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Fiery Chicken and Fig Tagine


    A tagine is a North African stew that gets its name from the conical clay pot in which it is cooked. However, you don’t need a tagine to make this—a large wide saucepan or Dutch oven will do the trick. Using bone-in chicken thighs is a time-saver, as they cook faster than typical stewing meat—plus the bones add flavour without extra fat.


    1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 large white onion, chopped
    8 bone-in chicken thighs (skin removed)
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground ginger
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) harissa (see Tip)
    2 1/2 cups (625 mL) chicken stock
    1 cup (250 mL) dried red lentils
    10 dried figs, cut in half
    1 thick strip preserved lemon or fresh lemon peel, cut into thin strips (about 2 tsp/10 mL)
    1/4 cup (60 mL) mint, chopped
    1/4 cup (60 mL) cilantro, chopped
    4 tsp (20 mL) pomegranate seeds (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

    Heat oil in bottom of tagine or large wide saucepan set over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes.

    Meanwhile, coat chicken with ginger and harissa.

    Pour stock into pan and stir in lentils. Add chicken. Bring to a boil, then cover.

    Bake in oven for 30 to 35 minutes, then stir in figs and preserved lemon or lemon peel. Continue baking until chicken is very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in mint and cilantro.

    Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with pomegranate. Serve with yogourt if you wish.

    Serves 4.

    Each serving contains:
    318 calories; 26 g protein; 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 34 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 165 mg sodium


    Harissa is a spicy chili paste available in ethnic grocery stores. If you can’t find it, substitute 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced chili pepper.

    source: "Soul Bowls" from alive #349, November 2011


    Fiery Chicken and Fig Tagine



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    Going Pro

    Going Pro

    You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.