Exotic is exquisite, when it comes to a bouquet of flowers. It’s what you want in a fruity tropical drink, or sometimes in a new shade of lipstick. But for comfort foods like stew, too much flair can fill you with fear. Even a step as simple as swapping beans for beef to create a vegan version may make you feel like you’re living on the culinary edge. Is it worth the risk? One whiff of the spicy-sweet aroma wafting from a pot of this Moroccan dish, and classic will be well on its way to becoming a thing of your past.
Moroccan Chickpea & Butternut Squash Stew
2 cups (1 14-oz. can) cooked chickpeas
1 butternut squash, cubed
1 cup uncooked red lentils
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
15 kalamata olives or green olives, chopped
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chili flakes
Ground black pepper, to taste
Juice of ½ lemon
Zest of one lemon
- In large pot, combine coconut oil, onion, butternut squash, ginger and spices over medium heat; saute mixture for 10 minutes.
- Stir in lentils, tomatoes, water and chickpeas and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in lemon juice and zest and olives. Continue cooking stew for 10 minutes, covered, until lentils are tender.
- Serve stew with tahini over brown rice or a bed of shredded kale or spinach, if desired.