Budget Friendly Chickpea Winter Squash Stew


Most of us have a can of chickpeas in the pantry, if not some dried ones. You can make a great stew, minestrone, hummus, and a tuna salad substitute all from this great bean. The chickpea, sometimes know as a garbanzo, is very multicultural!

Remember that dried beans cost much less than canned, and have nothing added. Canned beans tend to be high in salt, so at least rinse them before using. You can always cook up a whole bag of dried beans and freeze them in can-sized packages for the next time you need them.

You should be able to get a winter squash for about 89 cents a pound right now, or you may have some from your garden. Mine were lost to squash borers.

You’ll need a can of tomatoes, which I think is a must in the pantry. Next year I’m hoping to can enough to not buy any from the store. But this year I’ve gotten some from Whole Foods on sale, organic ones from Big Lots, and some more with Muir Glen coupons.

You can substitute the veggies and spices to fit with what you have on hand. If you’re like me a run to the store for that one thing turns in to 5 things I didn’t have to have…

Slow Cooker Chickpea Winter Squash Stew

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups winter squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1 Tb garam masala
    (or other curry you have on hand and you can leave out the cinnamon if you think it’s too much.)

Put everything into a slow cooker and cook on low for 5 – 9 hours. You can do this on the stove top as well, just check often to see if you need more liquid.


Yet Another Vegan Slow Cooker Chili

In my world there is no such thing as too many chili recipes. I love a hearty stew once there’s a chill in the air. When I first became a vegetarian (about 25 years ago), I was just learning how to cook and found Fantastic Foods Vegetarian Chili mix and I was sold. A couple of cans of beans and a can of tomatoes and dinner for a week!

So it goes without saying, even though I am saying it, that I have a soft spot for chili with tvp (textured vegetable protein) in it.  It’s not expensive or hard to work with. And believe it or not, this was the first time I ever made tvp chili from scratch. I reached for the box, looked at the price and realized it was too much money for spices and tvp. Especially when I have some of the best chili powder at home!

‘Meaty’ Slow Cooker Chili

  • 4 cups veggie broth or filtered water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried tvp (You can get it in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods)
  • 1 cup corn (I used frozen organic)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked beans (I used kidney beans, but pintos, black)
  • 2 cups diced heirloom tomatoes, diced (or 2 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 Tb. tomato paste
  • 1 Tb good chili powder
  • 1 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 Tb liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp garlic Tabasco
  • chopped cilantro for garnish

Mix all the ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low 6 – 9 hours. Serve topped with chopped cilantro.

Slow Cooker Thursday

It’s slow cooker Thursday!
See other great recipes at Diary of a SAHM

Recipe – Vegan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Slow Cooker Thursday

It’s slow cooker Thursday!

Another super easy vegetarian chili that can be made with ingredients that are probably in your pantry now. This is my default party dish.

Other than the cooking time, it takes about 10 or 15 minutes to put the while things together. I cook my beans in the slow cooker the before I go to bed and add the rest of the ingredients in the morning. You could always substitute canned black beans if you don’t have enough time to cook them from scratch.

1 pkg. dried black beans
2 sweet potatoes cubed (I don’t peel mine, but I usually buy organic ones)
1 can diced tomatoes (can be with garlic or chilis)
1T – 5T Chili powder (to taste – I use about 4T usually)
1T unsweetened cocoa (really it makes a rich sauce)
1T garlic powder

Before you go to bed put dry beans and cut up sweet potatoes in a crock pot with water about 3 – 4 inches above them. Cook on high all night.

When you get up in the morning, add tomatoes and spices to taste. Add more water if needed. Cook on low all day. The sweet potatoes ‘melt’ into the chili, so you can hide veggies from kids and picky spouses.

You can cook more or less depending on your schedule. It reheats and freezes well, so don’t be afraid of leftovers.
A ready to eat chili dinner will welcome you home!

If you’re making it for a group of people (or party), you can dress it up with an assortment of toppings for your guests to choose from. (plus they’ll think you worked lots harder than you did!) Here are a few that I have used:

  • minced fresh onions
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • green chilis
  • chopped fresh tomato
  • diced avocado
  • plenty of bottled hot sauces to choose from
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 221.9
  • Total Fat: 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 256.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 42.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 12.9 g
  • Protein: 12.7 g

Recipe – Vegan Slow cooker White Chili

Slow Cooker Thursday

It’s slow cooker Thursday!

Who says all veggie chili is the same? I made this yesterday and it turned out great. It was my first time, so I was prepared if it didn’t go over. It’s quick to put together and it cooks all day in the Crockpot so it ready and waiting when you get home! I made it a little different than I listed on menu plan Monday – mostly I was too lazy to make beans from scratch.

White vegan chicken chili

  • 2 cans white beans
  • 2 cups veggie broth
    (or water mixed with 1Tbl chicken-less seasoning)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
    (if you are really pressed for time you could use onion powder)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1Tbl chopped cilantro
    (I used the little freezer cubes from Trader Joe’s – they have garlic and basil too!)
  • Lightlife chicken strips
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbl oregano
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
    ( I used a blend of dried crushed spicy peppers that I got at the farmer’s market)
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Here’s the best part – dump everything except for the “chicken” into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 – 9 hours. Add chicken about 15 minutes before you want to eat. Cook until “chicken” is warmed through, you may want to turn it up to high to accomplish this if you’re impatient like me.

Another slow cooker recipe that looks good from the list is spaghetti squash casserole, warning – music starts playing, but you can turn it off on the lower right hand side. It uses tuna, and you could substitute slightly mashed chickpeas to make it vegan! I’m going to have to make some variation of this in the next few weeks.