A thick and hearty vegetarian sweet potato and chickpea stew made with creamy coconut milk. Serve with quinoa or brown rice for a cozy winter meal and kick off 2016 on a delicious, healthy note!
Soups and stews are two of my favorite dishes to make during the winter. I have one gripe with them, though. I’ll find see a delicious-looking soup on Pinterest, click on the recipe, and find that it lists 20+ ingredients, sometimes requiring 8-10 different types of spices. I prefer to share recipes with mostly simple ingredients on the blog so that they’d be doable even in a college apartment or if you’re super brave, a shared communal dorm kitchen.
I wanted to create a recipe for a thick, hearty winter stew with simple ingredients, very little prep time, and no special tools like an immersion blender or food processor so there’d be fewer dishes to wash. My distaste for washing dishes is almost equivalent to my love for cooking, so I’m all for one-pot meals. (Unless I happen to be at home for a break, and I can sweet-talk my dad into helping me do the dishes.)
This hearty vegetarian stew is packed with chickpeas, tender chunks of sweet potatoes, and tomatoes, with spinach for some extra nutritional goodness. It’s perfect for Meatless Monday! Coconut milk makes it extra creamy, and adds a little bit of healthy fat, too. For spices, I only used curry powder, cayenne pepper, and chili powder, keeping it as simple as possible. I actually keep all of those spices in my dorm room! Then again, I’m kind of obsessed with food, so I’m not positive that this is normal behavior for a college girl.
Pro tip: stores like Whole Foods sell spices in bulk bins, so you can purchase as little as you need for a recipe if you’re wanting to try a particular spice without committing to buying an entire bottle.
One thing I love to do when I come home is cook meals for me or my family and freeze the leftovers to take back to school for busy night dinners since I don’t have a meal plan. I made this stew with the intention of doing exactly that, especially since I made a giant pot of it while my sister and I were home alone for a few days.
When my parents got home from their trip, there was about half of the pot left and they had no problem finishing it off right when they walked in the door. Oh well– cooking for other people is one of the things that makes me happiest, and now I have a reason to make this recipe again soon!
You can eat the sweet potato and chickpea stew with quinoa or rice, or serve it with a batch of your favorite naan since it’s very curry-like. And serve with sour cream on top if you want to make it extra delicious. Hope you enjoy!
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 1 medium or large onion
- 4 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional for some heat
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cans (15 oz. each) diced tomatoes
- 2 cans (15 oz. each) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large sweet potato, cubed
- 1 can light coconut milk* or half a can of full-fat coconut milk diluted with half a can of water
- 2 cups spinach, tightly packed
- Optional: 1 cup quinoa or brown rice, cooked according to package directions
- Optional: sour cream for topping
In a medium or large pot, sauté onion in cooking oil. Add garlic, curry powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt while it's cooking.
Once onion is soft and translucent, add diced tomatoes, chickpeas, sweet potato cubes, and coconut milk.
Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook for 35-50 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.
While stew is lightly simmering, cook quinoa or rice, if using.
When sweet potatoes are soft, run a potato masher through the stew and mash just a bit to thicken it up. Add chopped spinach and wait a few minutes for spinach to wilt. Top with sour cream, if desired, and enjoy!
Different types of quinoa vary, but white quinoa takes approximately 30 minutes to cook.
Inspired by this recipe
Nutrition Info for 1/8 of the recipe, not including quinoa
Calories: 250 Carbs: 38g Fat: 8g Fiber: 7g Protein: 8g