So, last week I introduced you to my tagine, the North African earthenware vessel. After I delighted in the yumminess that came out of it, I of course washed it and left it to dry au’naturale.
The next day was a bit of a flurry as I started the eCornell T. Colin Campbell Plant-Based Certification. I buried myself in my office in front of the computer, and away I went into The Land of The Internet feasting on slide after slide and video after video. After several hours, it occurred to me that I would be getting hungry soon but didn’t want to pry myself away from the task at hand. And, I hadn’t planned in advance for my meals.
It was time to take a little bit of a stretch in between modules, so into the kitchen I went to figure out something that would be easy and fast to prepare; oh, and be ready for me when I got hungry.
And that’s when I spotted it! The tagine on the counter. Inspiration immediately came to me.
Dinner was not only going to be easy, it was also going to help me use up some leftover ingredients I had parked in the fridge.
Again, I lined the bottom of the tagine with some tri-colored quinoa. I had half of a raw sweet potato in the fridge, so I diced it and sprinkled it over the quinoa.
Next, I diced two onions and chopped up a bunch of rehydrated shitake mushrooms that I didn’t use the other night.
In need of veggies and not willing to spend any more time slicing and dicing, I reached into the freezer, where a bag of frozen mixed garden vegetables was staring me in the face (I always have a bag or two of frozen something-or-other veggies. Contrary to what you might think, they often have far more nutrient value in them than what you purchase in the produce aisle at the grocery store because they are typically flash frozen immediately after harvest whereas the produce we purchase in the supermarket may have been picked over a week ago, or more.) Straight out of the bag and poured over the already mise-en-placed ingredients.
Flavoring, it needed something. Ah! Nutritional yeast and fresh ground black pepper will do the trick!
Liquid, need some liquid. Into the pantry I went and found…
I poured the entire contents of the Tomato Basil soup atop all those veggies. A little water to assist the quinoa in the cooking process, and Viola! Dinner is ready to go into the oven.
Into the cold 350° Fahrenheit oven went the tagine for 1-3/4 hours. By around the 1-1/2 hour mark, the amazing aroma was wafting into my office; and my stomach responded with hearty grumblings. As soon as I finished the section I was working on, into the kitchen I went to check on my impromptu creation.
Out of the oven it came, and off came the lid (with oven mitts, for sure). It was bubbling and fragrant. I stirred the stew to combine all the ingredients, stirred in a can of drained and rinsed fava beans, then scooped myself a healthy portion into a bowl.
Allow me to say this….perfection! It was everything a thick hearty stew should be. It was creamy and moist, packed full of flavor, and had the textural contrast because of the quinoa. Meal in a bowl.
And the leftovers? Are absolutely delicious straight out of the fridge or gently warmed. A major success. One that is sure to become a go-to for me on busy days.