Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Stew Recipe
Inspired by stews in northern Africa, this delicious meatless main course scores big on flavor and nutrition. High in fiber and protein, chickpeas and lentils are slowly cooked along with winter squash, pumpkin, carrots, onion, garlic, and a variety of savory spices. Low-sodium vegetable broth keeps the sodium content in check. Allow your slow cooker do the work for you with this easy recipe!
Stews are an easy way to combine many nutritious ingredients into one meal. Every ingredient in this stew packs nutritious qualities but I've chosen just three, the main ingredients, to highlight in this article:
- Winter Squash
An outstanding source of carotenoid antioxidants and a high vitamin C source, beautifully-hued winter squash also promotes anti-inflammation in the body. Although it is a low-fat food, one cup of cooked winter squash provides about 340 milligrams of omega-3 fats. This recipe uses butternut squash, which in addition to the benefits above, includes almost 300 percent of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A in a one-cup serving.
Classic Hummus Recipe
Chickpeas are also the main ingredient in most hummus recipes. Find out how to make an easy classic hummus recipe here.
Also known as garbanzo beans, these lentils are packed with fiber, providing half of your daily value in a one-cup serving. The fiber found in chickpeas is mostly insoluble fiber, which has been shown in studies to lower the risk of colon cancer. Chickpeas also have antioxidant properties, providing 85 percent of the daily value of manganese, a key antioxidant in cell mitochondria. Its cardiovascular benefits are also impressive. Studies have show that eating just a three fourths cup serving of chickpeas each day can help lower LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides in just one month.
Just like chickpeas, lentils are filled with heart and colon friendly fiber and are a very good source of manganese. Lentils’ significant levels of magnesium and folate also contribute to heart health. Additionally, they are a good source of plant protein, iron, B vitamins, zinc, and potassium. The most common lentil colors in the U.S. are green and brown but they are available in other colors including yellow, red and orange. This recipe uses red lentils but any color lentils can be used.
Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Stew Recipe
The ingredient list may look daunting but it is a very quick meal to put together and all of the cooking time is spent in the slow cooker. Be sure to use low-sodium broth or bouillon cubes and no-salt added, BPA-free canned chickpeas to cut the sodium level way back. One serving of this stew only contains just 129mg of sodium! The savory spices more than make up for the unnecessary salt.
- 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups butternut or other winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup red lentils, or other colored lentil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup organic pureed pumpkin
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, or use low-sodium vegetable bouillon cubes and water
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- Chopped peanuts
- Avocado slices or cubes
- Diced tomatoes
- Diced green onions
- Combine all ingredients through vegetable broth in a 6 to 8-quart slow cooker.
- Cook on low until lentils have begun to break down, about 6 to 6 1/2 hours.
- Stir in lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro.
- Serve over steaming brown rice or other whole grain.
|Serving size: 6 servings|
|Calories from Fat||18|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 2 g||3%|
|Carbohydrates 50 g||17%|
|Fiber 11 g||44%|
|Protein 14 g||28%|
|Sodium 129 mg||5%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
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"The World's Healthiest Foods." The World's Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation, 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. <http://www.whfoods.com/index.php>.