I have a secret hidden talent.
It has nothing to do with cherry stems or my tongue or any ability to tie the former with the latter without any use of my hands.
I know, right? Bad news bears.
And it kinda sorta has everything to do with the fact that....
...I can see the future.
Two futures, actually.
Wanna hear em?
There's future number 1 in which we keep eating cookies and sweet potato cakes with reckless abandon until New Year's Day, when we wake up and realize that we have not a single pair of skinny jeans to wear and, uh, even our leggings with their ELASTIC WAISTBANDS feel kinda snug. Yikes.
OR there's future number 2 in which we start to think about our arteries ASAP and conform to a little lifestyle choice that I like to call "moderation".
Personally. I choose 2.
Because (a) starting up a gym membership on January 2nd is super tacky and so totally last year. Don't be that girl.
And (b) after-New Year's sales are good...but not that good. Especially not if I plan on continuing to buy cookbooks at the breakneck pace that I do. Priorities. You know where mine lie.
So. How are we going to do this without seeming like the totally lame-o people at Christmas parties who nobody wants to find themselves under the mistletoe with?
First, we are going to make this tagine which is so richly spiced that it will satisfy every craving we thought we were having and is so full of nutrients that it will probably make our skin prettier and our hair shinier (gotta keep our eye on the prize..see mistletoe comment above).
Then, we are going to exercise. Even if that means walking up the stairs at the mall instead of taking the escalator or carrying that 42" tv from the checkout to our cars, ten blocks away. If it involves exertion, we are going to do it.
And finally. We are going to reboot. Eat.Live.Be.-style! In case you don't remember, Eat.Live.Be. was a group that was started by Cate and Sarah last January, the aim of which was to help us support each other in achieving some kind of new year's goal. The way we did it last year was that we would post every Monday on a different topic. Most of the topics were pretty specific, which didn't seem to work for everyone, so we're changing it up this year. First of all, we'll be posting on Wednesdays and instead of having a highly specific theme, we are going to have broader themes. There will be more information as the day gets closer, but please email me if you want to take part (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a message in the comments! The theme for next Wednesday is "magazines" so we're all basically going to write about some topic that's related to our goals that we found in a magazine. We'll also be tweeting like mad about it, so definitely keep track of the goings on there with hashtag #eatlivebe.
What are my goals? I'll divulge next week, but let's just say that I have a back-to-running date of January 1st and a marathon that I hope to rock next November. In the short term, just hand me a bowl of this tagine and I'll be good to go. Future number two is on the horizon, after all. And I hate being caught unprepared.
Moroccan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Tagine with Quinoa
Serves 4, adapted from Closet Cooking
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp raw ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight and boiled until tender
- 1 tbsp harissa
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup green olives, chopped
- 4 cups butternut squash, diced
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (only if your butternut squash seems to be on the bland side!)
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pot.
- Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the quinoa, broth, chickpeas, harissa, honey, raisins, olives, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash and continue to simmer, covered, for another ten minutes.
- Mix in the cilantro. Add brown sugar until the desired flavor is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.