February’s BrightRX is dedicated to hearty, soul-warming dishes. Cook them up on a snowy Sunday or lazy afternoon with loved ones. There’s a science behind why we eat warm foods in winter. They are comforting, of course, but they are also better for our bodies. In ancient Indian medicine, ayurveda, eating warm foods in winter is believed to aid digestion. The digestive system has to work less to warm up and break down foods. So give your body a break, and enjoy these delicious recipes designed for winter warmth.
The tagine is the name of the stew and traditional clay vessel in which it’s cooked in Morocco, but any heavy based saucepan or dutch oven will do here! If you can’t find preserved lemons, you may omit them and finish the dish with fresh lemon zest and squeeze instead.
Winter squash of your choice, peeled (if needed), sliced into evenly sized chunks
2 x 14 oz cans chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed and drained (or 1 cup dried beans, soaked overnight, simmered low and slow with lemon peel, garlic, onion and a splash of olive oil)
1 whole preserved lemon rind, rinsed and minced
1 bunch cilantro
Water or homemade broth
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in the base of a tagine or heavy based saucepan on medium low heat. Stir in the onion, cumin and coriander seeds, garlic and a pinch of salt. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the onion cooks through and the spices are lightly toasted and aromatic. Add the squash and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, then add the chickpeas.
Stir in the ground turmeric and ginger, toasting them in the olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Pour in enough water or broth to cover the base of the tagine. Bring the tagine to a low boil, put on the lid, and cook over gentle heat for 20-30 minutes, keeping the lid offset so there is room for the steam to release, and topping with additional water or broth if necessary to keep a simmer going. You’ll know when it’s done when the squash is tender and the tagine is reduced to a thick, stew like consistency.
Remove from heat, season the tagine with salt and pepper, stir in most of the preserved lemon and chopped cilantro, and garnish with the rest. Finish with a splash of Brightland AWAKE. Serve with saffron basmati rice and a yogurt sauce made with Brightland AWAKE, flaky sea salt and chopped herbs of your choice. Complete the meal with some dates or citrus & honey splashed with Brightland AWAKE and flaky salt alongside a cup of fresh mint tea.