Passion Project: One-Pot Moroccan Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Pearl Couscous

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Aristotle once said: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and this one-pot recipe is basically the literal illustration of it. At the risk of outshining my earlier posts of the week, this has got to be one of the best dishes I have ever made. Hands down. There wasn’t a single couscous grain left in my plate, and it left me craving for more. Bottom line is: if I had my own restaurant, this would be on the menu. Have I convinced you to try it yet? Continue reading “Passion Project: One-Pot Moroccan Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Pearl Couscous”

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Saadia’s Moroccan Chicken with Lemon, Green Olives and Squash

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Though this isn’t the prettiest dish there is, it may be one of my all time favorites. Actually, there is nothing I ever want to change about this recipe. It blends so many wonderful flavors in one plate, that it really blows my mind (and taste buds)! In case you were wondering, it is titled after its owner, who happily gave it to me after noticing how fast I cleaned my plate the first time I ate it. Indeed, Saadia knows that her chicken is my favorite, which is why she immediately shared it with me.

Continue reading “Saadia’s Moroccan Chicken with Lemon, Green Olives and Squash”

Veggie Chili with Quinoa, Mixed Potatoes, Carrots, and Beans

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I know what you’re probably thinking: “Who eats chili during Spring season?” Well, if you knew Philly weather right now, you’d understand. It’s been cold, rainy, gray, and anything but spring-like. So when the weather brings me down, my favorite way to warm up is to eat a big bowl of soup, or chili. These are my go-to options, and since I’ve already posted a soup recipe, I thought I’d share a chili one for today. This veggie version really hits the spot, and the beans and potatoes completely make up for the meat. Though the list of ingredients may look slightly intimidating at first, it’s a mix of canned ingredients, and common fresh produce. Plus, the recipe is basically a “one-pot stop”, and the only tough thing is to wait for it to cook, and hold yourself from eating out of the pot when your whole house starts to smell deliciously yummy. Bon appétit!

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Recipe inspired by Ambitious Kitchen.


Prep Time: 40 min

Ingredients: Serves 2 people (at least)

  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • a handful of baby carrots
  • 1/2 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 small yellow potato
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of cumin
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • plain yogurt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cover the dried quinoa with a cup of water, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender (about 15 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and the carrots in small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and add the diced onion with the carrots and some salt. Sauté until the onions become translucent and soft.
  3. Next, add the tomato sauce, black beans, vegetable stock, quinoa, and spices. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat before you add the mixed potatoes. Bring back to a simmer, cover, and let it cook until the potatoes are done (about 30 minutes).
  4. To plate, scoop the chili in a bowl, and top with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh salt and pepper, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil!

Easy Tomato Soup

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When it comes to cooking, a simple recipe can come a long way. I don’t think that I can stress that enough. Most people tend to be discouraged when they think about things they’d like to cook because they picture recipes as a succession of incredibly complicated steps involving ingredients that no one can pronounce. Well here’s a myth breaker: cooking is not rocket science. Anyone can cook! I’m committed to making healthy and easy recipes that everyone can make in a relatively short amount of time. You’ll come to realize that everything just tastes so much better homemade. Though this recipe is almost as easy as opening a can of Campbell’s, it’s incredibly more delicious and tasty. I promise it’ll take you about 25 minutes, with minimal effort for great results. Bon appétit!

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Prep time: 25 minutes

IngredientsThis recipe will make you soup for 3 meals. You can freeze it and keep it for later!

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or hot water)
  • 1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dried rice (white, brown, mixed…)

Directions:

      1. Put salted water to a boil in a small pot. Cook the rice for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the type.
      2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the diced onion with a good pinch of salt and sauté for about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently so that the onion doesn’t burn. When it becomes translucent, add all the spices and stir for an extra minute.
      3. Add in the diced tomatoes (with their juice) and 3 cups of vegetable broth (or water) to the pot, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
      4. Puree with an immersion blender and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve hot, over a portion of the cooked rice, and add the toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

TIP: some toppings possible: roasted sunflower seeds, pine nuts, croutons, heavy cream, coconut milk drizzle, roasted chickpeas… I chose roasted almonds and a hint of Sriracha. Yum!

Chickpea Curry with Coconut Rice

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Let me talk about my dad for a second. I feel like it’s important, because he’s the one who’s taught me how to cook/love to cook, and has been a major source of inspiration for many of my recipes. Not only are his dishes always really good, but they’re also extremely diverse. He’s the type of chef who’ll try recipes from around the world on a regular weeknight. Just because. Just so that cooking doesn’t get boring. Being in college, I’m always tempted to open a box of pasta, heat up some marinara, and call it a night (or most likely go back to the library). But as I’ve told you before, every now and then I want to try something new. Sometimes I cook with a new ingredient (like an acorn squash), or else I try a recipe that I’ve never done before. In that case, I just pick something from Pinterest and tweak it with whatever ingredients I have on hand. Tonight, I chose chickpea curry with coconut rice! And I discovered two things: 1) coconut rice tastes AMAZING! It’s “creamy”, flavorful, easy, and basically perfect. 2) You don’t miss the meat in chickpea curry. And I was really skeptical about a curry without a tender piece of lamb…
Finally, this dish leaves you full and packed with energy, as chickpeas are an excellent source of protein (and fiber!). Don’t be intimidated by the long list of spices, I found them all at the grocery store down my street. Bon appétit!

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Cook Time: 35 min

Ingredients for the coconut rice: Note that this recipe serves 2

  • 1/2 cup dried jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water

Ingredients for the chickpea curry:

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (rinsed and drained if canned)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Start by cooking the coconut rice. In a small pot (or a rice cooker), put the dried rice with the coconut milk and the water. Give it a good stir, and let the rice cook until it has absorbed all the liquid. This should take between 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté the chopped onion in olive oil, over high heat. When it becomes brown, add a splash or water, turn the heat to medium, and stir until the liquid evaporates. This should take about 5 minutes.
  3. Next, add the cooked chickpeas and all the spices. Give it another stir for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the coconut milk, water, tomato paste, salt (to taste), and stir until everything is combined. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let it cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until the curry thickens and reaches your desired consistency (add water if it gets too thick, or let it cook for longer if it’s too liquid). Adjust the seasoning.
  5. To serve, put the coconut rice in a bowl and top it with the chickpea curry and a good amount of sauce.

TIP: You can use a mix of chickpeas and cauliflower for added flavors and texture.