Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Moroccan Style Vegetable Couscous

About a month ago, I had a fabulous vegetarian couscous dinner at a friend's house, and I realized that I have never made couscous. I have been thinking about it ever since, and decided to stew some vegetables for myself. This was basically an attempt to come up with some more relatively easy vegetarian recipes that both my husband and I can agree upon. Inspired by the smell of fresh fall leaves on the crisp autumn air, I really wanted to add some butternut squash to the mix; however, mentioning this idea only produced a semi-frown upon the face of the aforementioed husband. This, plus the dilemma of what to do with a large unused portion caused me to leave the grocery store sans squash. Oh, but I'll be back for you sometime soon, Mr. Butternut, don't get too comfortable.

For now, this is a hearty, aromatic, vegetarian dish that does a decent job of showcasing the mighty chickpea, garbanzo, ceci bean, Indian pea, or whatever you want to call it. They look like mini peaches to me. ; ) Anyway, it was very tasty, but not a fast favorite. I probably won't use plain couscous next time-oh yes, it was good enough for a "next time"- and some fresh lemon juice might shake up the flavors a bit. It must also be said that like any good stew or chili, it was even better as leftovers. Plus, with "Moroccan" in the name it forces be back into an old, but newly revisited hobby: Vacation Dreaming. Right now, my thoughts flock to Ireland, Costa Rica, France, Italy, the Caribbean, the Grand Canyon, and Disney World, where in Epcot there is Moraccan restaurant!

Moroccan Stlye Vegetable Couscous
compiled from many sources

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 small red potatoes, unpeeled, and cut into large chunks
3 small carrots, chopped
1 small yellow onion, large dice
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 zucchini, about 7-8 inches long
1/2 sweet bell pepper, large dice (I wanted yellow for color, but settled for orange)
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz.) No Salt Added, diced tomatoes with juice
1 c. low-sodium vegetable stock
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy!)
1/4 tsp. salt
Plain Couscous

1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes or until onions start to soften.
2. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The potatoes should be almost fork tender.
3. Add zucchini and bell pepper. Continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes until all of the vegetables are fork tender. Meanwhile, prepare couscous according to package directions. (I prepared 1 c. dry couscous for the two of us.)
4. Serve vegetables over couscous. Salt and pepper to taste.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Revolt against the husband. I say squash away! He can pick it out...