As the leaves start to change and the weather cools off winter squash start to appear in farm markets. Winter squash is wonderful and delicious on a cold dreary day. I am always surprised that many people do not know how to prepare the squashes. I admit they are intimidating with thier funny shapes and hard skin. They are very easy to prepare and are worth the struggle of getting a knife through them! This is one of my favorite crock pot recipes using Butternut Squash. In our house we like to eat this with toasted nann bread. (you can purchase nann bread in many grocery stores) When you get home your house is filled with this wonderful fragrence and better yet Dinner Is READY!!
Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew
3/4 cup dried chickpeas
2 1/2 pounds 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
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.
Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart crock pot.
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.
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.
You can subsitute canned chickpeas for dried, just be aware of the additional sodium content.
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.
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