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Warming Plant-Based Recipes for Crisp, Fall Evenings

Moorish Chickpea Stew

Moorish Chickpea Stew. Photo credit Asif Rahman.

If the goal is to achieve long-term weight loss, avoid chronic disease and simply feel great, Dr. Vanita Rahman prescribes a low-fat, well-balanced, plant-based diet that is high in fiber and nutrients, but low in fat, sugar and sodium. It was when she was dealing with her own health problems that Rahman explored the connection between nutrition and disease and discovered that the key to good health started at the end of her fork.

During fall and winter months, there is plenty of opportunity to incorporate wholesome grains and veggies into flavorful soups, stews, casseroles and other dishes that will still give our health a boost. Now as summer’s heat gives way to cooler temperatures, these two warming dishes will hit the spot.
Moorish Chickpea Stew
This aromatic, Spanish-inspired stew is chock full of goodness. Complement it with toasted baguette slices on the side.
Yield: 8 Cups – 6 Servings
12 oz. (1½ cups) dried chickpeas, rinsed, drained and soaked
     in water for 8 to 12 hours
1 tsp olive oil
7 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika or smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
8 oz baby spinach, or 8 oz curly kale, finely chopped
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put them in a medium saucepan, add enough fresh water to cover the chickpeas completely and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat for
2 minutes.
Add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Add the paprika and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
Add the chickpeas and their cooking liquid and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add water as needed to ensure there is enough sauce around the chickpeas.
Use a potato masher or the back of a sturdy slotted spoon to mash some of the chickpeas against the bottom or side of the pan.
If the stew is very thick, add water in ½-cup increments until it has thinned slightly. If the stew is watery, increase the heat and simmer until it has thickened slightly.
Remove from heat. Add the spinach and vinegar and stir until the spinach is wilted and all the ingredients are well combined.
TIP Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the sew will keep for about 4 days.
Recipes reprinted with permission from Simply Plant Based: Fabulous Food For a Healthy Life, by Vanita Rahman, M.D., ©2021 by BPC. Rahman, a board-certified physician in internal medicine, is the clinic director at the Barnard Medical Center, in Washington, D.C., a certified nutritionist and a personal trainer.