Moroccan Meatless Monday

Today’s meatless Monday meal is Moroccan-inspired. All you will need is the following:

  • whole grain couscous
  • chickpeas (BPA-free can, frozen or dried)
  • organic raisins (raisins/grapes are heavily sprayed with chemicals so if you can only afford some organic make sure it’s raisins)
  • dried apricot (preferably unsulphured)
  • a mix of vegetables: carrot, potato, zucchini, onions, garlic, squash, red pepper
  • olive oil or argan oil
  • lemon juice
  • cumin
  • cinnamon
  • tomato paste or organic ketchup
  1. Cook the couscous according to the directions on the box. Most commercial couscous is of the instant variety and cooks in minutes.
  2. Prepare chickpeas. Depending on which type you chose, this could take 1 minute (open the can and drain), 20 minutes (steam the frozen chickpeas) or 8 hours (dried chickpeas have to be soaked then cooked).
  3. Steam vegetables (about 20 minutes) and chop dried apricots into bite-size pieces.
  4. Use oil on low-medium heat and cook onion and garlic. Add the cumin and cinnamon I suggest 1 TBSP. cumin and 1 tsp cinnamon; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste/ketchup, about a spoonful. Set aside.
  5. Combine couscous, chickpeas, vegetables, dried fruit, onion mix in bowl. Drizzle a bit more oil (argan oil if you can find it. This Moroccan oil is nutty in flavour with similar health properties to olive oil) on top and some lemon juice. Mix well.

This meal can be cooked in a slow cooker and made into a stew. However, be sure to cook the couscous separately. To wash it all down, try some Moroccan mint tea. Mint is a great digestive aid.

Moroccan tidbits:

  • Sweet and spicy are trademarks of Moroccan seasonings as is evidenced in the combination of cumin and cinnamon. Some filo pastries also recognize this contrast by pairing a savoury filling with a sprinkling of icing sugar on top.
  • Ras el Hanout is a Moroccan blend of spices. Try some in this dish.
  • Goats like the nuts of the argan fruit so much that they climb the trees to get at them!
  • Pigeon is a common meat in Moroccan cuisine. That’s enough to turn anyone vegetarian!
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