Tofu & Chickpeas Over Couscous Tastes Better Than It Sounds

recipe tofu and chickpeas couscousFollowing a strict vegetarian, low-fat diet is not easy when you've relied on meat as your main course for over 35 years. Grains and salads get dull after awhile, and the cravings for flavor often lead me back to fantasizing about meat.

Which is why this recipe, which is originally chicken and chickpeas over couscous, is the perfect replacement dish when you substitute tofu for chicken. This is a dish where meat is not missed, due to all of the other fantastic flavors vying for your taste buds' attention.

I tweaked this recipe not only to go veg, but eliminated raisins as well -- still, feel free to throw them in when you add the tofu to the dish. I just don't like cooked raisins.

While all the spice ingredients may seem daunting, once you've made this dish, you can whip it up again in no time, and you'll have tumeric and ginger on hand already!


Tofu & Chickpeas Over Couscous

What you'll need:

2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup couscous
1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric or paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package (10 ounces) frozen sliced carrots, thawed
1 package (10 ounces) frozen cooked winter squash, thawed
1/2 lb tofu (or 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts for meat eaters)
2 large lemons
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish (optional)


1. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the water, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the couscous, stir, remove from the heat, and cover. Set aside.

2. Combine the chickpeas, ginger, turmeric, garlic, carrots, squash, and remaining 1 cup water in another saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

3. While the chickpeas simmer, cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes, juice the lemons (you need 4 tablespoons), and mince the cilantro.

4. Add the tofu to the chickpeas, cover, and continue to simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice.

5. Give the couscous a stir, add the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and adjust the seasoning. Spoon the chickpeas and tofu into deep bowls and top with a portion of couscous. If you wish, garnish with chopped parsley.


Image via Enric Martinez/Flickr

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