Saturday, April 13, 2013
On My Hearth: Moroccan Slow Cooker Stew & White Bread
One of the highlights of the Holistic Holiday at Sea was the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest health & nutrition experts in the county. Our favorite, Dr. Neal Barnard, presented an especially interesting and informative lecture on the "brainy" benefits of a plant-based diet. During the discussion he mentioned the Okinawan people and the link between their longevity and their diet which consists of, among other things, an abundance of sweet potatoes. Chip shuddered and proclaimed his distaste for the poor little spud but I assured him that the mushy, sugar-laden yams served on Thanksgiving bear little resemblance to a true sweet potato, and vowed to prepare them in a way he'd enjoy.
At the Farmers Market this week, the organic veggie vendor was offering lovely sweet potatoes at a good price, so I scooped them up and started researching recipes. Knowing how much Chip loves soups & stews, I decided to go that route, incorporating them into a dish instead of served on their own. I remembered a favorite Weight Watchers recipe which I included in the last Virtual Vegan Potluck, Moroccan Slow Cooker Stew. While it calls for butternut squash, I was confident that I could easily substitute another similar vegetable. I decided to try my hand at baking Moroccan bread as well, thinking that would round out the meal nicely.
Moroccan Slow Cooker Stew
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cooking spray (or vegetable broth, for sautéeing
1 small onion -- chopped
1 clove garlic -- minced
4 sweet potatoes, about 2 pounds
1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
15 oz canned chickpeas -- drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp table salt
Coat a small pot with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes.
Place sweet potatoes in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker (crockpot). Add onion and garlic, carrots, tomatoes, broth, cinnamon, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cover and turn on to high heat; simmer for a few hours, then turn to low when the vegetables begin to soften. Mine took about 6 hours on high, but crock-pot temperatures differ so be sure to keep an eye on yours.
Add chickpeas and salt. Stir, cover and heat for 5 minutes.
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Yields 6 Servings; approx 1- 1/3 cups per serving. 5 Weight Watchers
PointsPlus for those who are counting.
So, what do you think? He looks like a happy guy, right? Yep, he thoroughly enjoyed the stew, so much that he heated up leftovers for lunch the next day! I trust that this new found appreciation for sweet taters will help him live a longer life.
Today I'll be planning/preparing for a visit from two of my children, so looking forward to hanging out with them. As always when we get together, there will be some vegan cooking & eating, yum!
Have a wonderful weekend!