Thursday, December 29, 2011

get back to your roots

I love all the decadent feasts at Christmas but there comes a point when I just can't stand the thought of another meal rich in butter, creams or gravies.   This Root Vegetable Tagine has all the heartiness you want in a winter supper but without the heaviness or fat of the meals we've all been indulging in lately.  And if you're anything like me, you could do with a heaping plate of veg to counteract all those sweets and snacks. The preserved lemon along with the fresh herbs you toss in at the end give it a touch of summery brightness - and who doesn't want that when the wind chill is -21? The Spicy Chickpea garnish is definitely worth making - you may find yourself nibbling on it before it reaches your plate.

A big bonus with this meal is that it gave me a way to use one of the turnips from my most recent Real Foods Fredericton kitchen box.  I don't shun many foods but I've always passed on turnip.  But I figured I'd try it in this dish as I could easily pick it out if necessary.  Turns out that much like my parsnip conversion last winter, preparation makes all the difference. And like parsnips, the turnips are a great vehicle for cumin, coriander, turmeric and fresh herbs in this dish. 

A couple of notes on the recipe - I used vegetable broth instead of water and threw in a cinnamon stick because I couldn't imagine a tagine without it.  As well, the recipe neglects to tell you how much lemon you should simmer with the lemon juice and salt, I used one small thinly sliced lemon which seemed to work.  If you wanted to do a gluten-free option, you could easily swap out the couscous for a bed of quinoa.

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