Thursday, November 11, 2010

VeganMoFo: Moroccan Food Up The Wazoo

After all the new (and wonderful!) flavors and cuisines we've been experiencing so far this MoFo, returning to the comforts of Moroccan food felt like a warm embrace from an old familiar friend. You may recall that Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats and I went to Morocco earlier this year, and I came home full of enthusiasm for cooking up Moroccan recipes. Our favorite meals in Morocco were multi-course affairs, with a little of this flavor, and a little of that flavor... so I took advantage of a less-busy night and made a big Moroccan dinner.

Fez Family!

First I started with two "salads," which are actually cooked-up veggies. These crazy-freaky-good Moroccan Carrots with Paprika and Cumin are a recipe from about.com, of all places. I love them. I have made them before and I hope to make them again and again. They are lemony and herby and full of carroty goodness. Also, they are quick and simple. (The only change I make is to boil them for only about 5-7 minutes until the carrots are just softening. Oh, and I reduce the oil, of course). I also made Zucchini Paste, from The Africa Cookbook, which I mentioned a couple days ago. The recipe states how important it is to use a mortar and pestle, instead of a food processor... which resulted in me becoming impatient and settling for something far short of a "paste." Nonetheless, I loved this dish. Caraway seeds! Such an interesting flavor, and again, very quick and easy to make. Especially if you just use a food processor. It was particularly good with the bread I made...

I used this recipe for Moroccan Semolina Bread, which I had made before and enjoyed! (I made a half recipe, and then split my half batch into two for this size loaf). Aren't those little breads cute? These breads were absolutely everywhere we went in Morocco. Some where made with all-white flour, others with some whole wheat flour, and others were made with semolina flour. We had them at breakfast, at lunch, and at dinner. And many of the street food snacks involved sandwiches made with these little mini loaves, as well.

And, of course, I made Harira! This soup was everywhere in Morocco, and was only vegetarian in a sort of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" kind of way... if you know what I mean. So, when I got home I got right to work veganizing me some big bowls of Harira that I could eat with a 100% "ask & tell" conscience! Here is a link to my recipe, which I converted from Claudia Roden's book. This soup is so delicious and is just about my idea of perfect food. Veggies, beans (banzos!), rice, spices, light but nourishing... all in one perfect, piping hot bowl of yum. I love it.

Dinner was delicious and healthy and yummy and all those good things... but this AMAZING Orange and Date Salad from Silk Road Cooking, a Vegetarian Journey was hands-down the star of the show. It was so crazy, crazy, crazy good. Oranges, dates, almonds, carrots, jalepeno, orange blossom water, dates... and more. So many flavors, such a gorgeous harmony of flavors. Mr. VE&T and I were practically squabbling over the last few bites! I can't wait to make this again.

Here's a picture we took of a fellow in Rabat, parsing thru the breads coming out of his bakery. There were carts and carts piled as high as possible with breads everywhere we went. It's hard to imagine how many of these people must go through every day!

Lately, I have been trying to cook up my own beans more. It turns out it's not really that hard, and there is less waste, and they really do taste yummier. So, for this Moroccan dinner, and another meal or two on the horizon, I cooked up a Big Batch of 'Banzos. I love garbanzos, so you can see the look of joy and delight in my eyes. These little beany loves are now safely tucked away in the freezer, awaiting future usage.

And next, we'll leave Northern Africa and head to our next destination.... see you tomorrow!

19 comments:

  1. Wow I love that orange date salad so much that I want a date.

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  2. actually, i WILL be seeing you tomorrow! and i probably won't even recognize you with all that hair...

    glad you are finally making bonzo-beans!!

    xo
    kittee

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  3. That soup looks great. Thanks for the recipe!

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  4. Yummy, yummy, yummy! I know what you mean about a particular country's food feeling like an old friend... my mom used to cook Thai food all the time when I was little and so it's the food that makes me think of home.

    Also, I adore that everyone gets a fez!

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  5. Maybe I ought to put Mr. Bran in a fez next week so he can match your fur friends.

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  6. All of this looks so tasty! I especially want that bread and the soup, yum.

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  7. Yippee! That zucchini paste sounded strangely appealing, so I looked it up... And found the recipe through GoogleBooks!

    http://books.google.com/books?id=7rmIDVcoHNoC&lpg=PA111&ots=jPpt0f6G8j&dq=Zucchini%20Paste%2C%20from%20The%20Africa%20Cookbook&pg=PA111#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Zucchini party!

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  8. What an amazing feast! The orange and date salad does really sound fantastic. And I love the illustration - Yummers is playing with the tassel :)

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  9. I want to try everything you make.

    I like the idea of freezing the beans. Need to do that, since I made huge batches.

    You look just as cute in real life as your drawings!

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  10. i make beans in bulk all the time. the easiest? lentils. just throw 'em in the rice cooker, set and walk away!

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  11. Yum!! I want to make it all.

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  12. That's a lot of bread! There's even more in the background above that big pile of wood!

    I want to make your Ask and Tell Harira for lunch tomorrow! I have some lentils in the fridge that need to be used up.

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  13. O I want absolutely everything you posted about today! It all looks phenomenal. Did the Moroccans bread sellers carry the bread in big baskets on their heads like they do in Egypt?

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  14. I think that orange date salad would be a great addition to our Christmas meal. I dream of visiting Morocco. I have been to some amazing Moroccan restaurants but I'm sure the real thing is a whole lot more amazing.

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  15. I'm really enjoying your theme, and your illustrations are so cute. They bring the posts to life. I can't wait to see where you'll be tomorrow! :)

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  16. I'm really enjoying your theme, and your illustrations are so cute. They bring the posts to life. I can't wait to see where you'll be tomorrow! :)

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  17. Thats so fun that you are traveling! :)

    Whitney

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  18. Goodness!! All of this food just looks so tasty! I just happened upon your blog at random. Thanks for the recipes!

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  19. Beautiful! And I love making beans too! Greatness.

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