FoodArts is my guilty pleasure. I check the mail so often, surely the mail man thinks I’m stalking him! FoodArts is an industry magazine that has news, recipes, and the latest innovations in food and equipment happening now. Ok so maybe it’s not for everyone, but I really enjoy it. I usually pore over the pages and marvel at how quickly the industry changes, I try to find old classmates in the ” deep dish” section, and wish I could recreate the amazing recipes at home. Sigh.

Latest edition of FoodArts

Some of the recipes are simple and can be recreated; others have ingredients not available to the home cook like gum arabic and gellan gum; some use techniques like sous-vide cooking and pressure cooking that require special equipment; but mostly the recipes are just time consuming. The magazine is not geared to the home cook, so none of this should come as a surprise. I just can’t really justify spending 3 days on a dish when I know for sure that both the hubby and the munchkin would be happy with pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese. Oh wait! We’re not eating cheese right now so I guess just pasta and sauce.

Yes, we’re still doing the vegan thing, except for one day a week. The one day a week has really helped us to not get frustrated, and we usually try not to go overboard and pig out. With the exception of this week, when we ate at Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena. The chef, Bryant Wigger, is a friend of ours and we couldn’t resist working our way through the menu. It has taken me the rest of the week to recover from my food coma.


Tagine cooking.

This recipe for Moroccan Vegetable Tagine is one of the best plant-based recipes we have tried yet. The flavors are intense and perfectly balanced. You can find the original recipe in the FoodArts issue of September 2012. It was created by Chef Laurence Jossel of Nopa in San Francisco. I have adapted it to fit my current needs and to make it more accessible to the home cook.

The Recipe: Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

moroccan vegetable tagine

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

4.41 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Dora Stone


Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp. Cumin, seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Fennel, Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp. Salt, kosher
  • 1/2 tbsp. Black Pepper, ground


  • 2 cups Chickpeas, canned, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Tomatoes, diced, canned
  • 4 cups Vegetable broth
  • 1 Orange, zest removed in wide strips
  • 1 Lemon, zest removed in wide strips
  • 1 Bay leaf, dried
  • 5 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Red onion, sliced
  • 2 Fennel bulb, sliced thick
  • 1/8 tsp. Saffron
  • 4 Carrots, large, cut into ½ in. chunks
  • 2 Garlic, cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Thyme fresh, chopped
  • 1 lb. Yukon gold or fingerling potatoes halved
  • 1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 head Broccoli, cut into florets, blanched
  • 2 Zucchini, cut into ½ in. rounds
  • 1 cup Corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup Green beans, blanched


  • 2 cups Green olives
  • 1 cup Almonds, toasted, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Mint, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Harissa sauce,
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt. (Optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Combine vegetable broth, chickpeas, lemon and orange zests, can of tomatoes, and bay leaf in a large pot. Set aside.
  • Combine spice mix in a small sauté pan set over medium heat and toast. Remove spices from pan and set aside. Once cool, grind in spice grinder.
  • In a large bowl, combine red onion, fennel, 2 tbsp. of oil, half the spice mixture, saffron, and toss. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and roast in oven for 20 min. Remove from oven and place in the pot with the chickpeas.
  • In the same bowl, combine potatoes, thyme, 1 tbsp. of olive oil and second half of the spice mixture. Place on a sheet pan with parchment paper and roast in oven for 35 min. Add to pot with chickpeas.
  • In the same bowl, combine carrots, garlic cloves, and 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Place on a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place cut zucchini and cauliflower separately in the same sheet pan as the carrots, drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 min. Add to pot with chickpeas.
  • Add blanched broccoli, blanched green beans, and corn to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring ingredients in the pot to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 min. or until vegetables are cooked through.
  • Serve in bowls with couscous and garnish with almonds, harissa, yogurt, olives, mint, and cilantro.


Serve with whole wheat or plain couscous or rice



3/12/12:   We’re going on a date tomorrow!! A real date. We will be joining the ranks of civilized people who eat without having to wrangle a 2 yr old while trying to enjoy a decent meal. We haven’t had a real date in months. The last time we tried to spend some time alone we ended up dropping the munchkin off at the sitters and coming back home to watch TV. You can hardly call that a date. There is only one problem. I’m still not eating any kind of animal product. How will I be able to resist the cheese?? The soft and pungent  Robiola or the nutty Pecorino.

Eating out on a plant based diet hasn’t been difficult yet. In the past two weeks we have eaten twice at Native Foods in Aliso Viejo. Native Foods is a cafe that serves vegan food made from scratch. If it wasn’t for this lenten experiment that we’re conducting we would’ve never given Native Foods the time of day. Remember how I said I was going to try away from “fake” foods like vegan cheese and anything that slightly resembled a “real” food. Well, this restaurant has proved me wrong. They make an excellent seitan meatball sandwich, and their burger is not bad, not bad at all.

mushroom fajitas


We also ate at Seabirds food truck, which basically serves vegan street food. I had a fried avocado taco, with a garlic aioli, and cole slaw. Their sweet potato fries were good, but the kale, apple, and currant salad was the best. Even though a fried avocado taco isn’t exactly healthy it was a nice treat. Who knew vegans could be unhealthy as well??


This week we made:

  1. Falafel, Cucumber, Lettuce & Tahini Pita Pockets
  2. Spicy Red Lentil Daal and Brown Basmati Rice
  3. Ribollita
  4. Krispy Kale, Coconut, Tofu & Brown Rice in a Sesame Soy Dressing 
  5. Cocoa Peanut Vegan Cookies

I have been looking for good vegan recipe sites or blogs and I came across HealthyHappyLife. The pictures are beautiful and the recipes I’ve tried so far have been excellent. They have a huge vegan recipe index with everything from breakfast to dessert.

3/14:  Dinnner last night was great. I was weak and ended up eating all kinds of deliciousness. It was worth it.

mushroom fajitas

mushroom fajitas

Mushroom Fajitas

Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 1 tbsp. Oil (optional)
  • 1 lb. Button mushrooms, sliced 1/4 in. thick
  • 1 lb. Portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/4 in. thick
  • 1 Yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. Soy sauce


  • Set a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Pour in oil. Add mushrooms when pan is hot and cook for about 3-5 min, until all the liquid released by the mushrooms has evaporated and they are golden brown
  • Remove mushrooms from pan.
  • Add onion into the pan and cook for 2-3 min. until slightly browned. Add garlic and peppers. Cook for 3-4 min. more or until the peppers are tender.
  • Place mushrooms back in the pan. Pour in soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 min.
  • Serve with tortillas, guacamole and roasted tomato salsa.


Feel free to add any variety of mushrooms or make your own combination.