Tortillas with Creamy Kale and Toasted Chickpeas

by Gena on September 24, 2012


When was the last time you cleaned out your freezer? Me, I almost never do. This week, I’ve been doing some major house cleaning, which has led to all sorts of fascinating discoveries. Juice pulp from 2011, courtesy of Valerie. Sunshine Burgers that have turned into bricks. Thanksgiving stuffing from last year. Flax seeds that I distinctly recall transporting from NYC to D.C. when I moved here. It seems I need to explore the depths of my freezer more than once a year.

Hiding in the back of my freezer were these:


I honestly don’t know what these guys were doing in there. I don’t really like corn tortillas all that much; I much prefer the Food for Life sprouted wheat tortillas or my raw carrot cumin wraps. I think these are from last spring, when I offered to make enchiladas for a bunch of the post-baccs (and then forgot). But in any case, I’m trying to clean my freezer and pantry out at the moment, and I’m certainly not going to let stuff go to waste (unless it’s juice pulp from 2011; I decided to let that go).

Here’s what else I had on hand: 4 cups cooked chickpeas. 1 head kale. The usual array of nuts and seeds. Lemon. There were other veggies in my fridge, but those were the standout ingredients. With last week’s creamy kale salad with apples and walnut dressing in mind, I figured I’d make some easy tortillas with kale and chickpeas. To give it all extra flavor and texture, I roasted the chickpeas first.

Roasting chickpeas gives them wonderful flavor and an irresistible, crispy texture. It’s actually something I do all the time, but it’s never occurred to me to blog about it. For this recipe, I kept things super simple, and I tossed 2 cups of chickpeas in a heaping tablespoon of avocado oil (olive would be fine), 1 teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce (speaking of things you find when you clean out your kitchen), the juice of 1 lime, a tablespoon of tamari, and 2 teaspoons of cumin. 


Into a 375 degree oven they went, for 35 minutes. And out they came, toasty and delicious!


I have been known to sit around eating these guys with a spoon. But they also make a delicious packed snack, and they add a lot to salads! And over the weekend, I found out that they’re perfect tortilla stuffers, too.


Tortillas with Creamy Kale and Toasted Chickpeas (vegan, gluten free)

Serves 2

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp tamari
1 heaping tbsp avocado oil
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp vegan Worchestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 head kale, stems removed and chopped into bite sized pieces, washed and dried
Creamy raw dressing (recipe below)
4 corn tortillas

Simple, Creamy Raw Dressing (yields 1 ½ cups, or so)

1 cup cashews or walnuts
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup water
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
¼-½ tsp. salt (to taste)
1 pitted date
1 tbsp dried dill (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender.

1. Toss chickpeas in the tamari, oil, Worchestershire sauce, lime, and cumin. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, or until chickpeas are toasted well.

2. Remove stems from kale and tear into bite sized pieces. Wash and dry. Massage with the creamy raw dressing (you’ll need about 1/2 cup dressing at least; keep adding till the kale is coated well and very soft).

3. Stuff each tortilla with about half cup each kale and chickpeas. Divide onto two plates, and serve with extra kale salad (it’ll also keep in the fridge for a day or two!).

These tortillas combine so many of my favorite things—kale, a good dressing, toasty chickpeas. So many of my favorite things, in fact, that I could totally overlook the fact that corn tortillas are not among my favorite things.



Delicious. I hope you will like them as much as I did.

So, after just having announced that I’d be posting more of my simple, everyday food—and that I might be a little shorter on real recipes than usual—I happen to have just posted a recipe. That said, I wanted to mention that I actually doubled the chickpeas called for in the recipe (in other words, I made 4 cups) to use in salads through the week, and that I also doubled the dressing, so that I’d have it. One of the things I almost always do when I see a recipe I know I’ll like is to make extra; it makes student meal planning a lot easier!

And in general, I want to thank you all for welcoming my everyday, simple food with so much love. Today I was thinking that, since I started writing CR, my life has changed in so many ways. I have a new career, a new lifestyle (student vs. full time working), I’m in a new city, and in between all of those shifts, my relationship with raw foods has gone through various transformations, my ED recovery has gotten firmer, and I’ve come into my own as someone who publicly talks about my struggles with food. Throughout all of this change, you guys have encouraged me to be myself, in ways as small as saying “hey, we don’t mind if you just post an iPhone photo of your lunch!” and ways as profound as welcoming my decision to get a post-bacc. I’m so grateful. Thanks.


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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

gina (fitnessista) September 24, 2012 at 9:35 pm

you are wonderful. that is all :)


Gena September 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm

You are wonderful. And I miss you.


janet @ the taste space September 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Yay for cleaning out the freezer! It is my goal to eat through my pantry before my move to Texas, too. When it is as tasty as this it won’t be a problem. BTW, love your inclusion of dill in your dressing. :-)


j3nn September 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I need to try roasting chickpeas sometime, they sound so delish! I have things in my freezers that I don’t even remember buying. I am positive there’s sprouted corn tortillas buried in there somewhere.


