Tuesday, March 13, 2012

tasty trials and tribulations

Okay, so I started this post approximately five months ago. {Yikes.} The source of inspiration was a cooking date I had with a good friend and teammate, but a busy life in my last months of college led to the material being shelved. The original intention was to include three adventurous recipes that were marvelously successful, but some Italian lessons are calling my name at the moment, so I'll just give you one for now.

I don't know if you all have noticed, but the expansion of the blogging universe is indeed accelerating, and...this blog is slightly lame. This isn't a source of income [I can't even imagine that happening]; adding posts takes up less than a percent of my time; and...I think a grand total of 11 people read it. But that's okay! You 11 readers are loved! And you get to benefit from my wise advice and tales of adventure, so GO YOU.

Today's benefit of reading: two one amaaaazing decent recipes . [This whole crossing-out-the-pluralisms-from-the-original-post thing is quickly getting old, so I'm just gonna write from scratch now...]

Like I said, I first made this recipe back in autumn. It was awesome, so I dug it out to recreate it with friends last week, this time with a less-than-stellar result. Nonetheless, I just saw the leftovers in the freezer and decided it was time to post the dish.
 For further proof that this isn't a big official blog, this is a picture-less post because didn't take one solitary photo of the entire process. [Sometimes I remember to snap a few shots, sometimes I don't. Sue me.] You'll just have to be very imaginative as you read the following instructions...

((The basis of the recipe came from a blog that I visit every once in a while. You can find that original recipe on my Pinterest board of kitchen successes.)) 

Without further ado, here's what you'll need for an amazing Moroccan Veggie Stew:
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/2 cups worth)
  • 1 medium potato, cubed [the second time around we used a sweet potato and it was delish]
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t. smoked paprika [I dunno if we used "smoked." I don't even know what the difference is.]
  • 1/2 t. ground coriander*
  • pinch of cayenneª pepper [we like spicy food, so our pinch was a pretty hefty one]
  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable brothº
  • 2 c. water
  • salt/pepper/whatever the heck else you want
  • 2 T. coconut milk (optional)
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat and add onions, sauteing until soft. 
  2. Add spices and cook for another minute or so. Feel free to be liberal with the spices-- we kind of just used the above amounts as a guide. 
  3. Stir in squash, potatoes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, broth and water. 
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. 
  5. Add garbanzo beans and bring to a boil. 
  6. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. 
  7. We added about 2 spoonfuls of coconut milk into our individual bowls at the end. [If you can afford the fat that comes with this stuff, I highly recommend you do the same. It adds a wonderful finishing touch, but it'll be fine without if you're watching your waistline]

* We didn't have coriander the second time through, so we substituted a mixture of dill, cilantro, and parsley. That's not a precise flavor swap, but I think it turned out fine...
ª Do not--I repeat, DO NOT--itch/touch/think about your eyes after adding the cayenne pepper, especially if you literally "pinch" the stuff with your fingers. We won't go into detail; just take my word for it. It's not fun.
º When you add the vegetable broth, be kind to whomever will be partaking of your finished dish and do not use sodium-free broth. Please. I honestly don't even know why that exists; it's just brownish-yellowish water.  --> If you couldn't guess, we accidentally used this healthier flavorless stuff for attempt #2, and the result was an incredibly watery stew. I added a bunch of salt and it came out tasting fine again, but it was pretty rough (read: disappointing) at first.

If you decide to experiment, be sure to leave a comment if you make any sweet alterations. It really is a lovely recipe, so I'd love to give it another go sometime.



  1. This was yummy - I added dill, mushrooms, and used more broth and less water. It was a delicious meal and I lived on it for about a week. :)

  2. Yay, I'm glad you liked it! Next time I'll definitely add the dill, as it's probably my favorite herb (oh, and the more-broth-less-water thing because ours was pretty diluted last time...)