Slow cookers and pressure cookers are great for cooking dried beans without requiring a pre-soak. Just dump them in and make sure there’s enough liquid to absorb. This Moroccan-inspired chickpea stew is hearty and healthy, loaded with pulses like chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and lentils that are packed with fibre, protein, essential vitamins and minerals. And they’re cheap, too.
Add a handful of torn spinach at the end, stirring it into the hot stew until it wilts. Make it a complete protein by serving over couscous, rice or quinoa.
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups (500 ml) dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or two 19 oz cans chickpeas if using stovetop method)
2 28 oz (798 ml) cans whole or diced tomatoes, with their juices
grated zest and juice of a lemon
1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) cumin
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground coriander
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
Slow cooker: Combine everything in the bowl of a slow cooker and add an empty tomato can full of water. Cover and cook on low for 6–8 hours.
Pressure cooker: Combine everything in the bowl of a pressure cooker, cutting the quantity of chickpeas in half (use only a cup), and add an empty tomato can full of water. (Ensure the pressure cooker isn’t too full – each has its own limit. If you’re not sure, double check the manual.) Cover and bring to a simmer according to the manufacturer’s directions; cook for 30 minutes. Let the pot cool before opening it.
Stovetop: Heat a drizzle of oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions over medium heat for 5–8 minutes until starting to turn golden. Add the remaining ingredients (use two 19 oz cans chickpeas, drained, instead of the dry chickpeas), bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Continue to cook, uncovered, until the stew thickens slightly.
Per serving: 278 calories, 1.8 g fat (0.3 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 11.4 g protein, 55.8 g carbohydrates, 0 mg cholesterol, 12.4 g fibre.