Saturday, May 10, 2008

Moroccan Chickpeas with Couscous

I try to keep the amount of processed foods I eat to a minimum, but it's difficult to avoid them completely. And, of course, not all packaged foods are created equally - some are better than others. The ingredients need to be taken into consideration. I do not buy anything with high fructose corn syrup or trans fats in it, for starters. When I see people lining up in the kitchen to cook their Lean Cuisines for lunch because they are trying to eat "healthy" and lose weight, it takes everything I have in me to refrain from lecturing them on what a disservice they are really doing to themselves, and that it's not at all nutritious or in any way good for them.

One product I really like, and may have mentioned before, is Quorn products. They are very tasty and no suspicious ingredients. They are also not a soy product. I eat a lot of soy in general, so like to have a variety of protein sources. It's made from a mycoprotein which is a fungi, in the mushroom family. I really like the texture of it. Unfortunately, their products are not vegan since most of them include some egg. Mostly I use Quorn's breaded patties and their grounds. The grounds are used in the recipe below.

I have posted this recipe before, but under the heading of "Peas", and I fear it may have gotten lost in the shuffle. I am posting it again because it's worth repeating. This dish is a good one pot meal, and requires little chopping, so it's pretty quick to put together. The original recipe also made quite a lot, so I am cutting this one down to be for two very hungry people with leftovers.

Moroccan Chickpeas with Couscous
1 tbslp olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
1 jalapeno chile, chopped (I usually use a little cayenne pepper instead)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tspn dried marjoram
1/2 tspn allspice
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups apple juice (or 2 cups veg broth, 2 tblsp of apple cider and agave nectar or other sweetener)
1 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
One half of a 12 oz package frozen veggie burger crumbles (I used Quorn brand)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
salt to taste
2 cups cooked whole wheat couscous (1 cup dried)
2 tblsp minced scallions

1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, and garlic, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the marjoram and allspice. Stir in the tomatoes and apple juice. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the chickpeas, veggie burger crumbles, peas and salt, and simmer 10 minutes longer, or until desired consistency is reached. Mix in couscous until well blended. Serve and garnish with scallions.