Disclaimer: Serving brown rice to a toddler almost always results in a total mess. But now that we’ve gotten that truth telling out of the way, let me say that I love to do it anyway both because it’s delicious and because it’s such a good base for so many recipes—including these Moroccan-Spiced Chickpeas.
I’ve been doing variations on this recipe for years and each time it comes out slightly differently depending on what I add to the mix. I like it best with chickpeas, onion, and carrot because they seem to pair well with my spice mix of cumin, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, and a dash of chili powder, though I bet that lentils or white beans could work too. I’m not going to make a claim that it’s authentically Moroccan, but it’s pretty delicious.
When L was younger, I would run half of the bean mixture through the food processor to create a slightly smoother texture. You could even puree it completely smooth, adding some chicken broth or milk as needed, and add it to a pouch. Now that she’s two and a half, I just make sure that the beans are cooked through and are soft to make for easy eating.
This is a filling meatless main dish that is easy enough for a weeknight and also freezes well.
Kid-Friendly Moroccan-Spiced Chickpeas
You may want to use more or less of the spices depending on both the preference of your family and the beans that you use (dried beans tend to need more seasoning). Taste it before serving and add more if necessary.
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, shredded with a vegetable peeler
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 4 cups cooked dried chickpeas)
1 t cumin
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t ginger
1/4 t coriander
1/4 t dried parsley
dash chili powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (either canned and slightly drained or fresh)
1/2 cup whole milk
brown rice and feta or crumbled goat cheese to serve
1. Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Cook the onion and carrot, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, beans, spices, tomatoes, and milk and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes with the lid on. Serve with brown rice or another favorite grain and crumbled cheese (and sriracha for the adults).
Add sliced leafy greens such as kale or spinach to the mix.
Make a double batch and freeze half: let cool completely, place into a zip top bag, remove as much of the air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Puree the mixture, adding more milk as needed, and serve to a new eater or in a pouch.
Beans can handle pretty strong spices, but some toddlers can’t, so add the spices slowly and increase after tasting.