Matt and I haven’t celebrated a real christmas in three years. He is usually working up at the hill, so I take the time to enjoy a little sleep in and then try to sneak in a few runs before the family crowds arrive. It’s always a quiet day, a nice change of pace for me in an otherwise hectic 2 weeks. Living in a mountain town can have a pretty big impact your family traditions. So you adapt. You make new ones. And slowly you begin create your own. Skiing, making holiday chili and watching a movie seem to be ours.
Thanksgiving, however, is a holiday that I really miss living far away from home. The smells, the colors, the family. The familiarity of it all and the change in seasons. Here there are no pumpkin stands, no sales on turkeys and no place can ever stand up to the autumn colors back home. But still, so much to be thankful for. We have Sunday off, the weather forecast looks good, so there is hike in the plans for this weekend. I made this moroccan stew, a harvest-like dessert and bought a nice bottle of wine. I’m sure there will be some cozy socks and a movie too. Hopefully a lazy weekend breakfast, maybe pancakes. Quiet, calm, different yet familiar all the same, looking forward to it.
Wishing you all grateful hearts and full bellies this weekend, where ever you are. Happy thanksgiving fellow Canadians! x
Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew
Just the type of meal you want to be digging into this time of year, it’s cozy, lightly spicy, with big chunks of vegetables. Pure comfort. Feeling grateful for big spoons and warm bowls. Happy thanksgiving!
Vegan + Gluten Free. Serves 4.
- I large knob coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 gloves garlic, minced
- 1 knob fresh ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
- 3 cups fresh cubed pumpkin or squash
- 2 cups thick sliced carrots
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 x 400g can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon each ground coriander and paprika
- Pinch ground saffron
- 1 x 800ml can whole tomatoes
- 1 cup water or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup dried currants, or raisins
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons harissa*
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
- Large handful fresh cilantro leaves
- Millet, couscous, rice or other grain of choice, to serve
What to do
- Add coconut oil to a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. As it starts to melt, add in diced onion, garlic and ginger. Turn up the heat and sautée together until soft and the onions are tender. Add a touch of water or stock if the pot gets dry, which will make it all stew-y like and smelling delicious. Add in the sliced carrots and cubed pumpkin, season with salt and pepper, stir to coat the vegetables in oil and cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Add in the spices and cooked chickpeas and again stir well so everything is well coated in spices.
- Next add the tomatoes and stock, stir everything together and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add in currants, apricots and harissa. Let simmer until vegetables are tender and easily pierced through with a fork. About 20-25 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, spices and heat as needed.
- Top with toasted slivered almonds and fresh cilantro. Serve with grain/rice of choice and extra harissa on the side.
*Harissa is a Tunisian paste made from chili peppers and usually contains spices such as coriander and cumin seeds. It is a staple in my fridge, I love adding it to soups and stews. It can be found in most supermarkets or health food stores, usually in a tube or in a jar. I like to look for harissa in a jar, something that resembles an oily red pesto. Different brands will pack different heats, so if you are using it for the first time here start with small amounts and taste and add as go.