Cooking in a college kitchen is uniquely challenging in a lot of different ways. I’m just a girl trying to gain a basic life skill, but it can be a struggle when we only have one sharp knife, three pans, no wine opener (the real issue here), and some seriously limited counter space. So far the drawbacks haven’t been all bad–our little ingredient pool has lead to some creative substitutions, and we got to meet our new neighbors when we borrowed their baking pan to make salmon. Overall, things are looking up this year. Major improvement: we have a real kitchen! This means that we will no longer be living off of take out and microwaveable meals (but s/o to Trader Joe’s for their seriously impressive frozen selection). You know what that means–we gonna cook!
Two weeks in to the semester, my roommate’s crockpot has proven to be a gift from above, and I think it might be the closest a machine will ever come to being a great mom. There are few things better than coming home from class on a cold day to a yummy meal that’s hot and ready to eat. This week we discovered a killer tagine (or tajine) recipe from the Green Kitchen Stories fam. Tagine is a middle eastern stew-like dish that’s traditionally cooked in the clay pot for which it’s named. The folks at Green Kitchen Stories used a clay pot, but we saw a beautiful opportunity to try out our slow cooker, and the result was surprisingly delicious. Below is the recipe from Green Kitchen Stories, with a few changes to accommodate our student budget and the fact that we didn’t want to walk five blocks to Whole Foods, so we just worked with what we had.
Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
Serves 4 people
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced (or 1 tsp grounded)
1-2 tbsp grounded cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup orange juice
a handful fresh cilantro
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
10 dried apricots
1/2 cup chickpeas/garbanzo beans, pre boiled
a handful raisins
Serve with: white quinoa or couscous, roasted almonds, fresh cilantro and fresh mint
In a skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the onion for a few minutes until it softens. Add garlic, ginger and the spices and stir around before adding tomatoes. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil and then lower the heat.
Add sweet potato, carrots, garbanzo beans and apricots to the crock pot. Pour tomato sauce over vegetables and stir around to cover the vegetables in the sauce. Cook on low for 5 1/2 to 6 hours.
Serve the tagine in bowls together with cooked quinoa or couscous and enjoy!
The original recipe can be found here: http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/moroccan-vegetable-tagine/