Fragrant and delicious, this soul-warming Moroccan stew is easy and a delightful nod to the Moroccan cuisine. Boasting beautiful cherry tomatoes, delicious green olives, red lentils and baby spinach ensures that everyone in the family will run to the table, making it a fabulous Whole Food Plant Based stew, no oil, no sugar, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
- 1 large yellow onion, fine dice
- 1 celery stalk, fine dice
- 1 large carrot, fine dice
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup Pacific Organic Vegetable Broth *
- 4 cups water (or broth)
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (+/- to taste) *
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon cumin (+/- to taste) *
- ¼ teaspoon hot curry powder * (+/- to taste) *
- Pinch cayenne * (+/- to taste ) *
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onions
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 – 2 teaspoons sea salt (+/- to taste) *
- ¼ teaspoon pepper (+/- to taste)
- 1 cup uncooked split red lentils, rinsed *
- 15 to 25 small cherry (or grape) tomatoes *
- 15 to 20 green olives, brined, not in oil (either pitted or whole) *
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach (packed)
Optional Topping Ingredients:
- Cilantro – roughly chopped
- Rice of choice – cooked
- In a large ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven/pot or similarly large stockpot, add the prepared veggies: onion, red bell pepper, carrot, and celery. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes to soften the veggies.
- Once the veggies are softened, add all the remaining Base Ingredients, red lentils, and green olives. Lower to medium-low heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, taste the flavor of the base. This is the time to adjust the spice flavors. See recipes notes.
- After you have adjusted the spice flavors, simmer a few more minutes to allow the spices to marry and taste test again.
- After 15 minutes and once the based flavor is where you want it, add the tomatoes and continue to cook uncovered until the lentils are tender, approx. 7 to 10 more minutes.
- Once the lentils are tender, remove the bay leaves and add the spinach and cook a few minutes.
- To serve, place some cooked rice into a small bowl, press down firmly with the back of a spoon to force the rice to take on the shape of the bowl. Invert the bowl of rice onto a plate and then spoon the Moroccan stew around the rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
*Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients; however, this brand of vegetable stock does have a strong flavor so less broth is required when compared to the water ratio. We use a higher water to broth ratio because of this. If you use another brand of vegetable broth, then adjust the water/vegetable broth ratio accordingly.
*Spices: You can control the spice level and heat level on this recipe. We have included the minimum spice amount to get a hint of the Moroccan flavors. This will allow you to introduce Moroccan flavors to family members who may have not tried the Moroccan cuisine and would love to experience it. However, if you really want to spice things up, use the higher level of spice or adjust to your own spice preferences. You can really crank it up even higher by adding more spices than the recommended amounts; however, be careful, as sometimes when you add too much spice, the flavors start to compete with one another and you end up with a bitter note to your dish.
*Split Red Lentils: You can substitute any type of lentil for the red lentils; however, since red lentils cook faster than other lentils, you will need to adjust the timing of adding the cherry tomatoes. For example, most red lentils cook within 20-25 minutes and we are adding the cherry tomatoes after 15 minutes, so the tomatoes are only in the stew about 10 minutes or so. If you substitute any other lentil, adjust the timing of when you are placing the tomatoes in the stew so they don’t completely disintegrate.
Cherry Tomatoes: One of the stars of this stew is the cooked cherry (or grape) tomatoes. They take this stew to the next level in our opinion. We used 25 cherry tomatoes. Adjust the amount of cherry tomatoes based upon personal preference.
*Green Olives: Adding green olives is very much part of the Moroccan cuisine. If you are concerned about the sodium content in the olives, you can totally leave them out and it will not have very much impact on the overall flavor of the stew. We are olive fiends in our house. We added whole green olives – Delallo Whole Queen (green) olives. Just be careful to remind family members that there are pits in the olives. Please feel free to add pitted green olives as well. Both are equally delicious.
*Sea Salt: You may need to add some sea salt. We added 2 teaspoons as we felt the added sea salt add some additional flavor.
*Nutritional Information: Does not include toppings