Tag Archives: Moroccan

Cauliflower Tagine

This healthy little dish is just that–healthy! Good for you! And wonderfully light on the stomach. It’s tasty and satisfying, and though it won’t blow the gourmet world away (no vapors of crawfish or fumes of foie-gras here), I would totally make it again, especially if I’m feeling heavy and bloated and need something that isn’t going to weigh me down. You feel good just looking at it, and with its lightly spiced tomato broth, topped with fresh cilantro and crunchy almonds, it’s a winner. Your taste buds may not dance the tango, but they will at least bust a couple decent moves, like the sprinkler. Or the shopping cart.

Originally from this recipe, here it is with my humble modifications:


(Serves 4)

2 TBS olive oil
1 large yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 slices lemon
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
2 14 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 head cauliflower
3 carrots
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium to large zucchini
Slivered almonds, to garnish
Fresh minced cilantro to garnish
Cooked couscous, quinoa, or rice to serve

Slice the onion and heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add the onion . . .

. . . and sauté for 6-8 minutes, until starting to brown. Toss in the lemon slices.

Mince the garlic, and add it to the onions along with the cumin, ginger, bay leaves, salt and pepper.


Stir everything for a minute or two, then pour in the vegetable broth and tomatoes.

Break up or chop the cauliflower into florets, and chop the carrot into 3-inch lengths. Add the cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas (rinsed! Get that grody bean juice outta there!), raisins and cinnamon stick to the pot.

Bring it all to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cut the zucchini into thick rounds, and add it to the pot. Continue to simmer (covered) for 10 more minutes.

And it’s done!

Isn’t it so beautifully colorful?

Toss the cinnamon stick into the garbage (pronounced gah-baaaaj by the way), and serve over rice, couscous, or quinoa, garnished with cilantro and almonds.

It tastes . . . simple. In a good way. Unpretentious, light, straightforward.

It’s not devoid of flavor, but lets the vegetables shine through in all their vegetable naturalness instead of covering them up with heavy doses of spice.

This tagine has no hidden agenda.

Make it! Or something.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Cauliflower Tagine

Moroccan Mint Tea

Hi all! I am undoubtedly back from Alaska. Our first flight left yesterday evening, and our final flight was due to land in Chicago around 5am this morning . . . and somewhere in my squirrely little brain I decided that in order to maximize my vacation days, it made sense to go straight to work this very same morning.

This isn’t the first time I’ve done this. I know from experience that 5 gallons of coffee will be needed.

And until the 5 gallons of coffee actually take effect in my system, I figured I’d just share a little post that I wrote right before leaving. Because I’m probably in no shape to write at this exact moment. At this exact moment, I’m probably trying to prop my eyes open with toothpicks and apply my eyeliner in a straight-ish line to prepare for a lovely day at the office. During which I will need to remain coherent enough to catch up with everything and do a check run without bungling the entire bookeeping process.

But enough about that! Let’s get happy here–I now own a mint plant!

The story goes like this: we visited my aunt Jacquie while my cousin Will and his wife Kristen were there. Aunt Jacquie said “Do you want mint?” I cried “Yes!” So she went out to her garden and sent me home with a freshly dug-up plant and a small black and yellow spider that I spotted just before consuming the leaf he was on. That very night, I brewed up some Moroccan Mint Tea, and I rejoiced. Two days later, I realized that I had probably killed the plant. “I guess plants need water to survive,” I mused. I watered it. The plant kind of came back to life . . . on one side.

The jury’s still out on the livelihood of the other side.

I don’t know why it’s not thriving under my particular care–this other plant is doing great!

Oh yeah–that’s a plastic plant from Ikea.

Anyway, if you have a bunch of mint on hand, make some tea! Moroccan Mint Tea (at least the way I’ve had it) is very sweet–and of course very minty. It’s great served hot or cold, and it takes all of 5 minutes to brew up. We used to get big silver pots of it at a restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana called Casablanca. Sadly, Casablanca has since gone out of business, so this is my homage to their fabulous fare.


(Serves 5)

5 cups water
handful fresh mint (6-8 large sprigs)
5 tsp or 3 bags green tea
3 TBS sugar, to taste

For this batch I used decaf green tea, because tea is such a great calming drink to have before bedtime. However, in terms of taste, I much prefer this awesome loose leaf tea:

My friend Vessie gave it to me a long time ago, and I’m so glad I resurrected it for this purpose, because it’s absolutely delicious.

Add the mint and green tea to the pot . . .

. . . and the sugar, too.

If you are concerned about the level of sweetness (though this is meant to be a very sweet tea), err on the the side of caution and only use 1-2 TBS. You can add more sugar later as it steeps, when you can taste it.

Submerge everything with a spoon, and bring it to a boil.

Turn off the heat and let the tea steep for 3 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if needed.

Strain out the tea bags/leaves and mint, and toss ’em. We strain our tea through a funnel directly into a bottle for storage in the fridge:

As you can see, it’s kind of a two-person operation. But you can also just scoop out the solids if you don’t have an extra pair of mittened hands to help out.

The remains kind of look like a witches’ brew.

Serve hot, or store in the fridge to serve hot or cold at a later date. The tea is delicious both ways, but I like it best hot.

Mmmm. I also like drinking this tea with dinner.

It’s so fresh and heady.

Can’t wait to catch up on all your blogs!

Click here for printer-friendly version: Moroccan Mint Tea