MarocMama

eat well, travel often, dream big!

Strawberry Lemonade Salad

When you think of summer, what are some of the first food items that pop into your mind? Me? It’s strawberries and lemonade. I’m joining a monthly blogging group where we’ll share a new salad each month. My salad contributions are most likely going to contain very little lettuce – I just can’t eat it after surgery. But I promise they will be healthy and delicious.  This month take a big bite of this strawberry lemonade salad.

Strawberry Lemonade Salad with Goat Cheese

I am so in love with this salad.  It’s simple, and a fantastic way to clean out your fruit drawer.  I think it makes a great pre-dinner salad/cheese course, dessert, or breakfast.  Who says you can’t have salad for breakfast?!? Don’t feel limited to the fruit I’ve included in the recipe – use what you have but I’d make sure to make this when strawberries are fresh, juicy, and delicious; don’t leave them off!

Strawberry Lemonade Salad

Ingredients

    Salad
  • 8-10 large strawberries hulled and sliced
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 banana
  • Lemonade Salad Dressing
  • Juice of 1-2 lemon (totaling between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • Goat Cheese Balls
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • almond flour

Instructions

  • Wash and clean all of your produce.
  • Remove the skin of the apple and pear if desired; if not simply cut the fruit into bite size pieces
  • Hull and slice the strawberries into several pieces
  • Peel and slice banana.
  • Add all of the fruit to a large bowl.
  • To Make the Dressing
  • In a pot, juice the lemon(s) and turn heat to medium.
  • Stir in the raw honey
  • Allow the juice to bubble and reduce down slightly.
  • Mix the dressing with the fruit.
  • To make the goat cheese balls, simply shape your cheese into bite size pieces and coat in almond flour.
  • Plate fruit and cheese and serve!
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http://marocmama.com/2013/06/strawberry-lemonade-salad.html

Strawberry Lemonade Salad

One of the reasons I really love this combination is because the dressing is dual-purpose.  Yes it tastes delicious (hello lemonade!) but the lemon juice also helps prevent the fruit from browning, which seems to happen very rapidly in the summer.

What’s your favorite kind of salad? Have an ingredient you’d love me to use in the future? Let me know in the comments!

The Salad Bar

 

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The Salad Bar is a monthly blogging challenge started by Wendy of The Weekend Gourmet.  This month’s theme was berries, join  me for next month’s challenge on the first Saturday of the month!


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Moroccan Carrot Salad

Do your kids cringe at the sight of cooked carrots?  One of the easiest and most delicious Moroccan salads is this cooked carrot salad served at room temperature and dressed with a simple vinaigrette.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

When I was growing up I, like many other kids, wasn’t too fond of cooked vegetables. But, fresh vegetables well that was another story.  Every summer my grandpa grew a huge backyard garden.  He left one corner for my sister and me to plant our own garden. He grew row after row of carrots, beans, tomatoes, rutabaga (which I didn’t even realize was a turnip until recently), sweet corn, and peppers. He had a good friend who had a much larger farm and planted even more produce.  My grandparents happened to live on the major highway that went through our small town. So, every summer grandpa had tables set up on the front lawn to sell whatever was ready to pick.  He also went out and picked wild fruit, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries all summer long.  In the backyard apple and pear trees were picked and the fruit sold, as well as stalks of rhubarb.  I used to love spending the morning sitting with grandpa and selling produce.  Me and my sister got to eat whatever we wanted, just pulling it off the table. Grandpa would wipe it off on his shirt and peel or cut  it with his jack-knife on the spot. When we were ready to go home, grandpa walked us across the highway and we peddled our bikes the few blocks to our house. We had so much space to roam, and to think this was only 15-20 years ago!

