You know why I love this Vegan Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew? Because it’s pretty much a “set it and forget it” kind of meal. There’s a little bit of slicing and dicing involved, of course, but then you just throw it all into a pot and let it do its thing. And by “do its thing” I mean magically transform into a warm, savory, really freakin’ delicious dinner. Seriously, you guys, the flavor is intense…in a good way.
And then, of course, there’s its nutritional profile, which is off the charts! With the cooler temps and holiday season in full swing, remember that hearty food can also be healthy food. The combination of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, carrots, and quinoa in this Vegan Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew pack enough nutrients in one meal to make your body say, “Oh damn girl, you must really love me today!”
Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, and of the root vegetables, have the lowest glycemic index. That means they digest slowly, leave you satiated, and won’t spike your blood sugar like white potatoes. This is especially important for expectant mamas who are either at risk for or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Sweet potatoes provide a ton of vitamins A, C, B6, and beta-carotene. They’re a great source of some vital minerals and ain’t too shabby in the protein and calcium department either.
For those of you who haven’t heard me rant and rave about chickpeas yet: they rock! One cup provides 12 g fiber and 15 g protein. If anyone asks you the ever popular plant-based diet question “How do you get enough protein?” just say “Chickpeas! Booyah!” (That kind of exclamation achieves its full mom-dork potential when accompanied by some outdated, wannabe hand gesture, FYI.) These little nutrient bombs also supply us with B vitamins, folate (which is so critical for pregnant mamas), and vitamins E, K, A, and C. Not to mention, essential nutrients like calcium (another big one for moms), magnesium, and phosphorous — all crucial for baby’s bone development. Oh and then just to show off, they throw in a lil’ iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and potassium.
Carrots are a tried and true staple in a healthy diet. Their most renowned phytonutrient, beta-carotene, has long been praised for its antioxidant properties. Different varieties and colors of carrots (purple, orange, yellow) contain varying amounts of a few different phytonutrient antioxidants, so eat them all when available to get the full spectrum.
And finally quinoa — hello, superfood of the century! It’s incredibly nutrient-dense and an excellent source of complete plant-based protein (8 g/cup) offering eight essential amino acids. Quinoa is high in fiber (5 g/cup) and provides a ton of calcium (31 mg/cup). It supplies us with iron and a host of other vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it a popular allergen-friendly food for those who fall on the wheat-intolerance spectrum.
For my nursing mamas, not only will this Vegan Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew fill your belly, but with all these lactogenic ingredients, it’ll also help fill your boobies with milk! 😉
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 sweet potatoes, diced
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained*
- 1 cup coconut milk**
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro for garnish
- 1.5 cup uncooked quinoa
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until glistening. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and then sauté for a few minutes more.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the cilantro and quinoa, and stir to combine.
- Simmer the stew over medium-low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, rinse the quinoa. Combine it in a pot with 3 cups of water and a splash of olive olive oil. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Add more water while cooking, as needed. Fluff with a fork, and remove from heat.
- Serve stew over quinoa, and garnish with fresh cilantro.
- *If you are using the beans for your baby and he is less than one year old, opt for “no salt added” organic beans.
- **I use full fat coconut milk. You can use a lighter version if you’re trying to reduce fat and calories, but the taste will not be as rich.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup carrots, diced
- 1/3 cup sweet potato, diced
- 1/3 cup garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- Pinch each of cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and parsley
- 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
- In a small pot, heat olive oil and sauté onion until it starts to turn translucent. Add garlic, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Sauté until they all get tender, adding purified water as needed. Add the beans, coconut milk, spices, and quinoa. Mix together and cook for a few minutes to combine flavors. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Depending upon the needs of your baby, you can either purée the stew in a food processor or serve as is.