Moroccan Vegetable Stew… Or today “Clean out the Fridge Stew with a Moroccan Flavour”

(I don’t buy a lot of magazines but one I do watch for is Clean Eating ( In a back issue (May/June 2009) I found a recipe for Couscous with Seven Vegetables which I decided to make. It’s also my day off, so I’ve been cleaning out the fridge a bit! Seven is considered lucky by Moroccans and it shows up in their recipes too!

Here’s the original recipe on the left side, and my changes on the right!

Ras El Hanout: ( A spice mix with 7 Spices)

Makes 2 tablespoons, so you can make the stew twice!

1 ½ tsp. each of cinnamon and cumin.

1 tsp. each of ginger and turmeric

½ tsp. each of allspice, ground black pepper, and coriander.

(Or you could find a Moroccan spice mix and use 1 tbsp.)  I didn’t have all the spices, so I used some smoked Paprika and anise.  Make do with what you’ve got!

The Original Recipe What I did…
3 tsp. olive oil 3 tsp. olive oil  (more or less)
3 cloves garlic minced 4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced (I like garlic)
1 tbsp. Ras El Hanout 1 tbsp. Ras El Hanout, again more or less
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1 inch pieces Mine was more medium, but the cubes were the same.
2 small turnips, peeled and diced I used only one, and got a parsnip for the “halibut”
1 medium zucchini Mine was medium too, but I hope to get them from my garden next time!
2 carrots, peeled and cut into those one inch pieces again. I had three carrots that really needed to be cooked so I used them all
¼ head of cabbage, cut into….(you know the drill by now, I hope) I don’t eat cabbage, so I bought a bunch of kale, cut out the middle rib and chopped that
½ a red bell pepper cut into chunks Mine was green, but what do you do with the other half?  I threw mine into the pot too!
½ cup green beans, cut into thirds I’m going to use some spinach that is getting at the end of it’s rope.  It’s green too.
½ to 1 tsp. Harissa or any chile paste or hot sauce At my stage of life I’m hot enough, (and I don’t have any of this anyways, so I’ll skip it or add some red pepper flakes, we’ll see)
½ tsp. sea Salt I pinched some of Em’s Himalayan Pink Mountain Salt (
¼ cup raisins, soaked in 2 or 3 tbsp. warm water I did that too,
¾ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed I’ve got a 19 oz. can, so I’ll just use all of that (I don’t like bits left over)
16 oz. white fish (tilapia, haddock, sole) cut into chunks I’m going to leave out the meat and cook individual servings later
1 1/3 cup whole-wheat couscous I’ve got lots of rice and pasta, so why not use that?
½ cup cilantro, chopped and divided This is a garnish, so I’ll garnish the individual servings.

Chop the veggies.  Heat the oil, and add the garlic and spice mixture.  Cook for about a minute or so.  (You could also add onions at this point if you wanted to). Add the more solid veggies (yams, parsnips, carrots, kale, turnips etc.) and add enough water to cover. Let cook for about half an hour, or until potatoes are just not quite cooked.  Softish.  Add the more tender veggies (Pepper, zucchini,), Harissa, and salt.  Cook for another 10 or 15 minutes, or until everything’s tender (But not mush).

Ladle out 3 cups of broth and veggies (1 ½ cup of each) and puree in blender.  Add it back to the stew.  Mix in raisins and chick peas and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Place pieces of fish on top of stew, cover and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Cook couscous or other starchy side according to instructions.

In each bowl place a serving of couscous (or rice, pasta, potatoes) and top with stew and a sprinkle of cilantro.

HERE’S what I’ll do:  I will divide the stew I’ve come up with into about 8 servings which I will freeze.  I can have this with rice as a vegetarian meal, add some tofu, or some chicken or fish (since I have some single serving packages in the freezer)  However you do it, there will be lots of veggies, and enough carbs and proteins to make your body happy.



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