Saturday, December 6, 2008

Giving Barbara a Big Hug and a Bowl of Moroccan Carrots and Couscous

Moroccan Carrots and Couscous

Many of you probably know Barbara of the wonderful Winos and Foodies. If so, then you know that for the last two years, she has hosted A Taste of Yellow, a food blogging event featuring yellow foods, to celebrate her survival of cancer and to raise awareness of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Sadly Barbara's cancer has returned, and she is currently undergoing another round of chemotherapy. Her dear friends, Bron of Bron Marshall and Ilva of Lucullian Delights, have organized a secret blog event in Barbara's honor so that we might all give her a "big virtual hug," and post some recipes that she might find enjoyable right now.

Barbara has been craving fresh Asian and Moroccan flavors, so I created this Moroccan Carrots and Couscous dish for her. Carrots are powerhouses of beta carotene, an antioxidant that may lower your risk of cancer, as well as lutein, which promotes ocular health. The dish also contains ginger, mint, and fennel seeds, all proven to help alleviate nausea.

Since I created this dish with Barbara in mind, I avoided sweet flavors and kept things salty and savory. However, if you'd like, you could toss in some golden raisins or drizzle the servings with some honey.


After it rained the other morning, a glorious rainbow briefly filled the sky. A symbol of peace, hope, and safe travels, a rainbow seems just right to send Barbara's way.

Moroccan Carrots and Couscous
Makes 2 main or 4 side servings
Print recipe only here.

1 pound carrots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced on the diagonal
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt, to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (about half a small lemon)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/2 cup dry couscous
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons pine nuts
a generous sprinkling of salt
6-8 large mint leaves, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place sliced carrots in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk 2 teaspoons olive oil, cayenne pepper, and salt; pour over carrots and toss until coated. Place carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until carrots are tender yet crisp and have a few brown spots.

In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, and ginger; set aside.

In a small dry skillet over medium, toast fennel seeds and pine nuts for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly golden and aromatic; set aside.

Place couscous and water in a microwavable bowl; cook on high for 1 minute. Rest on counter top for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Stir in toasted fennel seeds and pine nuts, and season with salt. Stir in mint.

Place couscous in a serving bowl, top with roasted carrots, and drizzle with the lemon-olive oil dressing. Season to taste with salt, and garnish with additional mint, if desired.

Moroccan Carrots and Couscous

You might also like these cancer-fighting dishes:

Winter Jewel Fruit Salad

Wild Arugula and Blood Orange Salad with Prosciutto

Mediterranean Wheatberry Salad with Lentils and Chickpeas