When I began shopping in Moroccan markets for produce it immediately brought back these memories of summer with my grandpa. Carrots stuck with me. I used to grab a carrot from the table, dip it into the water “wash” bucket and wipe it off to eat.  Raw of course. I make this carrot salad by under cooking the carrots. MarocBaba always asks for them to be cooked softer but I like them to have a bite, to bring back those childhood memories.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb carrots, peeled
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (any kind will work)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic

Instructions

  • Peel the carrots and remove the ends.
  • Boil a pot of water and add the carrots. Cook for 12-15 minutes until carrots are soft to bite through but not mushy.
  • Drain the hot water and immediately put carrots into a bowl of cold, ice water.
  • In a bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  • Cut the carrots into rounds of similar size.
  • Dress the salad with the dressing. They should not be swimming in liquid, only add enough to lightly coat the carrots.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature.
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http://marocmama.com/2013/05/moroccan-carrot-salad.html

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Loubia {Bean} Salad in Tomato Sauce

If you asked my mom, she would probably tell you I wasn’t a very adventurous eater when I was a child. I liked all of the things every other Midwestern child liked.  Hot dogs and hamburgers, casseroles, and of course heavy doses of starches like pasta, bread, and potatoes. It’s what we ate.  It’s what I loved – and I still do. My palate was small but well tested.

I always knew there was more out there.

 
There were more tastes, more ingredients, more flavors that were waiting for me in the cities and countries I visited in my imagination. The first time I tasted something new it was a glimpse into that world. I ate whatever I could, but always thought “fancy” food was where the real tastes were; the food you would have in big name restaurants and carried hefty price tags.  But, along my journey I learned something.

Simple is best.

 
The food that has really stuck with me are the simple meals with minimal ingredients but bursting with flavor. They also carry a story, and every bite brings back that story, be it good or bad, funny or sad. This salad brings back one of those stories. It’s a simple story, for a simple dish. Sitting in a restaurant in Morocco, with my dad and my little sister. We ate the same kind of tajine for days and the only reprieve I had was the variety in the salads offered. Even though it was almost 10 years ago now, I still see us sitting at that table and eating this with fresh bread. I smile because it makes me think of this very special time I had with my dad (don’t worry he’s still with us – we just don’t live nearby). He’s always made me laugh, and even when the most difficult circumstances were brought up, he offered whatever he could, a hug, a comforting thought, or just a phone call. Simple things.

 

Moroccan white beans in red sauce

 

Loubia {Bean} Salad in Tomato Sauce

This simple Moroccan dish makes a great salad served cold, or an appealing vegetarian meal served hot. Just don't forget the bread!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans (also known as Great Northern Beans)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely
  • handful of chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper

Instructions

  • *Soak the cannellini beans overnight in 3-4 cups of water - this will make cooking much quicker. Alternately you can use canned cannellini beans.
  • If you are using dry beans, place them in a pan and fill 3/4 with water. Place on a burner and cook the beans until they are tender.
  • In a large pan or skillet add the vegetable oil and turn the heat to medium. When the oil has warmed up add the chopped onions and saute 4-5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  • Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and stir. Mix in the crushed garlic, turmeric, salt, cumin, and red pepper. Keep the heat on low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the beans to the tomato sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes. Mix in the parsley and remove the pan from the heat.
  • This salad is served at room temperature and can be stored in the refrigerator. It's even better the next day when all the flavors have had a chance to mix together.
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Moroccan Potato Salad

Moroccan Potato Salad

My favorite part of a Moroccan meal isn’t the main dish. I have never really loved meat and, at least with my mother-in-law, most of the meals are pretty heavy in that department. No, my favorite part of the meal is the salad assortment that comes out first. I think my love of tapas in Spain and cicchetti in Italy inspire my love of the salad offerings. Truthfully, I’d be happy to just eat these and nothing else. I used to think that there was a specific salad served with each main dish, and while this can be true, often times salads are prepared based on what is on hand. I once made an orange and salty black olive salad, and while it was delicious, I learned that simply wasn’t done.  So let’s just say traditionally speaking there are a lot of unspoken “rules” about what can go together and what doesn’t.

This salad is super simple and it’s a good break from the traditionally heavy, mayo-based American potato salads. I really like to use a good yellow potato like Yukon Gold as they seem to cook quicker and not turn to mush as easily. I would serve this salad with a savory chicken or lamb tajine. (You can find a link to many of my recipes by checking out the recipe index.)

