Tag Archives: chickpeas

crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew

Aside from dumping some velveeta + salsa in a crock pot to keep cheese dip warm, I’ve never used a crock pot. I loved the idea of a crock pot though: dump a bunch of stuff in it and your dinner will be ready when you get home from work. Who wouldn’t?

When I saw a vegan crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew recipe on Eat Live Run I knew it would be my first crock pot try. I, of course, modified the recipe because I just can’t follow directions 100%.

Crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew
(adapted from Eat Live Run)

Ingredients
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp olive or canola oil
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno, one seeded and minced, one with the seeds/ribs left in and minced
2 tsp garam masala
1 full or 1/2* of a butternut squash (about 3 lbs–avg sized), peeled and cubed
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
1 quart (one full box) vegetable broth
1.25 cup red lentils
1 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
fresh minced cilantro for serving

*feel free to use a full butternut squash. i used half as they are very sweet and i wanted to try roasting the other half the next day.

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot and jalapenos and saute for about six minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 more seconds, and then add the garam masala, stirring well to coat. Take off heat.

2. Place the chickpeas, butternut squash, canned diced tomatoes, red lentils, vegetable broth and onion mixture in your slow cooker. Turn the heat on LOW and cook for 8-10 hours…the longer you cook, the thicker your stew will be.

don’t be afraid to fill the crock pot up to the tippy top. everything cooks down, and it won’t boil over.

3. Top with cilantro and chopped onion (if you want) to serve when you get home from an 8-10 hour day at work (or a really fun weekend day out. invite me please). This stew freezes extremely well and will keep in the fridge for up to five days.

So, crock pot verdict: This was just as much work as a normal soup/chili/stew as  I had to chop the veggies up the night before, then saute onion/garlic/etc in the morning. BUT it was really really nice to come home from a long day of work + working out and not have to do much of anything. This especially worked well when Brent + I got home at different times/had different plans for the evening. It forced us to eat at home rather than resorting to getting food out, so it was a bonus. And, we now have about 5 lunches ready to go. I’d totally use a crock pot again. 

The recipe verdict: This was a little sweeter than I’d like. I’d add some heat in terms of spices: maybe cayenne, maybe some curry powder. It tasted good w/some onions and cilantro on top. It made it a little less sweet.

Advertisements

Falafel + Greek-ish couscous

You get a twofer today! Not that Toofer, but two recipes in one!

Last night our pal Megan had a birthday potluck. Brent + I spent a large portion of the day doing exactly what we wanted… which was not much other than catching up on the DVR, complaining about where Spring went (it snowed Friday night) and looking around town at vintage shops for a birthday gift. After all that excitement, it was time to get cooking!

I love falafel, but it is often fried and gets a bad rap as being unhealthy. The recipe I made is very healthy, easy and best of all, a very inexpensive recipe!  I made a modified version of a Ellie Krieger’s falafel recipe which can be found here.

Falafel
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 squeeze lemon juice
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Combine all felafel ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for 10 seconds. Stop motor and scrape down sides of bowl, then pulse for another 10 seconds, until all ingredients are well incorporated but mixture is still slightly coarse and grainy.

this mini chop rules. i'll upgrade to the full size food processor one day!

3. Form mixture into 12-16 falafel balls and spritz with Pam or brush with olive oil.

all in the oven

4. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes, flip falafel balls and bake an additional 20 minutes, until falafel balls are crisp and browned.

The recipe doesn’t make too many falafel balls, so I’d highly recommend doubling it if you are serving these at a party. To make up for the lack of falafel to go around, I decided to make one of my old staples. A couscous salad of sorts.

I had Israeli Couscous on hand, but this works awesome with quinoa, faro, orzo or regular couscous.

Greekish-Israeli Couscous Salad: The Ingredient List
1 box Israeli Couscous (Trader Joe’s brand is the best!)
3-4 T red onion, diced
2 T italian (flat-leaf) fresh parsley, chopped small
2-4oz crumbled feta cheese
1/2 a lemon’s juice
2-3 T red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt + pepper

1. Mix lemon juice, vinegar and a tad bit of salt and pepper together in a bowl. If you like olive oil, go ahead and add about a tablespoon to the mix.
2. Follow cooking instructions on the Israeli Couscous box.  Add cooked couscous to the bowl containing the dressing. Toss with the vinegar/lemon juice and let it cool down for about 20 minutes in the fridge. I like to stir it around a few times to make sure there is enough dressing on the thing as the couscous will absorb the dressing as it cools.
3. Add the onion, parsley, and feta cheese. Add more lemon juice/vinegar if needed. If you have any other veggies (tomatoes! cucumbers! olives!) that you like, throw them in!

I like to eat the falafel on top of this salad, or wrapped in a pita w/ some salad and lettuce for an awesome lunch or dinner.

Both of these recipes are very easy and are party hits! Feel free to leave out the cheese in the couscous to make it vegan. What’s your favorite thing to bring to a party?