If you’d like to try Mediterranean food, but your not sure if you can handle the spicy excitement, here is a good option for beginners. This delicious Moroccan vegetarian stew and fluffy couscous won’t overpower delicate palates. The flavor is rich, with just a hint of earthy cinnamon, turmeric and cumin. By the way, cinnamon and turmeric are great for those with diabetes or watching their waistline. The spices slow the absorption of sugars and stabilize fluctuating metabolisms.
Once you’ve tried it, you’ll keep it on hand for when your garden is bursting. Even Minnesotan- and other northern gardeners should have plenty of onions, turnips, squash and potatoes by now, if you started your seeds indoors. If not, this dish is worth a trip to the farmer’s market or grocery.
Click here for a list of local Minnesota farmer’s markets. A favorite is in Little Falls, in the parking lot of Zoomski’s Coffee Shop on East Broadway. The goat cheese alone is worth the trip! Little Falls has a second location on Paul Larson Drive with plenty of fresh produce and plants.
“Moroccan Couscous with Garden Vegetables”
1 package Fantastic World Foods brand organic whole wheat couscous, prepared with chicken broth instead of water.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup additional chicken broth
1 large onion
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 turnip, peeled and julienned
1 round zucchini, peeled and julienned (or regular zucchini, or yellow summer squash)
1 sweet potato, peeled and julienned
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 pinch cumin
Prepare couscous according to package directions, using chicken broth instead of water. Place half on a large serving dish and keep warm.
Heat the olive oil in a large paella pan, wok, or stir-fry pan on high. Sauté all the vegetables till just tender, but still very crisp (about ten minutes.) Reduce heat to medium and add chicken broth. Let simmer while you stir in the tomato paste and spices.
Spoon at least half of the vegetable stew over the plated couscous and serve immediately with this Mediterranean Chicken with Orange Sauce dish. The recipe suggests it makes a meal for six, but the couscous and fiber-dense veggies are so filling, plan for left-overs.
Recipe adapted from a Fantastic World Foods recipe titled “Moroccan Couscous.”
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