I always-always tell people when asked how I manage to cook healthy while raising 2 kids and running a business, that key to success is to cook big pots of soup, stews, stir fries and other types of throw together one pot meals. Healthy meals that are affordable because many times anything can go in that pot, quick because chop-chop and it doesn’t have to be perfect, and because you open the fridge or freezer and leftovers are staring at you!
Meals like ground turkey stew, soba noodle stir fry, and one pan quinoa chicken chili. Coconut crusted chicken is great, but that’s for when I feel adventurous and have time. Many days I spend working in front of the computer and taxiing boys to hockey after school, throwing dinners in 30 minutes or less in the evening.
That’s why this chicken chickpea stew is great, using the simplest ingredients you could only imagine: boneless and skinless chicken breast (just a pound to make meat more of a side than main ingredient), tomatoes (you can use canned diced), quinoa and canned chickpeas for protein and healthy carbs boost, peppers that are so in season right now, and tahini paste. That 1/2 cup of tahini paste changes everything for this stew!
How to Make Chicken Chickpea Stew
For this chicken chickpea stew, veggies and meat can be chopped and cut first, or let me walk you through exact timeline of my process.
First, I chopped peppers and transferred them to a bowl. Then I chopped onion and minced garlic.
It takes 5 minutes to sauté garlic and onion. So, in the meanwhile, while stirring onions, I had enough time to chop tomatoes and cut chicken.
If you are making this chicken chickpea stew when tomatoes are not in season, feel free to substitute with 28 oz can of diced tomatoes – much cheaper.
Saute peppers for 5 minutes, then chicken for another 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, stir and cook on low for 20 minutes.
Dutch oven is the best for cooking stews because it cooks evenly, and after trying knock off brands I can assure you that Lodge is the best quality out there for the price. Well, Le Creuset might be better, but who has so much money to spend on a pot?! Remember my blue pot? It doesn’t look as pretty inside anymore – completely discoloured – cheap!
Organic tahini paste adds creaminess and extra flavour to the chicken and chickpeas stew. It is basically ground up sesame seeds often used in making garlic hummus recipe and other Mediterranean dishes, quite affordable and widely available.
Add herbs and enjoy with whole grain toast or pita! That’s it!
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 lbs bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 lb boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- Avocado oil, for frying
- 1 lb tomatoes, cubed*
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 x 14 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed & drained**
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, low sodium***
- 1 1/2 tsp salt****
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup tahini paste
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley or basil, finely chopped
- Cut meat and chop vegetables. Preheat large dutch oven on low heat, swirl a bit of avocado oil to coat and add onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium, add pepper and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken, cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomatoes, quinoa, chickpeas, broth, salt, pepper and bay leaves; stir, cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.
- Turn off heat, add tahini and stir. Do not worry if you see uncooked quinoa seeds or tahini paste doesn’t mix well with stew. Cover it and let stand for 10 minutes - it will take care of before mentioned issues. Add herbs, stir and serve hot with a whole grain toast or pita. Delish!
*Substitute with 28 oz can of diced tomatoes. **Learn how to cook dried beans and freeze for later - saves a lot of money vs. buying BPA canned organic beans. ***I like to use organic bouillon cubes and dilute them with boiled water. ****You might need to add less salt if beans and broth you are using are not low sodium or salt free (for example, my cooked beans are unsalted).