Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Autumn Moroccan Stew



Monday was attempt number one this week in using butternut squash creatively. The obvious uses, like ravioli, risotto, roasted or soup, seemed like way too much work after an already productive day of applesauce and cookie making. It's easy to come up with side dishes for squash, but a little more challenging when it must be the main event in a vegetarian dinner. (FYI, ratatouille is NOT a main course that gets vegetarians excited.) It needs to be interesting, filling and satisfying. Moroccan flavors are a good stand-by for me. I like how they use dried fruits and nuts to balance the spices in tagines and stews. So I gathered a bunch of ingredients I had around, made some couscous, and threw together this flavorful stew. I even managed to incorporate one of those apples... only about 20 or 30 left!


AUTUMN MOROCCAN STEW WITH COUSCOUS
(makes 4-5 servings)
Spice mix
1/2 + 1/8 tspn Coriander
1/2 + 1/8 tspn Cumin
1/2 + 1/8 tspn Turmeric
1/2 + 1/8 tspn Cayenne
1/4 tspn ground black pepper
1/4 tspn kosher salt
3 Tbsp Paprika

1 small yellow onion, cut in half and sliced into strips
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 C canned Diced Tomatoes (and juice)
1-1/2C Butternut Squash, peeled / cubed (1 small 5-6” long squash)
1 C carrots, sliced (3 carrots)
1 Apple, peeled, cored, chopped
1/4 C Golden Raisins
3/4 C water
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tbsp Sugar
Olive Oil
Toasted Almond slices
*Optional: Chicken-less strips (such as Trader Joe’s)
*Whole Wheat Couscous

1. Saute Onions and garlic in olive oil in a medium saucepan for 5 minutes. Add most of the spice mix and stir.
2. Add tomatoes, squash, carrots and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 15 minutes.
3. Add sugar, lemon juice, apples and raisins. Taste and add more spice mix if needed. Simmer another 5-10 minutes until apples are cooked through.
4. Prepare couscous, set aside
5. Toast almonds, set aside
6. If using chicken-less strips, put in a microwavable container and top with a few tablespoons of the stew. Microwave 30-45 seconds on high.
7. Serve stew alongside couscous, and top with strips and almonds. Spice to taste with crushed red pepper. Garnish with parsley flakes.

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