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This month's recipe is a hearty nutritious warming stew. The spices are deliciously warming and fragrant as well as having many medicinal benefits - Bay Leaf is warming, and a great digestive aid. Ginger warms, and is a potent digestive stimulant, a great anti-inflammatory and helpful for nausea. Cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar, reduces harmful cholesterol levels, has natural anti-infection compounds and is also helpful in balancing female hormone levels. Chick peas are particularly beneficial to the pancreas, stomach and heart, and they contain more iron than any other pulses. I like to make a big batch of this recipe and enjoy it different ways, with grains, jacket potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, and any leftovers taste fantastic as a dip - just whizz in a blender.
Ingredients (use organic where you can)
3 carrots, chopped into slices and quartered / halved
3 sticks celery, chopped into small slices
1 courgette, chopped into slices and quartered / halved
1 red pepper, chopped into small chunks
1 yellow pepper, chopped into small chunks
220g tin / carton chopped tomatoes
240g chick peas (one large tin drained if you don't have time to soak and cook fresh)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato puree
a pinch of chilli flakes (omit if you prefer less heat)
1 teaspoon mild chilli powder
Â½ teaspoon ground ginger
Â½ teaspoon ground cinammon / a cinammon stick
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
Couple of tablespoons of olive oil
Gently heat the oil in a large saucepan. Saute the vegetables (not including tomatoes) until they are softening, but still retain a good bite.
Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, chick peas and spices.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Great served with quinoa, any grain or jacket potatoes/baked sweet potatoes . Any leftovers are great made into a dip / pate by putting through the blender.