vegetarian dishes out there!

This is one of those dark-horse dishes, which is why I tried it. Ottolenghi’s book Plenty is a book that I love to look at the pictures in but don’t cook from often because of the huge lists of (often expensive or inaccessible) ingredients. This particular dish, however, uses only a handful of ingredients, most of which I had at home. And yet Ottolenghi’s genius is to make it incredibly interesting and delicious. I used Kale instead of Chard because I I couldn’t find any chard. I also used dried chickpeas, which are cheaper than canned but they have to soak overnight and cook for almost an hour so make sure you plan ahead! I also served this with some pearl barley

Serves 4, cost: approx 25p per serving


  • 300g Kale or Swiss Chard
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced (approx. 1cm)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 250g chickpeas (dried + cooked or canned)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
  • small handful fresh mint + coriander
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (bottled is fine)
  • 100g Yoghurt (I used soya) 20p
  • 100-200g pearl barley (optional)


  1. make sure your chickpeas have been soaked and cooked according to packet instructions if you are using dried chickpeas
  2. start cooking the pearl barley according to packet instructions
  3. cook the kale in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften, then drain.
  4. heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium and fry the diced carrots and caraway seeds for 5 minutes – the carrots should have a bit of colour and have softened a bit
  5. add the chickpeas and kale and cook for about another 5 minutes
  6. finally, add the garlic, chopped mint + coriander, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper
  7. serve with a dollop of yoghurt and olive oil drizzled over

recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty (2010, p.211)


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