VEGETABLE TAGINE WITH A SEEDED HERB COUS COUS
Mondays interesting fact is from Cohen my 12 year olds fish hobby. A Axoloti is 1,000 times more resistant to cancer than we are !! Who knew………
A certain high street “Restaurant” group uses the tag line TGI Friday now I am not sure that is how I actually feel this week. Whilst I am in a hurry to get this done its still scary in a lot of ways. While I can count myself really lucky that I seem to have escaped a lot of the crappy side effects that I was expecting (Thanks to my own research). However this week I have suffered from two of them. The mildest one being my beard which has started to loose its shape and fall off in little clumps which lead me to wonder was it the dog, the cat or me that was molting on the carpet. The second and worst one is a rash that came up over night and seems to have hundereds of little needles under your skin that seem to take turns poking you. If you get this then do what I did, and speak to the cancer team straight away, as it could be a bad sign. So far in my case its ok and I am still on course for Friday and cycle 2. Incidentally I have shaved the beard down to a 1 so its now looking more like a shadow than a beard but beggars cant be choosers.
To try and help the body with the rash and to get prepared for this week I have decided to experiment with going vegetarian for the next few days, also I am laying off the dairy in the hope that it may calm the rash down. So without further ado I am going to share my recipe for a vegetable tagine with seeded and herb cous cous salad. The tagine is a large recipe but would good for home freezing for when you maybe dont want to cook, or a day when you just want to serve it as say a side for some simple grilled chicken breast with lemon and thyme. Remember its as always, only a guide if you want to drop any veg then do, as you are the one eating it so dont cook a certain veg if you dont like it. You will never see celery in any of my recipes!! Why? Because I hate celery I dont even like cutting it.
Spice Mix –
3tsp Ground Cumin
3tsp Coriander Seeds
3tsp Fennel Seeds
1/4 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1/4 Ground Cinnamon
8 Whole cloves
1/2 Medium Butternut squash peeled and diced
3 Medium Carrots peeled and diced
2 Medium Onions
6 cloves of garlic peeled and roughly chopped
2 Peppers any colour you wish cut in half and deseeded and cut lengthways
1 Courgette cut the way you like, I like it in half length ways and then ito chunks it looks good when cooked and helps it to retain its shape
1 Aubergine same as the courgette but a smaller dice
1 Leek cut into rings and wash it well as it will probably contain grit.
2 Tins of Chick peas in water (Not salted water read the tin before you buy it keep away from the salt.)
500mls of Tomato passata
700mls of water
120g Semi dried apricots sliced thinly
1 Vegetable stock cube and get a gluten free one if you want to keep the tagine GF again read the ingredients and try and get a low salt one I find Kallo good.
NOTE BEFORE YOU COOK!! If you want you can combine all of the veg in a large pot and cook it over the heat for fifteen minutes and then add all of the spices and the tomato and the water and just cook it out for say a further 40 minutes BUT the vegetables will go mushy!!
- So to do it properly and keep the option of freezing it after, you cook the vegetables individually in a frying pan for two to three minutes on a medium to high heat and allow them to colour a little and you do them in the following order and put them in an oven proof dish, Carrots,Squash,Peppers,Aubergine,Courgettes,Leeks,Onion and garlic. Do not mix
- You now take all of your dried spices and cook them on a low heat for four minutes until they get fragrant and really start touching your sense of smell then you add the drained chick peas and coat then in the spice and cook for a further minute then add your Harissa paste and stock cube the your water and passata and bring to a simmer and at this stage add a little salt and pepper to season. It will taste sharp on the tongue but dont worry the natural sugar in the vegetables will sort out that tartness as they cook in the sauce.Add the sliced apricots at this stage
- Pour your sauce over the vegetable mix and put in the oven at 160C for fifty minutes.
- you can cook it on the stove at this stage but that involves stirring it and breaking the vegetable plus the oven gives you a more even heat and a chance to clean up have a cup of tea and make the cous cous salad.
Cous Cous salad:
180g Whole wheat cous cous
1 Medium onion Diced
2 Garlic cloves Chopped roughly
A handfull of fresh herbs or a few spoons of dried if not available I suggest some thyme and tarragon
10g mixed seeds
1/4 cucumber cut as you like I cut in half and remove the seeds before dicing small
10 Cherry tomatoes cut in half and sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and a dash of vinegar on top.
Fry the onions until lighly browned and add the rough garlic and cook on a lower heat until just soft, then add seeds and remove from heat, add cous cous and then approximately 250 ml hot water and leave covered until the liquid has evapourated. I like the wholewheat cous cous but I find it takes a little more heat on the stove and time to cool it so I suggest you follow the maufacturers recipe with the cous cous.
When the cous cous has cooled then add the tomatoes cucumber and chopped herbs and mix with some olive oil a squeeze of lemon and some white wine or apple cider vinegar. Thats it you can season to your preference and if you use fried herbs you can add it to the warm cous cous before the tomatoes and cucumbers.
So now its time for the big reveal. Take out the pot from the oven and be carefull lifting the lid as it will be steaming hot.
Now all I do is gently push a spoon though the vegetables just to mix them with the sauce and the chick peas, and then sprinkle with mint and thats it serve it with the cous cous salad and whatever else takes you fancy some pitta perhaps with some olives and maybe a touch of raita but what ever it is you can be safe in the knowledge that its good and its nourishing and nutritious. See photos below.
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