By: Beata Blajer, RD, CDE Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator at Southlake Regional Health Centre
There’s no better way to warm up on a chilly winter evening than with a delicious, savory stew. One of my favourites is Morrocan Chickpea and Sweet Potato. Not only is this dish pleasing to your taste buds, but it also happens to be easy on your waist-band.
This simple vegetarian dish is packed with heart-healthy nutrients, and it’s so filling that you won’t even miss the meat. The star of this stew is definitely the chickpeas, which are loaded with protein, complex carbohydrates, and dietary fibre. These are all very important to heart-healthy eating. The dietary fibre alone helps lower blood cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease, colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
The stew also has great antioxidants and vitamins in the brightly coloured vegetables, like carrots, bell peppers, spinach and sweet potatoes. The recipe is full of B vitamins, like folate, which support red blood cell formation and proper nerve function, and help prevent artery damage.
This recipe keeps the sodium low, but the flavor level high, through the use of savory, rich spices, like garam marsala.
I also love that this stew gives me an opportunity to break out my spiralizer, which is a neat kitchen gadget that turns vegetables into long, pasta-like faux noodles. This adds great texture to many dishes –including this one! If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can always julienne the vegetables in this recipe.
Hopefully this heart-healthy stew becomes a winter staple in your household, just as it has in mine. Enjoy!
•1 onion, chopped finely
•1 stalk celery, chopped medium size
•2 medium carrots, chopped medium size
•1 bell pepper, chopped into medium chunks
•½ head cauliflower cut into small florets
•1 bunch spinach
•1 sweet potato spiralized or julienned on large blade
•2-3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 can canned diced tomatoes (No Salt Added preferred)
•2 cans (15 ounces) chickpeas (No Salt Added preferred), drained and rinsed
•1 Tablespoon oil (extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil or expeller pressed canola oil)
•Water as needed
•1 Tablespoon garam marsala
•1-2 vegetable bouillon cubes (No Salt Added or Low Sodium variety preferred – i.e. GoBio™, Harvest Sun™) dissolved in ½ cup warm water
•Salt & ground black pepper
1.Place the onion, celery, bell peppers, carrots and garlic in a pot with the oil and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables become softened slightly.
2.Add cauliflower and sweet potato, diced tomatoes and all of the spices to the pot. Mix well, continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes until all veggies are tender.
3.Add spinach and chickpeas and cook for another 55 minutes.
4.Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately or freeze for later use.