Friday, January 14, 2011

Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew with Couscous

The holidays seemed to fly by again this year. I didn’t post a single entry here for over a month because there was so much else to do, but during these long winter nights I am documenting each cookie/ cake/ candy recipe I prepared. With any luck, in November I will remember that I did this and post the recipes and my reviews. The grand total was 17 different types of cookies, four of candy, a cake and a tart. And that is why I didn’t have the time to post my baking adventures this past year.

We are now in mid-January and since I’ve rid the freezer of those leftover treats, I am now ready to get back to my usual healthy eating.

I found the following recipe in the December issue of Real Simple magazine. I made a few changes, and both Jack and I enjoyed this for lunch one cold winter day. The recipe below highlights my changes in blue. In my opinion, the additional cumin, the crushed red pepper, and the almonds are absolutely essential.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew with Couscous

Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 25m | Total Time: 35m


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (I used 2 teaspoons) and then added
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (unless you like spicy food, though, I would suggest 1/4t)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (I used canned, diced tomatoes)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed *
  • 1 head cauliflower, rinsed and separated into pieces (about 14 ounces)
  • I added 3 ounces diagonally-sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup raisins (ick. I didn’t add these—I hate cooked raisins!)
  • 1 5-ounce package baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup couscous (I used whole wheat couscous)
  • ¼ cup slivered, toasted almonds


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cumin, ginger, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes (crushing with your hands as you add them, obviously not necessary if you use canned diced tomatoes) and their liquid, chickpeas, cauliflower, raisins, and ½ cup water (I used vegetable broth) and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Fold in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of hot tap water, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the stew, and sprinkle almonds over top.