Friday, September 30, 2011

Off To Morocco--Vegan Style

While I've never set foot in Morocco, I've always enjoyed photos of the area, what with the colorful street vendors crammed against the dun-hued architecture. It seems a study in beauty set against the starkness of a desert landscape. And even though I have visited the country only in my imagination, the foods of Morocco have been reality on my taste-buds.

It isn't that the dishes are so unusual, for many of the ingredients are familiar to us. The secret to their tongue-tantalizing recipes are the spices used in every dish. The interesting thing is, these are spices we are familiar with. Yet the Moroccans blend them together in a way I would never have thought of and maybe you wouldn't have either. Give this recipe a try and see if you don't become a Moroccan vegan. Who ever would have thought such a thing existed?

I let my bean mixture get too dry. Don't make
the same mistake. Your bean mixture should look
brothy but not like a soup.

Moroccan Medley

Into a saucepan put:

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
10 oz. of couscous
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. turmeric

Bring vegetable stock and spices to a boil. Stir in the couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Set aside till later.

In a big skillet put:

1 Tbs. oil
1 big onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs. minced jalapeno or more if you like lots of heat
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
Cook till the vegetables are soft.


1  14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained
1  15 oz. can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of chopped dates or figs
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. paprika, not the smoked kind.
pepper to taste

Cook over medium heat until the spices marry. Turn heat to low and simmer about 1/2 hour. If the mixture gets too dry, add some vegetable stock. The resulting product should be a bit on the saucy side rather than dry, but it should not look like soup.

Fluff the couscous with a fork till it is light and fluffy. Center big scoops of the couscous on a dinner place. Pour a good portion of the bean mixture on top.

Sprinkle the dish with chopped cilantro and pine nuts (optional)
Drizzle with a bit of good olive oil

Serves 2 hungry people or 3 not so hungry ones.

Serve this dish with naan bread or any other flatbread that you like.

There will be couscous leftover. I made extra so I could make another Moroccan dish. I'll post it next week.

Happy Eating....

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