It was the spring of 2006. I was living in Sevilla, Spain and had just finished my TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) Certification. The friends I lived with and saw on a daily basis during class were all getting ready to part ways and take their new certification all over the world. Three of us decided we wanted one more adventure before parting ways.
We each packed a bag with a toothbrush and change of clothes, bought baguettes and cheese at a local grocery store and headed for the bus station. We shared our bread and cheese over the long, bumpy bus to Tarifa, Spain, where we stayed in the sketchiest hostel I’ve ever been in. After feeling grateful to wake-up alive the next morning we wandered along the coast until we found just what we had traveled all this way for: the ferry to Morocco.
We boarded the ferry without giving ourselves time to think if we should have let anyone know where we were headed (sorry mom, but weren’t you happy to hear from me after I was back and you had nothing to worry about?) and then spent the entire day wandering through the narrow roads, riding camels (have you ever done this? it feels SO strange), drinking mint tea and shaking our head “no” at the street vendors trying to convince us we needed that tambourine.
It was an incredible experience and I would love to visit Morocco again. However, I know it won’t be happening any time soon so I’ve decided to do the next best thing and bring a piece of Morocco home with the scents of turmeric, cinnamon and cumin cooking together in this healthy and flavorful dish.
Moroccan Chickpea Stew
Keywords: saute entree side vegetarian vegan beans couscous chickpeas Moroccan
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable (or chicken) broth
- 2-3 tbs. tomato paste
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Parsley, chopped
- 1 tbs. lemon juice
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic to pan and sauté for about 5 minutes.
2. Add in all seasonings and cook additional 1 minute.
3. Add water (or broth), tomato paste and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook couscous in separate pan according to package directions.
5. Add parsely and lemon juice to stew and serve over warm couscous and enjoy!
In other news, I was sent these two boxes of Fudgy Chocolate Mini VitaCakes to try. They are only 50 calories and have no artificial coloring or preservatives (because of this, you have to freeze them upon arrival).
I’ve been packing one in my lunch this week and by the time I’m hungry for my morning snack, these have been thawed and ready to eat. This has a sweet chocolately flavor and soft, chewy texture, and for only 50 calories I’ve been surprised how full I’ve stayed!
Thank you all for the well wishes! I continue to drink lots and lots of tea and have been feeling better!
~What has been your favorite place you’ve traveled to? Where would you like to go?