VANILLA LATTE is a blog dedicated to food & travel with occasional random stuff thrown in. It is managed and written by me, Maggie Ha.

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Moroccan Stew with Green Onion Couscous 19Jul09

Moroccan Stew with Green Onion Couscous

The name of the dish should really be “Meaty Roasted Squash Moroccan Stew on Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Green Onion Garlic Couscous” but it’s a bit long so I shortened it. :) It’s got heaps of veggies and spices, a very hearty dish and perfect for winter dinners. Hmmm might even go nicely as a pie filling!

Now when I said “meaty” I mean whatever choice of meat you want to put in it. I used a delicious soy meat, but you can use steak, chicken, lamb, whatever you want! Just make sure it’s cut into cubes around the same size and the rest of your veggies. I made this dish vegan but you can of course add meat to your liking for a carnivorous version. Season up the “meat” with salt and pepper and then brown before adding to the stew at the end. If you can find some flavored sausages, it would go really nicely as well!

The recipe looks long and complicated but it really isn’t that bad, definitely worth the extra effort! This dish is incredibly flavorful and jam packed with veggies. The roasted mushroom adds a great texture and taste to the whole dish. Top with some cilantro and there you have it, a delicious hearty meal! You know, a dollop of Greek yogurt on top would be great as well….next time! Hope you like it!

1 1/2 – 2 cups of cubed meat (about 2 inch cubes, roughly around 2 steaks or 1 package of soy meat)
2 cups of cubed butternut squash or kent pumpkin (about 2 inch cubes)
1/4 of a cauliflower head, florets only
2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of crushed red chili flakes
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro (or just a nice handful!)
4 large portobello mushrooms
2 sprigs of green onion, sliced thin
1 cup of couscous
1 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil margarine
fresh ground pepper
coarse sea salt
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F or 190°C.

Step 1: Roast and brown!
Okay! First things first, cover a baking sheet with your cubed squash/pumpkin – make sure you’ve cut the skin off and taking out the seeds before cubing! Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and sea salt. Pop that in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until soft.

Next we’re going to prep the mushrooms to be roasted. They only need about 15 minutes in the oven so we can put those in when we’re almost done with the stew. Wipe down the mushrooms with a damp cloth and cut off the stems. Finely dice the stems, we’re going to add them to the stew! Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet with the stem side up. Drizzle some olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper and set aside for later.

Now let’s move on to the meat. Whatever meat you use – beef steaks, chicken fillets, lamb or soy fake meat – make sure you’ve cut them around the same size, about 2 inches. Season with sea salt and a bit of fresh ground pepper. Now heat up a large pot (you’ll use this same pot for the stew) on medium high heat with a little drizzle of olive oil. Toss in the meat and cook until almost done. For the soy one, it’s just to brown the outside and not so much to cook! Timing for this will vary according to the meat but to check it, just cut one of them open and make sure the inside isn’t pink. Once ready, remove the meat and set aside. You can keep the heat going in that pot, we’re ready to start the stew!

Step 2: The stew!
In the same that you just browned your meat, drizzle in another tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Toss in the diced onions and reduce the heat to medium low. In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, mash up the cumin, corriander, fennel seeds along with the red chili flakes. Add that to the onions! Now add in the diced mushroom stems, mix and your house should be smelling delicious! The onions should be a bit transparent by now, toss in the red bell pepper and cauliflower florets but make sure they’re cut up nice and small. Cook down until the cauliflower is starting to get soft. Toss in the garbanzo beans and let that cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Now pour in the 2 cans of whole peel tomatoes, juice and all. Using a wooden spoon, break apart the tomatoes in the pot and turn the heat down to low. Mix, mix, mix and let that simmer for about 20 minutes. The juice should reduce down a bit and the veggies should be soft. Now add in the roast pumpkin/squash and the meat, stir to combine and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until your couscous and mushrooms are ready to plate!

Step 3: The couscous!
Couscous is incredibly easy to make, I don’t even call it cooking. It’s more like preparing? Anyway, bring a simmer to 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil margarine (I think it tastes better with couscous than butter), 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt. Turn of heat, pour in couscous and cover for 3 minutes. Fluff with a fork, toss in the sliced green onions and you’re ready to go! Easy right?

Step 4: Plate!
I guess there really is no wrong way to plate it. My preference is couscous on the bottom to soak up the sauce. Mushroom on top of the couscous and then topped with a heaping scoop of stew. Top with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Bon appétit!

Like I mentioned before, a nice dollop of Greek yogurt would be a great addition. And the best part about this dish, it’s just as good heated up as leftovers. Enjoy!

Moroccan Stew with Green Onion Couscous



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My local favorite is currently Ground Support in SOHO. I go there almost every day for a smooth creamy soy cappuccino or if it’s hot out an iced soy latte. When I’m not in a hurry to run out, I try to take a few extra minutes to enjoy the coffee in the shop… you know, chat with the staff, catch up on some calls and best of all… people watch. Always some interesting characters in NYC!

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