Are you a vegan or vegetarian who loves barbecue flavours, but not the meat that typically comes along with them? Well look no further than my Barbecue Chickpea Bowls, friends!
Like any bowl, this recipe is a combination of elements: Chickpeas simmered in a quick and easy, low-sugar homemade barbecue sauce, creamy (mayo-free!) cabbage slaw, brown rice, avocado, and spinach. You can also add some sauerkraut for even more fun in Flavour Town.
I’ve been a fan of bowls since discovering the concept when I was beginning my journey into vegan eating. There is something so comforting and soul-nourishing about eating food out of a beautiful round vessel, and as long as you keep in mind the importance of macronutrient balance, the possibilities are endless. For a healthy vegan bowl, make sure that the following elements are present:
Carbohydrates: Healthy sources of carbohydrates that can be used in bowls include brown rice, quinoa, farro, kamut, millet, amaranth, cornmeal/polenta, whole grain pasta, soba noodles, whole grain orzo, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and winter squash.
Protein: Healthy sources of protein that can be used in bowls include beans, lentils, organic tofu and tempeh, nuts, and seeds. Note that beans and lentils are also an excellent source of complex carbohyrdates, and create a complete protein when combined with the grains listed under carbohyrdates. Note that nuts and seeds are also an excellent source of healthy fat, particularly the heart-healthy monounsaturated variety.
Fat: Healthy sources of fat that can be used in bowls include extra virgin olive oil, flax oil (must not be heated), hemp seed oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado, nut and seed butter, and whole nuts and seeds. Healthy fats are SO important for ensuring feelings of satiety, keeping hormones balanced, maintaining cardiovascular health, and keeping your brain sharp and healthy, so make sure that you are getting enough of this very important and misunderstood macronutrient!
And don’t forget about those micronutrients: Don’t neglect to include plenty of colourful vegetables to ensure that you are getting a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Of course, grains and legumes contain some vitamins and minerals, but loading up on colourful vegetables is the best way to ensure that you are getting all the micronutrients that you need!
Following this formula, I have created a wholesome and delicious Barbecue Chickpea Bowl recipe that comes together quickly for the perfect southern-inspired weeknight meal.
Let’s do this!
Start by cooking the brown rice, as this will take 45 minutes. Next, Proceed whip up the world’s easiest barbecue sauce. In a large skillet, saute some onion and garlic. Add to this some crushed tomatoes, maple syrup, molesses, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Then add 3 cups of cooked chickpeas and simmer.
Next, make the creamy cashew dressing for the cabbage slaw. Blend together soaked cashews, water, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, garlic, and sea salt until smooth.
Shred the cabbage in a food processor, transfer to a large bowl, and add some chopped apple and celery. Pour the dressing on top and toss.
All that’s left to do at this point is to chop up some spinach and optional green onions, and slice some avocado.
If you are someone who has never craved chickpeas, wait until you taste these barbecue saucy ones. You will go back for seconds.
Barbecue Chickpea Bowls with Creamy Cabbage Slaw
- Cast iron skillet
- Food processor
- Medium saucepan
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 398 mL jar crushed tomatoes (I use Eden brand)
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (vegan brands include Wizard's and Annie's)
- 2 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp each fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas
Creamy Cabbage Slaw
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours and drained
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 large sweet apple, cored and finely chopped
- 3 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1½ cups brown rice, rinsed
- 2¾ cups water
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 4 cups shredded spinach
- 1/2 an English cucumber, chopped (optional)
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 large or 2 small ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
- Begin by cooking the brown rice: In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low and cover. Cook for 45 minutes, until all water has been absorbed.
- In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, maple syrup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine, then add the chickpeas. Cover and turn down heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
- Make the slaw: Combine the drained cashews, water, lemon juice, Dijon, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until very smooth and creamy. If you have not done so already, shred the cabbage in a food processor. (Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor, you can thinly slice the cabbage by hand.) Place the cabbage, apple, and celery in a large bowl and add the dressing. Toss to coat.
- To assemble the bowls, place desired amount of rice, chickpeas, cabbage slaw, spinach, cucumber, green onion, and avocado in a bowl. Pass hot sauce at the table for an extra flavour punch.
If you make this recipe and post a photo to Instagram, tag me #upbeetkitchen and @upbeet.kitchen so I can see!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with yummy food and lots of time spent doing what you enjoy! I’ll be running the Ottawa Marathon this Sunday, and will post a little recap here next week. 🙂