Here’s a healthy vegetarian stew packs with flavor and features two classic ingredients in the Mediterranean diet: eggplant and chickpeas. Both of these ingredients are fiber powerhouses (perfect for digestive health, weight management and keeping hunger at bay). Chickpeas are also wonderful source of meatless protein. This eggplant chickpea stew also uses classic Mediterranean staples of tomatoes, sauteed onions, and a kick from whole cinnamon stick and sage leaves. Cinnamon is widely used in savory Middle Eastern dishes and gives these dishes a nutty, aromatic flavor.
The best part? This stew recipe comes together in a slow cooker, so you won’t have to babysit a pot on the stove. My secret flavor weapon that's also a low sodium alternative? Rehydrated dried porcini mushrooms! For a healthy twist, don’t throw out the water you used to soak the mushrooms— add that to the slow cooker as well, it can take the place of salty broth.
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In HealthiNation's To Eat with Love: Mediterranean series, Registered Dietitian Fiorella DiCarlo travels the Mediterranean through your kitchen with delicious recipes packed with lean protein, vegetables, fiber, antioxidants, healthy omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals in the Mediterranean Diet! More on the series here!