by Yakira Escott, Dietetic Intern
This nutritious, delicious, and vegan dish is packed with fiber, protein, and micronutrients, and can be prepared in under 30 minutes! This is also the perfect dish to make a big portion of and heat up as needed—for any meal or snack, as a main or a side. It is also highly adaptable; it can be prepared as is for those who are vegan or dairy-free, or you can add an egg and cheese on top for those looking to add extra protein. For the gluten-free crowd, opt for a gluten-free soy sauce, and you are good to go. This dish can be enjoyed in different ways when reheating as well—by melting cheese on it, for example, which can also add extra calories.
It is beneficial to “Eat the rainbow” to get different vitamins and minerals from a variety of colored vegetables. Purple onion, orange carrot, and green asparagus all have varying contents of vitamins and minerals, many of which are antioxidants and should be a prominent aspect in a healthy diet. Incorporating a more plant-based diet can have major benefits to your health as well, and this is the perfect dish for that goal [i]!
Asparagus and carrots are both packed with fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. There are 2 types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. It is recommended for adults to get 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day, which most do not get. Soluble fiber can dissolve in water and aid in lowering blood glucose and cholesterol, as well as feed healthy gut bacteria. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water but helps regular bowel movements, helping to prevent constipation [ii].
Chickpeas are a great plant-based source of protein. It is recommended to get 0.8 grams of protein for every kg of body weight daily. Protein helps fill you up and keep you feeling satiated longer, helping in weight management as well as blood glucose control. It is recommended to maintain a mostly plant-based diet, sourcing protein from legumes, tofu, chicken, and limiting red meat, to lower saturated fat intake and for an optimal diet [i].
Chickpea Vegetable Stir Fry
- ½ medium red onion (can use any color)
- 1 lb bag carrots
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 2 cans chickpeas
- 4 cloves garlic (can use minced or frozen cubes for easier or quicker method)
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup soy sauce or alternative such as coconut aminos
- ½ Tbsp cumin
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- Dice the onion.
- Peel and thinly slice the carrots.
- Rinse and then break off asparagus stalk ends and discard the ends. Cut asparagus spears into 1.5 inch pieces and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add rinsed and drained chickpeas, asparagus, soy sauce, garlic, cumin, and dijon mustard. Stir occasionally for approximately 15 minutes until all vegetables are softened to the desired consistency.
- Serve and enjoy!
- To save time, let onion and carrot begin sauteeing while preparing the asparagus.
- You may substitute other vegetables such as broccoli and sweet potatoes, or cauliflower and string beans! Another interesting addition could be cubes of tofu.
- To pack in the protein, add an egg or two on top, and your grated or shredded cheese of choice, such as pecorino romano.
[i] Hoover, Heidi. “An increase in dietary protein improves the blood glucose response in persons with type 2 diabetes.” PubMed, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14522731/. Accessed 27 February 2023
[ii] “Fiber | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/. Accessed 27 February 2023.