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Let the slow cooker make full-on comfort food appetizing--and effortless--even in summer. Easy to love and dead simple, this chickpea dish can please a crowd on any given weeknight. The recipe below serves two but should multiply like a dream.

The important bit here is to use an unfiltered apple juice that contains nothing but pressed apples. We grabbed ours at Three Rivers, but the natural foods section of any large grocer should be able to help you out. The sweet-tart apple juice and the acid from the tomatoes combine beautifully with golden turmeric and a touch of ginger and allspice. The result goes down way easy.

To really drive home the comfort, we piled our chickpeas atop a mound of fluffy mashed potatoes, but any grain--rice, couscous, polenta/grits, what have you--will work. And note that the chickpeas hold up well to the long cooking. Other beans may get mushy, but feel free to experiment (and we can't wait to try this with diced tempeh).

Apple Juice-Braised Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Turmeric

Print the recipe

serves 2, adapted from The Apple Cookbook

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp ground ginger

pinch ground allspice

1 medium tomato, cut into large dice

1 TBSP olive oil

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice (look for an unfiltered brand that contains nothing but pressed apples)

salt, to taste

1 tsp cornstarch

1 TBSP water

Combine chickpeas, turmeric, ginger, allspice, tomato, oil, and apple juice in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Salt to taste. Whisk together cornstarch and water. Increase heat to high, stir in cornstarch slurry, cover, and let sit 5 minutes. Turn off heat, uncover, and let sit another 5 minutes before serving over cooked grain (such as rice, couscous, or grits/polenta) or mashed potatoes.