My Favorite Garbanzos

My favorite garbanzos

I’ve always been the health nut in my family – or the closest thing to one.  Exercise regimen, check.  Regular salad chomping, check. Stashing weird ingredients in my parents’ refrigerator and pantry before moving out, check.  It has been rewarding seeing some of those good habits kick the bad ones’ butts.  That’s literal!  I smoked cigarettes casually through most of my twenties.  When I took up running almost six years ago, I completely lost the taste for them.

Much has been written about how consistently consuming healthy foods can help replace those cravings for items that are not as nourishing.  Food guru Mark Bittman recently published VB6, a book on how keeping a vegan diet before 6pm can help combat many health conditions brought upon by the standard American diet (and a career in food writing!).  Eating plant-based foods  for the first 2/3 of the day seemed like a worthy tradeoff for a “free pass” for the rest of the day.  Although I’m not formally following a VB6 type plan, I have been incorporating more vegan meals into the packed lunch repertoire, like Dorie Greenspan’s orange scented lentil soup and this garbanzo (chickpea) stew.

I’m not a fan of beans… something that I’ve documented here before.  Chickpeas, however, are another story.  I’m not sure if it is the nutty taste, the texture or the fact that my mom used to make them with bacon or chorizo, but I ate my share of arroz con garbanzos while growing up and especially while away in college.   I ‘discovered’ this version by accident.  In an effort to clean up the refrigerator, I included spinach and diced tomato instead of the usual tomato sauce.   My go to recipe now is vegan.  To call back to the flavors of chorizo, I add extra garlic and half a teaspoon of sweet, smoky paprika.  Sweet potato cubes add substance and turn this stew into an even heartier meal.

My favorite garbanzos

My Favorite Garbanzos
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sofrito
  • 1 large/2 small cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cubed sweet potatoes (1/2″ dice)
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 14 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach, chopped
  1. On a medium saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sofrito and minced garlic clove and stir until fragrant for about a minute.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes with liquid, garbanzo beans and vegetable broth. Stir in the paprika and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced – or even better – slightly ‘melt’ into the sauce
  4. Stir in the spinach, combining it it with the rest of the ingredients. Once it has warmed through, serve the garbanzo beans with rice, quinoa, or enjoy on their own.


My favorite garbanzos are tasty over rice – white or brown – and especially over quinoa.

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

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