This vegetable and bean stew is inspired by the Spanish flavors of smoked paprika and saffron. It answers the call for something satisfying. It’s loaded with protein, fiber and antioxidants. Low in fat but big in taste, this healthy stew is started on the stove top and finished in the oven for maximum savoriness. If you love tomatoes and chickpeas then this recipe is for you.
I packed extra servings to bring to ER with me for dinner. My co-worker loved it with both the toasted quinoa and a small whole grain roll for dunking. She told me it sustained her through a busy shift. It never ceases to amaze me how nurturing food can be, especially where I work. I feed a rotating array of hungry emergency room workers in desperate need of home cooking.
Spanish Chickpea & Tomato Stew with Toasted Quinoa Recipe
Toasting the quinoa enhances its nutty flavor, giving it a warm taste. The toasty flavors pair nicely with the smoky flavors of the stew.
Pomi Tomatoes are my go-to choice now. They’re fresh tasting and pure. They come in a box. I find them in my regular supermarket. If you can’t find them, use two 28 ounce cans of good quality chopped tomatoes.
I added a small chili pepper for heat and a sprinkling of red chili flakes. I like spicy food. Leave the fresh chili and the chili flakes out if you prefer a milder stew. Thai bird’s eye chili peppers are always in my fridge, so that’s what I used here. Some or all of a jalapeno pepper will work too.
If you don’t want to use chickpeas, swap them for white beans or even black beans.
A pinch of saffron, maybe 5-6 threads, is wonderful here. But again, it’s not necessary. The stew is delicious without it. I like finishing it with grey celtic sea salt for a little crunch.
This recipe makes a large pot full. It reheats very well for workweek meals. Overnight, it will get thicker, thin it out with a little water if you like. The quinoa can also be made ahead and reheated in the microwave without sacrificing taste.
Ingredients for the Stew:
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, chopped. I use a red and green one.
- 1 lemon, one lime, or one small orange. Zest some of the citrus fruit of your choice and reserve the zest.
- 1 small chili pepper, diced (optional, see notes)
- 3 baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 16 ounce cans of chickpeas, or beans of your choice, rinsed and drained. Black beans or white beans are good choices too.
- 2 26.46 ounce boxes of Pomi Chopped Tomatoes or two 28 cans of quality chopped tomatoes.
- 1 teaspoon of ground paprika
- 1 tablespoon of smoked Spanish paprika, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- A few saffron threads, crushed between your fingers (optional)
- Drizzle of honey or pinches of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes
- Olive oil for cooking and drizzling
- Sea salt to taste
- Serving Suggestions: red chili flakes, flaky sea salt or gray celtic sea salt, my toasted quinoa, rice, crusty bread
Ingredients for the Toasted Quinoa:
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- Olive oil for cooking
- Sea salt to taste
In a small pot, over medium heat, toast the rinsed quinoa in a little olive oil until it’s fragrant and starts to make a crackling sound, about 3-5 minutes. Carefully add two cups of water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is done. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350. In an oven safe pot or Dutch oven, saute the bell peppers, onion and chili pepper with salt and olive oil until tender. Once the vegetables have softened, add the potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, paprika, oregano, saffron and honey. Adjust the salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the stove top, place it in the 350 degree oven and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash some of the potatoes with the back of your spoon to thicken the sauce. Squeeze a little of lemon, lime or orange juice over the top of the stew. Stir in the reserved zest. Drizzle some olive oil over the top, sprinkle with smoked paprika and any of the other serving suggestions. Serve over toasted quinoa and enjoy!