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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Curried Chickpeas with Couscous

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In theory, crockpot dishes are awesome, which is why you'll find many of them in my recipe index. There's nothing better than walking in the door and smelling dinner ready and waiting for you. Unfortunately, many slow cooker meals only need 4-6 hours to cook. That isn't exactly ideal when you are away from the house for upwards of ten hours some days....unless you like your meals charred! Instead, I've started using my crockpot on the weekends, when time is a bit more flexible. I still get the benefit of smelling dinner cooking itself for you and oftentimes we have enough leftovers to carry over into the busy workweek.

I pulled this curried chickpea recipe out of a Family Circle magazine more than a year ago and am finally now getting around to making it. The prep work was easy--just chopping and tossing into the crockpot--and then I went about the rest of my Sunday. A few hours later I took ten minutes to prep some bulgur (the original recipe called for couscous but you could use any grain you have on hand) and dinner was served!

If curry isn't your thing, I wouldn't recommend this. Thankfully Ryan and I are both big fans of curry. Having returned from a bachelor party weekend away, Ryan was particularly appreciate of the vegetables which had apparently been absent amongst all of the cigars, alcohol, and tacos! This was healthy and filling and reheated well, making it excellent leftovers the next evening. Any night I get a break from cooking is considered a win!

One Year Ago: Roasted Eggplant Pasta with Goat Cheese
Two Years Ago: Apple Oat Crisp

Curried Chickpeas with Couscous
slightly adapted from Family Circle Magazine, September 2010

-3 medium sized carrots, finely chopped
-4 cups cauliflower florets (about 3/4 pound)
-2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-1 cup frozen peas
-1 medium-sized onion, chopped
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-2 1/2 tsp curry powder
-3/4 tsp ground coriander
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1 cup vegetable broth
-3/4 cup coconut milk
-1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
-3/4 tsp salt
-1 cup dry couscous

1. Place carrots, cauliflower, chickpeas, peas, onion, garlic, curry powder, coriander, and red pepper flakes in the slow cooker. Pour vegetable broth and coconut milk over the top.
2. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. Remove 2 cups of the mixture and place in a small bowl. Mash with a potato masher and stir basil and salt into mashed mixture (I skipped the mashing step and just added the basil and salt to the slow cooker). Return to slow cooker and stir until well combined and heated through.
3. Prepare couscous (or quinoa, rice, bulgur, etc.) according to package directions and serve chickpea curry over the top.