As any mama knows, getting a healthy, delicious meal on the table is a real challenge after a day of dealing with mountains of laundry, crying babies, and the other stresses of life. It seems that some women have won the domestic lottery and their husbands or partners do the cooking. My husband does occasionally cook, and when he does it always turns out amazing, but after working all day, he doesn’t have much left to give to the evening meal. So, the day-to-day cooking is generally my responsibility. There’s an ebb and flow to my interest in the culinary arts, so there are weeks when we eat a lot of pasta, and then there are weeks when I really put my heart and soul into it and we get to try a lot of new things.
As I mentioned before, I am a vegetarian (my husband and daughter are not, and the baby…well, he’s a milkivore!), so almost always I am preparing a vegetarian meal. I have a lot of cookbooks, but I also like to browse online to find new and interesting recipes. I really like the Vegetarian Times magazine web site. Their recipes are always top-notch, and there are many that are easy enough to prepare on a weeknight, even with a newborn strapped to your chest.
Last night, I tried a new one from the VT site, called “Chickpea Tagine with Cinnamon, Cumin, and Carrots.” Tagines are Moroccan dishes, similar to stews, that are slow-cooked in a special earthenware pot. They are typically meat-intensive but, of course, this recipe is adapted to be meatless. The aroma of all the spices made my kitchen smell yummy for hours afterward, and the tagine was delicious! I chose to serve it over couscous to make it more of a meal, but you could certainly serve it alone (like soup).
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
2 14.5-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
¼ cup dried currants
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. honey
½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
3 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, or until onion slices are soft. Stir in chickpeas, carrots, currants, spices, honey, and 2 cups water. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Divide tagine among 4 bowls (or serve over couscous, like I did). Garnish each serving with dollop of yogurt, and sprinkle with parsley.
From Vegetarian Times, October 2008.