MOROCCAN BUTTER BEAN + CHICKPEA TAJINE
Vegan / Paleo / Gluten-free / Refined Sugar-free / Dairy-free
This is a warm, hearty, scrumptious winter (or all year round) meal. Before I get into the recipe, I would like to share a bit about my 100% raw journey and integration of cooked foods back into my life.
I do love my raw food, and while my diet is mainly raw, there are times when my body craves something warm, grounding and satiating. 2 years ago I became '100% raw vegan' for what was initially planned to be a 30 day challenge, and ended up being over a year-long journey. So many amazing and challenging things happened during that time, with my health, emotional state and my whole belief system of what I thought the 'ultimate' healthy diet was.
Raw foods are a pure powerhouse of nutrients and live enzymes in their most natural active form. A completely raw diet isn't for everyone and requires determination and a lot of knowledge to do it well. There are numerous people who have succeeded being 100% raw for many years. They are amazing, fit happy and healthy individuals - I really take my hat off to them! So if you are a raw vegan and feel great, then go you! Personally, I can fly through the summer totally raw, no sweat, but when it comes to the cooler months, I find my body really craves warm, grounding food. During my 100% raw foray, there came a time when I found I was ignoring my body's signals for some warm sustenance due to my focus and determination, and looking back I don't believe that was a good thing. I now believe there is nothing wrong with some wholesome cooked food such as wonderful roasted root vegetables, a beautiful soup or some glorious healing spices used in cooking, such as in the recipe below.
Could I have succeeded for the rest of my life 100% raw? Yes, I could have, but I also now understand that health isn't just all about what you eat. Diet is a HUGE part of being healthy, but so is lifestyle. When I say lifestyle, I mean a whole host of things like; enjoying a meal out with friends and family, daily exercise, reducing your toxic load, meditating or finding some time out to relax and reflect, functional wellness care such as chiropractic and massage, much laughter and removing stress from your life, following your dreams, setting goals, loving yourself etc.
I like to think of the different facets of health with the analogy of a plant. You can feed a plant the best organic fertiliser in the world, but never water it or give it sunlight and neglect it most of the time. Is it going to be a healthy plant? The best that it can be? No. It is the same for your body and health. You can exercise for hours every day, be super fit, but then go home and eat processed food, dairy, meat, gluten, salt and sugar. Will you be healthy? The best you can be? No. If you eat a strict 100% raw diet, but are ignoring your body's signals, obsessing over food, turning down dinner invitations or catching up with friends because of a strict regime, are you going to be healthy? No, because your mental and emotional health is suffering big time. It truly requires a balance of all good things, and once you implement them and get into a regular routine, you're away laughing!
There is so much information out there on what is the 'best' diet, a lot of fads, a lot of misinformation from lobbyists and multinational companies who have billions of dollars to brainwash us through government mandated initiatives and lifelong, persuasive advertising. When you cut through all the hype, in my opinion there's really only one diet that proves successful for the long term. It has been studied by prominent epidemiologists such as Dr. T. Collin Campbell (author of The China Study) and found to be the best nutritional path to health and longevity. So what's this magic solution? It is simply a plant-based diet, incorporating both raw and cooked, sprouted and fermented whole-foods.
This diet is high in carbohydrates and low in calories. I hear some of you gasp, yup that's right, high in carbohydrates! Not low-carb, fat free, high protein 'diets' that the food industry giants would like us to believe! Now, when I say carbohydrates you think bread and pasta right? Yes, they are carbs, but not the kinds that your body needs. Fruit, vegetables, millet, quinoa, legumes, root vegetables, whole-food. This is the basic fuel that sustains a healthy body.
There's a lot to learn, especially if you are coming from a standard western diet. A vegetarian diet is a good start but often needs to be tweaked and improved. If you would like to learn more then I would love to see you at one of my workshops kicking off shortly in Nelson. We cover diet and lifestyle, the nutritional profile of various foods and have a jam-packed 4 hour session of plant-based cooking/uncooking demonstrations. The best bit, you get to eat all the glorious food we make on the day and take home the recipes to make again and again for yourself and your family and friends. You will leave feeling inspired, empowered and motivated to make changes in your life at your own pace, and I teach you how to do it with ease. I am also available for ongoing support with your transition to beautiful health.
ANTI INFLAMATORY MOROCCAN BUTTER BEAN + CHICKPEA TAJINE
1 tin organic butter beans
1 tin Ceres organics chickpeas, (garbanzo beans)
1 tin Ceres organic chopped tomatoes
1 cup frozen baby peas
1/4 cup Ceres organic coconut cream
1 tbsp powdered vegetable stock, Rapunzel is a great brand, grab the yeast free version if you can get it in your area
1 organic brown onion, chopped
3 large organic garlic cloves, finely chopped*
1 tsp powdered turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
a pinch of chilli powder or more if you like things hot
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup of fresh coriander and parsley, chopped (Reserve a little for the garnish)
1 organic medium zucchini
1 tbsp coconut oil
- Heat a medium sized skillet and add coconut oil, onion and garlic. Sauté for around 2 minutes or until translucent. Add spices, stock, tomatoes, zucchini, peas, chickpeas and fresh herbs. Stir to combine. Reduce heat and leave this to simmer while you make your butter bean sauce.
- In a blender or food processor add the drained butter beans, stock and coconut milk. Blend together until you have a thick creamy consistency.
- Spoon sauce over the chickpea mixture and stir gently to incorporate.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and coriander.
Herbs have relatively large surface areas, and tend to absorb chemicals easily. Most conventional herbs and spices are irradiated and farmed with the use of pesticides that are present in high quantities. Fortunately, organic herbs and spices are not irradiated, are produced to strict organic farming standards and are available in most supermarkets and green grocers.
Garlic is something I always buy organic. Garlic is extremely healthful, but if you buy Chinese garlic currently sold in New Zealand, it has been sprayed with methyl bromide. It can cause painful damage to the nerves and joints and can lead to motor neurone disease that can be fatal. Worth the extra couple of bucks to buy organic or local!