Comfort in a Bowl

Comfort in a Bowl

This is a dish that I came across a while back and made some modifications to our taste (here’s a link to the original). It is so delicious and easy that Aaron has taken it upon himself to master it as well, which I love! I was photographer the day this was made and he was head chef. He is a great cook and gives himself less credit than he deserves. This dish requires minimal ingredients and is pretty quick from start to finish. If you are a garlic lover then you will go bananas over this!

Serves 2 (with left overs for lunch the next day depending on your appetite)

Cook time: 20 min

Difficulty: easy peasy


  • 1lb package pasta (penne, rigatoni, bow-tie, whatever!)
  • 1 bunch curly kale (inspected for little wormies, they have good taste in greens)
  • 1 can kidney beans (organic!)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 10-12 garlic cloves minced (that’s right! You can always do less or more depending on your love of garlic)
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more or less according to your spice level)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (we use extra virgin)
  • salt to taste (FYI a little goes a LONG way)


First you want get your pasta pot filled with water and on its way to a boil. Then prep all of the other ingredients. Rip your kale off the stem into larger than bite sized pieces.

Green Goodness

It’ll cook down smaller so it’ll fit in your trap. Toss those ripped pieces into a salad washer and give them a good cleaning. We like to fill the kale filled salad spinner with water and use our hands to shake the kale around to get any dirt off. Give it a spin and set aside.

Is it hot in here?


Ok ok, back to the recipe. Crack open that can of beans and give them a good rinsing.

I swear you’ll love em’

Follow that up with mincing up all that glorious garlic (and check on your pasta water—you don’t want the pot to boil over!). Get a large pan with sides or even a wok type pan on a burner and preheating with the olive oil over med/med-high heat.

This is Aaron’s FAVORITE part, garlic lover doesn’t begin to describe him.

Next, toss your pasta in the water and get it cooking according to the box/bag’s instructions. This is where the timing should work out pretty perfectly (assuming your pasta cooks in 8-10 minutes). Add your garlic to the pan with the olive oil, you want to sauté it a little and get a good smell going. Don’t burn it! After letting the garlic go for a solid minute or so toss in your crushed red pepper flakes. Give them a little stir and let them go for about a minute in the pan. Next pour in the water followed by the kale, give it a quick stir and then put a lid on it!

The goal is to let the water kind of steam/sauté and break down the kale—it will turn a gorgeous bright green. You can stir it a couple times so it all gets cooked the same. Once the kale seems cooked to your liking (for us about 5-7 min) take off the lid, drain your pasta and toss it along with the beans into the pan/wok with the kale.

Beans are soooo good for you, so don’t be shy

You can turn the heat off or turn it down to “keep warm” aka lowest setting while you stir everything together!

YUM, this smells so garlicky good!

Serve it up and gulp it down!


5 Comments on "Comfort in a Bowl"

  1. Very colorful! This may be a recipe easy enough for Josh to try (if I chop the garlic for him!)!

  2. Kristin says:

    You seriously have some of the best looking recipes! I want to eat everything I’ve seen so far!

  3. Benita says:

    Julie, I just tried your recipe tonight! It was great and easy peasy just like you said it would be. Thanks Vegan Jules! 🙂

    • Julie says:

      Awesome! I’m so glad you liked it! That is totally our go to dish when it’s a late dinner or we’re just tired and want something easy and tasty. Thanks for trying it!!!!