Turn up the Spice
Winter has taken its place on the throne. It’s grey, the trees are bare, and Mother Nature has turned in for a much deserved rest. Spring will come, but in the waiting, the Spirit needs a little pep in her step. In the Winter months, there is less available light which upsets our circadian rhythm and can wreak havoc on our sunny disposition. It’s time to break out some Kenny Chesney or Jimmy Buffet, up our intake of Vitamin D, fish oil, and B vitamins and raid our spice cabinets to brighten the mood! It’s amazing what a little cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, and a red hot chili pepper can do for the spirit! Following is a vegetarian tagine that is colorful, quick, and is packed with the sunshine spices to lift the corners of your mouth into a smile!
1 red onion, roughly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks of celery, diced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 large or 5 small eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes (dust with salt, set aside to sweat for 10-15 minutes, then rinse)
1 can of whole plum tomatoes
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
10 apricots, chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped into 1 inch cubes
Salt & Pepper
1 cup of mint, chopped
1 cup of cilantro, chopped
1 cup of Italian parsley, chopped
Greek yogurt to garnish
If you have a Moroccan tagine, brilliant, if not, the family soup pot works just as well. Saute onions, garlic, celery and spices either in a knob of coconut oil or olive oil. Once translucent, add the eggplant, stirring to blend the spices. Next, add the can of tomatoes, chickpeas, stock, apricots, and the sweet potato. Give a good stir. Season with salt and pepper. Leave covered to simmer for 30 minutes, or until the aubergines are cooked through. At the end, stir in mint, cilantro, and parsley for color. Serve over couscous (follow simple and quick directions on the box). Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and a squeeze of a lime.
Stay warm and cozy!