Recipe for Moroccan Vegetarian Vegetable Stew in a Slow-Cooker

4.5 stars from 2 ratings of Moroccan Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew
Moroccan vegetables roasted in yummy cinnamon and other spices is warming in the winter and keeps your house cool when you cook in the crockpot or slow cooker in the summer.
Moroccan vegetables roasted in yummy cinnamon and other spices is warming in the winter and keeps your house cool when you cook in the crockpot or slow cooker in the summer.

If you are a busy vegetarian coming home after a long day at work you will often be assailed by the aroma of BBQ (that means grilling meat). Do you want to come home to something just as mouth-wateringly fragrant and just as satisfying to eat... something healthy and vegetarian like you aim to be? Well, this recipe for Moroccan vegetable stew done up in a slow cooker or a crockpot will fit the bill! This is a welcoming Middle-Eastern-flavoured curry, light on the hot peppers and leaning more to the delights of cinnamon with veggies in a comfort food mode... soft, chewy, yummy!


Cook Time

Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 8 hours 40 min
Yields: 6 to 8 1-Cup Servings over Quinoa or Brown Rice
Start  the stew by giving the veggies a nice apple cider vinegar and water bath
Start the stew by giving the veggies a nice apple cider vinegar and water bath

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Zucchini, chopped in 1/4
  • 1 - 2 medium Onions (red or sweet), sliced in rounds
  • 1 or more Sweet Red Pepper, seeded and sliced in rounds
  • 1 Eggplant, sliced in semi-circles (leave peel on)
  • 2 Sweet Potato, peeled, chopped in rounds
  • 1 15-oz. can Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
  • 2 Ripe Tomatoes, chopped chunky
  • 1/4 Cup Sauerkraut, (optional)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced finely
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice, freshly-squeezed
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Each of: Turmeric, Cinnamon and Paprika
  • Pinch Cayenne
  • 4 Honey or Medjool Dates, Chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt (or kosher salt)
Chop up the Veggies and Dates and layer them in the Slow Cooker Pot.  Pour Lemon, Oil and Spices over the Veggies.  Put on Lid.
Chop up the Veggies and Dates and layer them in the Slow Cooker Pot. Pour Lemon, Oil and Spices over the Veggies. Put on Lid.

Preparation

  1. Soak and Wash Vegetables in large bowl of clear Water with 3 Tablespoons of Cider Vinegar mixed in. Scrub and dry off.
  2. Chop and slice all vegetables (if preparing to put in the pot for supper, it is not a bad idea to do the chopping the night before and then to store in a bowl, covered with a clean cloth and a lid, in the fridge overnight. This saves a lot of time in the morning.)
  3. Layer all the chopped and sliced vegetables, Beans, Dates, and Sauerkraut (if using) in the Slow Cooker pot.
  4. Mix together the various spices and salt. Add to the pot, covering as much of surface of vegetables as possible.
  5. Whisk together Lemon Juice and Olive Oil and pour over the spices and vegetables. Put the lid on the Slow Cooker.
  6. Turn on Slow Cooker to Medium or Low and come back to eat it later!
  7. Cook up a pot of Quinoa or Brown Rice or Couscous at the time of eating and spoon the Vegetables over the starch. Enjoy this delightful Moroccan Vegetable dish!

Cooking Tajine

Outdoor tajine cooking in Morocco
Outdoor tajine cooking in Morocco | Source

Spice Market

Both Berber and Mediterranean Spices in a local Moroccan spice market
Both Berber and Mediterranean Spices in a local Moroccan spice market | Source

Berbers - Ancient and Modern

Ethnic Berbers can be found all over the world these days.  Many no longer speak the Berber language.  But they likely all eat some form of Berber cuisine from time to time... delicious!
Ethnic Berbers can be found all over the world these days. Many no longer speak the Berber language. But they likely all eat some form of Berber cuisine from time to time... delicious! | Source

Berber Life

What is Moroccan Cuisine?

