Among the recent proliferation of vegan food bloggers’ cookbooks, my favorite is that of Urban Vegan Dynise Balcavage. I’ve already made eight of her recipes since getting the book a few weeks ago, and I have a couple dozen more marked down to try. Both her writing style and her ethnic food sensibilities are reminiscient of my own, so it’s been a joy to read her cookbook like a novel (I tend to do that). This is my adaptation of Dynise’s cauliflower-chickpea tagine, a simple but elegant Moroccan dish perfect for a cold winter weeknight.
(As the tagine simmers, be sure to cook up some whole wheat couscous to serve with it. Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil with a pinch of salt and a dash of olive oil. Remove from the heat, add 1 cup couscous, cover the pan, and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and serve.)
Per serving 253 calories, 6.5g fat (.5g sat), 43.9g carbs, 11g fiber, 9.5g protein
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1/2 cup white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp harissa (optional)
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
- In a large pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. If necessary, add a pinch of salt to slow down the cooking.
- Add all remaining ingredients except the almonds...
- ...and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for about an hour, or until vegetables are tender.
Serve with cooked whole wheat couscous and top with almonds before eating. The cauliflower breaks down and absorbs the aromatic spices, and the golden raisins and hint of cinnamon are a sweet complement to the more piquant flavors of the dish. It manages to be both exotic and homey at the same time. I loved it!