Moroccan Inspired Plant Based Cooking

Moroccan Inspired Plant-Based Recipes:

The Moroccan dish most people are familiar with is couscous. Moroccan cuisine can date back to the 7th century BC and is heavily influenced by interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations. Fruits and Vegetables reign supreme as staples in Moroccan Cuisine. Tagine, which is a type of dish that is used to make rich savory stews, is also the name attributed to many Moroccan Stews.

Spices are used generously in the moroccan Cuisine these include cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika, coriander, saffron, mace, cloves, fennel, anise, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, fenugreek, caraway, black pepper and sesame seeds. Twenty-seven spices are combined for the Moroccan spice mixture ras el hanout

Common herbs in Moroccan cuisine include mint, parsley, coriander, oregano, peppermint, marjoram, verbena, sage and bay laurel. You will also find olives, dried fruit and preserved lemon.

Ras El Hanout Spice Blend – Makes about 2-3 tablespoons

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
½ tsp cayenne or Aleppo Pepper
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well. Spice blend keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 month.

Substitutes for Ras El Hanout

  • Make your own.
  • Combination of 2 parts cumin, 1 part ground Moroccan coriander seeds, 1 part ginger, and 1 part cayenne pepper.
  • Garam masala.
  • Curry powder.

Moroccan Inspired Cauliflower and Chickpea tagine


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2- to 2½-pound head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into ½- to 1-inch florets
  • 2 tablespoons ras el hanout (above) OR 1 tablespoon ground cumin, plus ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup dried apricots, sliced
  • 2 cups Veggie stock
  • 15½-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ preserved lemon or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons Sweetener to taste
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh mint, to serve
  • Roasted (Toasted) Almonds, Chopped


  1. In a large Dutch oven on medium-high, heat the oil until it shimmers. 
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. 
  3.  Add the ras el hanout and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, cook for about 1 minute. 
  4. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. 
  5. Pour in 2 cups stock and scrape up the browned bits, then stir in the cauliflower and apricot.
  6. Remove the pulp from your preserved lemon, chop it very finely and add to the pan. Cut your lemon skin into strips and add to the pan as well. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
  7. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
  8. Stir in the chickpeas, re-cover and cook until the cauliflower is fully tender, about another 5 minutes. 
  9. Taste and season with sweetener, salt and pepper. 
  10. Serve drizzled with additional oil, top with roasted almonds and sprinkled with mint.
  11. You can serve this on top of Couscous, Millet or Fonio.

Moroccan Inspired Carrot and Lentil Salad


  • 3 cups cooked French green lentils (1 1/4-1 1/2 cup dry lentils)
    • cooked according to package directions.
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced finely
  • 2 large cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins or sultana raisins
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tbsp parsley, chopped

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup, agave or date syrup
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Rinse and sort lentils, then cook lentils according to package directions. Make sure to add a generous pinch of salt to the cooking liquid once it begins to boil. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients.
  4. Wash and peel carrot, then slice on a bias into evenly-sized pieces. Toss carrot with 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette, then add to a sheet pan and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cook time. 
  5. Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and diced shallot. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add garlic and raisins and continue cooking for a few more minutes, until softened and fragrant. Remove from heat.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked lentils, shallot + garlic + raisin mixture, roasted carrots, pistachios, cilantro, parsley and remaining vinaigrette. 
  7. Toss until well coated. Enjoy hot or cold! 

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