Moroccan Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound yellow potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (any kind will work)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • several stalks of chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • **note the dressing made for this salad will be much more than you need to dress the salad. I make this as a base vinaigrette and save it to use for other salads.
  • 1) Place a large pot, half-full of boiling water on the stovetop and boil.
  • 2) Peel and place potatoes in the water whole.
  • 3) Boil until the potatoes are tender but don't fall apart when you poke them with a fork.
  • 4) Drain the water and allow the potatoes to cool. Once you can handle them, cut them in half horizontally and in half again so that you have 4 slices. Cut into strips, and then cube in 1/4" size chunks,
  • 5) To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar and oil, as well salt, pepper, and cumin.
  • 6) Gently toss the potatoes with the vinaigrette using 3-4 Tbsp of the mixture. You will want to coat the potatoes but don't want them to be swimming in it.
  • 7) Finally, top the potatoes with the chopped cilantro.
  • This salad can be served cold or at room temperature.
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Leftover Remix: Soup Frijol con Carne #SundaySupper

Mexican Beef with Beans

I often have leftover rice but the main dish has been eaten up.  I don’t think rice reheats very well but I have remade it into fried rice.  As I was getting ready for this week’s Sunday Supper I came across another use.  I’m making Frijol con Carne in honor of our upcoming vacation to the Caribbean.  Frijol con Puerco is a Yucatan dish that is widely eaten in Cozumel (one of the stops on our vacation).  Traditionally this soup is made with pork but after consulting a few friends who knew more about the region than I do, beef is an acceptable substitute.  A little research uncovers this dish is usually made on Monday’s because it’s an “easy dish”.  While I’m sure the best versions of this dish are prepared in homes, it is also found in cocina economia’s or small restaurants -usually only a few tables – which exist on nearly every corner. There is so much about this recipe that reminds me of Morocco.  I wrote awhile ago about Moroccan street breakfasts.  These small Mexican restaurants seem to be nearly the same concept!

This week’s theme for #SundaySupper is soup. As the final days (hopefully) of winter fade away it’s time to savor a few more pots of soup. This dish a thick soup, though you’ll see in this image it got a bit thicker than I wanted.  Blame that on me forgetting it on the stove while I did laundry.  I think the best thing about this dish is it works thick, like a stew, and it works in a thin broth. What I did notice is that this isn’t overwhelming with flavor.  Yes, it does have some flavor but where the really taste comes from is the condiments used on top of the dish.  If you have selective eaters this would be a great dish.  They can choose how they want to dress the main ingredients.

Ingredients

Soup

  • 1 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1 lb of beef in 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 lg onion diced
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • rice flour (or AP flour) for dredging
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp crushed garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 6 c water
  • 2 c beef stalk

Salsa

  • 2 heaping teaspoons tomato paste or 2 fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 c chopped onions
  • 1/2 jalapeno (optional)

Condiments

  • lime or lemon wedges
  • sliced radishes
  • white rice
  • cilantro
  • chopped white onions

Preparing the Soup

**Note: Dry beans should be used for this recipe.  If possible soak them overnight.  If this is not possible, soak them as long as you can before cooking. The longer they soak the shorter the cooking time. 

In a large heavy bottomed pan add 2 Tbsp vegetable oil and heat to medium. While the oil is heating dredge the beef in the flour of your choice (using a gluten-free flour like rice flour is perfectly fine).  Mix in the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to get translucent.  Add in the crushed garlic and a cook a few minutes longer.  As soon as it begins to change color, stir the beef cubes in with the onion and garlic.  The beef does not need to cook through, just to sear all of the sides.

Once the searing is complete, add the black beans, beef broth, and water. Stir well to combine. Season with the salt, pepper, cumin and cilantro. Stir once more, cover and reduce the heat to low. The length of cooking time will depend on how firm the beans were before adding them to the pot. Cooking this on a low temperature will also break down the beef so that it’s very tender. The average cooking time will be between 2 and 3 hours.  Be sure to check often and add more water if needed.  While the soup is cooking prepare the salsa and condiments.

Preparing the Salsa

I created a “pantry” salsa for this recipe.  Tomatoes are the base and if you have fresh tomatoes available use them! If you don’t, tomato paste was just as delicious.  This salsa can be prepared in a food processor or blender.  To make, simply combine the tomatoes (or tomato paste, onion, olive oil, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno.  Pulse until you have a salsa that is the consistency you like.  I prefer it smooth but you are free to leave it chunky. Refrigerate until ready to use.  It is best if you allow it to rest for an hour or more so that the flavors can really mix together.

