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Slow cooker: Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

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

Per serving: 294 calories; 7 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 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).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2.5 starch, 1 vegetable, 1.5 lean meat

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Ingredients

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

Details

Servings 8

Preparation

Step 1

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.
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