• Jennifer

Apocalypse Shoo Stew and other things. #32DaysOnTheRoad - Apocalypse Edition


Hi there friends,

Some people have asked for my chick pea stew recipe. It is one of my favorite things to eat at home! So I've rebranded it Apocalypse Shoo Stew for the occasion. It is inexpensive and healthy, filled with things most people have in their pantry or are somewhat readily availalble under abnormal circumstances at your grocery store. No shoe is required.

Note: I cook by taste bud, am not a pro by any means.

This recipe can be made for pennies a serving, It feels good to eat if you have a cold, too - It will ease your sinuses if you have a mild case of Covid-19 or the Flu. I am not advocating it as a cure! Scroll down for the recipe!

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BARE BONE INGREDIENTS

1 cup - dry chick peas, rinsed, soaked & drained - about 60 cents

1/2 cup - lentils - about 60 cents

1 - medium yellow onion (from a bulk bag) - about 30 cents

1 - large carrot from a bulk bag - about 20 cents

1 -Tablespoon (or more to taste) minced garlic (3+cloves) 25 cents

1 - 28 oz can of diced tomatoes - $1.10 regular price store brand

1 - 16 oz can fire roasted tomatoes w garlic - $1 regular price

8 - 10 cups water

3 Tablespoons spice mix - recipe and store bought options below.

Are you with me right now? You are gonna have a huge pot of yummy, HEALTHY, low sodium food that's minimally processed for around $4 that will last you days. If you chose to thicken it up some by means I'll get into, you can also serve it over rice like a curry.

Feed an army on a budget - chick peas are in the pot. Optional ingredients listed below.

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Spice Mix:

North African, middle eastern, indian spice mixes such as Ras El Hanout or Garam Masala can usually be found easily in most parts of the country.

If you are not familiar, each region has its own signature blend/s, some are more spicy and some mild. Ras El Hanout is Morrocan and a yummy place to start.

You can buy them at most big grocery stores like Kroger or HEB but they will be smaller quantities and typically over priced.

Larger quantities can be purchased at a local bulk store, ethnic food store or online for cheap.

You can also MAKE your own according to your own taste from items you may already have in your cupboard or spices from a bulk store. Regular curry powder makes a nice base if you have it handy. There are many recipes online. Don't be afraid of exotic spices you may not have used.

For this batch I used:

-1 Tablespoon Radhuni Spicy Curry Powder blend - its a spicy Bengali blend (huge restaurant/economy size container purchased from a Bengali shop/restaurant in Hamtramck/Detroit for $4)

- 1 Tablespoon Harissa/morrocan seasoning - a spice blend with red pepper. (purchased on clearance)

- 1 Tablespoon of this and that to taste - Some ground ginger, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, spicy paprika.

My rule for making anything taste exotic and delicious is you can't go wrong with garlic, ginger and pretty much any spice that starts with a "C" - Corriander, Cumin, Cayanne, Curry, Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Chili Powder, etc.

Here's a recipe for a Ras El Hanout - like spice mix for starters if you want to diy with common, easy to find spices you may already have in your cupboard. If you know the flavors you like you can wing it as you make it. Again, maybe start with a TBSP of curry powder if you have it as it will be economical and contains many of these ingredients to begin with.

1 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp coriander

1 tsp spicy or smoked paprika

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp chili powder

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OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:

To taste, consistency and what you have on hand or dietary restrictions/needs.

- 1/4 pound ground beef

- Large, cooked sweet potato ( I prefer to cook it in an over first)

- Handful or two of white rice

- Handful or two of quinoa

- 2 tablespoons chia

- Fresh Cilantro or Parsley

- Fresh spinach

- Plain yogurt topping

I like to add a cooked sweet potato the second day after the spices have intensified. The cooked sweet potato thickens it up, adds a tiny bit of sweetness. Add extra water and additional spices along as needed if you do this. Bonus is it stretches the soup, which will help because you will want to eat it all day and night! Don't be afraid of the sweet potato. You think you don't like it but you do. Trust me.

I like to add a little white rice for texture but not too much for dietary reasons.

I buy stuff like quinoa and chia when I see it on sale. The quinoa is gluten free if you have gluten issues, adds some texture and both quinoa and chia are high in protein for serving. If you have digestion issues such as chrons or diverticulitis you can try a chopped white potato.

Fresh cilantro is great to add as its served. Parsley holds up better in the pot. Both add a nice tang. Today I didn't want to the grocery store due to my "social distancing" so I tried adding a dash of Za'atar I had on hand and it worked out nicely. Za'atar usually contains sumac which has the nice tang you crave in fattoush / lebanese dressings.

Substitutions - you can definitely substitute the canned/crushed tomatoes with tomato sauce if that's what you have on hand.

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How To:

Wash your damn hands!

Use a big stock pot. If all you have is a 5 quart one this will just do depending on how much liquid you use.

-Rinse and soak your chickpeas overnight. There are boil methods if you want to speed things up.

-Rinse and drain lentils.

-Cut your onion any way you like it and crush your garlic if necessary.

-Spray your pan with spray oil or use a couple Tbsp oil, preferably olive oil and turn on your stove to med/high.

-Cook onions until they start to become clear and add minced garlic for a minute, stirring.

- Add lentils and keep stirring things so nothing starts to burn for about a minute. Add a little water as needed. If you are adding meat, do that now, and cook it until it's about half done.

- Add chick peas and 2 TBSP of spice mix and mix it up good for a couple minutes until all the spices are mixed through the other ingredients, adding a little water if needed to keep things from scorching.

- Add both cans of tomatoes and 8 cups water.

- Bring to a boil - once it is at a boil, I like to add a couple handfuls of rice (avoid instant), quinoa or other dry grains you choose and turn down to simmer.

- Add carrot - I like to use a potato peeler and cut the carrot in thick strips right into the pot. Make sure your carrot is clean.

- If you already have decided you want to add a sweet potato, add it now and mix it in good. Make sure its already been cooked. I like the flavor that comes from it having been cooked in an oven and it blends right into the soup so you can totally fool the sweet potato hater in your life. If you aren't looking for a super thick stew, you may want to add extra water.

- Simmer for a half hour. About half way through i like to taste it and see what i want to add, and add an additional TBSP of seasoning to taste. It really depends on how spicy/mild you want your stew.

- Add parsley or cilantro if you like. Parsley I chop and add to the pot near the end of cooking. Cilantro I add to each serving. Parsley holds up better where if you fill the pot with cilantro it tends to get a bit slimy for my taste. You can also add fresh baby leaf spinach which I treat the same as cilantro.

Eat your delicious soup. If you didn't add a sweet potato, try it when you reheat the leftovers tomorrow.

Now, we all know that eating healthy comes with a cost and I hope you have a well stocked bathroom.

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What's Ahead.

Meanwhile. NONE of us out of work know when we will be getting back to regular life. I know there is a lot of financial uncertainty in all of our lives right now. So I would like to offer you some comfort - we will get through this all together, somehow, someway.

Being that I've had some experience with lean times I don't want to see anyone suffer. Even when we have a little, we have something to share and our love and gratitude for people is only magnified right now.

I hope If you are someone that we've performed for, that's booked us, has been a friend to us, we can reciprocate in some way - if we can promote your business, deliver your groceries if you are near by, lighten your mood, help you with any ideas to make life more bearable and productive right now let us know.

As always, we love you!

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#32daysontheroad #tourblog

© 2019 BY Jennifer Westwood and The Handsome Devils.