Dinner in Marrakech

Many people have creative outlets. Some sing , others paint. I create through my photography  and Aromatherapy. I also love researching ingredients, shopping for them then coming back to my warm kitchen and preparing a simple nutritious meal for my family.

I have been strictly following MyFitnessPal’s 1200 calorie a day diet and have lost 4 of the 10-12 lbs I’d like to lose.  This makes creating yummy food a little more challenging. I’m a sucker for comfort food (hence the diet).  I got to thinking about how simple Morroccan food is. Most of it comes down to marinading with healthy spices like cumin, curry, tumeric and lemon.  I also had zero desire to go out shopping after my hour long power walk in the pouring Vancouver rain.  So using only ingredients already in my pantry and fridge I made this lovely chicken paired with a simple couscous salad with chickpeas, spinach and a curry dressing.

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MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKEN

Ingredients For the Spice Mixture

    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
    • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    • 4 cloves garlic,  finely chopped
For the Chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 large sweet onions, cut into 12 wedges each
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 skin-on chicken quarters
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare the spice rub by combining the salt, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and chopped garlic. Pour this over the chicken and mix to coat.
  3. Cut the lemon in half and set one half aside. Cut the remaining half into thin slices, then arrange the slices in a single layer onto your pan. Scatter the onion wedges over the lemons, then drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the onions. Sprinkle the pan with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric.
  4. Place the chicken on the pan.
  5. Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast for 3o minutes.
  6. Scatter the pan with the olives and cilantro leaves. Squeeze the juice from the remaining half lemon onto the chicken. Serve warm with couscous

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Curried Couscous Salad (I made 1/2 of this recipe as it was only myself and Seth tonight) 

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked couscous (you can also use whole wheat couscous)
  • ¾ cup finely shredded carrot
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup canned drained chickpeas
  • 5-6 chopped dates

For the Dressing:

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup  extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey (Vegans: use agave nectar)
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • a pinch each of dill weed, dried basil, old bay seasoning (optional) & onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. To prepare the couscous, bring 2 cups of water along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil to a boil in a medium saucepan. As soon as it’s boiling, add the couscous and immediately turn off the heat. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and put it in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add all the veggies to the couscous and stir to combine.
  3. To prepare the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until emulsified.
  4. Pour the dressing over the couscous salad, ⅓ at a time, stirring to combine between additions.

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Bon Appetit!

Love,

Jennifer

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