Moroccan Feast: Slow-Cooked Lamb & Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Chicago’s bout of unseasonably warm fall weather is finally over, which means it’s time for some major winter hibernation in the Gupta household. And with that, comes some delicious, wintery slow-cooking of course. Last Sunday, hubby and I decided to try this Moroccan Lamb recipe from Epicurious and it was absolutely scrumptious. Flavorful, comforting and not as complicated as I would’ve figured–especially if you have a Crockpot on hand. We’ve always been a little hesitant to prepare lamb, but after this, can’t wait to try out some more lamb or goat recipes!

We paired the lamb with some couscous and this Roasted Cauliflower and Arugula Salad with Sumac Dressing from, which is hands down THE most amazing salad I’ve ever tasted. The combination of roasted cauliflower, spices and feta is absolutely perfect. Definitely going to be a regular in our household.


The lamb simmering away in a sauce of tomatoes, chickpeas, chicken broth, and dried apricots. Right before we transferred the mixture to a Crockpot for two hours of slow cooking. 


Roasted cauliflower and arugula salad with sumac dressing from 

Here’s our version of Epicurious’ Slow-Cooked Lamb recipe – more spice, and we used a Crockpot to get more tender lamb. Enjoy!

Ingredients (serves 6) 

3 tbsp cumin and coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala (optional, but adds more flavor & spice to the original recipe) 
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili pepper (the original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon, but it wasn’t nearly enough spice for us so we added more)
2.5 pounds leg of lamb, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 cup dried apricots
2 tomatoes, diced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp grated lemon peel
Fresh cilantro and mint leaves for garnishing


Marinate the the lamb in cumin & coriander powder, salt & pepper, fennel seeds, and 1 tsp of cayenne pepper or red chili powder. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the lamb pieces in batches until they’re browned on all sides. Add more oil as necessary. Transfer the lamb to a new bowl as they’re done browning – each batch should take around 7-10 minutes.

Fry the onions and tomato paste in the skillet until the onions soften. Add the chicken broth, chickpeas, apricots, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, garam masala, ginger, and lemon pool and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. At this point, you can add in the lamb pieces, bring to a boil, cover and cook for an hour OR you can now turn to a Crockpot.

If you’re using a Crockpot: Transfer the sauce to your slow-cooker and add in the lamb pieces. Cook on high for 2-2.5 hours, until the lamb is tender. At this point, you can add more spices and salt depending on your taste. Once you’re satisfied with the tenderness of the meat, remove your Crockpot from heat (keep warm) and let the sauce thicken. Garnish with cilantro and mint leaves and serve with couscous or rice. Voila – you’re done! Sit back and enjoy.

Creamy No-Cream Cauliflower Soup

I know, I know. I’m completely failing at posting regularly on my blog, but I promise you it’s all for good reason. Life has been a whirlwind lately with tons of travel and a busy work schedule, but I’m looking forward to things slowing down a bit for the summer. We’ve had a taste of some amazing weather here in Chicago, and I’m getting so amped for outdoor music festivals, day drinking, international travel (fingers crossed), barbecues, and experimenting with some lighter summer flavors in the kitchen. It’s gonna be a gooood, good summer. I can just feel it!

This time of year, I always find myself craving more veggies. My husband and I have been trying to incorporate one meatless meal at least once a week, and it actually hasn’t been that difficult to do. Veggie soups are perfect for helping us accomplish this goal – they’re easy to make, quite filling, and last for at least three days. I’m a lazy cook, so this is a big win in my book 🙂 Last week, I made a modified/healthier version of Food Network’s Cauliflower Soup and absolutely loved it. The best part about my recipe is that it was super creamy and sweet, with NO cream at all. Enjoy!


Ingredients (serves 4) 

1/2 stick butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 cauliflower head, cored and cut into small florets
2 tbsp fresh parsley
4 cups chicken broth/stock
6 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
Salt, to taste
Black pepper
Paprika, to taste
1 cup greek yoghurt

Recipe (*modified from the Food Network) 

Melt 1/4 stick of butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, then add the carrots and cook until they begin to brown. Add the cauliflower florets, cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. The cauliflower should be very soft at this point. Add the parsley and chicken broth and let simmer for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, make a white sauce in a small saucepan. Melt the remaining 1/4 stick butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and whisk to combine until the flour is no longer lumpy. Pour the white sauce into the pot. Add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste and allow the soup to simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes. When serving, place some greek yogurt at the bottom of the serving bowl, add the soup, and stir slowly. Creamy and delicious, with ZERO cream involved!

*Note that the Food Network recipe suggests that you can use an immersion blender to puree for a smoother, thicker soup. This is a great option, but I sort of liked feeling the cauliflower’s texture. And like I said, I’m a lazy cook, so love the added benefit of only cleaning one pot!