Moroccan Mushrooms With Couscous

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This is the first Moroccan dish that I made over the weekend. I can't believe how delicious it turned out! I was looking for a good couscous recipe and came upon this Moroccan Mushrooms dish. The balance of spices and tomatoes were amazing. The ingredients are given in weights instead of by the American cups and spoons standard so if you don't have a food scale at home, don't worry. You can easily get the measurement by looking at the grams measurements on the can labels of the diced tomatoes and chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Even mushrooms have the measurement on the label if you buy them in wrapped boxes. As for the couscous, I just made 2 cups. 

A quick note about the health benefits of couscous. It is a good source of proteins, fiber, B vitamins, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and pantothenic acid - all essential nutrients that help your nervous, heart and immune system functioning well. 


Moroccan Mushrooms with Couscous adapted from Arabic Food

Ingredients

1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
300g mushrooms, quartered
400g can chopped tomatoe
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410g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp clear honey
175g couscous
50g soft dried apricots, diced
handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 

Directions

Fry the onion in the oil for 6 mins until softened. Add the cinnamon and cumin and cook for 1 min, stirring. Add the mushrooms, cook for 2 mins, then stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and honey. Season with salt and simmer for 7-8 mins.

How to Cook Couscous
2 cups couscous
2 cups water 

Meanwhile, mix the couscous with the dried apricots and some salt (optional) in a bowl. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in couscous. Cover and let stand for 8-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. If couscous is not softened, cover and let stand for a couple more minutes. 

To serve, stir in the parsley and top with the mushroom mixture. Great served with some green beans.

Nutrition per serving:

245 calories, protein 11g, carbohydrate 44g, fat 4 g, saturated fat 0g, fibre 6g, sugar 11g, salt 0.51 g  
 

Best Moist Banana Bread Recipe!

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I love banana bread and over the years, I've collected and tried out many recipes. When I came across this holy grail banana bread recipe as the author described it, I went out to buy bananas and tried the recipe. It was an instant hit in the family. Everyone loved it. Even my picky little 8 year-old girl loved it. 

What I truly love about this banana bread recipe is the simplicity of it. No mixer required or fancy gadgets or ingredients. I love baking that don't require a whole lot of cleaning up afterwards and I absolutely hate following the ever long list of do this and followed by that instructions. I have to admit, the first thing that caught my attention about this recipe is the amount of sugar required. Just 1 cup. Often times, I would reduce the amount of sugar called for in recipes because I really don't want the kids to be eating too sweet baked goods. Also, ever since I learned about the health benefits of coconut oil, I've been incorporating it into my cooking. If you like to use coconut oil, I strongly recommend buying the organic unrefined cold pressed coconut oil that looks solid in a glass if the weather is less than 70 degrees. No worries though, solid coconut oil melts super fast. 

Baking notes:

I know sometimes I forget to take the butter out the fridge ahead of time and let it set til room temperature. To help speed up the softening of the butter, cut the butter into pieces and let sit for about 20-30 minutes. You can prep the other ingredients in the meantime. 

Instead of greasing the pan with butter, you can use olive oil or even the coconut oil. I found the coconut oil brown the outside nicely, much better than butter or oil. 

Best Moist Banana Bread from Chinese Grandma


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) or take away 1 tablespoon and replace with 1 tbl coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk mixed with
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (not needed if using salted butter)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugar into softened butter.
  3. Add eggs; mix well.
  4. Mash bananas and add to batter. Add vanilla.
  5. Add vinegar to milk; add sour milk to batter.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  7. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix well.
  8. Add nuts, if using.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until toothpick comes out clean. It’s important to do the toothpick test with banana bread, as often it looks nice and brown outside but still needs a few more minutes to cook fully inside.