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Moroccan Pumpkin with Almond Couscous

Pumpkin is seasoned with fresh ginger turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon, then tossed with raisins and dried apricots in this gourd stew. Chickpeas, carrots and potatoes pick up the Moroccan spices beautifully and make this stew hearty, especially when served atop couscous and toasted almonds. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num. Serves 6

For the almond couscous:

  • 2 cups couscous
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dry, roasted almonds, chopped

For the Moroccan pumpkin stew:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced into wedges
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 1 20 ounce piece of sugar pumpkin, skinned, seeded & diced
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 ounces raisins
  • 2 ounces dried apricots
  • 20 fluid ounces low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste*
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped

*A middle eastern spice mix found in the spice section of most grocery stores.

To make the almond couscous: Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the couscous, stir, cover the saucepan with a lid and take off of the heat. Set aside for 2-3 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a bowl, add the almonds and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Toss until just combined. Set aside until the pumpkin stew is ready.

To make the Moroccan pumpkin stew: Place the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion becomes soft.
Add the ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper and cinnamon stick to the pan. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook for 1 minute more, or until the spices become fragrant.
Add the chopped carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, chickpeas, raisins and apricots to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, stirring constantly to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Add the vegetable broth to the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Partially cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the pumpkin is beginning to break up.
Season the pumpkin stew with the harissa paste and lemon juice. Add the parsley and cilantro, reserving a little for garnish.
Divide the couscous and pumpkin stew into 6 portions. Serve the Moroccan pumpkin stew over the couscous, sprinkle with the reserved parsley and cilantro and enjoy.

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