Kick off your week with a healthy dinner full of fresh ingredients and flavors, all while skipping the meat. The key to a successful Meatless Monday dinner is feeling satisfied by still including a protein source. By introducing more sustainable foods to your weekly diet, Meatless Monday will improve personal health and make the world a little greener. Check out www.meatlessmonday.com for more information on the amazing benefits and impact doing this just once a week can do for you and your family.
Keep enjoying the lovely autumn weather with Direct Energy’s fall-inspired vegetarian slow cooker stew. This extremely low-energy use stew is so full of nutrition that it will become a staple fall recipe for your family, and it’s perfectly balanced and flavorful – all while skipping the meat.
There is something extra satisfying about a stew brewing all day in a slow cooker. The flavor develops over a longer period of time, allows all the ingredients to influence each other. The pumpkin puree thickens the stock and adds an extra delicious fall element to the recipe. Butternut squash is always an excellent choice for fall recipes because it is in season, relatively inexpensive, and very versatile. The chickpeas added towards the end of the cooking time provide the hearty protein the dish needs.
The seasonings really make this recipe sing. Poultry seasoning is usually a mixture of sage, thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, black pepper, and sometimes marjoram. It is a perfect herb and seasoning combination to complement this stew and flavor it.
I like to serve the finished stew over mixed red and white quinoa. If you have never made quinoa from scratch or feel intimidated trying to make this new food, look for the microwavable ready in the bag kind! This is a great low energy use swap out that is also a time saver!
Fall-Inspired Vegetarian Slow Cooker Stew
- 1 Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 c. Carrot, peeled and cubed
- 1 c. Red bell pepper, diced
- 1 c. Yellow onion, diced
- 1 c. Celery, diced
- 28 oz. Crushed tomatoes can
- 1 c. Pumpkin puree from can
- 2 c. Vegetable stock
- 19 oz. Chickpeas can
- 4 Fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 tbsp. Butter or olive oil
- 1 tbsp. Poultry seasoning
- 1 tbsp. Sea salt
- 1 tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 tsp. Brown sugar
- 1 tsp. All spice
- 1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
- Mixed quinoa (White and red or any other kind)
1) Prep the vegetables by peeling, cutting, and measuring them as directed in ingredients list.
2) Open 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and whisk it together with 1 cup of pumpkin puree and 2 cups of vegetable stock.
3) Add everything in the ingredients list to a slow cooker except for the can of chickpeas and quinoa. Cook on high for 2 hours.
4) After 2 hours on high heat, turn the heat level to low on the slow cooker and add the can of chickpeas. Continue to cook for at least 2 more hours until the squash and carrots are tender.
5) Serve the stew over mixed quinoa prepared as directed on the quinoa’s packaging. Cooking techniques and times vary dependent on type of quinoa.
6) Garnish with a few fresh thyme leaves, a drizzle of cream, a dollop of sour cream, or even a little fresh ground cracked black peppercorn.
I hope you enjoy this super-easy slow cooker fall stew full of seasonal inspiration while skipping the meat.
I will see you next week for another one of Direct Energy’s installments of Meatless Monday!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan