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Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

MoFOGood Evening!

So, as promised, I am back tonight with something a bit more savory. This stew was inspired by a similar recipe in “The Vegan Table”. I made the actual recipe from the cookbook a few weeks ago and LOVED it.

Last summer, I spent some time in Morocco and fell in love. Morocco had always interested me. It’s blending of Arabic, North African, and European influences converging in a geographically diverse and beautiful location. I wanted to experience everything! I wanted to know all about women in Morocco, food, history, architecture, and the list goes on.

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Since this is a food blog, I will stick to food..I loved the cuisine, culture, and philosophy on food. The food memory that sticks out the most to me is the tagine. A tagine is a traditional cooking dish made of clay. The Moroccan tagines look like a cone. They are made for cooking stews and such at low temperatures for a really long time. The first meal I had in Morocco was a tagine of couscous and vegetables. I remember the experience so vividly. I taxi’d to a recommended restaurant in Casablanca, though the name escapes me, it was a plush restaurant, and when I say plush, I mean pillow-y.. Pillows were everywhere, and at that moment I knew I wanted a dining room full of pillows..

But I digress, back to the food.. I ordered a traditional tagine and when it arrived at my table, the top was removed and holy yum. The dizzying aroma hit my nose and I was in heaven. Cinnamon, saffron, cumin, stewed raisins, couscous… Heaven. Oh and vegetables.. Potatoes, carrots, tomatoes.. Mouth watering yet?? I know mine is! Anyway, one of my favorite memories was the first bite. I had a cup of sweet mint tea, a loaf of bread, and a vegetable tagine. I set up the perfect bite of couscous and veggies, closed my eyes, and savored the experience. That bite was about the food, but it was also about so much more. I was a single, western female in Morocco. I had arrived solo and was happy for the exciting experience that lay ahead. I was excited for all the things I was going to be doing, but I was also so excited to be eating couscous in Morocco.. And let me tell you, couscous tastes amazing in Morocco.. It is second to none.

So, it was natural that I wanted to recreate this when I got home. I have since made various stews and soups to suit the Moroccan spice blend I love so much. Saffron, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika. So, SO good. Tonight’s dish features those spices, but with a bit of a different take on the ingredients..

My Sweet Potato Stew features carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, green bell peppers, garlic, onions, and of course sweet potatoes.

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Michelle’s Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato Stew

2 T water

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Green bell pepper, chopped

3 Carrots, chopped

3 Sweet Potatoes, chopped

1 Zucchini, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes, with juices

3 cups chickpeas

1/2 t cinnamon

pinch saffron threads

salt, pepper, to taste

1/4 t ginger

1/2 t cumin

1/4 t paprika

1 T maple syrup

2-3 c. vegetable broth

Saute onions, garlic, and carrots with 2 T of water in a medium-high heat skillet, until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add bell pepper, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and spices. Stir constantly to coat, then add diced tomatoes, chickpeas, maple syrup, and vegetable broth. Don’t worry if the vegetables aren’t fully covered by the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until sweet potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. When sweet potatoes are fork-tender, remove cover and keep on heat to reduce liquid. In the picture above, you can see quite a bit of liquid, I didn’t reduce the liquid enough and ended up with a more soupy consistency.. I would’ve preferred less liquid.. Serve stew over couscous, brown rice, or quinoa.

This recipe is pretty quick and easy. I like to add whatever veggies I have lying around. White potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, or any other veggies that you may like! The flavor of the “sauce” is the best.. the longer you let it reduce, the richer and sweeter the liquid will become. The grain will soak up the flavors and really add another level to the stew.

I also like to cook my grain with a cinnamon stick to infuse the flavor even more!

Happy Travels!

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MoFo

Good evening!

So as many seasoned bloggers know.. and as I am finding out, delicious pictures don’t just happen. You know the pictures I am talking about; the ones that make you salivate. The soft light, the colorful vegetables jumping off the screen, basically the pictures you wish you could taste. I have always been interested in taking pictures. I try my best at taking artistic, interesting pictures, but more often than not, I either fail miserably, or produce a great shot.. One. Great. Shot. I can’t seem to get down the aperture, focus, exposure… and the list goes on. This is yet another reason why I have decided to blog. I want to take great pictures. I want to produce the type of photos that make you want to lick the screen.

You may ask yourself, where is this post going? It is going right into a delicious meal, that did not have the most appealing photo finish. Tonight, I made Susan V’s Gardener’s pie  found at http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/05/skillet-gardeners-pie.html. It was so yummy, and super easy to make, but my pictures did not turn out as tasty as the dish.. SO forgive me, I am working on it! Without further stalling, I give you a slightly modified version of the Gardener’s pie.

Making Gardener's Pie

I omitted the spinach since I didn’t have any on hand, and added zucchini, a chili pepper, and used fingerlings potatoes for the mash. Next time I make this, I am going to use the concept, and probably do a sweet potato mash with a southwestern filling, I’m thinking corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, and whatever else I can think of!

The not so pleasing photo

That’s a mini bread roll peaking out the back.. I made it from leftover pizza crust and herbs.. Perfect for sopping up all the yummy sauce! I am so glad I have leftovers.. I few minutes in my toaster oven, and this baby is ready to go! Oh and while I am at it, I should mention. You will not be finding anything microwaved on this blog… I like to enjoy my food, and that means the process in making it too! So, for Vegan MoFo day2, that’s all! G’Night!

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