Here’s a healthy stew that features two classic ingredients in the Mediterranean diet: eggplant and chickpeas. Both of these ingredients are fiber powerhouses, and chickpeas are a wonderful source of meatless protein. The best part? This stew recipe comes together in a slow cooker, so you won’t have to babysit a pot on the stove.
In this episode of To Eat With Love, our Mediterranean diet cooking show, nutritionist Fiorella DiCarlo, RD, CDN, shows how to prepare this eggplant chickpea stew by adding roasted eggplant, tomatoes, sauteed onions, and chickpeas to the slow cooker, as well as rehydrated porcini mushrooms. For a healthy twist, don’t throw out the water you used to soak the mushrooms—if you add that to the slow cooker as well, it can take the place of salty broth.
This Mediterranean vegetarian stew needs just a few more finishing touches. You’ll add minced garlic, oregano, and a dash of salt. (Use this trick to make mincing garlic a cinch.) Finally, you’ll add the two ingredients that will help give this stew fantastic Mediterranean flavor: a whole cinnamon stick and sage leaves. Cinnamon is widely used in savory Middle Eastern dishes and gives these dishes a nutty, aromatic flavor. (The cinnamon stick and sage leaves should be removed before serving.)