Spiced Vegetable Tagine with Moroccan Inspired Quinoa

6 September 2016

A delicious, and satisfying, warming dish as we head into autumn.  Perfectly balanced nutritionally for everything the body needs.  You could use any grain, rather than quinoa, if you prefer, but quinoa is a mighty nutritional powerhouse, so try it!  This quantity serves around 4-6 people.  The tagine keeps well in the fridge and could freeze well too, and the quinoa is fantastic served cold for a salad base. 

For the Vegetable Tagine

 Spices

2 tablespoons grated / finely chopped fresh ginger

1 teaspoon mild chilli powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 cinnamon sticks

2 bay leaves

bunch of fresh mint finely chopped

Salt & Fresh ground black pepper to taste

 Other ingredients

2 tablespoons light olive oil

225g carrots cut into small ¼ inch dice

1 courgette halved lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick

150g green beans cut into 1 inch pieces

175g cherry tomatoes, halved

A bag of fresh spinach, torn into pieces

225g dried red lentils, washed and drained

65g raisins

475 ml vegetable stock

750ml water

2 tablespoons tomato puree

 Optional – lemon wedges to serve

 Method

 In a large pot gently heat the oil. Saute the carrots in the ginger and chilli powder for a few minutes. Add the cumin, turmeric and coriander, and mix.

Add the stock, water, tomato puree, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, black pepper and lentils. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.

Add the remaining vegetables (except the spinach), raisins and salt, simmer for about another 15 minutes.

Add the spinach leaves and fresh mint stirring well until the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat and let the stew sit for about 10 minutes.

Then remove the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves before serving over cous cous with optional lemon wedges on the side to serve

For the Moroccan Quinoa

 2 cups quinoa

2 tablespoons oil

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of ground cumin

250ml vegetable stock

30g raisins ; 30g chopped dried apricots ; 25g flaked almonds

 Optional : grated zest of a lemon

 Method

Heat the oil gently in a saucepan. Add the spices until fragrant, then add the quinoa coating all the grains in the lightly spiced oil. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a gentle boil for 10 minutes until the outer edges of the grains are translucent. Turn down the heat and cover for 10 minutes on simmer until holes appear on the top surface, then turn the heat off completely. Stir in the raisins and apricots (and lemon zest if using). Leave for another few minutes then fluff up the grains with a fork, and stir in the flaked almonds to serve.