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This evening I cooked Moroccan Lamb Stew, one of the recipes I promised to make from The Simply Wholesome Kitchen. Its author, Alissa Stoltz, adapts popular recipes by substituting ingredients with more healthful choices, which really compliments my boot camp commitment. I was told that Alissa's hubs is obsessed with this dish, so I knew that the Moroccan Lamb Stew was the one I needed to try first. I was also excited to cook a lamb dish since we eat way too much chicken and beef.

As Alissa recommended, I started prepping early in the afternoon, then let the lamb sit a bit before serving for dinner. The only preparation, if you buy the lamb in stew pieces, is to coat it in the array of spices, then sear. After that, it's just a waiting game as it takes 2 hours of simmering to complete.

I'm thrilled to report that not only is the recipe simple to execute, both Glamadad and I love it! The flavors are fantastic and the meat turned out soft and succulent. This recipe is a must if you like Moroccan, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian or spicy foods.

I agree with Alissa that brown meat doesn't photograph well but here it is, my new signature dish. Ha!

We're looking forward to trying another one of the recipes from The Simply Wholesome Kitchen, especially Glamadad. I swear, he's looking at me differently tonight. All thankful and shit. Like popping out a nearly 9-pound baby wasn't enough. But I digress. Think I'm going to make the turkey meatballs next. Even Big Bub and Mapu will be able to get in on that action.

Moroccan Lamb Stew, The Simply Wholesome Kitchen:

1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb stew pieces
2 teaspoons grill seasoning (I used a combination of kosher salt, black pepper, and a different meat seasoning blend I had on hand)
1 rounded teaspoon turmeric
1 rounded teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika (not smoked)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced or chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
10 to 12 pitted dates, halved, about 8 oz
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Add all of the spices to a gallon sized food storage bag and shake to mix. Add lamb and shake to evenly coat all of the pieces with the spice blend.

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, then the lamb. Sear the lamb and caramelize the meat all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook 5 minutes more. Add the chicken stock to the pan and cover. Simmer for approximately 2 hours or until the lamb can be easily pulled apart with a fork (leave plenty of time; you can always keep it warm until you're ready to eat if it cooks faster than you expect). About 5-10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the dates. **I forgot to add the dates while cooking but added them after the fact and it still tasted amazing. If there seems to be too much liquid near the end, cook with the cover off to thicken, or add more stock if needed. **I had the exact opposite issue...there wasn't enough liquid when I re-heated so I added more stock.

Serve over whole wheat couscous or whatever grain you prefer. **I used couscous and it was perfect!

Serves 4 (generously) **I disagree a little here. We have a small amount left over so I think it serves more like 3, maybe 4 skinny people. Sorry but we bring it when we eat 'round here.