CreatureKind Book Club . . . and Chickpea Stew with Figs!

Hope everyone is staying hydrated! Say a prayer for our beleaguered planet . . . This post features a book discussion opportunity plus a tasty chickpea stew recipe courtesy of Oswaldo Montoya.

“Zoological Witchcraft”: Book Discussion with CreatureKind

Our partner organization, CreatureKind, is happy to announce their second Summer Book Club selection, “Racism as Zoological Witchcraft: A Guide to Getting Out,” by Aph Ko. They hope you’ll join them as they read, reflect, and expand their lens on liberation for animals, peoples, and the earth over the next two months. 

Read more: CreatureKind Book Club . . . and Chickpea Stew with Figs!

As one of the leading voices of Black veganism, Aph Ko “shows the many ways that White supremacist notions of animality and race exist through the consumption and exploitation of flesh. She demonstrates how a critical historical and social understanding of anti-Blackness can provide the pathway to genuine liberation.”

We’re eager to dive into this rich text, and read and learn alongside them. The themes are right on target with Seekers’ recent “Protest Kitchen” class and its emphasis on the intersectionality of issues like racism, sexism, and justice for animals.

How it works:  

  • Register here to sign up for weekly reflections on each chapter. You will receive an email every week with written reflections from each chapter, starting July 19th with Chapter 1: Anti-Racism vs. Animal Liberation.
  • They will then discuss the book live as a group virtually at the end of the summer on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023 at 3:00 PM EDT/ 4:00 PM GMT/ 8:00 PM BST

You can reach out to Megan Grigorian at CreatureKind with any questions or points of discussion at any time before or during the book club. Happy reading! 

Warmly Spiced Quinoa Chickpea Stew with Figs

by Oswaldo Montoya

I came across this fantastic recipe on the Food Revolution Network, and it’s from the cookbook “Let Them Eat Vegan” by Dreena Burton. You can find the cookbook here.

At first, I was a bit intimidated by the long list of ingredients, but then I realized that it’s actually quite an easy recipe. Most of the work is done in five basic, straightforward steps. You start throwing most of the ingredients into the pot and let them cook. The result is a delicious and nutritious meal with some unique flavors and aromas (at least for me). What’s even better is that this recipe is not only vegan, but it’s also oil-free!

This recipe serves 4 people.


  • 1-2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup organic red pepper chopped
  • 1-1 1/2 cup fennel bulb chopped (first remove core and stalks from the bulb)
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • black pepper freshly ground to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsps curry powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 1/2 tsps paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsps dried basil
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg freshly ground
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup white wine (see note)
  • 3/4 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 2 cups chickpeas (rinsed and drained if using canned)
  • 2-2 1/4 cup water plus another 2–4 tbsp if needed
  • 1 dried bay leaf or fresh
  • 1/3 cup dried black mission figs chopped (or chopped dried apricots)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds chopped or chopped pistachios (optional, for finishing)
  • balsamic reduction drizzle (optional)


1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the water, onion, red pepper, fennel, garlic, salt if using, pepper, curry powder, fennel seed, paprika, dried basil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Stir through, cover, and cook for 6–8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add wine, bring to a boil and let boil for a couple of minutes.

3. Then add quinoa, chickpeas, water (start with 2 cups) and bay leaf and stir through.

4. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/medium-low, cover and let cook for 18–22 minutes.

5. Once quinoa is cooked, and most of the liquid is absorbed, stir in dried figs, remove from heat and let sit for 3–4 minutes. If the liquid is absorbed but quinoa isn’t tender, add the extra ¼ cup of water and cook another few minutes.

6. Taste, and season with additional salt if using, pepper, or other spices if desired.

7. Serve, sprinkling with the pumpkin seeds or chopped pistachios, if using.

8. If using the balsamic reduction, drizzle a little over finished portions.

Chef’s Notes

Red Pepper

If you don’t have a red pepper, you can substitute chopped carrot or winter squash like butternut, though the red pepper adds a nice color contrast to the other ingredients.


If the liquid is absorbed but quinoa isn’t tender, add the extra ¼ cup of water and cook another few minutes.


Feel free to use sodium-free vegetable broth or 1/4 cup apple cider with 1/4 cup water in place of the white wine.

Serving Suggestions

Try serving straight up, or alongside steamed spinach or kale.

Add the balsamic reduction to the greens along with a dash of tamari or pinch of salt.

A squeeze of lemon juice is also nice on the greens.

For something heartier, serve with baked sweet potatoes. You can slice them in half and ‘top’ the halves with the quinoa stew.

Keep the Recipes (and Shopping Tips) Coming!

We’d love to keep featuring a vegan recipe or shopping tip each week. If you have an old favorite, or have tried something new recently, please write it up and send it to John or Katie. Desserts, salads, sandwiches, entrees . . . anything that tastes good!

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