Monday, September 17, 2012

Slow cooker savvy: Chickpea curry

In many kitchens in the US, cinnamon is used for sweet things like cinnamon bread or rolls or cinnamon cookies. Around the world, cinnamon is often used in savory dishes too and we would be wise to follow suit for some delicious results! This recipe is so simple - just dump the ingredients in your slow cooker and go to work knowing that dinner will be ready when you get home.

Herbs and spices are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals - often in our food, good color and flavor is also good nutrition. For example, lycopene in tomatoes gives them their beautiful red color. Be sure to add a bit of vegetable oil to this recipe so that our bodies can better absorb those nutrients that are fat soluble. 

 Chickpea curry
  • 2 16-ounce cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large (or 2 small) yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon, broken in half
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds (or ground mustard, or prepared spicy brown mustard...use what you have!)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes - look for low sodium
  • 2 cups of water
  1. Place everything in your slow cooker and turn on. The water should just cover the vegetables; not too soupy.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  3. Serve as is, or on a bed of whole grain rice or couscous, or with a dollop of yogurt or with lime wedges.
I used both mustard seed (the little balls) and ground mustard (middle of the plate)
Add just enough water to cover the chickpeas
Cover, and forget about it!
Ready to go and the kitchen smells great!

Easy enough for you? Eating healthfully doesn't have to be difficult or bland. I like that this recipe has a lot of veggies and lean protein. I also think it would be good with even more vegetables - I'd like to try with other common Indian vegetables such as carrots or cauliflower. Comment below if you do try something new!

I am posting this recipe on Monday in support of Meatless Monday. Have you heard of this idea? Our bodies, the earth and our wallets can all benefit from reducing our consumption of conventionally raised beef, pork and chicken and bumping up the veggies. No, this does not mean that you have to commit to a vegetarian diet, but consuming less meat is something that would benefit most of us.

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