Michelle September 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I like food for life too…but I had these and made enchilada’s with them but these look so good


Ashley September 24, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I love those corn tortillas and the looks of this recipe. A simple winner! Thanks, Gena!


Janae @ Bring-Joy September 25, 2012 at 1:46 am

I think we can still be friends even if you’re not crazy about corn tortillas–I LOVE any type, brand, variation on the corn tortilla, & since pretty much going gf-free I live on these things. Not quite the replacement I’d like for wheat bread, but it works. & unlike, wheat bread, they don’t make my stomach cry out for help.

I’m the worst when it comes to storing stuff in my freezer. We bought an extra storage freezer (just because I *needed* the extra space), & boy, oh boy, if I don’t keep a handle on that thing, it quickly becomes a jumbled racket of a mess. I don’t know the best way to keep on top of freezer inventory, but like you, I’m always discovering long, forgotten foods (sometimes fun, sometimes just plain weird).


janet @ the taste space September 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I like to keep a white board with a list of all the things lurking in my freezer. It is kind of like a menu at times! Do I want curry or squash soup for dinner? ;)


Christine (The Raw Project) September 25, 2012 at 8:20 am

This looks simple and divine, love the combo and can’t wait to try. Thanks!


anita September 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I am loving this recipe! So many layers of flavor yet so simple.

Those tortillas are my go to for a quick dinner.


Kate September 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Just to reinterate…I LOVE the simple recipes the most. I am much more likely to attempt them than I am the others that have lots of ingredients. Thanks for offering your ideas online for us.


Karen September 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I love chickpeas! It never occurred to me that I could throw in a date when I’m making a dressing; can’t wait to try it out.


veganlisa September 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I’m with all of your readers Gena, whatever you post always provides me with inspiration, insight or opportunities for introspection. Thank you for continuing to share so generously with all of us.

Sending you lots of love.


Marissa September 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm

The freezer at my parents’ place is just like this, and my mom almost never cleans it out! Somehow it has become the household chore that I do when I go home on breaks–I only hope I’ll find something as delicious as this to make the next time I look in there!


Lisa September 26, 2012 at 1:27 am

No. Thank you, Gena!!


Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family September 26, 2012 at 8:51 am

Cleaning out the freezer can indeed be daunting…we all must face it at some point.
I can’t wait to try your chickpeas they look quite yummy all toasted up.

I have a question though about the dressing. Does the use of 1 C of water negate needing to soak the cashews? I just want to make sure I don’t flub up the dressing when I give it a go.


Ttrockwood September 28, 2012 at 11:17 pm

You have to soak the cashews so they are “soft” and blend well- soak in water,(overnight is best) then drain them/throw out water.
The water in the dressing ingredients thins out the dressing.


Laura C September 27, 2012 at 12:36 am

Yes please, simple recipes! My eyes glaze over when there are more than 8 ingredients or 2 steps… I’m just that lazy ;) I’m much more into “ideas”- the idea of freezing snack bars or roasting chickpeas, for example. And meal shots are great- often I’m just looking for general green eating inspiration, and something will catch my eye (even just an ingredient) and I’ll get a “green craving.” good luck with your crazy schedule! :)


Catherine September 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I love your quick and simple food, too. I am much more likely to make something like this at the end of a long work day. I’m also glad that you feel supported enough by your readers to do what you need to do, and what works best for your lifestyle right now. That’s the great thing about getting older: evolving, and embracing it.


Carolyn September 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Thanks for this yummy way to use up the extra chickpeas and tortillas I always seem to accumulate! I’m not a dill fan, so I used cilantro instead and also added avocado for a little something extra – delish!


Carol Lani Johnson October 1, 2012 at 8:12 am

I, too, love the Food for Life sprouted corn tortillas. So glad you gave us a yummy recipe for them. I will just leave the avocado oil out of the recipe and plan on savoring these often. As a former Texan, I may have to use pintos instead of garbanzos sometime…Thank you!


melissa (fitnessnycblog) October 1, 2012 at 9:37 am

Those look so good. I agree that store bought corn tortillas are often really dry and bland, but if you can get them freshly made, boy are they good. I can’t wait to try this new spin on tacos.


hannah October 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Did you soak the walnuts first for this?


Ann October 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Gena, That chickpea idea is brilliant! I made some over the weekend and am having them today in a salad, yesterday I had some in collard wraps with some jasmine rice/carrot/raisin mixture. Fantastic.


Kyleigh February 14, 2013 at 1:39 am

I made these for dinner last Thursday and they were simply amazing! I made homemade corn tortillas from scratch to go along with the kale/chickpea filling and they were so good. Even my husband liked them and he’s not usually a fan of chickpeas. I just recently discovered your blog, you have so many wonderful and creative recipes! I can’t wait to try out some more! :)


Nat D. March 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I made this last week. It was so easy and really good! I made the chickpeas ahead of time (the night before) and didn’t store them in water. When I roasted them, they turned out pretty dry. Is that normal? Do you think the way I stored them had anything to do with it? Thanks!


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