Creamy Kale & Spinach Chickpea Macaroni - FOOD PHOTO SHOOT

in #photography3 years ago (edited)

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Wow, this pasta though!

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I’ve been feeling so inspired and excited by the weather warming up. Where I live, which is pretty far north, the day length changes drastically throughout the year. For example, when we reach the longest day of the year the sun doesn’t set until almost 10:30 pm! This is pretty inconvenient for me in the Winter because I have always chosen to use natural light for my photography. As you can imagine, this cuts my opportune working window pretty short throughout the colder seasons. Not gonna lie, this doesn’t help my Winter stress levels.

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On the flip side, I can be so much more flexible during the longer day lengths. I must say, it’s been really nice being able to get to the gym early sometimes and then still have time in my day to get recipes done and take photos before it’s too dark. I actually made this particular recipe on a whim a few days ago, right after getting home from the gym. I wasn’t really hungry before leaving so I may have skipped breakfast, oops. I guess that technically made this pasta my breakfast. Yep, I’m weird like that and sometimes eat really random first meals of the day. I’ve actually been on a savory breakfast kick recently, maybe you can relate?

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So I’m always open to a little challenge or trying something new. When it comes to a classic like macaroni and cheese though, it’s pretty hard to imagine it being possible to make it without the cheese part, right? I’m not going to say that this recipe tastes exactly like cheese or anything but if you are skeptical whether a version of mac could even be good without dairy than this should at least change your mind.

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I think what really creates the perfect flavor base is roasting the garlic and peppers. I know it adds a few minutes (okay, like 40) but trust me, it’s worth it. You may be like me and you already do this, but what I typically try to do is roast my veggies while I’ve already got my oven heated for any other baking I’m doing during the day. This is especially nice during the summer months when you’re trying to minimize heat.

Oh, but definitely note that the garlic could permeate into something you’re baking it with so I’ll only bake it with something else that’s savory.

And yes, I did put kale in this pasta. Hey, if you aren’t a huge fan of it, no worries, just replace it with more spinach or any other veggie for that matter. Also, I used Banza pasta which is made from chickpeas. This wasn’t the plan initially, but it sort of makes this pasta a party of chickpeas, but a delicious one at that. By the way, I’m not being sponsored by Banza, I just discovered how awesome it is. It has the same amount of protein per serving as a steak, isn’t that crazy?

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Did I forget to mention that this recipe is vegan and gluten free? Awesome, I know! Some of the other ingredients that help give it a cheesy flavor, without any actual cheese, are mustard and nutritional yeast. I also added a tiny amount of coconut aminos. You can replace that with soy sauce if you’re not gluten free, or tamari if you are.

I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Creamy Kale & Spinach Chickpea Macaroni

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6-8 servings

Thought you couldn't make macaroni without the cheese? Omg, me too! But guess what? You can and it's so good!


8 ounces elbow pasta (I used Banza pasta)
1 1/2 cups fresh kale, stems trimmed and chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup (220g) cooked chickpeas
3 medium red bell peppers, stems and seeds removed
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup (10g) nutritional yeast
1/4 cup (30g) roasted salted cashews
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (can be replaced with tamari, or soy sauce if not gluten free)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 cup water


Heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C) and line a baking tray with foil. Lay out the peppers on the tray. Use a sharp knife to slice the top off of the garlic to reveal the cloves. Drizzle the peppers and garlic with olive oil and place a small square of foil over the garlic to avoid burning. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the peppers are beginning to brown a bit.
Once the veggies are roasted, allow them to cool for at least 5 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves carefully from the peel and place them in a blender or food processor along with the peppers. Add the nutritional yeast, cashews, mustard, coconut aminos, paprika, thyme, and water. Pulse until completely smooth. Set aside for a moment.
Add a teaspoon of oil to a large, deep skillet and add the kale. Cook over medium high heat for about 3- 5 minutes until softened. Pour in the sauce mixture and reduce heat to medium low, stirring periodically until it begins to bubble. Add the fresh spinach and stir together over heat until wilted.
While you're heating the sauce, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Once cooked, stir the pasta into the warm sauce and serve.


For more great food ideas and inspiration, please do not forget to look at my other recent posts

  1. The Easiest Creme Brulee Ever
  2. Quick & Easy Vegetarian Egg Rolls
  3. One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Chicken & Broccoli Gnocchi
  4. Chocolate, Caramel, & Banana "Banoffee" Cake
  5. Avocado Chicken Green Enchilada Bake
  6. White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
  7. Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
  8. Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto & Havarti Grilled Cheese
  9. Caramel Milkshakes + Celebrating 15,000 Followers!
  10. Easy Cinnamon Sweet Potato Quick Bread

ALL CONTENT IS MINE AND ORIGINAL! All of these food photos were taken with my Nikon D750 and my favorite Lens, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G. You can find out more in my INTRO POST.

And, by the way, to all the minnows out there, my intro post did a huge $0.21. The key to success on Steemit is to be consistent and persistent. Click on the link below for some great tutorials on how you can also succeed on the steem blockchain:

Master Toolkit: Steemit Resource Guide Illustrated by @sndbox

Also, a huge shoutout to @rigaronib for designing my logo!

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Do you want to learn more about me? Click here to see a recent @wadepaterson interview with me - 20 questions with @gringalicious

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My Current Stats: 67,957 Steem Power | 15,414 Followers | 32,000 Posts | Reputation 75.166




gotta try that pasta

Looking delicious food with photography

This post, with over $50.00 in bidbot payouts, has received votes from the following:

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For a total calculated bidbot upvote value of $145 STU, $304 USD before curation, with approx. $36 USD curation being earned by the bidbots.

