Ras El Hanout

Ras El-Hanout
Ras El-Hanout

The Moroccan Carrot Salad recipe from the other day requires an ingredient called ras el hanout. Some people might wonder what that is, and some people might not be able to find it already made. Ras el hanout is a spice mixture originating in North Africa. It could be considered as the North African version of the Indian garam masala. Ras el hanout is associated mainly with Morocco, but it is also used in the neighboring countries.

You can find it in a spice jar in many grocery stores and speciality markets, but if not, or if you’re crazy like me and love to do these things from scratch, here is the recipe I’ve been using for a while. I’m not sure where it’s from or who gave it to me, but it sure tastes great. You could even go as far as grinding each individual spice before mixing them.

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Ras El Hanout

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
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Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

Whisk everything together in a small bowl. You can keep this spice blend in an airtight container at room temperate, away from the light, for about a month. You can use it to flavor dressings, you can rub root vegetables before roasting them, you can stir into a couscous. There are so many possibilities for this complex and tasty spice mix. Bon appétit!

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Ras el hanout

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
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Ingredients

  • 1 c. à thé de cumin moulu 
  • 1 c. à thé de gingembre moulu
  • 1 c. à thé de curcuma moulu
  • 3/4 c. à thé de cannelle moulue
  • 3/4 c. à thé de poivre noir, fraîchement moulu
  • 1/2 c. à thé de poivre blanc, fraîchement moulu
  • 1/2 c. à thé de graines de coriandre moulues
  • 1/2 c. à thé de cayenne
  • 1/2 c. à thé de piment de la Jamaïque moulu
  • 1/2 c. à thé de muscade moulue
  • 1/4 c. à thé de clou de girofle moulu

Instructions

Mélanger tous les ingrédients dans un petit bol. Conserve le mélange d’épices dans un contenant hermétique au réfrigérateur pendant un mois. Vous pouvez l’utiliser dans une vinaigrette, pour assaisonner des légumes racines avant la cuisson au four, ou même pour relever un couscous. Ce mélange à épices est vraiment versatile. Bon appétit!

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Vichyssoise with Green Peas and Lovage

Vichyssoise with Green Peas and Lovage
Vichyssoise with Green Peas and Lovage

Vichyssoise is a soup that usually contains a lot of whole milk. I was a little hesitant to make a plant-based vichyssoise because of the taste of almond or coconut milk. But surprise, surprise! With oat milk, this Vichyssoise with Green Peas and Lovage was fantastic. And it’s as good served warm as it is served cold. This recipe makes a lot of soup, enough for 6-8 people, but if you want to cut everything in half, feel free to do so. Lovage is a perennial plant. The leaves smell similar to celery when crushed. They can be used in salads, or in soups and broth. If you can’t find lovage, try with celery leaves and maybe a little bit of celery seed, to enhance the flavor.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it! Please tag @LivityGardens on social.

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Vichyssoise with Green Peas and Lovage

  • Author: Karine K
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Ingredients

  • 5 large Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 4 large leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups plant milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste, plus freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh lovage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas (thawed if frozen)
  • Chives and extra lovage for garnish

Instructions

In a large soup pot, bring potatoes, leeks, broth, milk, salt, chopped lovage and pepper to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender.

Let cool until it is safe to purée the soup in a blender, or use an immersion blender. If you used an upright blender, return the soup to the pot. Add the peas and cook until heated through. Chill to room temperature and then place in the fridge until completely chilled, at least four hours. Or do like I did and serve warm! You can always try it cold the next day! Bon appétit!

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Vichyssoise avec petits pois et livèche

  • Author: Karine K
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Ingredients

  • 5 grosses pommes de terre Yukon, pelées et coupées en cubes de un demi pouce
  • 4 gros poireaux, la partie blanche seulement, coupés en deux sur la longueur, et tranchés en demi-lunes minces
  • 4 tasses de bouillon de légumes
  • 4 tasses de lait d’avoine
  • 2 c. à thé de sel de mer, ou au goût, et poivre noir, au goût
  • 1/3 tasse de livèche, hachée
  • 2 tasses de petits pois frais ou congelés (décongelés)
  • Garnitures: ciboulette, livèche

Instructions

Dans un grand chaudron à soupe, porter à ébullition les pommes de terre, les poireaux, le bouillon de légumes, le lait d’avoine, le sel, la livèche hachée, et le poivre. Réduire le feu et laisser mijoter, à mi-couvert, pendant 25 à 30 minutes, jusqu’à ce que les pommes de terre soient très tendres.

Laisser refroidir un peu et transférer dans un mélangeur, ou utiliser un mélangeur à main. Retourner la soupe dans le chaudron, ajouter les pois et réchauffer. Retirer du feu, refroidir à température ambiante et placer au réfrigérateur, au moins quatre heures. Ou servir chaude. Bon appétit!

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I went to a vegan BBQ…

So, yes. I did it. I put the words vegan and BBQ in the same sentence. I know. But Monday night was a feast in the greater, powerful sense of the term. Not only a feast for the eyes, but a fuzzy feeling inside, and this delightful state of not wanting to stop eating. Ever.

The vegan BBQ started with the vegetables. Of course. Aren’t they so enticing? Organic plants that just won’t stop giving. The colors, the smells… Even the kids wouldn’t stop eating the raw veggies before I grilled them. My first star was the BBQ’ed cauliflower. I often go back to the same BBQ sauce my mom used to make (from scratch), and use it on different vegetables. I only swapped the butter in the recipe for an Earth Balance spread.

Start with some vegetables...
Start with some vegetables…

Then came the corn, onions, zucchinis, mushrooms, peppers, and more onions, because I have a serious addiction to onions, garlic, anything belonging to the Allium genus really.

The trick when grilling a bunch of vegetables is knowing when to put them on, so they are all ready at the same time. It takes a bit of practice and common sense, but just think about it before putting them on. Obviously, a zucchini will cook way faster than an onion. Here’s a chart from Addicted to Grilling, it could help at least steer you in the right direction. The other important thing is oiling your vegetables. That will impart flavor, of course, but it will prevent from sticking. So now, close your eyes and imagine a BBQ filled with stuff. Now imagine that this stuff is all vegetables!

Vegetables on the grill
Vegetables on the grill

Feel free to add skewers of marinated tofu, tempeh, or seitan. I made some freekeh to accompany the vegetables, served with a Pepita-Cilantro Pesto, from another recipe, and I had a meal. Trust me, the flavors of the grill can also be applied to a vegetable. Those portobello mushrooms were better than a flatiron steak. Great thing also is if you have leftovers, you can either reheat the next day in the oven, or make a vegetable soup. Either way, you can’t go wrong! Enjoy your vegan BBQ!

A Plant-Based BBQ
A Plant-Based BBQ