Moroccan Stew with Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Lentils and Tomatoes

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Veggie Stew with Moroccan Spices — ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc

 

Ingredients

 

1/2 cauliflower, roasted
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin (to your taste)
1/2-1 teaspoon coriander (to your taste)
1 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper (or to your taste)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick (use the stick and not powdered form)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound butternut squash, large dice
1 large red potato, washed and diced with skin left on
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup cooked lentils
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
Pinch saffron threads
1/2 lemon, juiced, and zest of ? lemon
1 cup brined green olives (Italian Cerignola)
Jasmine rice, cooked

 

Garnish: toasted marcona almonds, chopped cilantro (or parsley), pomegranate arils

 

Optional on the table: Plain yogurt, or sour cream, mango chutney

 

Directions

 

Heat olive oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add onion, garlic, cumin, and cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spices are aromatic and onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add squash and potatoes, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir to coat, and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add broth, chickpeas, tomatoes and their juices, cilantro, raisins, pistachios, olives and saffron. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until squash is fork tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in lemon. Serve over couscous or jasmine rice, garnished with cilantro, nuts, arils and yogurt or sour cream.

 

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Baked lamb patties — ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We decided to stay home for dinner on Valentine’s Day and were we glad we did! This recipe turned out to be absolutely delicious. We’re not used to lots of spices, but I’m experimenting with them, anyway, so we’re having a real adventure trying them out. Jules suggested we start with some hummus and pita (one of our favorite things to eat), and opened a bottle of red velvet, a lovely Merlot. We find that a full-bodied red is the best accompaniment for spices.

 

I kept my fingers crossed and brought out the Moroccan dish with jasmine rice and all the garnishes. I also served lamb patties just in case the spicy veggies disappointed. But everything

was perfect! With gusto we devoured the Moroccan stew on jasmine rice, and came back for seconds.

 

The spices in this recipe were just the right amount and blend, for our palate. Important to get the green Italian cerignola olives, which have a unique taste and to use a fresh cinnamon stick which gives off just the right amount of light sweet flavor. Using cilantro rather than parsley, is the better choice. We found that adding a dollop of sour cream was a great addition, as well as lots of pomegranate arils. Usually the lamb patties are the star of a meal, but this time they took second place.

 

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©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Hope Your Valentine’s Day Went Well!

Cheers!

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