Happy Heart Health Month! February is one of my favorite months — horrid weather in Seattle aside — I love Valentine’s Day and it’s also my birthday month. Celebrating heart health is important to me as a dietitian because cardiovascular disease is a threat to us all and I spend a lot of time educating people on how to improve their cholesterol levels or lower their blood pressure. You know the drill: exercise, work on relaxation and eat “right.” But heart healthy eating has a lot of components. With that in mind, I made my Apricot Tomato Chickpea Vegetarian Stew packed with fiber and antioxidants that support the heart.
We all should be getting a lot more fiber and it’s actually pretty easy if you eat veggies, fruits, whole grains and beans throughout the day. Luckily, Apricot Tomato Chickpea Vegetarian Stew has all of those things together in one dish. Apricot lends sweetness to balance the natural acidity in tomato and red pepper, while spices including chili powder, nutmeg, turmeric and cinnamon brighten the dish and add complexity. When balanced with healthful and fiber-packed whole grain like brown rice or quinoa, this dish is a simple and easy to make dish. Fantastic for leftovers, pack some in a container to go for a flavorful lunch the next day.
Apricot Tomato Chickpea Vegetarian Stew
- 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon ginger root, freshly grated
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 Tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 1-14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1-14 oz diced tomatoes, not drained
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Warm oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Saute onions, garlic, ginger, and bell pepper for 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Add turmeric, nutmeg and cinnamon, stirring constantly, for 1-2 additional minutes.
- Add vegetable broth to the mixture and simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add apricots, chickpeas, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt.
- Cover and switch to medium-low heat. Allow to gently simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
- Ladle stir-fry over warm brown rice or quinoa. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot. Also makes great leftovers!