Foodie Tuesday: Slow Cooker Lamb and Chickpea Stew


Slow Cooker Middle East-Inspired Lamb and Chickpea StewIn addition to containing chickpeas, which are high in folate, this Turkish-inspired dish takes advantage of the last of the season’s eggplant (Asian) and tomatoes (think Early Girls- not sure why they are called that since they come so late in the season).  With a full day of low-temperature braising in the slow cooker, the lamb should be tender and succulent, while the eggplant will serve to thicken the stew.  Serve it over instant whole grain couscous, which takes only minutes to make,  for an easy weekday meal.

Slow-Cooker Lamb and Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and Tomatoes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4-8 hours
Servings: 4, 150 mcg per serving (37.5% RDA)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound lamb stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium Chinese or Japanese eggplants, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 Early Girl or other medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp crushed hot pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo Pepper or smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz.)
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (to top)
  • 2-4 tbsp fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped (to top)
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous, cooked in vegetable broth as per package directions

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put a little olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker and then add cubed lamb.
  2. Toss onions, eggplant and garlic in the olive oil to coat, layer over lamb.
  3. Mix chopped tomatoes with spices; layer over eggplant.
  4. Pour vegetable broth over all.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  6. Uncover, mix with spoon, and check for salt and pepper.
  7. Mix in canned chickpeas and turn slow-cooker to high; recover and cook for 30 minutes more, or until chickpeas are warmed through.
  8. As chickpeas warm, cook whole wheat couscous according to package directions.
  9. Serve stew over couscous; pass around yogurt and mint for people to add to taste.

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