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A Veggie Happy 2016! From all the team at the Irish Institute of Nutrition and Health.

After the excesses of Christmas why not spice up 2016 with this hearty warming veggie casserole. A great way to up the whole family’s veggie intake. Its warming spices will certainly take the nip out of these chilly, wet January evenings, transporting us to sunny Morocco with gently warming spices and vibrant colours. A dish to be enjoyed by the whole family and fantastic to add to your entertaining repertoire.

Serves 6-8 or more

The Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 200 grams onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (30 grams), chopped fine
  • 40 grams fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 level teaspoon turmeric powder (4 grams)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons (12 grams) cumin seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan and ground
  • 1 rounded teaspoon (8 grams) coriander seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan and ground
  • 1-2 cinnamon barks (10 grams)
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 x 400 grams canned chopped tomatoes
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400 grams canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 dried prunes, figs or apricots, chopped small
  • 2 dessertspoons dried sultanas or cranberries (opt)
  • 1–2 teaspoon rose harissa (I use Belazu), depending how spicy you like your tagine
  • 20 grams fresh coriander
  • 20 grams fresh parsley
  • Seasoning of sea salt and cracked pepper

The Veggies

  • ¼ butternut squash, chopped into chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks or 5 young carrots left whole
  • 1 aubergine, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
  • ½ sweet potato, cut chunky
  • Sea salt to season
  • Little olive oil to massage into vegetables
  • Vegan
  • Diabetic Friendly
  • Vegetarian
  • Low GI
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
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  1. Heat oven to 200 C. Place the butternut squash, aubergine and red pepper on one tray and on a second tray place the carrots and sweet potato with a good dash of olive oil and season with salt. Coat vegetables evenly with oil and seasonings, then roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Heat a little oil in large saucepan, add onion and ginger and cook till onion is soft. Add chilli and garlic, cook for about 1 minute (don’t let the garlic burn). Add ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon stick and turmeric, cook gently for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in chopped tomatoes, harissa paste, chickpeas, vegetable stock and dried fruits. Bring to boil and gently simmer for 20-30 minutes, then add in the roasted vegetables and continue the cooking process for 10 minutes on a very low heat. Lastly, stir in freshly chopped parsley and coriander, taste and season.
  4. Serve with quinoa, wholemeal couscous or brown basmati rice


  • Left overs can be frozen or made into a vegetarian pie by placing into a pie dish and covering with some shop bought filo or puff pastry. Egg wash pastry and place in oven for 25-40 minutes @ 160 C or until pastry is nice and golden
  • Make a double batch of the sauce and freeze into quantities required. Use as a base sauce for a spicy vegetarian lasagna, as a base for a hearty spicy vegetable soup or as a side sauce/dip for vegetarian kofta.
  • This sauce can also be used for meat / fish based tagines.