This Smoky Vegan Chickpea Stew is packed with plant-based protein and big flavors! It’s the perfect filling dinner or packable lunch. Vegan + Gluten-Free!
One of the things I heard most when I went vegan is, “But what about protein?!”. It’s kind of a uniquely vegan thing – I’ve never heard anyone be concerned about my protein intake otherwise.
America has this weird obsession with protein, like it’s the be-all-end-all macronutrient. Due to pervasive marketing, Americans seem to believe that they’re not getting enough protein. It’s currently recommended that adults get 10% – 35% of protein from their food, equating to 46 grams and 56 grams for women and men, respectively. But according to data gathered from a 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, American men on average consume over 100g of protein per day. That’s way more than you need!
The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, the protein obsession is just another diet fad. Just how the anti-carb movement (remember Atkins, anyone?) swept America, so have the trends shifted to protein mania.
Now, that’s not to say that you don’t need protein. Along with carbohydrates and fats, it’s one of the three key macronutrients humans need to survive. Proteins are often judged by their amino acid profile, nine of which can’t be naturally produced by our bodies. But it’s a myth that you can only get those nine essential amino acids (also called complete proteins) from animal products.
Do vegans get enough protein?
With the right patterns of eating, absolutely! And this isn’t a unique caveat – omnivores might not get enough protein too, if they eat a diet heavy in processed foods or high ratios of carbs.
A vegan can get more than enough protein by combining foods such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Though one of these foods might have some of the nine essential amino acids, another food may contain the rest. For example, the classic dish of rice and beans contains complete protein!
What vegan foods are high in protein?
Here’s a list of some of my favorite sources of vegan protein: (nutrition obtained from Self Nutrition Data)
- Edamame – 18g per 1 cup shelled
- Chickpeas – 14g per 1 cup cooked
- Hemp Seeds – 5g per 2 tbs
- Pumpkin Seeds – 5g per 2 tbs
- Almonds – 15g per 1/2 cup
- Black Beans – 15g per 1 cup
- Quinoa – 8g per 1 cup cooked
- Almond Butter – 18g protein in 1/2 cup
- Lentils – 18g protein in 1 cup cooked
- Vegan Protein Powder – I like Vega brand
Vegan Recipes High in Protein
For more high-protein vegan recipes, check out the following:
Vegan Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl
Barbecue Chickpea Rice Bowl
The Well and Full Salad Bowl with Pasta and Chickpeas
Vegan Peach Protein Smoothie
Vegan Moroccan-Inspired Lentil Stew
Smoky Vegan Chickpea Stew
- 2 Tbs Olive or Avocado Oil
- 1/2 White Onion diced
- 1/3 Cup Carrots diced
- 1 Cup Cabbage chopped
- 1 Small Eggplant chopped
- 1 Tbs Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tbs Harissa Powder
- 2 Tbs Brown Mustard
- 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 Tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbs Soy Sauce
- 1 Tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 1/2 Cups Marinara Pasta Sauce
- 4 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 1/2 Cups Green Lentils soaked for at least 10 minutes
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 1 Can Chickpeas drained
- 3 Cups Kale
- Begin by soaking your lentils. You want them to soak as long as possible so the stew isn't gritty. If you can soak them overnight, even better!
- Prep all of your veggies according to directions.
- Heat the olive or avocado oil in a large pot over medium heat. Then, add in your veggies. Sauté everything for about 4-5 minutes, until edges are browned a little bit.
- Then, add in all of the spices and ingredients in step two. Stir around with the vegetables until evenly coated, sautéing for another 1 minute
- Add in the marinara sauce, vegetable stock, and rinsed lentils. Finally, add in the bay leaves, and stir until everything is incorporated.
- Put the lid on your pot, and simmer stew for 8 minutes.
- Add in your chickpeas and kale. At this step, also carefully taste the stew to see how it's going. If the flavor feels flat or it's not salty enough, add a pinch or two more of salt to your liking.
Finishing it off!
- To serve, pour out stew into bowls while piping hot. Feel free to add any toppings you like, such as a squeeze of lemon juice, chopped spinach or parsley, or hemp seeds. Enjoy!
- I can't stress how important it is to rinse the lentils!! Please don't skip this step!
- In the absence of green lentils, French or beluga lentils will do. Please note that these may have a longer cooking time.
For more vegan and vegetarian recipes and meal inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram @wellandfull! If you make a recipe, please tag me in the photo and use the hashtag #wellandfull so I can see! I love seeing your creations!
MartinJune 23, 2022 at 10:14 pm
We paired this with a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread and it was DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipe.
SarahJune 29, 2022 at 3:06 pm
So glad you liked it, Martin! :D