Thursday, February 11, 2010

um, when did I become a good cook?

Seriously. Without noticing it, I’ve become a good cook. Or a decent one, at least. Someone who can get an idea for something, google a few recipes, and throw something together that’s delicious and healthy.

It didn’t use to be like this. I was not a person who cooked. Even when I first started Weight Watchers, and knew I had to start preparing more of my own foods, I had a joke: “I don’t cook, I assemble!” And it was true. I ate a lot of wraps in those early days. Pita pizzas. Salads. I mean, I still eat those things a lot because they’re easy and fast, but I can actually make other stuff now too.

It’s just so surprising to me, still. I mean, I’ve been focussed on weight loss, of course, and the only other side I saw to that was how my fitness was improving. But it turns out my kitchen skills were improving too, all without me even noticing. Whatdya know.

Anyway, here’s my latest concoction!

Maybe Moroccan Stew


I’m calling this “Maybe Moroccan Stew” because I looked at about 10 different recipes, and by the time I put my own spin on it, I’m not sure how close it is to ACTUAL Moroccan stew anymore. Still! Tasty!

You’ll need:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp minced ginger (from a jar works great!)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into about 3/4” pieces
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 small or 1 large zucchini, chopped into 1/2 moons
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large can whole tomatoes
  • vegetable broth, leftover chickpea juice, or water (to adjust consistency)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cumin
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 small tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
It looks like a lot of ingredients, but I had most things in my pantry already. It doesn’t take much expensive produce, and to be honest, you can probably improvise the spices a bit. I’d keep the cumin and cinnamon though.

In your largest pot (not quite a stock pot, but a BIG pot), heat the olive oil, and add garlic and ginger, stir for about 1 minute, add onion. Cook for 1 minute or so and add sweet potato. Cook till the sweet potato turns a bit darker orange, maybe 3 minutes or so. Add red pepper, and then zucchini. Let cook until everything looks bright and wet – sorry, that’s the best way I can think to describe it!

Now dump in your chickpeas and your tomatoes. Break the tomatoes up with your spoon a bit, and if it doesn’t look liquidy enough, add some soup stock, water, or your leftover chickpea juice. I added maybe 1/2 cup broth. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, then stir in all spices and raisins and lemon juice. Let simmer another 10 minutes or so, until sweet potatoes are cooked through. Turn off heat and stir in peanut butter.

Give yourself a little hug.

This makes 8 servings. I plugged it into a recipe builder and got: Approx 1 heaping cup per serving = 242.5 calories, 7.6 g fat, 6.8 g fibre, 5 WW points. 

I served mine over couscous, you can figure the NI for that separately.

(As mentioned, I did combine a bunch of recipes to come up with this, but it ended up relatively similar to this recipe I found for Rockin’ Moroccan Stew from the Looney Spoons cookbook. Just don’t want to be accused of plagiarizing!)