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Chickpeas in a heart bowl

Lunchbox Comfort Food: Chickpea Couscous

Andréanne Tremblay-Lebeau

Andréanne Tremblay-Lebeau

Healthy eating:

Registered Dietitian

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Couscous is the combination of two dishes: steamed semolina, and meat and vegetables simmered in broth. We swapped the meat for chickpeas here to create a vegetarian version and replaced the semolina couscous cooked in a couscoussier with rehydrated couscous. Despite these small changes, it stays true to its flavourful, colourful comfort food roots.

Makes 8-10 kid’s portions (or 6 adult portions)
Preparation time: 30 minutes


  • 2 tsp. (10 mL) Olive oil
  • 1 Medium onion, sliced
  • 2 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) Garam masala
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 162 mL can Vegetable juice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Broccoli florets
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Sliced carrots
  • 1 Red or green pepper, chopped
  • 2 540 mL cans Chickpeas, drained
  • To taste Salt and pepper
  • 6 cups Whole-wheat couscous cooked according to the instructions found on the package
  • To taste Fresh cilantro


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato cubes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat, sprinkle with garam masala and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the chicken stock and vegetable juice. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Add the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and peppers. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chickpeas and cook for 2-5 minutes, until vegetables reach the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve on a bed of whole-wheat couscous and garnish with cilantro.

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