A common misconception that several people believe when they are new to or considering switching to a vegan or a vegetarian diet is that they are going to be resigned to eating flavorless, boring food. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The exciting thing about eating a plant-based diet is that there are so many possibilities; so many spices to explore. Furthermore, virtually anything can be what is referred to as "vegan-ized" or "vegetarian-ized" these days.
Take this spicy Moroccan chickpea chili for example. Not only is it very basic and easy to make, but it is so flavorful that you're not going to want to stop eating it. The rustic and hearty spices make this a perfect dish to serve up on a blustery fall day.
What you'll need:
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 cups of chickpeas*
- 2 cups of chopped tomatoes
- 2 potatoes, diced with the skin on
- 2 cups fresh or frozen spinach
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon tandoori masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
What to do:
1. Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and toss in chopped onions. Sauté the onion for about five minutes or until it begins to turn translucent. Add in the potatoes and sauté for another few minutes.
2. Combine garlic and chickpeas with the onions and potatoes and stir until chickpeas are heated through. Add in chopped ginger and stir for another few minutes until the ginger becomes fragrant.
3. Now it's time for your spices. Lower the heat on the pan to medium and combine all spices into the pot. Stir to cover the chickpea mixture evenly. After a few minutes you'll have an amazingly fragrant mixture.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, spinach, and vegetable broth. Bring the entire mixture to a boil.
5. Lower the heat on the pot and stir. Cover and allow the chili to simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes before serving.
See how easy that is? You'll be amazed that something this easy tastes so good. Who said vegan/vegetarian eating should be bland and boring? They most definitely have not eaten this 100 percent plant-based dish.
*Tip: For chickpeas, you can either buy dry chickpeas and soak them overnight and then cook them for 1.5-2 hours to make them soft enough for your chili or simply go with canned chickpeas. Two 14 oz. cans of chickpeas should be enough for this recipe.