March 19, 2009

Moroccan Beef

Our time is ticking away here in Italy these days as we move closer and closer to the end of playoffs. I have been frantically trying to cook as much as humanly possible in hopes that it will decrease the amount of food, flours, boxed items, etc. in our house. The other day I was pondering what to make for dinner, when my boyfriend called from the kitchen "Why do you have so many crazy spices, you haven't even used half of them!!!" And that is when it came to me... I needed to find some sort of dish for dinner that used a ridiculous amount of spices in order to prove that I really do need 25 different kinds of spices!

After a perusal around on cyberspace, I came across a couple recipes I could modify that called for huge amounts of exotic spices, all of which I definitely have. I also was lucky enough to find a box full of Himalayan red rice that I had yet to use. Personally, I had never heard of Himalayan rice until I started work as a server in a very fine dining establishment during my sophomore year of college. Upon my first taste of this rice, I immediately loved it. However, over the past couple of years I had forgotten about this rice, until I saw a box in Austria ,which flooded back the memories of just how delicious this rice is. If you have never had the pleasure of trying it, please go out ASAP and buy yourself some! The meal was easy to whip up and left my kitchen smelling like a delicious Moroccan restaurant. My boyfriend arrived home from practice that night sniffing the air with pleasure and enthusiastically asking what I had prepared for dinner. After producing a plate complete with rice and Moroccan beef he looked at me in disgust and exclaimed "What kind of rice is this and why is it black!!!" I quickly stated back that it was absolutely the best rice possible for your body and may in fact help you score more goals! With that he dug in and within 30 seconds was telling me with much enthusiasm that he now officially loves Himalayan rice! So for those of you looking for a meal to create that will use up your over abundant spices, this is the recipe for you!

Moroccan Beef

~1 lb Beef, I used steak meat, cubed
~1 onion, chopped
~3 cloves garlic, 2 minced, 1 left whole and peeled
~2 carrots, sliced
~2 stalks celery, sliced
~1-2 tsp. ground ginger (fresh can also be used and is recommended)
~1 tsp. paprika
~2 tsp. ground cumin
~1 tsp. dried oregano
~1/2-1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
~1/4-1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
~1 1/2 cups GF veggie broth
~1 can crushed tomatoes
~1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
~1 zucchini, sliced
~1 Tbs lemon juice

Grill beef in skillet for about 3 minutes. Remove from skillet when meat is about halfway done. Add onions, carrots, celery, and 2 cloves garlic(minced) to same pan with a touch of olive oil. Saute until tender. Then add in spices, cumin, paprika, ginger, oregano, cayenne, and cinnamon, saute for about 1 more minute. Then stir in GF broth and tomatoes. Also add the beef back in. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then add in chickpeas and zucchini, simmer mixture for 15 more minutes or until zucchini is done. Stir in Lemon Juice and serve.

*Make sure that you test the simmering Moroccan Beef along the way. You may find that you need to add in more spices. I put approximately the amount of spices I used in this recipe. However, I added in more spices along the way according to what I thought it needed. You are the best judge of what you like, so if you love spices, add more! Serve this over rice or quinoa.

Himalayan Red Rice

~1 cup Himalayan Red Rice
~2 cups water
~pinch of salt
~1/2-1 tsp. butter

The one thing to know about Himalayan rice, is that because it is higher in fiber, it takes longer to cook than white rice. So allow it around 30 minutes to cook. Also it is important to rinse the rice before you cook it, but don't be alarmed if the rice turns the water purple! I also added in a touch of saffron to really make it pair up with my Moroccan Beef.

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