Thursday, October 20, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Mediterranean Chickpea Stew

October 21st is Garbanzo Bean Day, but I think they are better known as Chickpeas.  

Recent studies have linked chickpeas and a Mediterranean diet with numerous health benefits, such as improved heart health, reduced risk of diabetes and dementia and a decreased risk of stomach cancer.

High in protein, they are one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500 year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.

Here is a hearty fall stew full of fresh herbs, spinach and protein packed chickpeas.


Mediterranean Chickpea Stew


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
4 medium zucchini, chopped
35 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1 can vegetarian broth
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained (or you can use (1) 14 oz. canned chickpeas, drained)
1 bag (8oz) baby spinach
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rough chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
5 cups cooked couscous


Heat oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  

Add pepper and zucchini and cook for another 15 minutes.  Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes or until zucchini is soft and tomatoes begin to break down (you can use a wooden spoon to break apart). 

Stir in chickpeas and cook for another 3-5 minutes and then add spinach, capers and fresh herbs/spices.  Season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes before serving over 1/2 cup couscous.

* Please note:  This recipe is dairy free, vegan, vegetarian and high in fiber!