Chickpea and veggie couscous

I wrote about the incredible health benefits of legumes before:

Here are even more reasons to eat them.

Chickpeas have been used by the Uygur people of China to treat hypertension and diabetes for 2500 years, and the science explains why they work. They are higher in fiber than wheat and have saponins that bind cholesterol in the gut, explaining why they are so effective at lowering blood cholesterol levels. Their starches are relatively resistant to breakdown in the small intestine, which leads to lower blood glucose levels and decreased insulin resistance. Therefore, they can decrease the onset and severity of type 2 diabetes.  Chickpeas contain phytosterols, which lower blood pressure. Finally, they contain B vitamins, including thiamine and folate; calcium, phosphorous, and potassium. In summary, chickpeas are beneficial to health and help treat our most common ailments, and I would recommend everyone add them to their diet to reap the rewards.

A. K. Jukanti, P. M. Gaur, C. L. L. Gowda, R. N. Chibbar. Nutritional quality and health benefits of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): A review. Br. J. Nutr. 2012 108 – Suppl – 1:S11 – 26.

Mushrooms are used in this recipe, and they have great fighting power against breast cancer, the most common cancer affecting women throughout the world. They work by inhibiting the enzyme aromatase, the key enzyme that synthesizes the estrogens that feed breast cancer growth. Just an average of five mushrooms a day can inhibit breast cancer.

Grube BJ, Eng ET, Kao YC, Kwon A, Chen S. White button mushroom phytochemicals inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation. J Nutr. 2001 Dec;131(12):3288-93.

Chen S, Oh SR, Phung S, Hur G, Ye JJ, Kwok SL, Shrode GE, Belury M, Adams LS, Williams D. Anti-aromatase activity of phytochemicals in white button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus). Cancer Res. 2006 Dec 15;66(24):12026-34.

This is a simple, tasty, and filling couscous. The cornerstone is the chickpea.  For the first time, I used dry beans, which tasted fresher than the canned version.  Using dry beans requires a little planning – you have to soak them for 6-8 hours in water before you cook them. I soaked them in the morning, and then cooked them for dinner. Of course, you can still use canned beans.

Dried garbanzo beans instructions:

Soak 2 1/2 cups dry beans in 6-8 cups of drinking water for 6-8 hours.

At the end of the 6-8 hours, drain and rinse in cold water.

Bring 6-8 cups of water and garbanzo beans to a boil. Then reduce heat, and with lid partially open, simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

While the garbanzo beans were cooking, I proceeded with the rest of the recipe.

Serves 6

Time: 1 hour


2 cloves chopped garlic

1 large zucchini, processed into slices

1 large yellow squash, processed into slices

2 cups of mushrooms, processed into slices

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided in half

2 teaspoons each: ground coriander, oregano, and tarragon, divided into 2

1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley

1 teaspoon pepper or to taste

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 cup couscous (I used whole wheat version).

Couscous: cook according to package instructions while cooking the vegetables. If no instructions, do the following: boil 1 1/4 cup of water, add 1 cup couscous, bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed.

1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat for about a minute, then add the chopped garlic.

2. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms.

3. Add half the spices and the parsley. Saute ingredients for 5-10 minutes, or until the vegetables soften.

4. Add the cooked garbanzo beans, the rest of the spices and olive oil, and then saute for a few more minutes.

5. Add the cooked couscous and stir together. Serve.





As always, thank you to for the helpful information!