Alright guys, this is a big one. Keeping in the lane of easy cooking, this is a crockpot meal, so, set it and forget it, but there are a lot of ingredients. And a lot of spices. But that is what makes this so hearty and delicious.
The recipe is broken into three steps, but I’m going to list all of the ingredients first just for ease of digestion (heh). Get that shopping list going! Luckily for me, a bunch of these ingredients were already in my pantry, and I’m sure some of them will be for you as well.
In regards to the spices, I know these are crazy. Especially if you don’t own them, it would be absurd to go out and buy them all for a one-off. Personally, these are all spices I have already, and frequently cook with. I like buying different spices because it encourages me to cook out of my comfort zone and explore new flavors. I totally understand if buying all of these is ridiculous. If anything, have cumin and cinnamon… Even better have the Charissa and Allspice. I love buying combo spices, they really help when a recipe calls for something I might not have, but can benefit from all of the other spices in the combo.
Enough disclaimers, this is a seriously awesome stew, it makes plenty for freezing and storing and will totally warm up your day or night with its plethora of veggies and spices.
Ingredients for Stew:
- 2 lg carrots chopped into hearty chunks
- 1 onion med-large sliced
- 2 c water + 1 c
- 1 lg zucchini chopped
- 1 can chick peas
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- handful of parsley chopped
- handful of mixed pitted olives
Ingredients for Meatballs:
- 1lb ground turkey
- 1/2 c. sauteed spinach – padded dry
- 2 tsp olive oil
Spices (hold onto your butts, there’s a lot!):
- 4 tbsp – Spicy Charissa (cracked cumin seed, spanish paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, salt)
- 4 tsp – Cumin
- 2 tsp – Smoked Paprika
- 3 tbsp – Cinnamon
- 1 tsp – Allspice
- 2 tsp – Nutmeg
- 2 tbsp – Turmeric
- 1 tbsp – Curry powder
- 2 tbsp – Light Brown Sugar
- Generous amounts of Salt & Pepper
Okay, now that you’ve processed the novel of ingredients, let’s get started! First things first, put the carrots, onion, some salt & pepper and 2c water into crock pot and heat up on high. You’re basically making a quick poor man’s veggie broth. Chop the parsley and zucchini if you haven’t yet.
Now, the meatballs. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Sauté two handfuls of fresh spinach in a pan on medium-low with some olive oil. Toss until wilted and dark green. Add your ground turkey, cooked spinach, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp Charissa, 2 tsp cumin, salt and pepper to a bowl and combine. Roll into small meatballs and place on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, until they are slightly browned and cooked through (I always cut the biggest one in half to check this). Set them aside to cool.
At this point, you can add your tomatoes, chick peas, zucchini, parsley, remaining cup of water, brown sugar, and spices to the crockpot that has your carrots and onions already cooking.
You want to cover it and let that warm up for a while, mine took about an hour. Once it’s started bubbling a little bit and the liquid is warm, add your olives and meatballs and submerge. Cover it once again, reduce heat to low, and let that baby cook for 8-10 hours. I went to bed and turned it off when I woke up. Boy, oh boy, did it smell good!
And there you have it! I put my stew over some leftover brown rice I had, you could put yours over that, cous cous, or any grain you like! Or, you could just have the stew by itself.
The heat of the cayenne and combination of spices makes such a warm flavor, and the meatballs add a nice meaty addition to the cooked down soft veggies.
I know this seems like a lot of work, but trust me, you get SO much food out of it, it is totally worth the couple hours of prep, and overnight cook-down.