Moroccan Roasted Vegetables

To complete my most recent Moroccan-themed meal of Moroccan Chicken and Moroccan Green Beans I found this great recipe on low.cholesterol.food.com that complimented things fantastically!  The cinnamon, paprika and cumin give a warm tone and the touch of cayenne gives a pop of heat, not much but enough to just taste it.  Adding to the layers of flavor, the roasted eggplant, chickpeas and zucchini are soft and creamy while the sweet potato, caramelized onion, and red bell pepper balance out the heat with a touch of sweet.

If you read my Moroccan Green Bean post, you already heard about the amazing benefits of cumin.  This recipe had cumin as well as turmeric which is another powerhouse spice that is good to have in any diet. Turmeric is a root that when fresh and looks a lot like a small, orange tinted ginger root (they’re actually related to ginger).  Dried and powdered, it is a bright yellow-orange, slightly bitter spice that carries a lot of health benefits with it.  Besides the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities turmeric possesses, turmeric is also a mild pain-reliever and is high in iron!  According to an article on Medline Plus, there is a long list of possible benefits showing up in research, though they are quick to point out that they don’t have anything conclusive. However, turmeric has been used for its health and healing properties for centuries with very little side effects and in reasonable quantities seems to have a positive effect overall. I’m excited when I find recipes like this that offer up a tasty AND nutritious item. Anyway, let’s get on with it. Get out your baking sheets and tin-foil!

Messy Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced into wedges
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/4″  semi-circles
  • 1 large sweet-potato, peeled and cut into 1/4″ semi-circles
  • 1 medium Chinese eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2″ semi-circle
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2″ chunks
  • 2 medium heirloom tomatoes cut into 2″ chunks or wedges
  • 15 ounces canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 TBS good olive oil
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika (or mix smoked and regular paprika)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Place all the chopped veggies in a large bowl and toss with the oil and spices until evenly covered and spread evenly over one to two baking sheets lined with tin-foil. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Bake for 20 minutes, remove and flip it all over as best as you can, then return the veggies to the oven for 20 more minutes or until the potato is soft. Done!

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