Monday, August 25, 2014

Sweet and Spicy, Just Like Me......Vegan Morrocan Vegetable Stew with Cauliflower Couscous

Fragrant, a bit sweet, a bit spicy, and a bit salty.  This dish covers a spectrum of flavors, without overwhelming your palate.  And the dish really comes together when you add in your ras el hannout.

Yeah yeah, I know what you are thinking.  Ras a what???  That was a mouthful of gibberish!  So, I'll make things easier for you and call it your Moroccan spice mix or just Moroccan spice.  From Northern Africa, it is an Arabic and means "head of shop", basically saying that this is a mixture of the best spices. 

This is a great stew to make if you have an abundance of produce and want to use a lot of it.  I love the variety of tastes and textures due to the mixture of dried fruits, vegetable and olives.

Of course, I always like to choose a low(er) carb option if it is available.  I had so much cauliflower in my refrigerator and new I wanted to make this into a couscous.  It is seriously so easy!

You simply throw it in your food processor, grate it, then season and saute.  Bam!  This really has the texture of couscous!

You can also use grated cauliflower to emulate rice as well in a raw dish, or in a fun summer squash risotto

But please keep in mind, while this is significantly lower in carbohydrates when comparing to rice, I would not consider this being "low carb", hence saying low(er) carb option.  A serving a white rice is roughly 45 g of carbs, whereas a serving of cauliflower is 29.

FYI- If you are on a low carb diet, you want anywhere between 50-75 g of carbs a day.  Just some food for thought for all you healthy people out there that are interested in a low carb diet.

Vegan Morrocan Vegetable Stew with Cauliflower Couscous
1 can vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1 small zucchini, quartered
2 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 handful chopped collard greens
1/3 c green olives, cut in half
1/3 c dried apricots, roughly chopped into large pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp evoo
1 tbs Moroccan spice mix (Ras El Hanout
salt to taste

Ingredients for the Cauliflower Couscous
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp evoo


With your blender or food processor, add in can of diced tomatoes with liquid and blend until smooth.  Set aside.
After you have prepped all of your produce (there was definitely a good amount of prep and chopping), heat evoo in a large stock pot and saute ginger and garlic for roughly 2 minutes.  Add in sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and saute for about 5-7 minutes, mixing frequently.  Add in the zucchini, apricots, green olives, and your Moroccan spice mix.  Add in more evoo if necessary, and saute for another minute or so.  You want to release some of the fragrance from the spice mix.  Add in the veggie broth and purred diced tomato mixture.  Bring to boil, cover and turn to low.  Simmer for roughly 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.  Add in more spice mix to taste and salt to taste.

In the meantime, start your "couscous".  Place cauliflower in a food processor and grate the couscous into a fine "kernel" by pulsing it until there are no large pieces.  Heat evoo in a saute pan, add in grated cauliflower, season with s+p and saute for about minutes or until soft.  Note; you do not want it mushy!

Once your stew is done, add more seasoning to taste.  Spoon into a bowl and serve with cauliflower couscous.

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