Make chickpeas one of your midlife diet staples. They contain a good balance of slow-release carbohydrate, protein and fibre, meaning blood sugar levels stay stable and appetite is regulated. They also contain phyto-oestrogens that can help to balance hormones and promote a calm mood.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled anHi d crushed
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 small aubergine, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 400g can peeled cherry tomatoes
1 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
75g dried apricots, halved
Juice and zest of an orange
Juice of half a lemon
400ml vegetable stock, or boiling water and a vegetable stock cube
200g spinach leaves
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Gently heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and add the onion. Fry for a few minutes to soften, then add the garlic and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes, adding a splash of water after the first minute or so.
Add the aubergine and carrot, coat well with the spiced onion mixture and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, apricots, orange juice and zest, lemon juice, stock and honey.
Season and stir well, place the lid on the pan and simmer very gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour (you can also cook this in a low oven, for an hour at around 160-170ºC).
With five minutes to go, add the spinach and parsley to the tagine so that it just wilts. Serve with couscous.