Easy Mashed Cauliflower with Kale and Chickpeas


  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and dried well
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 head purple cauliflower (really, any cauliflower will do here!), cut into even-sized florets
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast or cheese*
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced/grated and divided
  • up to 1/2 cup hot water/hot non-dairy milk
  • 34 handfuls kale leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt+pepper


  1. Make the chickpeas: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Once your chickpeas are dried well, place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Salt and pepper them to taste, and then roast for 30-35 minutes, until the chickpeas are golden brown and crunchy. Keep a close eye on them at the 30 minute mark – they can go from golden to black quickly!
  3. Make the mashed cauliflower: While your chickpeas are roasting, steam your cauliflower florets until fork-tender**.
  4. Carefully add steamed cauliflower to a food processor, and process until most of it is broken down. Add 1-2 cloves garlic (I used 1 and 1/2 cloves), 1 Tbsp. olive oil, nutritional yeast/cheese, and salt + pepper to taste. Blend to combine. While blending, drizzle in some of your hot water/milk until the mashed cauliflower is smooth. You might not need the full 1/2 cup.
  5. Make the balsamic kale: Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a sauté pan over medium. When hot, add kale and 1 minced/grated garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, then add balsamic vinegar. Quickly toss kale in the balsamic (it will caramelize quickly, so be sure it doesn’t burn!). Remove from heat after about 30 seconds, or until the balsamic has become sticky and caramelizes on the kale.
  6. Assemble your bowls: Divide mashed cauliflower into two-three bowls. Top with kale and sprinkle with roasted chickpeas.


*If going the cheese-route, I recommend grated parmesan or shredded mozzarella!
**If you have a steamer basket, by all means use it! I don’t, so I made a make-shift steamer out of a metal colander and a big pasta pot (see third photo in post). I just covered it with tightly aluminum foil and let it steam for 15-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork-tender.
Alternatively, you can steam it in a microwave. Place cauliflower and a couple inches of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, and microwave 5-6 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork-tender.

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