Moroccan Stew

I’ve been terrified to make this.

I get a little scared to cook with mint. Yes, I know I love mint in other dishes. But hot mint? In a stew? With cinnamon? I’m just not used to thinking outside the box like this. My tastes have always run a little, well, predictable. Not strictly “American” food, but certainly with very tame spice combinations. I’d hoped this wouldn’t be like all my curry experiments gone awry.

But guess what? It was really, really good. Really.

We all liked it–even my picky 2-year-old. Which is amazing, if you know 2-year-olds. My husband likes anything with ginger in it, so I knew he’d be happy. But this whole dinner was really comforting, filling, and easy to make. Couscous is amazing, too. I don’t know why I didn’t start cooking with it earlier. The whole deal gets a definite thumbs up!

Recipe from Appetite for Reduction.

 

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Italian Feasting

After getting back from vacation, I think I was really eager to start making my own food again. Because I picked out only the most time-consuming, kitchen-destroying meals for dinner. Good grief! What was I thinking?

This pear and roasted red pepper salad from Appetite for Reduction is like the peacock of salads. Look at it! Also, please note that I totally forgot to buy the couscous–so I just used bulgur that I already had. Hey, it’s wheat, right? Yeah, I’m going to have to try to make this again. I have to take an aside here for the pears–I didn’t even know I liked fresh pears, I usually only have the tinny ones from cans. I was in heaven! I kept sneaking pear slices while everything else cooked.

And I wanted to make the Cauliflower Pesto soup to go with it (also from AfR), since neither recipe had as much protein as I needed to get that day. So, I fired up both food processors and got cooking. When my husband saw the mess I’d made, he went down on both knees in the kitchen, crying out in horror. Not really.

I thought this soup would be green! I have to stop using that dark, dark veggie stock. But it is sooooo tasty.

Both turned out really well, and tasted great together, which is no small feat for me and meal-matching. But the creaminess of the toasted pine nuts went really well with the sharper flavor of the roasted peppers. Hooray!