Moroccan Kidney Bean & Chickpea Salad
The bold flavors of the lemon-cumin dressing in this healthy bean salad recipe make it a wonderful side dish to grilled beef and lamb, yet it's also a stellar meatless main when served with whole-wheat couscous.
Slow-Cooker Moroccan Lentil Soup
Like most soups, this Moroccan lentil soup recipe gets better with time as the complex seasonings have time to develop. Make it a day ahead if you can--this easy slow cooker/crock pot recipe variation makes it a cinch to get the soup cooking while you do other things.
Egyptian Lentil Soup
Use red, yellow or even brown lentils to make this iconic and super-simple Middle Eastern soup. Skip green or black lentils, which won't soften enough to puree smoothly. (Recipe adapted from Zooba Restaurant.)
Moroccan Lentil Soup
Like most soups, this healthy Moroccan lentil soup recipe gets better with time, so make it a day ahead if you can--or try our easy slow cooker/crock pot recipe variation.
Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew
This chicken stew, generously seasoned with the Ethiopian spice mix berbere, is loaded with tomato and red lentils. Depending on brand, berbere spice blend can be rather spicy. For a less spicy stew, start with 3 tablespoons spice blend rather than 5.
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Apricots & Olives
This healthy chicken stew is full of warming, spicy flavor thanks to ras el hanout, an aromatic Moroccan spice blend. You can find it in well-stocked grocery stores--or substitute 1/2 tsp. each ground cumin and ginger and 1/4 tsp. each ground cinnamon, coriander and allspice.
Dodo Ati Efo (Fried Plantains & Stewed Spinach)
This is a popular dish of the Yoruba, one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. In the Yoruba language, dodo means fried plantains, and efo means leafy green vegetables, commonly spinach—here, the sweet plantains are a foil to the spicy spinach stew. Essential to Nigerian cuisine, unrefined red palm oil gets its color from naturally occurring beta carotene. For a vegetarian version, substitute 1 pound sliced mushrooms for the beef and use vegetable bouillon cubes. In Step 3, simmer the mushrooms in the sauce for 5 minutes.
Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque
This satisfying vegetarian sweet potato soup is inspired by the flavors of West African peanut soup. We like the added zip of hot green chiles, but they can sometimes be very spicy. It's best to take a small bite first and add them to taste. Try chopped peanuts and scallions for a different garnish. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
Egusi soup, which is thickened with roasted and ground gourd seeds, is the most widely eaten soup across Nigeria. It's usually served with swallow, a dough made from any number of starches, including pounded yam and dried cassava, that is used to scoop up the soup. But San Francisco chef Simileoluwa Adebajo's love of Chinese dumplings inspired this creation.
Shakshuka, or eggs poached in an aromatic tomato sauce, is a fast, one-pan breakfast staple in Northern Africa and Israel. This healthy recipe features spinach, herbs and tomatillos. Garnish with a touch of harissa--a fiery chile paste--and dip some toasted whole-grain country bread into the jammy yolks.
Moroccan Baked Cod & Vegetables with Chermoula Sauce
In this easy and healthy cod recipe, vegetables and fish are roasted on a sheet pan, then topped with chermoula--a classic Moroccan sauce made of lemon juice, garlic, paprika and fresh herbs. Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend available at well-stocked supermarkets and online.
Beef Suya Tacos
Suya, grilled skewers of thinly sliced meat spiced with ground peanuts, ginger and chiles, originated with the Hausa and Fulani people in northern Nigeria, but they are now a popular street food, wrapped in newspaper to go, throughout the country. Nigerian American chef Simileoluwa Adebajo, owner of Èkó Kitchen in San Francisco, created this dish one day when she sliced suya hot off the grill and placed them in fresh tortillas made by a friend with a cooking school in Mexico. For the best flavor, Adebajo recommends making your own tortillas, but here we use store-bought for simplicity.