I’ve really been making an effort to thrust myself into the holiday season this year in a truly full force kind of way.

For instance…last night I ate cookies for dinner.

Because it seemed seasonally appropriate.

{Don’t judge me.}

{It was awesome.}


In my defense, everyone else was doing it.

Not that I would do {insert random ridiculous activity here} just because everyone else was doing it…but come on…eating cookies for dinner?  I didn’t exactly need much convincing.



Once you realize you’ve traveled 217.3 miles from New York City to Boston (and back) in a weekend…

AND dragged The.Boy. with you

AND forced him to run the Somerville Jingle Bell 5K on Sunday morning just so that you could justify all of the excessive cookie consumption that you knew you were going to do that evening.

Well, you have to actually eat the damn cookies. Duh.

So, yeah.  Shannon’s third annual cookie swap – an unmitigated success.

Now if you’ll please excuse me, I have to get someone to set up an IV of this chickpea, pumpkin and cranberry stew into my veins.  Because we have exactly one week until Christmas. And I’ll be damned if I don’t get some healthy deliciousness into my body before all hell breaks loose.

This is our 8th week of the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash! Link up your recipes here:


I would also just like to take a minute to acknowledge the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School this past Friday.  I know one of the boys who attends that school, a sweet and adorable 2nd grader, who thankfully is okay, but I cannot even put into words how sick it makes me feel and how unimaginable it is that we live in a world where such a thing could even occur to a child like him.  No parent should ever have to worry that their child’s life is in danger while at school, but unfortunately that is now a reality that we all have to live with.

As a nation, and even on a more global scale, we have to somehow find a way to get through this and hope that some kind of change can come of this that will prevent such a thing from ever happening again, if only so that no parent shall ever again have to face this kind of grief.  We just cannot allow these children’s lives to have been lost in vain.  In addition, a support fund has been set up for the families affected by this and anyone who is so inclined should consider donating.

Hug your loved ones today and every day. Because you just never know what tomorrow will bring.


Chickpeas, Pumpkin and Cranberries with Bulgur
Serves 4, adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian 


  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into thin rings
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas and adzuki beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  • 1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups water


  1. Combine the ginger, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a good-sized pan or pot, add the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cinnamon stick. Stir for a few seconds and put in the onion. Stir and fry about 3 minutes or until it is medium brown. Add in the reserved spices. Stir once and quickly put in the tomatoes. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the beans, butternut squash, cranberries, broth, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cover, turning the heat down to low and cook for 13 to 15 minutes.
  3. In the meanwhile, combine bulgur and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until bulgur has absorbed all of the water and is cooked.
  4. Put a mound of bulgur on each plate and serve the stew atop it.

I am submitting this to I Heart Cooking Clubs.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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68 Responses to Chickpeas, Pumpkin and Cranberries with Bulgur

  1. Erica Berman says:

    This looks beautiful, just my kind of thing!

  2. I love that you were in Boston this weekend! Hope you had a fun time here 🙂
    And chickpeas, pumpkin, and cranberries? Sign me up.

  3. Gorgeous recipe darling… this is something I’d totally make on one of these cold winter nights. Sorry we couldn’t see each other on this trip to Boston… we’ll have to meet up again soon. Glad you had such a great time.

  4. Danielle says:

    I love bulgur but struggle with finding ways to use it – this looks great!

  5. Tandy says:

    The killings are so tragic! Stay safe Joanne 🙂

  6. Beth says:

    Thanks for your acknowledgment of Sandy Hook. I just can’t get those poor, grieving families out of my mind. It’s almost too difficult to think of what they must be going through. And my prayers are with the survivors too – the days (and years) ahead may be very difficult for them.

    What a blessing that the little boy you know is safe.

  7. Foodycat says:

    It is unimaginable how scared those poor kids must have been, and the amazing work the school staff did to try to keep them safe.

  8. The stew looks great. I think eating cookies for dinner (or breakfast or lunch…) is completely acceptable. Whatever, YOLO right?

  9. Looks delicious, Joanne. I remember when I made molten lava cakes a few years ago… it was definitely molten lava cake for dinner. 🙂

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. This looks great, just the kind of recipe I’m looking for in my New Year’s weight-loss quest.Not that I diet but because I don’t do 5K runs 😉 and I love the idea of getting some great looking veggies inside me…and it’s got a little bit of everything in it that’s warm and filling.

