Looks like I'm off to a rocky start with this low histamine diet. I've been scouring my ridiculous amount of recipes for weeks to figure out which ones don't include any high-histamine foods, and other ones that I could alter.
Honestly, it has not been an easy process, so I've been anxiously awaiting an opportunity to make this Chickpea Vegetable Stew because it seemed like it would easily fit the bill. But as soon as I started cooking it, I realized that the main ingredient in harissa is tomatoes, and I really didn't want to leave its tangy, warming flavor out of the dish. Well, the recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon, so I'm hoping that's a low enough amount that it still counts as low!
Since citrus also is high on the histamine scale, I subbed out the lemon juice for apple cider vinegar, which still is on the naughty list since it's a vinegar, but it's on the more acceptable side than more fermented vinegars like wine and balsamic vinegars.
So the cheating begins, but when you calculate the amount of harissa and vinegar that will be in one bowl of this delicious soup, I do still feel that I can call it a low-histamine recipe. It's kind of like when you put a pint of heavy cream in a soup. I used to think that I would end up eating so much saturated fat by doing that, but if it's balanced out by enough vegetables and broth, you really don't end up eating a huge amount of cream.
Needless to say, the stew is fabulous! I definitely do miss the serious zing from lemon compared with the more subtle hues of apple cider vinegar, but it still balances out the harissa beautifully.