Do you have a favorite cookbook? I collect cookbooks, and if you had asked me the same question a couple of months ago, I probably would have chosen one of my slick cookbooks with fancy pictures on each page. I’m fond of William Sonoma cookbooks (mostly for the pictures). But, I’ll tell you a secret. I usually only try a couple of recipes out of any cookbook. I lose interest in a cookbook before trying more than one or two recipes. With all the recipes from books, magazines and online, I’m not very loyal to any one source.
All this changed when I purchased Fast & Fresh Vegetarian by Marie Simmons. I’ve shared Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Black Bean Chili and White Bean and FennelCrostini, but I’ve made 10 other recipes from this book, and I’ve liked them all (this has to be a record for me).
My favorite recipe so far, has to be Winter Vegetable Stew with Moroccan Flavors. The stew is filling and tasty. The sweetness of the butternut squash and the root vegetables marry nicely with the Moroccan spice mixture. The cinnamon and cayenne pepper add a nice heat to the stew. I served the stew over some quinoa. My son didn’t eat it (he has an aversion to the texture of squash), but Les and my daughter have been asking for it again.
If you are looking for some delicious vegetarian recipes or are just trying to find some new vegetable side dish recipes, you should check out Fast & Fresh Vegetarian. By the way, there aren’t many pictures in this book, but it doesn’t bother me because the recipes speak for themselves.
Winter Vegetable Stew with Moroccan Flavors
Adapted from Fast & Fresh Vegetarian by Marie Simmons
¼ extra virgin olive oil
2 cups diced (½ inch) onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped (½ inch) peeled butternut squash
1 cup chopped (½ inch) carrot
1 cup chopped (½ inch) turnip
1 cup chopped (½ inch) parsnip
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 fresh lemon cut into 4 wedges
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium low heat and add onions. Cook until the onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices including the salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Add the squash, carrot, turnip, parsnip, tomatoes and ½ cup of water. Cover and cook over medium low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes, adding more water if the mixture looks dry. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add the cilantro. Serve with the lemon wedges. Serves 4.