Sunday, January 26, 2020

Moroccan Braised Vegetables with Tofu and Rice

Bring some exoticism to your kitchen with these Moroccan Braised Vegetables with Tofu and Rice! A hearty medley of artichokes, peppers, kale and tomatoes are spiced with an aromatic spice blend and studded with dried fruit. Brown basmati rice soaks up the rest of the broth making this a one-dish meal perfect for chilly winter days.
 

It's well known by now that I love Moroccan food - the spice blends and combination of savoury and sweet flavours, along with the abundance of vegetables, grains and legumes are enough to make me want to book a trip this instant! While boarding a plane may be a bit out of reach for me, I can travel there with food, and this braised tofu, vegetable and rice dish is a great place to start!

Apparently I am really into braising this winter - and for good reason. It is the perfect way to set yourself up for a hearty, warming meal with minimum effort, as long as you have a good heavy pot to do it in! I was inspired by a chicken dish by Only Gluten Free Recipes that popped up on my timeline the other day, and since it was time for me to make more lunches for mom this week it made it to the immediate "must make" list. I changed it up a bit from the original for our tastes, making the recipe vegan (mom prefers meatless meals a few times a week) and bumping up the veggies a ton. The best part about the recipe is after the initial chopping and sauteing is done, it really is a "set it and forget it" type of meal cooking all in one pot. While it bakes away in the oven, your house will start smelling like the most fragrant spice market - I suggest you go do something (clean the basement, mop the floor, take a shower) so that you won't be tempted to lift the lid till it's done - the wait is worth it, I promise!

Moroccan Braised Vegetables with Tofu and Rice
Adapted from Only Gluten Free Recipes
Serves 8

Spice Blend:
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp saffron
1 tbsp Kosher salt

Braise:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 lbs extra firm tofu, drained (if needed) and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 bell peppers (I used red and yellow), diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (I used ones with green pepper added)
5 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade)
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts in water, chopped
1 (7 oz) jar sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup Craisins (I used lower sugar)
1/4 cup roughly chopped dried apricots
1 (500g) bag frozen chopped kale (or 500g chopped fresh kale)
1 1/2 cups dry brown basmati rice
  1. Heat the oven to 357F.
  2. Mix the spices and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large Dutch Oven (I used my Staub), heat oils over medium heat.
  4. Add the tofu and brown on all sides.
  5. Add the onion, peppers, celery and garlic and cook until softened.
  6. Stir in the spice blend, diced tomatoes, broth, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, raisins, Craisins and apricots.
  7. Bring to a boil, then stir in kale and rice.
  8. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
  9. Remove the lid and stir, then bake for 20 more minutes