December 30, 2008

Mo-rockin' Slow Cooker Stew


My flour, butter, sugar and baking sheets stared at me longingly as I skipped over them to grab my lonely slow cooker from the top cabinet. I have put a pause on baking the heavy, creamy, delicious goodies that one associates with the holidays because, well, to be honest, my pants are feeling a little snug. I worked really hard with WW to lose some of my poundage, so I don't want to sabotage myself. I'm also fighting against a medication whose biggest (ha!) known side-effect is weight gain, so that's a bit of an uphill battle.

This brings us to my delicious orange delight - WW Moroccan Slow Cooker Stew. My cooker and I have had a love/hate relationship. I love that I can toss in my raw ingredients and it will create a meal for me. I hate that it's an older model and only has 4 time settings: High 4 hour, High 6 hour, Low 10 hour and Low 8 hours. So when a recipe says to "Cook on low for 6 hours" what the heck am I supposed to do? And I have also learned that if your cooker isn't full to the top with the raw ingredients, it will burn, and then instead of coming home to a lovely pot of stewed chicken, you come home to a nasty burnt mess that takes 3 steel wool pads to scrub clean. So now it's a bit of an experiment. Sometimes I'll leave it on "warm" for the whole 8 hours and that works. For this recipe, I made it on a Sunday night and watched it closely.

I love the flavors of Moroccan cooking - hot and sweet and spicy. This stew is vegetarian, and honestly, I don't think I would want to add meat to it. The squash and beans make it very hearty and the spices warm your tummy. The original recipe called for baby carrots, also, but I didn't have them. After tasting the final product, I don't know if I would use them. It's sweet enough from the cinnamon and I think that carrots might make it too sweet.

Ingredients:
1 spray cooking spray
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup baby carrots (I omitted)
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
15 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp table salt

Instructions:
Coat a small skillet with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes.
Place squash in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker (crock pot). Add sauteed onion and garlic, carrots, tomatoes, broth, cinnamon, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cover and turn on to low heat; simmer for 6 hours.
Add chickpeas and salt. Stir, cover and heat for an additional 5 minutes. Yields about 1 1/3 cups per serving. Only 4 points per serving!

You can serve over cous-cous, but account for those points, too.
PS - Look for this recipe in Joelen's Chef Spotlight Dinners! http://joelens.blogspot.com/

5 comments:

bensbaby116 said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have a similar love / hate relationship with my crockpot too! This looks yummy.

Joelen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Amazing that this flavorful dish has only 4 pts per serving! Not sure if you're aware, but I'm hosting a Chef Spotlight blogging event featuring recipes of healthy chefs including Weight Watchers. I'd love to feature your blog and this recipe in the upcoming round up. Details are in my blog's left sidebar!

kenpen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This looks really good. I love recipes for the crock pot.

Lori said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think we have the same crockpot! It drives me crazy, but we still use it weekly at least once. Looks tasty, I wonder if the masses would eat it.

juju73 said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This sounds great!