By Chef Linda
North African cooking features heady, warming spices that can be amped up or toned down to suit your style. Chickpeas–full of protein and fiber and a bevy of vegetables make this a nutritious, flavorful stew. Sweet potatoes break down in the cooking and lend a subtle sweetness that pairs beautifully with the coconut milk and spices, but feel free to substitute vegetables you prefer or have on hand for what’s recommended here. While the ingredient list may feel long, you’ll find the prep work is fairly simple and once everything is in the pot, you can sit back and wait for a glorious meal that will satisfy all of your senses. Serve this stew over Lemon-Parsley Quinoa and garnish with a dollop of cashew sour cream.
North African Chickpea Stew
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or substitute your favorite healthy oil)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt, more to season
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Generous pinch of saffron (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced, about 1 tablespoon
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, about 2 cups
2 waxy potatoes (Yukon gold, red, or yellow), cut into 1-inch cubes, about 2 cups
2 (15-ounce) cans coconut milk
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Cashew sour cream
In a large skillet or pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms, salt, and spices. Cook, while stirring occasionally for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions become translucent and the mushrooms have released most of their liquid and have browned.
Add garlic, chickpeas, sweet potato, waxy potatoes, coconut milk, and tomatoes. Cook for 15 minutes then add cauliflower. Continue cooking on a low simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced and vegetables are tender. Add lemon juice and taste. Add more salt, if necessary. Serve over Lemon-Parsley Quinoa, garnished with a dollop of cashew sour cream and parsley.