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Slow Cooker Moroccan Stew

olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large orange bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups butternut squash, diced

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 1 cup uncooked
1 cup french green or red lentils, dry
4 cups water or veggie broth
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 zucchini, chopped
teaspoon smoked paprika or smoke (Costco)
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons mineral salt
2 bay leaves

Greek yogurt, for serving (For a dairy-free option, top with sliced avocado)
Fresh mint, for serving

Stovetop Option:
1 pound of meat
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups kale
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon

This spicy vegetable, lentil, and chickpea stew is made with cinnamon and paprika, traditional North African spices. Bell peppers, zucchini, and butternut squash are major sources of vitamins and minerals, while lentils and chickpeas are forms of lean protein, helping you stay fuller longer.

I like to top my stew with a drizzle of olive oil, big dollops of thick Greek yogurt, and fresh mint. Remember to choose whole-fat yogurt, as it’s less processed than reduced or nonfat. This is a fantastic fall-themed meal that covers all nutritional bases but doesn’t skimp on flavor! It will taste even better the next day, after the flavors have time to meld and deepen.
Serves 6-8 

Uncooked Chickpeas: Soak chickpeas overnight. Boil and then simmer for 1 hour the chickpeas. 1 cup will become 2 cups cooked.

Slow Cooker
Combine all ingredients, except the chickpeas, greek yogurt, fresh mint, and olive oil, in a slow cooker. Turn heat to low and cook for 9 hours.

Add the chickpeas and cook on low for one more hour. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Note: I like to throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker at night right before I go to bed. In the morning, just add the chickpeas, cook for another hour and the soup will be ready for lunch!

Stovetop
Saute meat, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil.

Add squash for a few minutes.

Add lintels, water, tomato, zucchini, smoked paprika (or smoke), cinnamon, salt, and bay leaves. Boil and then simmer for 30 minutes
If using quinoa, add after fifteen minutes of this time.
If using red lintels, add after ten minutes of this time.

Add chickpeas, kale and coconut milk. Cook on low for 15 minutes.

At end, add apple cider vinegar or lemon to bring out flavor.

Serving
Serve bowls of stew with a drizzle of olive oil, big dollops of Greek yogurt, and fresh mint.

Serving Alternative: Instead of yogurt and mint, use chopped cilantro with coconut milk and chopped peanuts.
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