Chickpea Tagine for World Vegetarian Day

I stopped eating red meat in fifth grade and I never looked back- about two years later I stopped eating chicken and turkey. I never made the full move to vegetarianism because I couldn't give up our fresh Gulf seafood and going vegan is way too much of a commitment for me. I initially gave up meat because I really didn't like it- the thought of it kind of creeped me out- but I continued to live meat-free because of the great health benefits and even more importantly because of the effects meat consumption has on the environment and even world hunger .

Well yesterday was World Vegetarian Day (if I had been slightly more organized and if Helen Mae wasn't teething I would have gotten this post up sooner) and although I really believe in not pushing beliefs on others (i.e. my non-vegetarian family) I thought that it would still be a nice gesture if we all refrained from eating meat for the day. And believe me, with this delicious Fall recipe from Vegetarian Times no one even noticed the absence of meat!

This recipe and some other lovely tagines can be found in the October 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times.

Chickpea Tagine with Cinnamon, Cumin, and Carrots

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
2 14.5-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup dried currants (I couldn't find currant so I used golden raisins)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. honey
1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt (I couldn't find Greek so I strained some plain nonfat yogurt)
3 Tbs. finely chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, or until onion slices are soft. Stir in chickpeas, carrots, currants, spices, honey, and 2 cups water. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Divide tagine among 4 bowls (I served it over whole wheat organic couscous). Garnish each serving with a dollop of yogurt, and sprinkle with parsley.

I wouldn't ask a meat lover (like my husband) to give meat up completely, but I would challenge everyone to think about doing one vegetarian dinner a week. And when you do choose to eat meat think about being a responsible meat-consumer by purchasing free-range and organic meats when they are available.


Wandering Coyote said...

I had no idea it was world vegetarian day yesterday. I am obviously out of the loop. I'm a bigger meat eater than I'd like to be, actually; I used to be semi-vegetarian but found years late how much I love steak. I do try to limit it, though.

Rosie said...

I didn't realise it was world vegetarian day yesterday either. I used to be a vegetarian and dropped off the bandwagon when I had to cook meat for my family. I have to admit I eat very small amounts still and could easily convert back if I had the choice of not cooking meat.

Kudos to you for promoting vegetarian day!!

Rosie x

Emiline said...

I love tagines...sounds great.

I used to be a vegetarian as well, but I wanted to be able to cook meat and taste it, for my career. You know?
I still don't eat it very much. Just tastes.

Prudy said...

I was a vegetarian for many years and still gravitate towards more veg dishes-like this one. It looks fantastic. BTW I love your book list! Those are all amazing reads.

Betsy said...

I made this dish last night, subbed dried apricots for currants/raisins. It was heavenly. Thank you!!!