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Gypsy Stew

If you threw away your Crock-Pot to make room, you may be sorry you did. This is a delicious way to cook dried beans in the Crock-Pot. Choose chicken or pork, or go meatless. The sweet potatoes and Spanish flavors are terrific together.

1 1/2 cups dried garbanzo or navy beans
1 box (10-ounce) frozen chopped spinach
1/4 pound pork tenderloin or skinless, boneless chicken breast, optional
2 cans chicken broth (14 1/2 ounce), 1/3 less sodium
1 cup water
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 onion
1 red or yellow bell pepper (we used yellow)
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 grinds fresh ground pepper
8 dashes cayenne, optional (we used 6 dashes)

Five to 11 hours before serving: Sort and rinse beans, and place in a 3 1/2-quart slow-cooker.

Place spinach in a microwave-safe dish and defrost in microwave, 3 minutes.

Cut meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Cut vegetables into wedges. Add all ingredients to slow-cooker. (We used breast, thigh and leg meat from a whole chicken that we had used to make stock for another recipe.)

Cover and cook on low for 10 to 11 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours until beans are tender. Serves 8.

"Lickety-Split Meals" by Zonya Foco

Sunday, January 30, 2000

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