That’s right. It’s a Moroccan Thai dish that doesn’t know if it’s a soup or stew. A common argument between my husband and I (even though it is one of his favourites).
There are a few tips I discovered when trying to make a dish tasty without the added fat.
Spice vs. sugary sauces. There is so so so much variety and pairings and flavours. My husband used to put BBQ sauce, ketchup or whatever sweet and saucy, on everything. That stuff is packed with sugar which is not great for your heart health. We started exploring flavouring food with spices instead. For this dish, we use Harissa, typically a blend of smoked chili peppers with caraway seeds, cumin and much more. Often in paste format, it’s a spicy combination used in Middle Eastern cuisine, the one I found is a Moroccan blend from the PC Black Label.
Good fat vs. bad fat. We stopped paying attention to “fat” in foods or ingredients. Specifically, we paid more attention to the “type” of fat in ingredients. There are foods which seem high in fat that are very good for you and even better, help fight the bad fat in your body. Polyunsaturated fats are the “healthy” kind of fat. This is huge for those who have high cholesterol. In this dish, my good fat is coconut milk, which is tricky because it is high in saturated fat but half of that saturated fat is composed of lauric acid which helps increase the good fat (I know confusing). Enjoy in moderation and reap the benefits.
Soluble fiber. It is the first thing that will come up when you search cholesterol lowering foods. Soluble fiber foods help clear out your arteries. In this case, I used chickpeas.
Bonus Tip. Ginger. Freshly chopped ginger in or on anything is so good for your immune system. It’s not what I would call a “heart” food, but it is worth mentioning. Another layer of flavour and an added boost to your immune system.
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 roughly chopped onion
1 finely chopped shallot
1 roughly chopped red pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
2-3 tbsp harissa spice or paste
3/4 pound, quartered baby potatoes
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1 14oz. can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 19oz. can, rinsed chickpeas
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
lime wedges to serve
10 Easy Steps (Instructions):
Step 2: If you have a dry, harissa spice. Add it to a small bowl with minced garlic and a tbsp or so of olive oil. Mash together until mixture is nice and moist.
Step 3: Quarter your baby potatoes and chop up your garlic. You can use whatever potatoes you want, I just happened to have a tri-colour blend.Step 4: Add potatoes, ginger and your garlic, harissa mixture to the pot. Stir until the spices evenly coat your potatoes
Step 6: Add broth and chickpeas. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer. At this stage, you can let it cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 30 minutes. Or you can let it cook for as long as you like adding more broth if it starts to look dry. The longer you let it cook, the tastier it gets.
Step 7: When you think you’re ready to eat this deliciousness. Pour in the coconut milk in the pot. (You may need to give the coconut milk a nice whisk in another bowl before tossing it in, it tends to separate into paste and liquid in the container it comes in. I usually do this step 5 minutes before ready to eat.Step 8: Add the cilantro (I chop the stems too, they also have flavour and nutrients, okay fine, I’m too lazy to pick the leaves off and finely chop them… but they do hold tons of flavour!) .
Step 9: Give the pot a nice stir, add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 10: Ladle into a bowl, top with fresh chopped cilantro and a lime wedge and serve