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Posted Jan 12 2013 8:59am


Apparently I’m all about bowl-food these days.

Comely, comforting, come-back-for-seconds ugly bowl-food:




Photo-genetics aside, I love how easily you can change the flavor profile of a veggie stew to match a style of cuisine. Lately I’ve been feasting on a particularly multicultural meal.

This “mouss-a-touille” is what would happen if Greek Moussaka and French Ratatouille had a messy love affair in Lebanon ^~.

I was inspired by a vegan dish at Mezzet, a Lebanese restaurant in Kingston-Upon-Thames. It was a simple veggie stew in a spicy (not hot, spiced) tomato sauce.  My version is heavy on the traditional eggplant & tomatoes, but with the addition of thinly sliced vegetables, hearty chickpeas and a dash of Lebanese spices and fresh herbs.

Like most bowl-foods, this gets better the second day. If you cook up a big pot of grains, you’ve got lunches and dinners for a day or two — or an exotic meal for you and a few lucky friends!



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This spiced stew is an exotic combination of three of my favorite dishes: French ratatouille, Greek moussaka and Lebanese magmour. 

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped into thin rings
  • 2  cloves garlic, minced
  • sea salt
  • 2 tsp Lebanese 7-spice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 400g-can plum tomatoes
  • 1 680g-jar crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 of a box of button mushrooms, sliced thinly (6 large)
  • 1 400g can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup or so of water, as needed
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, chopped, to garnish
  1. Heat oil over medium flame in a wok or large non-stick saucepan
  2. Slice onions, mince garlic and add to pan with a sprinkle of sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add 7-spice, coriander and chilli flakes to pan and stir well to combine with the onion & garlic.
  4. Add eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms & chickpeas to wok. Toss to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add can of whole tomatoes, jar of crushed tomatoes and tbsp of tomato paste. Fold over your veggies to coat.
  6. Add water to sauce until the veggies are covered *
  7. Simmer 25-30 minutes, until eggplant is meltingly tender
  8. Add chopped parsley and give mouss-a-touille a final stir
  9. Garnish with a fresh parsley sprig and serve over couscous, quinoa or rice. {A toasted pita works, too!}

* Like magic the veggies will “sweat” as the water evaporates, so the mouss-a-touille will get more and more flavorful while maintaining its consistency.


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