Last year I had my gallbladder removed. Still hungry? Excellent. Read on McDuff. I was the anomaly in the gallbladder lottery; I am fit, healthy, don’t eat too much in the way of fats and generally live pretty well. I was happy to keep my little gall sack, tiny thing that it was, but I had me some stones stuck in a bottleneck and the rest, as they say, is gallbladder history. Without it I do pretty well. I have found the secret is eating small meals regularly throughout the day.
It keeps my energy up so I can still out-run the Elf (mostly) and out-think the Great Dane (always, bless her silly socks) and I fend off the horrendous “Holy crap why did I eat so much?” blues. I had those once after the surgery. Never again. Although “never” is a big word and I am known for having the attention span of an eggplant. Spicy Chickpea Vegan Couscous Bowls bring together many of my food loves. Quick to make. Check. Full of spicy flavour. Check. Loaded with goodness. Triple check; protein, fibre and iron all represented here. Filling without being stuffing. Big Check and that is a plus for us gall-less types.
These spicy chickpea couscous bowls pack a punch so it is not something I make for the elf. This is purely for me. I love the heat, the layers of flavour and the convenience of throwing a few spoons in a cup and noshing while I work. Some whistle, I nosh. Also, like all good spicy dishes the flavours get better and more complex after a good spell in the fridge. A big bowl for lunch the next day is perfect.
Nutritionally, spicy chickpea couscous bowls deliver your body a super boost. Two cups of chickpeas provide your daily need of fibre while also being a great source of protein and iron. I used whole-wheat couscous in this recipe for a change; whole-wheat offering more complex carbohydrates and more iron than it’s regular counterpart.
While all that healthy stuff is lovely, it’s the taste that makes these bowls so good. Isn’t it always? I live by something of a food motto, “if it doesn’t taste good it doesn’t really matter how good it is for you.” This is another life lesson I learned from a two year-old. The Great Dane taught me that if you persevere you can get all the fluff from the pillow. Not related, but a good lesson just the same. You want the fluff? You’re going to have to work for it.
Spicy chickpea vegan couscous bowls require almost zero work. Here you get the fluff almost for free. Enjoy,x
- 2 cans chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup wholewheat couscous
- 1 brown onion
- 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 can diced tomato
- 1 cup passata
- 1 x 185 jar roasted peppers preferably in oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 heaped tablespoon harissa less or more depending on spice tolerance
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cup baby spinach
- vegan natural yoghurt to serve
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley.
- olive oil
- Put the roast peppers, onion and garlic in to a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Heat a good glug of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan.
- Add pepper mixture and cook on low for 2 minutes.'
- Add harissa paste and stir to combine
- Add dried spices and cook for another minute.
- Add chopped tomatoes and passata.
- Add chickpeas and water and cook on low for 7-10 minutes.
- Taste and season.
- Add couscous and spinach and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add half the parsley and stir. Take off the heat.
- Serve with a dollop of vegan (or regular) natural yogurt or cashew cream and fresh parsley.