As amazing as the food was in my cooking workshop ‘Winter Warming Whole Grains’, the women who prepared, cooked the healthy Moroccan tagine and shared the day with me were even better. It’s really always about the people, right?
We cooked and cooked till we had enough to feed an army. Then sat around the table admiring our work, eating and telling stories about food, our lives and our experiences.
What a joy to have such a wonderful, talented, committed group of women in the cooking workshop who love to cook and share themselves with each other. They all had different experiences with food and each had a story of their own to tell, from traveling to Italy and cooking with an amazing couple to attending one of my cooking classes back in the 80s where I ran the Wholesome Gourmet Cooking School and wrote another book, The Australian and New Zealand Book of Wholemeals. Here are just a few photos of the fun times in the workshop and a recipe to wet your appetite and warm your soul.
Healthy Moroccan Tagine
There are so many things I like about this dish — warming spices in mid-winter, anti-inflammatory ingredients and delicious tastes. I have made this a few times this autumn and winter and it gets better each time. The word tagine refers to both the conical-shaped dish and the food that’s cooked inside it, which is usually a blend of delicious sweet and savoury flavours. Traditionally the ingredients were packed into the pot, the lid was popped on tight, then it was cooked slowly over a smouldering charcoal fire. At home it can be cooked slowly in the oven or on the stovetop. Carrots and winter squash – high in vitamins (especially A), antioxidants, and fibre.
Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) – high in protein and low in fat. Onions and garlic – anti-inflammatory, high in quercetin, and boost immunity. Spices – anti-inflammatory and “warming” (support circulation). Parsley – very nutrient dense, high in vitamins and minerals.
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1 cup brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cm. piece of ginger finely, chopped
1 T. olive or coconut oil
1 teaspoon Japanese chilli pepper (do not toast)
3 cm. piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1 teaspoon roasted and ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried cardamom
1 teaspoon dried turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups carrots, diced
2 cups butternut squash, diced
2 cups (400gr) cooked and drained chickpeas (1 can)
1/2 cup goji berries
2 cups stock, water, and/or chickpea juice from can
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or rice syrup
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat skillet, add oil.
- Saute the onion and garlic adding more oil if needed until translucent and aromatic.
- Toast the spices and then add them to the onion, ginger and garlic mixture. Add the carrots, squash, chickpeas, goji berries, sweetener and stock
- Cover and simmer on medium/low for 30 minutes. The mixture should begin to thicken and everything will become a beautiful bright orange colour.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve with buckwheat crepes (see Photo), quinoa or your favourite grain.