I first sampled North African cuisine (Morocco is a country in Northern Africa) several years ago in an Okanagan city in British Columbia-- either Penticton or Kelowna, can't recall which. I do remember that we were feeling a little bored by the lack of interesting (and vegetarian) restaurant fare in the small, land-locked city. We were excited when we walked past the small eatery to smell the lovely fragrance of warm spices and fresh baked flatbreads.


Moroccan cuisine is largely influenced by Berber and Mediterranean cooking.

The Berbers refers to original tribes and ethnic groups from the "Berber homeland" in North Africa encompassed by the Mediterranean Sea to the Niger River, and from Egypt's Siwa Oasis to the Atlantic Ocean. The Vandal / Roman invaders called the peoples 'Barbarians' and this name was echoed by the Muslim invaders. We have come to associate "barbarian" with the idea of ruthlessness and cruelty. There might be some link between the modern word and the strength and determination with which the Berbers attempted to defend the borders of their homelands against the streams of incoming colonialists.

Linguistically, the Berber language is part of the Afro-Asiatic language family. The original Berber language, like all world languages, has been reconstituted to include the languages of invaders and colonizers: Arabic, French and Spanish, mainly.

Berber food is described as being similar to Middle-Eastern food, only more heavily spiced. Spices commonly used in tagine (the traditional vegetable stew, as above, only cooked in an earthenware pot over an open fire) generally is spiced with ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and saffron. A more thorough study of the history of Berber foods will show who influenced who (was Berber couscous, for example, introduced into Middle Eastern eating, or the other way around?). That is beyond the scope of this article.

Watch the video (right) for more details on tagine and baking bread.

Mediterranean Diet is NOT Healthy

Egg Plant Turnovers- the Mediterranean Influence

Beans, Nuts, Eggplant, Tomatoes,Rice: The Fusion of Influences on Moroccan food with the binding spices!
Beans, Nuts, Eggplant, Tomatoes,Rice: The Fusion of Influences on Moroccan food with the binding spices! | Source

Mint Tea -- So Sweet!

The delight of mint tea sucked through a sugar cube... and at every meal!
The delight of mint tea sucked through a sugar cube... and at every meal! | Source

Dessert is Fresh Fruit and Pastry

Moroccan Pastries
Moroccan Pastries | Source

Popular Spicy Meatballs (Mediterranean / Moroccan)

Most of us have a pretty good idea about Mediterranean diet and cuisine-- or think we have! In fact, "Around 1975, under the impulse of one of those new nutritional directives by which good cooking is too often influenced, the Americans discovered the so-called Mediterranean diet. The name even pleased Italian government officials, who made one modification: changing from diet—a word which has always seemed punitive and therefore unpleasant—to Mediterranean cuisine."1 If you have traveled in the Mediterranean countries (those bordering on the Mediterranean Sea) you will have a good idea of the subtle, and even vast, differences in the diets of various peoples in the Mediterranean countries-- not to mention the liberties taken by those designing and naming the diet as it suits them (for more discussion on the health status of "The Mediterranean Diet" see the video to the right).

During Medievel times, Moroccan Muslims invaded Spain by crossing the Strait of Gibralter and making their way up the Iberian Pennisula. Over time they converted and intermarried with some Christian Iberians whom Arabs named "Muladi". The 'pastilla' or pidgeon pie made its way from the Iberian peninsula into Morocco, as did many Sephardic Jewish dishes such as various stuffed vegetable dishes (see the stuffed peppers in the tajine in the video about Berbers above). Traditionally Jews do not mix milk and meat together. Couscous and pulses (chickpeas, lentils) are probably contributed to the Moroccan menu via the Sephardic Jewish cooking traditions.

Moroccans also invaded Sicily in the early 8th Century. They share various fruits and nuts in common in their food preparations, and again I find it difficult to tell from a perusal of various Internet sites to tell, unequivocally, whether the influences were Moroccan to Sicilly, Sicilly fused to Morocco, or perhaps mutual in many cases.

