Last week was meat week, which was a bit hard for a newly-pescetarian me, but this week made up for it with seafood 🙂
During the week, we de-boned a lamb leg, and made various dishes out of it. Although I love lamb, I did not partake due to my stomach problems. I did, however, take a bite of the couscous that was prepared by my chef for example- and I was blown away by how flavorful it was! I couldnt get that darn couscous out of my head. So on my walk home, I began thinking why couldnt I make it meatless? Better yet, could I make it vegan???
And the inspiration came! Now, the couscous had meat broth in it but I made due and it turned out just as good, if not BETTER than the original!
Meatless Moroccan Tagine
This recipe was adapted from one my chef gave me, so although many of the ingredients are changed, the inspiration was all hers!
1/2 cup dried lentils, soaked for 2-4 hours
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small-medium white onion, diced
1/4 cup dates, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toastly lightly on stove
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprkia, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, black pepper
1 small pinch cloves
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup tomato, chopped fresh or 2 tb tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
1 cup vegetable stock or hot water with 1 dissolved boullion cube
2 tablespoons agave nectar
salt to taste
3/4 cup orange juice (I used fresh squeezed; about 1 large oranges worth)
more salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup whole wheat couscous
1 piece green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
1. Before you do anything, soak lentils, covered, in lukewarm water for 2-4 hours. Drain when ready to use.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, place soaked lentils with one cup water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer while preparing vegetables. Lentils are done when they are soft and usually have soaked up all the water. If there is leftover water and they are soft, drain and return to pan.
3. Dice carrot, celery, onion, dates and walnuts. Toast walnuts on stove in a small unoiled pan until just toasted- be careful not to burn them.
4. Sautee carrot, celery and onion in oil until translucent.
5. Add spice mixture and garlic, stirring continuously and toasting very lightly for only 10-15 seconds. No longer or the spices may burn.
6. Add tomatoes or tomato paste, mix well. When combined, deglaze pan with red wine , scraping bottom of pan.
7. Add broth and 2 tablespoons agave. Stir well to dissolve agave. Add salt to taste.
8. Add vegetable mixture to lentils, stir and cover with foil.
9. Braise in the oven for 20 minutes.
10. Meanwhile prepare couscous. Bring 3/4 cup orange juice, salt and pepper just to a boil. When boiling, remove from heat immediately and add couscous. Cover and let sit for five minutes, no more- time it! When five minutes are over, fluff with a fork.
11. When couscous is steeping, chop green onions and herbs.
12. Combine couscous, lentil/vegetable stew and herbs & green onion. Stir to combine.
Fun Fact: The word Tagine refers to the classic dish this meal was served interesting, no?