This morning, my half marathon (that was supposed to be this Sunday) was cancelled due to weather. I am SOOOOO bummed out, so the excitement level may be semi-low today. 😦 😦 😦 However, yesterday I had the day off for President’s Day (happy b-day, George!) and took the opportunity to whip up this Moroccan Tempeh and Chickpea stew recipe in my crock pot that I adapted from the Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker cookbook my mom got me for Christmas. Let me tell you, that shiz is the bomb. It’s soooooooo GOOD! I am really into bold, spicy flavors, and this one is great because the spice level is tunable to suit your own tastes (so, if you’re like my sister or mom, and you don’t want to just mainline green chiles all day long like me, you can put as much or as little spice as you’d like). Since we LITERALLY have 95.7″ (7.9 feet / 2.43 meters) of snow in Boston, I figured a flavorful, warming stew would be a slam dunk, and would help thaw my extremities from the polar temperatures that are currently happening outside. Ugh. Over it! Can we send it back? (Sorry that’s my annoyed-with-my-race-being-cancelled voice talking).
Despite how annoyed I might be at the weather
raining snowing on my parade, I have nothing but love for this amazing stew (seriously – so good). This recipe is wicked easy, super tasty, vegan and gluten free to boot (I put mine over couscous, but you can put yours over rice, quinoa or your fave gluten free grain. Also, if you buy Lightlife brand tempeh in original, it’s gluten free. Some other brands aren’t, so make sure you read your labels if you’re GF.). It’s also bursting with protein (for the gainz bro) and is simply filling and delicious. The best part about this dish is the “walk away” factor: you start it (which takes less than 15 minutes), and then you walk away and do something spectacular for 6 hours, then come back and voila! Dinner’s ready (aka the number one reason that crock pots are the sh*t). Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list, either, as most of the ingredients are pantry items that you should have (and if you don’t, then take this opportunity to go stock up because these spices are GREAT and you can use them to really amp up a lot of your dishes. B, I’m looking at you, my darling Betty Crocker). Here we go:
Moroccan Tempeh and Chickpea Stew
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 1 heaping Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp almond butter
- 1 1/2 heaping tsp coriander
- 1/2 heaping tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (if you’re into the spice, add a few extra shakes)
- 2 cups veggie broth
- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces tempeh, diced
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped
- juice of 1 1/2 lemons, save the other 1/2 for garnish
- 2 pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Step One: Make life easy: put all of the stuff that is not getting sauteed right into the crock pot (I used a 4 quart crock pot – sorry, I don’t know the equivalent in metric! 3.8 Liters? Haha). That would be: chickpeas, green peas, tomatoes, tempeh, apricot. Measure out your spices into a small bowl so you can just throw them into the sautee pan when it’s Go Time.
Step Two: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion for a few minutes until it is tender and translucent. Add the garlic, almond butter, tomato paste and spices. Saute for 1 minute, then add 1/2 cup of veggie broth, stir and then transfer to the crock pot.
Step Three: Add the remaining cup of broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low for 6 hours.
Step Four: Turn the heat off (or turn on “warm”) and add lemon juice to taste, along with any additional spices (I originally started with 1/4 tsp of cayenne when I made this, so I added a few extra shakes to bring it up to L-level spiciness). You can add some fresh cilantro (~2 Tbsp) if you’d like, but I wasn’t feeling it and I honestly think it was great without.
Step Five: Serve pipin’ hot over couscous or rice, and enjoy!! 😀 😀
This recipe is definitely one you want in your arsenal – it’s easy, nutritious, filling and very flavorful. Your belly will be full and happy from this one. Also, it is omnivore certified – a non-veg friend had it last night and LOVED it! So you can make it for your non-veg peeps and they won’t even realize that what they are eating is vegan (the tempeh looks like chicken, so you can just say “uh-huh” if they ask you what it is). It’s so good that I’m excited to eat leftovers tonight. YUM. I hope you guys like this one as much as I do – it’s killer.