Monday Musings-Chickpea Tagine

“I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!”

As I sat down to type this, I realized it is February 4th. That means that one year ago today many of you joined myself and a few friends for the healthy workshop! Yes it has been a year! This makes me wonder what all changes people have made. Have they stuck? Are you stuck? Have you all made any of the recipes and made them your own? Which also means that I have pumped out about 52 recipes this year… no wonder I am starting to question if I have sent repeats, and also thinking of what new and interesting stuff I can share!

Today I want to remind you all that it is a journey to health. Most of all it is YOUR health that you are in control of. I have to remind myself a lot of this when I see unhealthy people. I just want to help! So many think that this is just the way their life will be. That they cannot change their health, but this is NOT true! Yes it will take work, but so does recovering from triple bypass surgery, or checking blood sugars frequently, there is another choice… choose good foods to nourish and heal and the body WILL respond. My prayer is that you all have and continue to make choices that lead you to optimal health! Build on those choices. I remember when I was drinking carrot juice and still eating processed food and dairy, thinking when am I going to feel better? I DID right after drinking the juice, and soon I was cutting out the processed junk adding in even more greens, quinoa, millet, hemp seeds and trying all kinds of new and tasty foods! My taste buds and body will NOT let me go back to my old way of eating! I am thankful, I am healthier than I believe I have ever been.

Speaking of taste buds… I think this is one of the biggest tricks of the culinary trade, spices, mingling of flavors that you just wouldn’t throw in on a typical day. I know I have shared a few recipes from Crazy Sexy Kitchen, get ready here comes another. I did think of soup, but I thought you might need a break from soup. This recipe sounded interesting to me because it was based on a North African dish. It also had a long list of ingredients, sigh, but I am telling you it is so worth every little nuance. I would suggest to make this when you have a little more than a half hour to whip up a dinner. Having said that DO NOT be afraid to make this dish, you will be depriving your taste-buds! The other trick I have learned in cooking is to get all my ingredients ready. I chop up my veggies and herbs and having them on the sidelines ready to go in when it is their turn. I know this may require more dish cleaning, but this works for me to keep me organized. My sister Cindy and I look at recipes like other women look at clothes catalogs… we drool a little too I am sure. When I showed her this we knew we had to make it for New Years Eve dinner. Thanks to her and her hubby for saving me with another quick trip to the store (anyone who knows where she lives, it is not a quick trip to the corner store) when I forgot the mint and a few other key ingredients. As the recipe states you can use other veggies, but DO NOT change the spices and herbs, except for kicking up the heat with chilies if you like.

I truly believe once you start eating real fresh food (and I know it is a challenge in the winter months) food has taste you never knew where possible. Soon you aren’t drowning your salad in fat laden dressing, but adding herbs and spices that bring our the flavors of cukes, kale, and carrots! You are eating dishes with ingredients you didn’t know existed and your body responds with a renewed energy and a feeling of being satisfied!

I really don’t think I need to go into the many health benefits of this dish. Protein in the chickpeas, all the vitamins in the veggies, virtually no fat especially if you skip the oil! Serve this over quinoa and you have added another good hit of protein and vitamins! Also good served with rice I am sure.

I hope that you will give this dish a try… it’s worth it, and so different then spaghetti and meatballs! I am not sure how kid friendly as I don’t think the littles tried it at my sisters, but you won’t want to share with the kids anyway… let them have a vegan healthy wrap!! 🙂

Peace,
Debbie

Chickpea with Root Veggie Tagine

Yummo! a flavor explosion!
Yummo! a flavor explosion!

 Tagine is a traditional North African dish, named after the pot used for cooking it. Feel free to change out veggies for your favs, or whatever’s in the fridge, but keep the rest true to enjoy the abundance of flavors.

 1 teas. cumin seeds or ½ teas. ground

1 teas. coriander seeds or ½ teas ground

½ teas. red pepper flakes adjust to taste

½ teas turmeric powder

½  teas cinnamon

½ teas black pepper

½ TBS sea salt

3 TBS olive oil

1 medium white onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed

2 TBS tomato paste

2 cups vegetable stock

½ cup carrots, peeled and diced

1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced

½ cup turnip or russet potato, peeled and diced

½ cup pitted and chopped green olives

2 cups chickpeas, cooked (about one can, rinse well)

1 6-oz jar of baby artichokes, strained, rinsed, and quartered

3 TBS. lemon zest

½ cup golden raisins

3 TBS chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

3 TBS chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 TBS chipped mint plus more for garnish

Sea salt to taste

Lemon zest (optional)

Red chile, thinly sliced (adjust based on desired spiciness optional)

 1. Toast cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a dry sauté pan until aromatic (you can toast ground spices as well, but be sure not to burn them). If using seeds, once toasted, transfer into a small spice grinder (or coffee grinder) and add the red pepper flakes, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, and sea salt. Grind till slightly coarse. Set aside.

2. In a large heavy-bottom shallow pot or deep skillet (cast iron works best) on medium heat, add oil, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and golden, stirring continuously for about 3 to 4 minutes.

 3. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the spices, tomato paste, vegetable stock, carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnip. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. (Cooking time varies based on thickness of chopped veggies.)

4. When the root veggies are tender, add the olives, chickpeas, artichokes, lemon zest, and raisins. Continue simmering for about 5-8 minutes. Liquid should be reduced and thicker at this point.

 5. Add parsley, cilantro, mint, and sea salt, folding in all the herbs. Cover and remove from heat.

 6. Taste and add more salt if needed.

 7. Garnish with lemon zest, sliced red chile, and fresh herbs, if desired.

 NOTES: Don’t be over whelmed, this is worth every moment of chopping, and getting ingredients together! I used 1 TBS olive oil, and H2O as needed for sauté. I used russet potato. Be careful in stirring and cooking too long, the sweet potato will break up a lot. Served this over quinoa for New Years Eve at my sisters! YUMMO!! So much mingling of flavor making every bite an extreme deli

Original recipe Crazy Sexy Kitchen pg. 185 with Kris Carr and Chad Sarno

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