See this recipe featured on SkinnyMs.com.
Weather: 16 degrees, clear
What I’m listening to: American Idol auditions
I’m pretty stinking excited to report that I already fulfilled one of my New Year’s resolutions. Recently, I had the privilege of eating dinner with several Alaska food writers (bloggers, cookbook authors, chefs, etc.) in Anchorage. Chef Rob Kinneen made a delicious kale salad with quinoa, parsnips, goat cheese, and roasted beets. As soon as I heard there were beets on the table, I knew it was my chance.
The colorful root vegetable I had avoided all of my adult life for fear that they taste like the canned version that traumatized me as a child was staring me right in the face. But, I was so excited to fulfill a promise I had made to all of you, that I fearlessly shoveled the salad into my mouth – and loved it. Try fresh beets: check! And I’ll gladly eat them again next time I have an opportunity. Now Pastor Alaska says I need to cook them at home next and blog about it. Perhaps. But not today… today we’re talking about this fabulous Slow-Cooker Chickpea Stew with Apricots, and another root vegetable – turnips.
Turnips, when they’re raw, have a similar flavor and texture to radishes, in my opinion. They’re white on the inside, crisp, and a little spicy. But, when they’re slow-cooked in the crockpot with tomatoes, onions, garlic, apricots, cumin, and chicken broth, they become tender and take on a completely different flavor, more subtle. If you didn’t know they were turnips, you’d probably assume there were potatoes in your stew. If you are afraid of turnips or don’t care for them, feel free to omit them or replace them with something else – I think cauliflower would be delicious.
This stew is simple to make and has great flavor. The prep work takes about 15 minutes. I threw mine in the crockpot at lunchtime, and after 4 short hours on high, it was ready. And cooking a batch of couscous to go with it takes less than 10 minutes. It’s a great weeknight meal option. It reheats beautifully, too, if you have leftovers.