Marcelle enjoys preparing delicious meals for family and friends. She especially loves creating original, plant-based, vegan recipes.
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.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
6 hours 20 min
- 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.
More Healthy Meatless Dinners
- Slow Cooker Recipe | Healthy Pumpkin Three Bean Chili
Make this healthy, easy chili recipe for a family or potluck dinner this season. The pumpkin adds great color, flavor and nutrition to this delicious meal!
- Vegetarian Recipe | Hearty & Healthy Minestrone Soup
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- Vegetarian Recipe | Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Lighten up your classic lasagna dinner with this delicious meatless recipe! The roasted vegetables and fresh basil add a subtle sweetness to this dish that both your family and guests will love.
- Vegetarian Recipe | Light Eggplant Parmesan & Basic Low-Sodium Tomato Sauce
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- Vegetarian Recipe | Healthy & Easy Pad Thai
Make Pad Thai at home with this easy and delicious dinner recipe! An interesting mix of ingredients makes this meal healthy and flavorful and also keeps the sodium in check.
- Pizza Recipe | Whole Wheat Crust, Sauce & 15 Veggie Toppings
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- Black Bean Burger Recipe and Veggie Burger Review
Are veggie burgers healthy and tasty? Find the scoop in this review and learn to cook your own healthy, low-sodium veggie burger at home.
"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>.
Marcelle Bell (author) on November 23, 2014:
Thanks so much for the awesome comments, Ucan and Susan! Please let me know what you think when you make it and try it. My youngest daughter loves it and is always requesting this dish.
Susan from India on November 21, 2014:
Wow... Awesome recipe. I will surely try this out soon.
UCAN2 LM on November 21, 2014:
Sounds delicious! I'm going to try it! Thanks!