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Slow Cooker Moroccan Eggplant and Artichokes

This is a slow cooker recipe with good flavor that adds some variety to our standard evening meal rut.  It’s from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.  My only complaint is that I’m not a fan of slow cooker recipes that require 30 minutes of prep and cooking before even putting the food in the slow cooker.  It’s not absolutely required, but the cook book says that cooking it in advance gives it the best flavor.

Moroccan Eggplant and Artichokes | A Vegan in Progress

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups thawed frozen artichoke hearts or 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or chopped dried apricots (I didn’t add these)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, for garnish (I didn’t have any)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, for garnish (I didn’t add this)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked chickpeas (optional – I am definitely adding those next time)

 

Directions:

  1. For the best flavor, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 1 minute longer.  Add the eggplant and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle on the coriander, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and cayanne, and stir to combine.  Alternatively, omit the oil and saute these ingredients in a few tablespoons of water or combine them in a microwave-safe bowl with a little water, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker.  Add the artichokes, bell pepper, olives, raisins, and chickpeas.  Stir in the broth and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on Low until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.  Serve hot, sprinkled with the lemon juice, parsley, and lemon zest.
  4. Serve over couscous.

Vegan Recipe – Moroccan Dinner

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You may recall that, while in Paris this June, we dined at a little place called Au Bon Couscous near Notre Dame.

Au Bon Couscous, Paris | A Vegan in Progress

Au Bon Couscous

We enjoyed that meal so much that we hoped to figure out how to recreate it.  I got some plain couscous from the bulk section at Sprouts and looked up a Moroccan Stew to accompany it.  I still think the recipe needs some tweaking (theirs was more broth and a little thicker), but this is pretty damn close.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 large carrot, diced (I used two)
1 large red pepper, chopped (I may also add a poblano pepper next time)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground turmeric
1-1/2 cup vegetable stock (I might make it 2 or more cups for more broth next time)
1 cup chopped tomato, canned or fresh (I used a portion of a can to get one cup, but next time I may just add the whole can for added broth)
2 cups cooked chickpeas (I didn’t know what they meant by cooked, so I sprayed a pan with olive oil cooking spray and lightly fried them in it until they were slightly browned.)
1 medium chopped zucchini (I didn’t have any!)
½ cup black olives (I used sliced)
approx. 1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste

Directions:

  1.  In a good size Dutch oven (I used my Martha Stewart cast iron casserole pot) fry the onion, garlic, carrot, pepper and celery in the olive oil for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add all the dry spices and stir-fry this for 1 minute more.
  3. To this add the stock and the tomatoes; simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Then add the chickpeas, zucchini and the olives, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the zucchini is cooked, probably another 10-15 minutes.  Add lemon juice, taste, and serve.
Moroccan Stew | A Vegan in Progress

Yummy!

I let mine simmer much longer than this suggests, hoping that the flavors would meld a little better.  Plus, Eric wasn’t home yet, so I wanted to keep it warm.

We spooned in a little Lee Kum Kee brand Chili Garlic Sauce to taste when we served ourselves and it added some yummy spiciness to the dish.

Moroccan Stew With Chili Garlic Sauce | A Vegan in Progress

With Chili Garlic Sauce mixed in

This would be a great dish for the cold months, but maybe not the best to have right now while we are having a triple-digit heat wave in Southern California.  It is really simple to make and yields a lot, but would be easy to double and freeze for the future.  I imagine that this would be a good dish to serve many people because they could choose the portion sizes of each ingredient to their individual taste.