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Tag: chickpeas

Moroccan Style Vegetable Stew with Olive Gremolata

This is a great vegetarian stew to make for company or through the week- and a great recipe to post for meatless Monday!! It does have a whole lot of ingredients but most of them are very common and are usually in a pantry. Harissa is a Moroccan style condiment that is made with red peppers and can have some heat as well… it is commonly found in super markets…

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 14 ounces can of tomatoes (I used fire roasted with green chilies)
  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into small florets
  • 1 14 ounces can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 to 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • Salt

Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onion and cook on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cinnamon, coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper. Saute for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic and dates and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the harissa paste, tomato paste and flour. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add the carrots and pepper. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cauliflower and chickpeas. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes and add the water or broth. Bring to a boil and add 2 teaspoons salt. Lower the heat and cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes. Take the lid off and continue cooking till the consistency is of a thick stew. Check for seasonings and keep aside.


  • ½ cup green olives, chopped (I used olives stuffed with garlic)
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins, chopped
  • Zest of one large lemon

Mix the olives, parsley, raisins and lemon zest in a small bowl. Top the stew and serve.


Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

Vegetable Tagine

Great healthy way to start off the new year!

Spice Mix

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a cast iron skillet on a medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or till the seeds become aromatic. Take off the heat and grind smooth in a coffee grinder. Take out in a small bowl and add the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 3 to 4 medium yellow potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 medium turnips, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • 1 cup green olives, sliced
  • ½ cup dried apricots, sliced
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint, crushed

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, harissa and the spice mix. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, turnips, carrots, chickpeas, chicken stock and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and check to see if the root vegetables are tender. Mash some potatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to slightly thicken the liquid. Add the olives and apricots. Turn the heat up to cook off some of the excess liquid to get the desired consistency- it should be like a thick soup. Add the almonds, cilantro, parsley and dried mint. Check for seasonings and serve with couscous.

Cauliflower & Chickpea Stew with Olive, Raisin and Cilantro Gremolata

This is a fabulous dish to impress your vegetarian friends. I made this Moroccan style stew with delicious quinoa. I also topped the goodness with a mixture of green olives, raisins and cilantro.

  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons roasted cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 cookie sheet, lined with aluminum foil

Preheat oven to broil.

Place the cauliflower florets onto the cookie sheet. Add the oil, salt and cumin. Mix well and roast for 30 minutes till the florets are golden brown. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 2 cans chickpeas, washed and drained

Heat a large saucepan with olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add the flour and sauté for a minute. Add the chicken broth and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Check for seasonings and add salt as necessary. Garnish with gremolata and serve with quinoa.

Olive Gremolata

  • ½ cup green olive (I used the ones that are stuffed with garlic), chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisin, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Mix the olives, raisins and cilantro in a small bowl. Sprinkle on the stew and serve.

Spiced Chickpeas

Spiced Chickpeas Did I mention I am trying to be healthier in the New Year? I am cooking with less oil and trying to come up with different, healthy dishes I can serve myself and my family.

The one thing I get stressed about are snacks. There are not a lot of healthy, non-sweet snacks you can pick up besides low-fat cheese, nuts and cottage cheese or even non-fat Greek yogurt. After a while, I get sick of eating the same stuff and crave something spicy and savory. If I am trying to eat healthy, I crave big flavor. The good news is, big flavor does not mean big calories. Cayenne pepper, for example does not have any calories- in fact it revs up your metabolism.

So, I looked in my pantry and found a can of chickpeas. I drained and cleaned them and roasted them in the oven until they dried up. I then took them out and mixed them up with roasted cumin seeds, smoked paprika and salt.

I treated the chickpeas as I would nuts. Nuts are great for you but do have quite a lot of calories. The roasted chickpeas had a nice crunch and the spices gave it a delicious savory taste.

I served the chickpeas with drinks but you can enjoy them in the middle of the day, between meals or anytime you get hungry. It is amazing how it fills you up…
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Low-Fat Hummus with Roasted Jalapenos


I just made this and decided to post it right away. Usually I make a dish, write the recipe and schedule the post. It is kind of a long process. Sometimes, I like the dish so much that I decide to post it right way.

As most of you know, I have been eating GG crackers for breakfast and snack on a daily basis. For those who have tried these crackers- you know how dry they are. You definitely need something on top to make them delectable.

The other day, I was listening to Joan Hamburg on WOR and she was interviewing some dietician who spoke about a low fat hummus she made with yogurt. A light bulb turned on in my head as I heard the interview. I had been spreading a bit of it everyday on my crackers and thought about the fat in a usual tub of hummus. I decided to make my own.

I experimented last week with one batch- it was good but not post worthy. I made the second batch today and it is super delicious.