Besides the Berber and Mediterranean influences in their diet, Morocco was also a French Protectorate from 1912 to 1956. It would seem that French influence in the diet was mainly in the form of upping the amount of meat preparations. The French, on the other hand, welcomed many North African influences upon their gastronomy. The same can be said by the Indians who quite often do Indian-North African fusion restaurants, a great thrill for the vegetarians I know.

1Massimo Alberini, Giorgio Mistretta, Guida all'Italia gastronomica, Touring Club Italiano, 1984, p. 37

Come Home to Deliciousness!

There is a LOT more to be said about and for Moroccan food. The very fragrance of it cooking outdoors at festivals makes me joyful! There are many wonderful recipes on the Internet that will provide you with the cuisine bliss you may be looking for. If you are off to work and want to have a delightful comfort meal on your return, just throw together the ingredients here into your crock pot and come home to an aromatic, delicious, low fat, high nutrition meal!

Marrakesh Express

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

Deep Metaphysical profile image

Deep Metaphysical 4 years ago from India

Can I like substitute the Aubergine with something else? Hate Aubergine!


techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hi Deep Metaphysical... good question... it's a nightshade like the peppers, potatoes and tomatoes... I'd just throw in another share of those, your favourites of course. I wonder if you have tried the Japanese eggplant? Long tubular plant but without the seeds and a somewhat different texture? I believe you could eliminate any vegs you didn't like and this still stands up well!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

Sounds delicious. Always looking for something easy to cook in the slow cooker.


techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

It is delicious, and easypeasy... let me know if you try it out, how you like it tirelesstraveler!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Lovely recipe. This looks and sounds very similar to a dish served in my favorite Moroccan restaurant. Bookmarked, rated up and will give it a try soon :)


techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thank you Om Paramapoonya-- I'm pretty much addicted to Moroccan right now and am a little steamed that I'm out of cinnamon and turmeric today! Hope it tastes nearly as good as the restaurant dish!


LivingFood profile image

LivingFood 4 years ago

Recipe looks delicious! TFS!!


techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

thanks for the coming by LivingFood-- hope you enjoy it!


yourbodyweight profile image

yourbodyweight 2 years ago

My home country favorite food, it takes too long to cook it in here cause we use many more ingredients, but this one looks delicious and healthy as well, voted up


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thank you for your kind words. I love Moroccan food cooked in the traditional way with the many spices and other ingredients-- I am flattered to think that you would review this adaptation so favourably. Cheers!


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 2 years ago

Thank you for this recipe - it's a great simplified, tasty version which suits me so much better. Up, interesting, useful and pinned!


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thanks Cybershelley for your comments and sharing. I actually just cooked this up yesterday and my hubby and I enjoyed it for a couple of meals today (our retirement style of eating lol). Hope you enjoy it!


Jerzimom profile image

Jerzimom 2 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

I ate at a Moroccan once when I visited California a few years ago. It was quite the experience since you got to eat.everything with your fingers. Great recipe. Pinning it.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hi again Jerzimom! There is definitely nothing like "the real thing"! Hope you enjoy the convenience of the crockpot recipe! Thanks for pinning!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 24 months ago from North Texas

This looks delicious! For some reason I always love something hearty and sort of a comfort food I guess, on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve has always been the main part of Christmas since I grew up. I think this recipe would be perfect for a blustery day or for a family time. Voted up, BAUI, and sharing with followers.


techygran profile image

techygran 24 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Why, thank you Au Fait for dropping in, reading, voting and sharing this hub. I adore Middle Eastern food because I find it to be very warming and comforting, as you note. I do believe that it would be pleasant Christmas Eve fare, or great on a blustery day. Do you get blustery days in Texas? We had a huge rain storm last night and our church processed over 45 evacuues from the river- flooded camp site across the road today. It was a privilege to have our building chosen as the reception center and the volunteers who did the registration (for people to be put up in hotels, etc.) liked the fact that our church was so handy-dandy to where the most need was. I think a lot about your hubs on poor and homeless people these days and it would seem that we are getting more and more opportunities to step up and serve. God bless, Cynthia

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working