Preparing the Condiments

This is the easy part!  If you have white rice leftover from another meal (or brown rice) use it up!  Slice radishes as thinly as possible. Quarter limes and lemons. Dice onions into small pieces. Wash and dry a bowl of cilantro.

Assembling the Frijol con Carne

This is a great dish to set up in a buffet style.  When the soup is at the consistency you like, the beans and meat cooked through you’re ready to serve. In a shallow bowl start with some rice, topping with a few ladles of soup. Dress it up with condiments and a dallop or two of salsa.

Frijol con Carne with Condiments

Can’t get enough soup?  The #SundaySupper crew has you covered with dozens to try this week! Check out all of the great dishes we’re sharing this week. 

 

Of course once you have seen all of the recipes for the day, you’ll not want to miss our  #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each SundayWe tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special soup recipes!

Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Don’t forget to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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Chicken Salad with Harissa Dressing and Date, Tamarind, Walnut Briouats

Chicken Salad and Harissa Dressing

The first few days of Ramadan I am always excited to prepare meals that we rarely have during the rest of the year.  However by the end of the first week I start to notice bits and pieces of leftovers in my fridge and my enthusiasm begins to wane. Some of my favorite dinners are conceived using leftovers and pantry items that are taking up space.  Normally I don’t serve leftovers to guests but sometimes a last minute visit occurs and I don’t have a lot of time to prepare a big meal.

This salad was born with that thought in mind. With a little re-purposing and the help of Saffron Road hors d’oeuvres I took leftovers up a notch.  Your guests will be impressed (and satisfied) with this salad and it only takes 15 minutes to prepare!

Ingredients

  • Baked or rotisserie chicken
  • Your favorite lettuce mix
  • sliced cucumbers
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • optionally you could add pepper slices, zucchini, carrot slices or any other raw vegetables on hand
  • Chinese rice noodles
  • vegetable oil for frying the noodles
  • Saffron Road Date, Tamarind and Walnut Hors d’oeuvres 

For the dressing

  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350F and place the Date, Tamarind and Walnut hors d’oeuvres on a cookie sheet. Begin baking these immediately.

Begin heating vegetable oil on medium high.  The oil should be at least 1/4″ deep. Add the rice noodles to a large bowl and top with hot water.  Allow to soak until the threads separate and soften. Remove from the water and place on a napkin or towel to dry off.  Once the oil is hot, grab small bunches of the rice noodles and drop into the oil.  They should fry in small clumps. Once cooked through remove from the oil, back to the blotting paper and reserve for the salad.

To assemble your salad chop and prep all of the ingredients. Layer the ingredients as you wish and top with the toasted sesame seeds and crispy noodles.

To make the harissa dressing, combine of the ingredients listed and whisk together. Depending on the thickness of your harissa you may need to add more water to thin it out.  The dressing should have a little heat but should not be overwhelming. Dress the salad with the harissa sauce.

Remove the hors d’oeuvres from the oven when crispy and plate with the salad.

I really love the contrasts in this salad.  The crispy noodles with the chicken, and the spicy harissa with the sweet of the dates and tamarind. If you’re worried about it being too hot, reduce the amount of harissa you use.

What are some of your favorite meals to use up leftovers?

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When I’m Dining Alone – An Easy Weeknight Meal

I love soup and it’s only been recently that I have been able to convince everyone else in my house to love it as much as I do.  That being said they have their favorites and tend to stick to them. Recently I had the opportunity to try out Bertolli’s Meal Soup for Two.

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vegetarian eid soup

Eid al Adha is right around the corner (Sunday) and is perhaps most well known as the “sheep holiday”.  Muslim families purchase a live ram and on the morning of Eid sacrifice the animal.  This is done as a remembrance of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son on God’s command.  At the last minute God replaced Ismail with a ram.  After the sacrifice families separate the ram into three parts; one for themselves, one to share with friends or family and one to donate to the poor.

