It’s been a while.

Umami & MeHi friends. It’s been a while.

You can tell when I haven’t been cooking when my blog is barren. I haven’t written a post in almost 3 weeks!!! Way too long and I’m so sorry! I was away in San Francisco for a weekend and the rest of the time I haven’t cooked. I hadn’t grocery shopped, my fridge and cupboards are barren… WHO AM I!??

Well, the wait is over and I’m back! Up on the menu today? Moroccan vegetable stew.

It’s been nearly four weeks since I wrote my last post. Oops. Thank god this isn’t my full-time job… But yes, I have been busy! Busy eating the entirety of San Francisco, dating like a crazy mad woman, starting working my THIRD job, listening to Ariana Grande’s “Problem” on repeat…yeah, life. Oh, don’t you just wish I still kept my personal blog? Yes…some exciting things are abrewing. Too bad this isn’t the place to talk about that. Ha!

Well, some of it is intertwined with why I haven’t been cooking — I’m officially single again! And being single in the city equivocates to me dating hardcore, as in, dating for three weeks straight (minus the days I was in San Fran). So…me going out to dinner everyday (unpaid, woot!) means that I never see my kitchen ever. Sigh. I missed it though! I missed vegetables and my vegan diet. Honestly, it is tiring.

With everything else going on in my life, sad to say my diet has been neglected. I do think I am back on track again — just needed to get the dating thing out of my system. My fridge has food, I bring lunches everyday to work again and I am back to my happy, normal self again!

Believe it or not, Moroccan food is one of my favourite cuisines ever. Although I am a huge fan of Asian food, I thoroughly enjoy eating Moroccan because, well, we hardly have any Moroccan restaurants in Vancouver. I actually was inspired to make this dish because I tried Smak’s seasonal vegetable stew which I believe had some Moroccan influence to it due to the spices that were in dish, er bowl — fucking $12.95 rip off. Er…this is why I’m not a food blogger reviewer. Oops.

Anyways, this dish is insanely delicious, comforting, and weird to be having this time of year due to fantastic third-week-of-August weather we have been having as of late. BUT it is so easy, high in protein, and will last you a couple of days — this is a good thing. Why? Because once the flavours begin to settle into eachother, it makes it even better. I’m telling, the leftovers were even better than when it was made fresh.

Feel free to play around and add/subtract vegetables in this dish. Just please do not substitute the dried apricots — they are VITAL in Morroccan cooking. This dish is supposed to be quite sweet so please adjust to your liking. I would also (if you have this on-hand) use a cinnamon stick instead of ground cinnamon. Sigh, the ingredients I took for granted in my mother’s kitchen…sigh!

So maybe you won’t make this right away but definitely save it for a colder day (which apparently will be this weekend since it’ll be raining). You’re welcome in advanced.

SO good to be back in the kitchen!
Umami & Me Umami & Me Umami & MeMoroccan vegetable stew

What you’ll need:
– 1 cup dried chick peas, soaked in water overnight, drained
– 1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
– 1/2 white onion, diced
– 2 tsps ground cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
– 3 tsps ground cumin
– tsp curry powder
– 1/2 tsp ground ginger
– 1/4 tsp sumac
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 1 tsp salt
– Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– 2 small zucchinis, diced
– 1/2 cup sprouted green lentils
– 1 (28.5oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
– 1 1/2 cup homemade stock
– 1/2 cups dried apricots, chopped
– 4 small ribs of kale, leaves only, torn
– 2 tbsp agave syrup

What you’ll need to do:
1. In a large pot, melt your ghee or vegetable oil until it becomes liquid and hot. Add the onions and sautee for one minute until fragrant over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and sautee for 30 seconds.
2. Add the can of diced tomatoes and smush all of the chunky tomato pieces to help get more juices out. Add all of the spices, chick peas and sprouted green lentils.
3. Pour in the stock, agave syrup, apricots and kale. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour. There should be enough liquid to barely cover everything. If not, add more liquid if necessary. It will reduce due to the chick peas and lentils soaking up all of the liquid.
4. Serve atop brown rice. Makes 4 servings.

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