Smoky chick peas collard stew is an easy meatless meal you can make in the crock-pot. You won’t get this healthy simple stew at the Cheesecake Factory.
What is normal home cooking anymore? Are we influenced by our families anymore or just the corporate chefs at TGIFridays? I’m afraid of the answer. What about the other side of dining — vegan, local, and less meat? Most of us are probably somewhere in the middle, trying to maintain moderation.
A great place to find your middle is by incorporating a simple, cheap, meatless meal that you actually like into your supper rotation. Beans and greens in the crock-pot is a perfect starting point. It’s make-ahead and costs less than 10 bucks to feed the whole family. And notice that the smoke in this recipe is not from our usual old friend liquid smoke, but from Spanish smoked paprika. It’s the foodie-approved smoke source. And yet again, we can’t get enough earthy cumin. Sure you can use chicken broth for the water or flavor the stew with a little fatback or a ham hock. Good news is that you don’t have to.
- 1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked and drained according to package directions
- 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (you can use spicy if you like)
- Pepper and salt, to taste
- 1 bunch (about 1 pound) greens such as collards or kale, cut into thin strips and coarsely chopped for easier eating
- Juice of one lemon or a tablespoon or two of wine vinegar
Place the chickpeas in a large slow cooker (at least 5 quarts) with 6 cups of fresh water. Start cooking them on high while you prepare the vegetables.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the cumin and garlic and continue to cook another couple of minutes, until the onions are translucent and lightly browned.
Pour the mix into the chickpeas. Cook on the low setting about 8 to 10 hours or on high about 6 hours, or until the peas are tender. This timing is always variable. You be the judge.
Add the collards, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Cook on high until the collards are wilted and soft, about 45 minutes. Add a cup of water if necessary.
Finish with a squeeze of lemon or the vinegar.
You can also serve lemon wedges with each serving. Makes 8 servings.