  12. Love the Chickpeas, Pumpkin and Cranberries with Bulgur. What a clever combo! I have had cookies for dinner and there is nothing wrong with that! lol Sometimes I bake so many cookies in a day, that after taste testing I don’t want dinner!! Loving cookie season!!

  13. Julia Marks says:

    I can hardly wait to make this. Thank you.

  14. I can’t even believe you personally know a boy who goes there. Omg…my heart just sank when I read that b/c it just makes it even more real. Thank God he is okay! The whole thing…is just…wow….

  15. Shannon says:

    is this the stew you had in my fridge?!? should’ve kept it for myself 😉 looks like just what i would’ve needed last night!

    still so unreal… so close to home…

  16. SallyBR says:

    Thanks for providing the link to the donation site, I included in my blog.

    Nothing wrong with having cookies for dinner, but to make sure you are forgiven for all the sins, you must divulge the type of cookies, and a recipe. Or two.


  17. Erica says:

    Living in CT and having a 1st grader at home… is very hard for me…I am heart broken for them.Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

  18. Jenn Kendall says:

    such a delicious stew! looks so pretty and vibrant!

  19. Kalyn Denny says:

    I love the looks of that, and I have that cookbook so I’m getting it down off the shelf!

  20. marie says:

    This recipe is so me! Unfortunately I would be alone in eating it as my husband and kids wouldn’t go near it, what do they know? I too need something to even out all the holiday cookies.

  21. Pam says:

    It looks good to me! And cookies for dinner sounds like the ultimate dinner!

  22. Cathleen says:

    I have eaten cookies for dinner quite a bit this month too. Thank you for the excuse 😉
    This looks delicious. I think I need something healthy too before the holidays

  23. It was great to meet you yesterday! I went on to eat pizza for dinner after all of the cookies, so I definitely need to eat dishes like this all week to make up for it…

  24. Guru Uru says:

    This looks really delicious my friend with oodles of flavour 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  25. We used to live right near Tufts! And I don’t miss that bus ride back and forth to NYC 🙂

  26. What a gorgeously healthy stew to fill up on before Christmas. I love the cranberries here for a bit of sweetness!

  27. the cranberries add the perfect touch of flavor and kinda makes it holidayish:) I know that is not a word!

  28. Cookies for the dinner sound terrific for me 😉 Maybe I can have this gorgeous looking bulgur salad as the dessert.

  29. I love everything about this recipe. The addition of cranberries is genius! Love it!

  30. Jessie says:

    Cranberries in stew is such a good idea! No judgements here for having cookies for dinner – I’ve had the most delicious chocolate cake for dinner before with no excuses and it. was. AWESOME.

    Have a great week, Joanne!

  31. Why are you talking about cookies for dinner? I thought it was a normal thing to do…:) Like I don’t mention I ate rolled oats for breakfast:)
    Sad incident, hope good sense prevails. The world is full of all sorts of people, and as the population increases so will the number of ‘different’ people, reality unfortunately.

  32. Eileen says:

    Grain, beans, and squash, together at last. This is exactly the kind of meal I want to eat all winter. 🙂

  33. Kim says:

    Such a gorgeous and colorful dish. Thanks so much for submitting it to IHCC.

    I’m with you on the Sandy Hook tragedy. It’s beyond awful and I’m finding it nearly impossible to move on from it. Every time I look at my 6 year old I am reminded of those poor little ones and it’s so heartbreaking. Thanks for the info about the support fund. That’s the first I’ve heard of it.

    And by the way, cookies totally qualify as a meal during the holidays. I had them for lunch 😉

  34. Mary says:

    Now that looks like a feast. It sounds delicious and those colors are wonderful. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  35. OohLookBel says:

    Cookies for dinner? How about cereal and a boiled egg… mmmm! I really should try something like this next time, chickpeas and pumpkin sound so healthy and good.

  36. Rachana says:

    This is exactly the kind of meal I would love to have. Healthy, and delicious.

  37. I think that totally justifies cookies for dinner…and this awesome dish for dessert. Yum!

  38. Debbie says:

    This looks delicious Joanne and as far as cookies for dinner goes….it sounds like a plan to me!!! Oh, they have to be Italian Rainbow cookies though!!!!! (Has to be worth it!!!)

