Moroccan Chickpea & Sweet Potato Stew with Quinoa

Feb 5, 2013

I've been eyeing this stew for about a month now, ever since I saw it posted on A Couple Cooks, and recently got around to making it. And, boy, am I glad I finally did! It's quite simple and brings together lots of vibrant flavors. A wonderful mixture of spices adds a bit of an exotic flare, while the yogurt, lemon, and cilantro keep it light and fresh.

I love that each of the ingredients not only brings a unique flavor to this dish, but also that they each contribute their own big nutritional punch. There's lots of protein, antioxidants, and vitamins in that bowl up there. This is one of those dishes you can not only enjoy for its great flavors, but also for its powerful nutritional offerings. 


Notes: Obviously, fresh chickpeas are best, but canned will also be delicious. This stew can be served with brown rice or quinoa. A quick note on the quinoa: I prefer to sprout my quinoa whenever possible, to increase the nutritional and digestive benefits, but non-sprouted quinoa will also work just fine. The directions for this are the same as I have written below, just exclude the "day before" instructions. The stew itself is fairly flexible. I can imagine that a number of diced vegetables would make a great addition; feel free to throw in some of what you have on hand.  

Adapted from A Couple Cooks
Moroccan Chickpea & Sweet Potato Stew with Quinoa

sprouted quinoa
2 cups dry quinoa
2 cups water
2 tablespoons yogurt

3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teasoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pinches cayenne pepper

2 cups vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 large (about 1 3/4 pounds) sweet potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
3 cups spinach
Juice of half a lemon

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Zest of one lemon
Plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt

sprouted quinoa
(The day before...) In a glass bowl, mix together the quinoa, the first two cups of water, and 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Cover and place in a warm place for 12-24 hours.

When you are ready to cook the quinoa, strain the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well, until the water runs clear. Add rinsed quinoa to a medium pot with the salt and the last two cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 additional seconds.

Stir in the paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Stir for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then add sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Simmer the stew for 25 - 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in spinach and fresh lemon juice in the last 2 minutes.

Serve stew with quinoa. Garnish with cilantro, lemon zest, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Yield: Serves 4-6
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