I'm guessing that some folk out there like to imagine that, as an outreach-y sort of vegan, I make a habit of inviting non-vegan friends over and berating them about their choices over three courses of raw tofu and twigs. And some of these folk will encounter just such a setup for the first half hour or so of being in the house, because there is a lot of fun to be had in confirming prejudices.* For the less judgemental type, i.e. most of my friends and pretty much anyone I would voluntarily opt to spend the evening with, I'm more likely to dish up some tasty food, answer questions on veganism if they come up, and defer heavier conversations on the topic to an arena where there isn't alcohol.**
Anyway, this brings me to last night's dinner. This is a pretty massive quantity of tagine - dinner for three last night, lunch for two later today, and two margarine tubs full just went in the freezer.
2 medium red onions, chopped small
5 medium garlic cloves, crushed
3 large sweet potatoes, chopped large
1 large carrot, chopped large
450g pre-soaked dried apricots
2 x 240g tins of chickpeas, drained
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 500g carton passata (the tomatoes and passata are probably interchangeable, your mileage may vary about whether you like chunks of tomato or not)
1 x medium aubergine, roasted in segements with salt and olive oil then chopped a bit smaller. (optional)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Turn the heat down to medium before it gets too crackly. Cook the onions and garlic for a bit, then add sweet potatoes, carrot, apricots, chickpeas, aubergine and spices. Stir around for a bit until the spices are evenly distributed. Turn the heat up and add the passata and tomatoes. You may also need to add some water. When it starts bubbling, turn the heat down and stick the pan lid on. Simmer for an hour or so. (Perfect if you're having guests and want something you can leave while getting yourself ready!) Serve with couscous and flatbreads, or pittas if you want bread without washing a mixing bowl.
*I should come clean and admit to never having done this. And sadly I've now exposed it as a prank so can't do it to anyone who might have read my blog.
**And probably not lunchtime in the canteen. Environments where food is a major factor aren't the best place to have vegan/non-vegan dialogue, as when people are eating they tend to be easily put on the defensive about what they are eating.