  39. Cookies for dinner – yeah, no judging here. I sometimes eat cookies right before my run.

    And this dinner – uh yeah, you know I can’t resist anything involving butternut squash!

  40. That Girl says:

    I dragged my men to the Jingle Bell Run Sunday morning too – in the rain!

  41. I ate cookies for dinner recently too…I added some carrot sticks in the mix to make myself feel better, but whatevs. YOLO!

  42. this stew sounds awesome!! all my fave flavors 🙂

  43. Reeni Pisano says:

    Love this chickpea and pumpkin combo! Pass that I.V. this way! I could use this in my life to counteract all the cookie eating I’ve also been doing! By Christmas I may not be able to even look at them.

  44. Amy says:

    Well, you know how much I love chickpeas. But I’m still consuming cookies. I self-soothed all weekend…and it continues. I’m so overwhelmed with sadness from the shooting. And angry, too. Only when a senator’s child is shot, will the law makers care. And I can’t stand the idea that in another month, this story will all be forgotten, with a lousy memorial once a year. Those poor families…their lives are changed forever. As a mother…as a sane human…it is absolutely unimaginable.

  45. All my coworkers have started giving out bags of cookies as holiday gifts and I’ve been eating cookies with practically every meal lately .. I need meals like this to help balance it out!

  46. Anonymous says:

    while that looks very good – it really does – i can’t help but be curious about what cookies you ate for dinner and what those recipes might be ….

  47. I suspect that your cookies for dinner were well earned!

  48. I LOVE your blog! Your pictures are gorgeous and I can’t wait to make this:)

  49. Kari says:

    I can’t believe I’m typing this, but if I was presented with the choice between this for dinner and cookies for dinner…well, it would be a hard choice.

  50. london bakes says:

    I love how bright and colourful this is – so much food this year is so heavy and brown that to have something lighter and fresher is a real treat!

  51. JasmyneTea says:

    I have some bulgur that needs using, this is quite fortuitous!
    I think it’s great that there’s a support fund set up for the poor people involved in the Sandy Hook incident, I’m going to go check it out now.

  52. You went to Shannon’s cookie swap?! Now I am really wishing I could have made it! This recipe looks so hearty and filling. I am loving chickpeas right now!

  53. Hannah says:

    Uh oh, I think we’ve been sharing one brain again… I also made a dish yesterday that had beans, bulgur, and cranberries in it! Luckily the flavors were rather different, but what a crazy coincidence. Love your very different take on the same basic ingredients!

  54. I think I did a little cookie for meal eating myself this past weekend 😉 Not judging here.

    This looks awesome!

  55. It looks so delicious and yummy, but I don’t like to pumpkin. Can we add any other vegetables other than pumpkin?

  56. Your colour matching is really good. It makes people tempting. Thanks for sharing simple and healthy recipes like this.

  57. Katerina says:

    Beautiful colors Joanne! And I am deeply sorry about this tragic incident in Connecticut. As a parent I cannot even imagine how my life would be without my son!

  58. Roz P. says:

    What a super healthy recipe Joanne and I agree . . . gorgeous colors to heighten the taste experience of this creation!

  59. MM says:

    Great pick for this time of year–not just the health factor, but the colors too.
    I cannot get Sandy Hook and the members of its community out of my mind. Every morning when I take my son to school and watch him walk away, I think of all the parents who didn’t get to see their children come back home that afternoon.

  60. Lovely choice!! Oh, and have another cookie…one for me! Tis the Season!
    I became aware of the Sandy Hook situation when I came home for lunch, from school. Our kids sent their “hands” across the nation in memory of the lost students.

  61. Man Van says:


    I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

    Man and Van Woking

  62. Laura says:

    This is so my kinda food. 🙂

    I hope the little boy you know is doing ok. As ok as possible, anyway. 🙁

  63. I’m with Laura–this is my kind of food too! I love having a wholesome dinner that’s a bowl of goodness like this (bonus: leftovers for lunch!).

    We’re celebrating a post-holiday return to sane eating (no more cookies for dinner, and it’s kind of a relief!) on the Shine Supper Club this month. This recipe would be a perfect contribution!

  64. wow – so flavorful and delicious

  65. This dish look very healthy and little bit spicy. I like the way it is. Very colourful with different types of vegetables.

  66. Love dishes like this love ground cumin and paprika, but will make it without cranberries.

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