Chickpea Vegetable Stew for Lent or Meatless Days

Chickpea and Vegetable Stew

As many of you know, Thursdays are my day to chat with Matt Swaim of the Sonrise Morning Show/Sacred Heart Radio. Today we talked about chickpeas – a staple bean in Bible days.


Chickpeas are not mentioned specifically in the Bible, but we know that it was a staple in the cuisine of that era.

Cultivation of the chickpea began so long ago that its original wild ancestor is now extinct.  Chickpeas were a common bean across the Middle East during Bible days.  They were grown in the hanging gardens of ancient Babylon.

How did people of Bible days eat chickpeas?

The Greeks of Homer’s day relied on chickpeas in addition to beans, lentils, onions, and garlic in their daily meals, and the ancient Romans enjoyed chickpeas and bacon the way many people enjoy pork and beans.

There are other names for chickpeas, aren’t there?

Some folks know them as garbanzo beans, and ceci beans.

Do chickpeas grow like other beans?

They do, like regular beans and peas. They’re a light tan in color and have a slightly nutty taste, that’s pretty distinctive. The bean itself is firm to the bite.

Chickpeas are now eaten all over the world, and are on the trendiest restaurant menus.

I love that what was considered a lowly bean when I was growing up is now like a Hollywood star. Chickpeas are still a staple in a healthy diet, whether you’re rich or not so rich.

How to they compare nutritionally with other beans?

While high in calories, chickpeas are also high in protein, calcium, B-vitamins iron, and dietary fiber. They do contain carbs but chickpeas, like beans, are called starch resistant since your body takes longer to digest them than simple carbs so this keeps you feeling fuller longer. Chickpeas contain no cholesterol so they’re great for your heart.


Thanks to the listener/reader who shared this recipe. When I made it today, I subbed in some ingredients and amounts. Use this recipe as a guide. A little more, or less, of any ingredient I think is OK. 


Olive oil

1 heaping cup diced peeled sweet potato 

1 heaping cup small cauliflower florets (I used butternut squash)

1/4 to 1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onion

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 cup vegetable broth (or water)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 can, 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained 

Couple handfuls spinach (my addition)


Cilantro (I didn’t have any)

Rice (optional)


Film a large nonstick skillet with oil over medium heat.
Add potatoes and cauliflower (or in my case squash) and cook until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. 

Add onion and curry powder and cook until onions start to turn translucent, a couple of minutes.

Add broth, chickpeas and tomatoes and cook until everything is tender.

Add spinach if using and cook until barely wilted.
Season to taste. Serve over rice.

Serve with dollop of yogurt and cilantro

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