What is your favourite colour in the fruit and vegetable kingdom? My favourite colours are orange and green. But I can safely say, I prefer orange-coloured vegetables and fruit any time.
Colours in fruit and vegetables serve a purpose. Different colours signify different vitamins and nutrients.
My favourite lot – the yellow and orange fruit and vegetables come with plenty of Beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid your body uses to create vitamin A, the vitamin responsible for protecting your immune system and lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer. Beta-carotene also protects your body from eyesight-related problems.
Yellow and orange fruit and veg may also contain folate, potassium, bromium and vitamin C.
To help you with your beta-carotene intake, I would like to share with you a recipe which blew my mind. It’s budget-friendly, done in four easy steps and the result is a divine comfort food ideal for a cold winter’s day.
A tagine (a type of container as well as a dish mainly used in Morocco) is a one-pot meal which is cooked slowly on low heat. The result is tender meat / fish or succulent vegetables.
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cut in 1cm cubes
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 125 grms dried apricots chopped
- 65 grms pitted green olives
- 400 grms chickpeas cooked or canned
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 thick cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 450 ml vegetable stock
- freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
- 4 tbsp coriander (or parsley) finely chopped
Heat the olive oil in a tagine or large skillet and saute the onion until fragrant. Add the butternut squash and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking or burning.
Add the garlic, spices and tomato puree stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the sea salt, vegetable stock, apricots and chickpeas. (If using canned chickpeas rinse under running water before adding them to your dish). Give the mixture a good stir, cover and allow to simmer briskly for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is cooked but not mushy.
Add the green olives and coriander, stir, cover and allow to rest for 5-15 minutes before serving for flavours to infuse.
You may serve tagine with some crusty bread to mop up the juices.
This recipe is taken from Trish Sebben-Krupka’s book, “Plant Based Cookbook good for your heart, your health, and your life” with a few adaptations of my own.
I am not trying to advertise this book in any way. It was given to me as a Christmas present a few years ago. But if you are a fan of a plant-based diet, this is one book worth investing in.
My thanks go to:
Trish Sebben-Krupka for the recipe and to SF Gate (Healthy Eating)