Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Moroccan Stew

Morocco is on my list of the top 10 places I'd like to visit. Meat is a large part of Moroccan cuisine, but the flavors are easily translated into vegan dishes using the spices, vegetables, chickpeas and couscous. Any food that combines North African and Middle Eastern cuisine has got to be good.

Note: When I use canned beans or tomatoes I highly recommend getting Eden Organic brand because they do not have BPA's in the lining of their cans - Eden Foods and BPA. I think it's worth the extra cents to avoid ingesting toxins.

For the Sauce:
2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, pureed in a blender or 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3-4 roasted red peppers, home made or 12 oz. from a jar, diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. cinnamon 
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. corriander
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper (scant)
1 c. vegetable broth
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. plain soy milk

For the Stew:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 white or brown onion, diced
1 large carrot, sliced into 1/2" rounds
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks
1 green or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks
1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2" semi-circles
2 c. cooked chickpeas (home made or 1 15 oz. can)
1/4 c. golden raisins (optional)
10-12 kalamata olives, sliced (optional)

1) To prepare the sauce, place all of the ingredients except for the soy milk into a sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce to a high simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Let it cool a bit and then puree with an immersion blender or in a blender. (Note: if you are using fresh tomatoes rather than canned, just puree the roasted peppers with the tomatoes before cooking and you won't have to blend it after cooking). Once the sauce has been pureed add the soy milk and stir to incorporate.

2) Heat a little olive oil in a soup pot and add the onion and carrots. Saute until the onions begin to soften, about 7 minutes and then add the bell peppers and zucchini. Saute for another 5 minutes.

3) Add the chickpeas and the pureed sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. If using the raisins and/or olives add them for the last 3-5 minutes of cooking.

Serve over whole wheat couscous, quinoa, or millet. This makes about 4 servings.

Note: It can be yummy to add additional ingredients to your couscous as it steams - diced kalamata olives (if you didn't add them to the stew), dried oregano and/or thyme, dried mint, etc.

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