Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.

From EatingWell: February/March 2006
Yield: 8 servings
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 480

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  2. 2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash, (see Note) or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  3. 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  4. 1 large onion, chopped
  5. 1 cup red lentils
  6. 4 cups vegetable broth
  7. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  8. 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/4 teaspoon saffron, (see Note)
  12. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  13. 1/4 cup lime juice
  14. 1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  15. 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Preparation

  1. Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain when ready to use.
  2. Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  3. Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6 1/2 hours.
  4. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
  • Notes: Kabocha is a squash with a green-streaked rind and tender, sweet orange flesh. An average kabocha weighs two to three pounds.
  • Considered the world's most expensive spice, saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color. It is sold in threads and powdered form.

Nutrition

Nutrition Per Serving: 294 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 11 g fiber; 578 mg sodium; 1029 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (310% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Folate (30% dv), Potassium (27% dv).

2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2.5 starch, 1 vegetable, 1.5 lean meat