I roasted some jalapenos (took the seeds out first) and garlic. I added non-fat Greek yogurt, lemon juice and a bit of tahini and olive oil to get the flavor but not too much of the fat. The result was really good. I had some with my crackers today and it was delicious and healthy since I am getting more protein than usual as the yogurt as tons of it.

Definitely make this and keep in your fridge- although it won’t last for too long….
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Moroccan Style Chicken with Spinach Cilantro Couscous

Moroccan Style Chicken This dish takes the mundane chicken dinner to a whole new level. We had our usual Friday get together with Sia’s friend, her sisters and their Mom. It started off as a pizza party and as far as the kids are concerned, that is what we should serve every week. Most times I don’t feel like ordering pizza and would rather cook something at home.

So when the day came, I decided to make a chicken dish- something different (I usually say that in my mind- I really do). I was either watching  or reading something- I can’t remember, but Moroccan chicken came up. That was it- I couldn’t think of anything else. I bought the chicken and – everything else was in the house. Couscous comes to mind when I think Moroccan food. Instead of making a salad on the side, I decided to make a spinach and cilantro sauce and cooked the couscous in it. The colors were amazing- the orangish red chicken against the light green couscous was beautiful. The taste wasn’t so shabby either.

We all enjoyed the chicken with the couscous and some red wine- yes I am drinking wine- just on the weekends for now and Friday is part of the weekend. I do plan to incorporate wine back into the week but since I am doing a cleanse, I feel I should detox and stay away from it for a while. I digress- the evening was very enjoyable and delicious!

  • 2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon schug (hot red pepper mix)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Toss the flour and salt with the chicken in a bag to coat. Heat a non-stick skillet with the olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes each. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat. Add cinnamon, ginger, cumin, schug and salt. Add the tomato, honey, raisins, chickpeas and chicken. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Sprinkle the almonds and cilantro. Serve with couscous.

Moroccan Style Chicken 1

Spinach Cilantro Couscous

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green onion

Blend the spinach, cilantro, garlic and onion with some water until a smooth paste is formed. Keep aside.

  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup spinach paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat a medium sized saucepan and add the oil. Add the spinach paste and saute for a minutes on medium high heat. Add the chicken broth and salt. Bring to a boil and add the couscous and place the lid and turn the heat off. Fluff the couscous in 5 minutes once it is cooked.

Rosemary Roasted Chicken on top of Ciabatta Bread served with a Warm Chickpea and Spinach Salad


Once again, I got my inspiration from my favorite good looking chef, Jamie Oliver. I was watching his show about salads and he made a fabulous caesar salad with homemade roasted chicken and croutons. The chicken legs attached to thighs were roasted with rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. He tore a baguette into pieces and added them with the chicken and roasted the whole thing. His idea was to flavor the bread pieces with the chicken juices and use them as croutons in the salad- how brilliant it that? I decided to make a similar dish but used a ciabatta bread- sliced it and placed it at the bottom of the roast pan. I then placed the chicken pieces and rubbed a mixture of rosemary, salt, olive oil and pepper. I wanted to serve the chicken and bread as the main dish. I loved the idea of using full chicken legs- they are so much more flavorful than chicken breast; they are more forgiving in terms of cooking time; and most of all, they are a lot more reasonable than chicken breast. I am a big fan of dark meat chicken- my husband on the other hand, is a big skeptic. He enjoyed this dish but I could tell, he would have preferred white meat chicken. If you feel the same, go ahead and switch it for the breast pieces- I would get the bone-in pieces and would keep a good eye on the oven careful not to over cook. The roasted chicken pieces were juicy, flavorful and tender. The bread was amazingly delicious. We spread the sweet, soft, gooey roasted garlic cloves on top of the bread slices- it was out of this world. It had absorbed all the chicken goodness. We ate it with a warm chickpea salad and yes- my favorite- Malbec Rose.

I was itching to use anchovies in something. My husband thinks he doesn’t like them, but like a lot of people, he doesn’t realize that anchovies take on a very nutty and salty flavor when used in either a salad or a sauce. It adds an underlying flavor to the dish that is quite complex and hard to decipher. I decided to make a chickpea salad. I had a bag of baby spinach sitting in my fridge screaming to be used, so I paired it with the chickpeas. I sliced some shallots and melted 2 anchovy fillets with olive oil. I then added the canned chickpeas and baby spinach. Somehow using raw cumin didn’t seem right- I used roasted cumin instead. I always have it in my spice cabinet. It’s as simple as roasting nuts- either in a heavy frying pan or in the oven, till it is aromatic and dark brown. The roasted cumin has a very aromatic flavor- milder than raw cumin- almost more sophisticated. Well, all the flavors went really well together- it was a successful try and I will definitely make it again!

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