No Set Rules

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss


No Set Rules

There aren’t any set rules for pairing spices with plant foods, but you might want to avoid mixing too many strong spices and herbs together in one dish.

Let these posts be an inspiration for learning how to savor the flavors of plant foods with aromatic herbs and spices.

If you have the space and want to give it a try, grow some herbs on your doorstep or windowsill.

They may not be the magical ingredients our ancestors imagined, but these bold plant foods are sure to treat you.

Recipe of the Day:  Moroccan Vegetable Tagine with Couscous

Active Preparation Time:  22 minutes

Total Preparation Time:  1 hour 47 minutes

Enjoy the exotic tastes and smells of spices, which can boost your diet with anti-inflammatory power.

North African in origin, a tagine is a flavorful, vegetable-infused stew named after the clay pot in which it’s traditionally cooked and served.

This version highlights sweet potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and cauliflower – liberally seasoned with Moroccan spices, including cumin, turmeric, and cardamom.

Serve it with edamame hummus and whole wheat pita bread.

Makes 8 servings (about 1-1/3 cups each)


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

3 tablespoons harissa (see Notes)

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1-1/2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth

One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, no salt added, with liquid

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, no salt added, rinsed and drained (or 1-3/4 cups cooked)

2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

2 medium carrots, sliced

1/2 small head cauliflower, chopped into small florets (about 1-1/3 cups)

1/2 medium eggplant, diced into small cubes

Couscous and Toppings:

2 cups water

2 cups uncooked whole grain couscous

1/4 cup raisins, not packed

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots, not packed

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1.  Lower the baking rack in the oven to accommodate the tagine (see Notes) and preheat the oven to 350°F.

2.  In a large, ovenproof tagine with a lid (11 inches across), combine the olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, harissa, cumin, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, tomato paste, broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and eggplant.  Stir well.  Cover and bake for 1-1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

3.  About 10 minutes before serving, bring the water to a boil in a medium pot.  When boiling, remove from the heat and add the couscous.  Cover the pot and set aside for 5 minutes, then lift the lid, toss the couscous with a fork, and transfer it to a serving dish.

4.  Remove the lid from the tagine and sprinkle with the raisins and apricots.  Serve the tagine over the couscous.

Notes:  Harissa is a traditional North African condiment made of chiles providing the essential flavor to this dish.  You can usually find it in Mediterranean markets, as well as some gourmet food stores, international markets, and online sellers.

You can find a tagine in many kitchen stores, but if you don’t have one, use a deep casserole dish or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.

Variations:  Substitute 1-1/3 cups cooked lentils or beans for the chickpeas, or add 8 ounces diced firm tofu (pressed, for best results), if desired.  To make this gluten-free, use brown rice couscous.

Per serving:  340 calories, 5 g total fat (0.5 g saturated), 230 mg sodium, 67 g total carbohydrates (15 g sugar), 13 g fiber, 13 g protein.

If you have any questions, send us an email!

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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us 05-11

Dick and Lenay


from Plant-Powered For Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.

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