Saturday, September 10, 2011

Moroccan Eggplant-Chickpea Stew and The Latest Green Smoothie

Subscribers to received this week a recipe for "Moroccan Spiced Eggplant and Chickpea Stew," and I made the most of our garden bounty today with that for supper, with alterations, of course.  The original recipe is fairly bland and needs a little more sweetness (raisins) AND hotness (fresh hot pepper), as well as the bite of vinegar in the hot sauce I added. You can see the original at the website in the recipes section if you're a paying member, or you can see a similar recipe here.  Here's my version:


1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 green pepper, chopped (The original called for red, which would be pretty, as would yellow)
6 small Japanese eggplants (1 large one is fine, but I liked the coin-like slices of mine)
2 large tomatoes, diced (You may want to save one of them to add late in the cooking to retain discernible pieces)
water to give the right consistency (I added probably about three cups)
1 teaspoon each cinnamon and cumin
1/2 teaspoon each coriander (fresh-mortared is great!) and paprika (I think you could leave this out--it didn't add much to mine)
1 minced hot pepper, 1/4 tsp dry cayenne pepper, and/or a dash or two of hot sauce to taste (I used all three, but not a lot)
1/4 - 1/3 cup raisins
1/2 tsp salt if you need it as much as I (and my family) did :-)

Water-saute the onion and carrot and garlic until softened, then add the other ingredients in turn, waiting for the spices until the pepper is softened, and simmer for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour, perhaps reserving the raisins and part of the tomato and the salt (taste it all first!) until the last 15 minutes of cooking. I suspect this will be better the next day or two or three.

Verdict: Very Good. My husband thought it was Excellent!  We ate this in small bowls at supper, with other things on the side, but it would be very nice over rice or couscous or with a flatbread on the side.

Green smoothies can actually come in all kinds of colors, including a deep, dense purple brown from lots of dark berries. Those are pretty ugly, however delicious. But I really like it when a green smoothie is just pretty.  Today's was bright, vibrant green from the addition of golden fruits:


1 frozen pear (I put the whole fruit in the freezer and then microwave briefly to make it possible to slice down against the core on three or four sides to separate the fruit from the stem and seeds)
several chunks of fresh pineapple
several chunks of frozen mango
2 large kale leaves
about two cups water

Combine all ingredients in the Vita-Mix or other blender and blend until the kale is smoothly incorporated with only tiny discernible flecks. Add a tablespoon of flax seed meal to the first of two tall glasses of this concoction and enjoy!

Verdict: Excellent, as green smoothies usually are.  The nice thing is that I can taste at the end and add a little of this or that to correct the flavor. Usually I find a new smoothie experiment needs a bit of citrus to brighten it up.

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I'd love to know what you think of these or if you have suggestions for improvements!