This information is being presented in the interest of transparency on our platform @gringalicious and is by no means a judgement of your work.

i love pasta yummyy hehe

Nom Nom Nom. Recipe saved! Glad you discovered the nutritional yeast instead of cheese. So good!

Foods are looking so yammi. It must be delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I will try it at my home. May be it not perfect like your's. Though I will try.Thanks @gringalicious .


You should also try this!

yummy! I'll try to cook it

Thanks for the sweet comment @jena1997!

Looks delicious :-)

delicious food photography again share you and i am again thank you.

The food looks delicious and the photo looks very professional. What more can I say? Gorgeous!

Howdy gringalicious! I didn't think a Mac dish without cheese could be done so beautifully as far as visually appealing, it also should be healthy according to your ingredients and of course your photos are perfect too so it's another perfect job! I'd love to try it, thank you

You got a 36.19% upvote from @brupvoter courtesy of @gringalicious!

Hmm, great as usual
Their is nothing you can substitute for quality food.

Delicious food [email protected] my breakfast time. I want this.hehe.thanks a lot for a good recipe .

Liiiiiik, It looks delicious

So delicious food , very yammi 🍛🍲🍝😍😍😍😋😋 i like it , good job .

I recieved your post on resteem my blog .

Your post is always different i follow your blog everytime , your post is so helpful . I always inspire of your post on my steem work . Thank you for sharing @gringalicious

Follow my blog @powerupme

I saw the title for this recipe and immediately thought...ewwwwwww don't ruin my mac and cheese!!! And then I read the recipe and my reaction changed to "I think I'll give this one a try too".

It's protein packed. Keep writing them and they will come ;)

You got a 79.71% upvote from @oceanwhale With 35+ Bonus Upvotes courtesy of @gringalicious! Delegate us Steem Power & get 100%daily rewards Payout! 20 SP, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 300, 500,1000 or Fill in any amount of SP Earn 1.25 SBD Per 1000 SP | Discord server





That's looking so yummy.... You're always making mouth watering dishes



this looks really yummy i can feel the taste of it :)

How rich is that food uhhmmmmm :)

thanks for your recipe... your picture looks delicious

Ohh yayyy another vegan creation ♥ Honestly, I've be waiting for this one and I love it! Thanks so much for this yummy recipe! Upvoted & resteemed! Have a great weekend :)

looks awsome! Watch out my new post about coconut cupcakes

You already know what i think even before typing this. Hahaha. Mind power, right?

How can Pasta look this good? I don't think i have ever had as good looking Pasta as this before. This feels divine. Who cares whether it is not fit for breakfast? Hahahaha. i would take it anytime and anyday.

My warm weather friend. Hahaha. I hope you have been shedding those layer clothes and been rocking your light outfits. I actually prefer a little bit of cool weather, but then, it's good that we are blessed with blend of weather.

You are weird? Nice to meet you. They call me that too. covers face. Like you do say, you have broken lot of kitchen rules, so, gladly break this rule and have it for breakfast. Care to share?

Pasta is a good food pasta I like it very much I love eating much I have seen in this post my pasta has become very delicious and very nice to eat pasta. I can eat lots of pasta. This post has been very good to see many beautiful pasta.

Your post is always different i follow your blog everytime , your post is so helpful .
I always inspire of your post on my steem work . Thank you for sharing @gringalicious

Follow my blog If you want @alemrantorun

Thanks for following and taking the time to comment @alemrantorun

it looks very tasty

too good, as always, presenting exquisite dishes and easy preparation.
and highlighting the impeccability of the images.

Looks very tasty @gringalicious!!
Popeye would approve :D

Looks good! Will try it this week

Do you have any not good post? I think no. :D
Every one looks so good ans tasteful that i want go dinner twice! :)

AJ picked your post @gringalicious for his #TOP5 FOOD POST. Visit AJ's FOOD ROUNDUP to view where your post is ranked.

the green leaf looks familiar to me haha i think i have that in my vegetables garden.

I really love pasta, and your recipe looks tremendously delicious.

Delicious.......when I read your post, I thought about the weather at your country that changes drastically throughout the year; My country the weather is always summer.
Sunny and warm days whole year, it´s very nice.
By the way I remember popeyes carttoons when i was a child with your recipe Creamy Kale & Spinach Chickpea Macaroni

Wao this food look so delicious, greetings from Venezuela, i like you post!!!

Greetings from the States @juandelima!

you've knocked it out the park with these photos, fantastic!!

what a beautiful idea, these photos are just amazing!!

Always a kind word, @mamaloves. Thanks!

Thinking about splurging on a more professional camera, what are you using?

Wow :) you make me Hungry lol its amazing thanks for sharing this great post

I like the post, pictures & and will go ahead and try his recipe.
Thanks for sharing

Love it. I can almost taste it. I grow wild spinach and has a very strong natural taste and is perfect with pasta's.

So sweet of you and I'm sure your spinach is amazing to add. Thanks @stranded!

Yum! I love a good macaroni, this looks like a very good dish!

Hey! I love the combination of spinach with macaroni. It looks delicious. I like your recipe. Thank you @gringalicious.

Great post! When’s dinner? I’m eating at your place 😁 I’ll bring the desert 👍🏽