Wednesday, October 12, 2011

North African Chickpea & Vegetable Tagine

Here, I present you with the tagine recipe we made at last week's Sunday dinner! We borrowed the recipe from a Weight Watchers cookbook, but with a few variations:
  • We doubled the recipe. Both her husband and I are fairly heavy eaters, and her college best friend was also visiting from London, so we had company!
  • My friend accidentally picked up chicken broth instead of veggie broth. With two vegetarians as the table (myself included), I rejected the idea of adding this. Instead, I added an equivalent amount of water, along with a tablespoon of tomato paste and some salt & pepper. The dish was really good, so that's a WIN!
  • We added some chopped portobello mushrooms, just because my friend had some and wanted to use it up.
  • We used quinoa instead of coucous because the nutrition profile was better.
  • We skipped the pistachios because my friend didn't want them, but totally forgot to add the mint (we noticed this after dinner, as the chopped mint was still on the chopping board. Oops.) 
The dish ended up being delicious, and my friend's big, meat-eating, tomato-hating husband approved of it! Definitely a good recipe in my book :) Next time, I may just use the tomato paste method instead of veggie broth since it turned out so well. I also like the addition of the portobellos and the replacement of the couscous with quinoa. I might leave out, or reduce the amount of zucchini/squash; or perhaps just pick smaller ones, since they didn't add all that much to the dish. I will definitely do the mint and pistachios next time, just to see how it would change the flavor of the dish. Also, doubling the recipe yields a LOT of food. Next time, a single recipe is probably good enough for 4, especially when served with a starter salad and dessert ;-)

North African Chickpea & Vegetable Tagine
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound), chopped
2 large carrots, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
1 (14.5 ounce) can reduced sodium vegetable broth
2 zucchini or yellow squash, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted pistachios, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 cups hot cooked whole wheat couscous (we used quinoa)

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir zucchini into skillet; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer tagine to serving bowl; sprinkle with pistachios and mint. Serve over couscous.