Many women pride themselves on creating a wonderful meal on Eid, making many dishes that only make an appearance for this holiday.  One obvious staple is plenty of sheep.  This year we’re not making our own sacrificing but allowing a relative in Morocco to do the sacrifice for us.  We’ve consciously cut out a lot of red meat from out diet and neither MarocBaba or I would eat enough of the meat over the year to warrant buying one.  Frankly, I’m still pretty full of meat from our trip last month.  This got me thinking about others who are either vegetarian or just don’t like mutton.  There generally aren’t a lot of options for them on the Eid table.

I created this very healthy and filling soup to fill the void.  I used Saffron Road broth to speed up the cooking time and add a really great flavor.  I love Saffron Road because all of their products are halal and completely natural, but also many of them are gluten free.  I stopped using canned or boxed broths awhile ago because of the high sodium levels and blah taste but Saffron Road broths are really different – so much flavor.

There is a little bit of prep work to make this recipe but it’s well worth it.

Pre-cut all vegetables (love the purple potatoes don't you)

Gnocchi can be made ahead of time and frozen until ready to use.

 

Vegetable and Ricotta Gnocchi Soup

Ingredients

    Ingredients for Soup:
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1-2 small to medium potatoes
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 1/2 cartons Saffron Road Vegetable Broth (if not wholly Vegetarian the Chicken Broth is great too)
  • salt, pepper, cumin for seasoning at the end
  • For the Ricotta Gnocchi
  • 3 cups of AP unbleached flour + more for dusting
  • 32 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • To make the gnocchi start by placing the ricotta in a strainer or on top of cheesecloth suspended over a bowl. This is to drain any excess water out of the cheese - leave for 30-60 minutes.
  • In a stand mixer add 2 cups of flour and the parmesan cheese. Mix using the flat beater. Once the ricotta is strained add this to the flour along with the eggs. Mix on a low speed to combine everything, adding the final cup of flour as the mixture combines.
  • The gnocchi will be ready when it has a thick and slightly sticky consistency. Chill for 20 minutes before rolling.
  • Remove from refrigerator and pull off a ball of dough. Dust a flat, clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into the shape of a snake. You can make it as fat or thin as you'd like. I make mine about the size of a dime. Cut off pieces of the dough about every 1/2 inch. Use a fork to make a depression on the tops of each one.
  • Set aside in a single layer. If you don't plan to use all of them they can be put on a cookie sheet and flash frozen for 30 minutes, removed and stored in a freezer - safe ziploc bag.
  • Making the Soup
  • (I like to do all of the prep work first and then add ingredients as needed)
  • Prepare the lentils by soaking in warm water for 30 - 60 minutes before cooking. The longer you leave them to soak the faster they will cook. Peel the carrots, potatoes and zucchini and cut into small cubes - keep them separate from each other because they will be added to the pot at different times.
  • In a heavy bottom pan or dutch oven add the olive oil and garlic and turn on medium/high heat. When it starts to sizzle pour some of the Saffron Road broth into the pot.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and add the rest of the carton of broth. Drain the lentils and add them, as well as the potatoes and carrots.
  • Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Allow to cook 45 minutes and check the tenderness of the lentils and vegetables. If tender, add the 1/2 carton of broth and the zucchini and peas.
  • Place another pot of water to boil (for the gnocchi) at this point. Once it boils add the gnocchi. It will only take a few minutes to cook and you will be able to tell it's done when they float.
  • Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, add a small amount of the cooking water to keep them from clumping.
  • Serve the soup and gnocchi in separate bowls, encouraging guests to take the amount they would like of each. This will help with any leftovers there might be as the gnocchi tend to break down if left in liquid. Top each bowl with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2011/11/a-vegetarian-eid-al-adha-with-saffron-road-food.html

Here are some of the other great things Saffron Road has going on around the web this Eid;

Great deals on their products at Whole Foods and Kroger nationwide!

A giveaway for a copy of Clean Your Kitchen Green from Yvonne of My Halal Kitchen and free product coupons on their Facebook page.

Speaking of My Halal Kitchen – make sure you check out these two posts to get ready for Eid too!

Follow Saffron Road on Twitter and Facebook for updates and new product releases.  Visit their website to find your local grocery stores that carry Saffron Road products.
What’s on your menu for Eid?  Do you have other meat-free ideas to share with other readers?
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post however I did receive free Saffron Road products to create this recipe.  

   This recipe has been linked to FaveDiets November Blog Hop.  

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