Two veggie dishes

So far at least, Hurricane Irene has caused only a brief blip of a power outage, so I was able to do some cooking today. I’m trying to be more healthy and increase my fruit and vegetable intake, so here are two delicious vegetable side dishes. The flavors are just exotic enough to really “kick things up a notch” (as Emeril would say), while retaining all the nutritive value of any lightly cooked veggies.  Another handy feature is that both of these dishes actually taste best at room temperature, so you can easily make them to go along with any meal or picnic.

Zucchini with Cumin and Herbs
1 lb. zucchini
1 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and boil the zucchinis whole for about 5 minutes, drain. When cool enough to touch, slice the zucchini into medium-thick rounds. In a non-stick pan, saute the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until starting to brown.

Add 1/3 c. water, cumin, salt, chili power, and fresh herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 more minutes until completely tender and flavors are absorbed. Sprinkle with lemon or lime juice. Serve at room temperature.

Adapted from: “A Taste of Morocco” by Maria Seguin-Tsouli

Sweet Potato Salad
1 lb. sweet potatoes
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
canola or olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of saffron, crushed and dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes. Saute onion over medium heat in oil until translucent. Add ground ginger and saffron and stir for another minute. Add sweet potatoes, cumin, paprika, lemon juice and salt to taste. Add about 1/2-3/4 c. water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, stir in fresh herbs, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside to cool, serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from: “Cafe Morocco” by Anissa Helou

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