Well I have been SUPER busy in the kitchen which is good for my belly and good for my blog friends because I get to share two fabulous recipes with you! I have been craving hearty stews lately. Not too brothy like soup but I want the dish to have sauce and be an ‘all in one pot meal’ sort of dish. I was googling and researching and browsing and came across a recipe for Beef Tangine with Butternut Squash. Done and done! I had everything on hand (except beef and butternut squash) but that was quite easy to grab at the store. This recipe was super easy and so flavorful. Tagine is a North African dish, mostly Morocco. It has the flavors of ginger, cinnamon. It is sweet and spicy and delicious, not to mention perfect for this time of the year!
I loved the spice blend that this recipe called for. It was aromatic, sweet and spicy
Lean stew beef
Toss the beef in the spice rub and mix gently until evenly coated
All of the goods in the pot! This is the kind of recipe that the longer it sits the better it gets. I made the mistake of not letting it sit on simmer long enough and the beef was very tough. My mom informed me that for the beef to be fall off the fork tender it needs to simmer for at least an hour. (how do moms know everything?) After I ate it for dinner, I let it sit for another hour on simmer and WOW was that beef tender!
Beef Tagine adapted from MyRecipes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 t paprika
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 3/4 t salt
- 1/2 t crushed red pepper
- 1/4 t ground black pepper
- 1 (1-pound) beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 shallots, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
- 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I skipped because I hate cilantro)
- Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef; toss well to coat.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Add squash; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro. (let the whole thing sit on simmer, covered for an hour for the meat to get extremely tender!)
Next recipe I was still feeling in the ethnic mood. I was browsing through my mom’s recipe book which contains everything from newspaper clipped recipes to passed down recipes to recipes scratched on dirty notecards. You name it, its in there! This recipe comes from one of my mom’s very good friends. I knew exactly what it was and I knew I had to make it!
Sauteeing those veggies!
After the spices were added in
Diced chicken breast and olives waiting to go into the pot
I made myself a simple arugula salad with mushrooms and celery while the stew was cooking
Okay, go make this now, I am going head first back into the pot…
Moroccan Chicken Stew with Couscous (serves 4-6)
- 1 large green pepper
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp dried chicken bouillon
- 1 cup water
- 2-14 oz cans diced tomates (or 1-28 oz)
- 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
- 1/2 of a 15 oz can black olives (I used green because thats what I had on hand)
- 1/2 C raisins
- 1 T lemon juice
- 2 T chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups cous cous
- Peel onion and dice into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. Cut and seed peppers. Dice into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces as well. Peel garlic and chop small. Set aside
- Heat oil in a large pot with med/high heat/ Add onions, pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, curry, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute
- Add bouillon, water, tomatoes (and juice) Bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to medium. Heat, cover, cook 10 minutes
- Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Cut olives in 1/2. Add chicken, olives and raisins to the pot. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes (until chicken is cooked through)
- Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and fresh parsley.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and stir in cous cous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.
- Fluff with a fork before serving.
- Spoon some of the couscous in the center of each bowl and top with Moroccan chicken stew.
On the fitness front, still going strong with my workouts. Like I said I am taking time to listen to my body which is of the utmost importance for me these days. I don’t want to push myself too hard and then burn out when it is closer to show time. Speaking of show time…my first bikini competition is April 30th which is 17 weeks away! AH. Nothing has hit me yet, but I know as the time gets closer it will definately sink in! I am attending the Cathy Savage Camp at the end of January (it is a 3 day camp at the CSF studios here in Boston) I will learn a crash course in everything I need to know about competing so hopefully I will feel more comfortable after that!