Simple. TICK. Delicious. TICK. Low-fat. TICK. Supper and lunch are sorted with this Moroccan chickpea stew. Oh – and it happens to be vegan.
You’d almost think vegans didn’t exist before September last year. And certainly not outside of Instagram.
Veganism is the latest media darling – and some papers and TV shows are making up for lost time with a vengeance.
Every time I look on social media, there’s some argument about meat-free burgers that ‘bleed’, jack fruit pizzas that may or may not become a permanent fixture on chain restaurant menus and vegan sausage rolls that apparently make breakfast TV presenters vomit.
I don’t know about you but to me, it feels like a big fuss about nothing. Surely we’ve been eating vegan food for ever? We used to just call it ‘food’. Good home-cooked meals eaten by people who don’t need to issue a press release every time they enjoy a meat-free meal.
This Moroccan-inspired chickpea stew is the perfect example. It doesn’t remove the meat and replace it with a commercial product designed to make the big food companies even richer. Instead, it’s a perfectly-balanced meal made from tasty, basic ingredients: low fat, bursting with vitamins and packed with flavour.
And you don’t have to call yourself a vegan to eat it. Just cutting out a couple of meat meals a week is a good step towards healthier eating – and a great weight-loss technique too.
This recipe serves four, so it’s the perfect way to prep ahead for those meatless days. Eat for dinner and then pack it up as a ‘tupperware lunch’ to reheat in the office microwave. Even the meat freaks will be asking for a taste.
Moroccan chickpea stew
This unusual and earthy Moroccan stew is a warming winter dish which works equally well as a main meal or as a ‘tupperware lunch’, to be heated in the office microwave.
Serves 4 • Ready in 1 hour
1 tbsp olive oil (99 cals)
1 onion, chopped (65 cals)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (4 cals)
1 red pepper, seeded and diced (52 cals)
1 aubergine, cut into chunks (90 cals)
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp tomato purée (30 cals)
2 tbsp harissa paste (26 cals)
150g (5oz) red lentils (477 cals)
1 x 400g (14oz) tin chickpeas (304 cals)
20g fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped (28 cals)
Juice of 1 lemon (4 cals)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and fry for 7–8 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, pepper and aubergine and fry for another 5 minutes. Add in the spices, tomato purée and harissa paste and stir through for a minute or two.
• Add the lentils and cover generously with about 800ml of just boiled water. Bring to the boil and simmer vigorously for 10 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas, water and all. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently for a further 15 minutes. Keep topping up the water if it threatens to dry out.
• Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, tomatoes and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.