janet @ the taste space

Moroccan Harira with Eggplant and Chickpeas & Isa Does It Giveaway!

In Book Review, Mains (Vegetarian) on October 15, 2013 at 6:52 AM

Harira with Eggplant and Chickpeas

See below for the giveaway for Isa Does It!

If I had to pick a vegan rockstar, it would be Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Long ago, we was rocking it out on television, but now mostly vegan chef, author and blogger. She has penned 7 vegan cookbooks and her eighth book has been eagerly anticipated. As she explains in her newest cookbook, Isa Does It, her title makes more sense once you know her first name is pronounced Ee-sa. Thus, her title is a play on Easy Does It. 😉

As such, Isa Does It highlights mostly simple, quicker recipes (under 30 minutes!) that are foremost tasty. This is a cookbook for the beginner chef as well as those who want to reinvigorate their kitchens with new scents and textures, without breaking the bank or spending hours on top of the stove. Isa explains how she stocks her pantry, her kitchen cabinets and then details specific beginner techniques (with step-by-step photos), such as how to butcher tofu and tempeh.

With 11 recipe chapters that span the gamut from quick soups, salads, handheld, bowls, curries and stir fries, there is a lot of variety. Furthermore, not much is left untouched as Isa also includes fancier “Sunday night suppers” and breakfast/brunch ideas, too. Rest assured, complete meals are encouraged as desserts are included, too.

I admire Isa for a fabulously tantalizing blog, sharing her delicious creations. I guess it should be no surprise that some of my favourite recipes from her blog appear in the cookbook (see below). In addition, of the 150 recipes in the cookbook, the majority are brand-spanking new.

Beefy asparagus stir-fry with fresh herbs. Okra gumbo with chickpeas and kidney beans. Quinoa Caesar salad. Cucumber Ranch bowl with breaded tofu. Edamame hummus and tofu wraps. Belgian beer and seitan stew. Baked garlic-curry fries. Chickpea-Rice soup with cabbage. Coconut chana saag. Chandra Malai kofta. Goddess noodles with tempeh and broccoli. My Thai overnight scramble, breakfast scrambled chickpeas, oh please.

If you have tried Isa’s recipe before, you know the name of each dish never gives you the full picture. They are very descriptive of the ingredients, but something so simple may be more than the sum of its parts. I am eagerly waiting to pounce through this cookbook, page-by-page. Chocolate gingerbread cookies, anyone? I can already vouch for the ancho lentil tacos, tempeh orzilla, Jerk Sloppy Joes, lemon-garlic fava beans and mushrooms, chana masala (not my favourite but Rob liked it well enough), cucumber avocado tea sandwiches, chai spiced snickerdoodles, and now her delicious Moroccan harira with eggplant and chickpeas.

Harira with Eggplant and Chickpeas

Harira is a Moroccan soup/stew that I have been meaning to recreate since I travelled to Morocco. Let’s just say it has been on my to-make list for many years. It wasn’t until I saw Isa’s recipe that I jumped at the chance to try it out. Harira is a very forgiving recipe. As I travelled through Morocco, nearly every restaurant had a different version of harira. Some with chickpeas, some with lentils, sometimes both beans, some with tomatoes, others with ginger, some with herbs, others not. I cannot say that I saw any with eggplant, but that is Isa’s slant.

First, I made a few tweaks to Isa’s recipe… mainly because I had no vegetable broth, so I used my impromptu nooch plus random spice blend. This time, I threw in dried parsley, lemon pepper and the 21-spice seasoning from Trader Joe’s. I also substituted spiralized zucchini for the noodles. Ingenious, if I may say so myself. Anyways, less about me, more about Isa. This soup was great. Bulky and satisfying with chickpeas and lentils in a flavourful tomato broth spiced with ginger, cinnamon, smoked paprika and saffron. Fresh mint and cilantro add a lightness, along with the finishing lemon juice. I use saffron so sparingly I am glad I finally found a great use for it! The textural foil of the noodles with the beans was perfect.

For someone new to veganism, the ingredient lists in her recipes may still seem a tad overwhelming (vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, chickpea flour, cashews, wine and fresh herbs) but these are rather commonplace in a vegan’s kitchen. Except the saffron, because well, that’s not a regular ingredient. Once you have access to fresh herbs, it is hard to return to the dried ones, so I understand the recent push for quality ingredients.

I really want to share this cookbook with you. Thankfully the publisher is letting me give a cookbook to one reader living in the US or Canada. To be entered, please leave a comment here, telling me about your favourite Isa recipe. If you haven’t made anything by Isa yet, have a look through the table of contents of Isa Does It on amazon (or my list below) and tell me what you want to cook the most. I will randomly select a winner on October 31, 2013. Good luck!

PS. Today is also the last day to enter my giveaway for The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen. Enter here.

PPS. If you pre-ordered your cookbook already, don’t forget to get your free Isa Does It tote bag.

PPPS. Versions of Isa’s dishes made previously, not all from Isa Does It (more recommended dishes can be found listed here):

Ancho Lentil Salad Wraps 
Black Bean and Kabocha Squash Rancheros
Roasted Beet Salad with Warm Maple Mustard Dressing and Tempeh Croutons
White Bean, Quinoa and Kale Stew with Fennel
Asparagus, Nectarine and Baby Lima Bean Lettuce Wrap
Naked Oats with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Crumbled Tempeh
Tomato-Basil Zucchini Noodle Salad
Chickpea Piccata
Brown Sugar Cardamom Snickerdoodles

PPPPS. Isa’s recipes in Isa Does It that she has already shared on her blog, Post Punk Kitchen, and elsewhere:

Everyday Pad Thai
Seitan & Broccoli with Pantry BBQ Sauce
Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches with Dill & Mint
Roasted Potato & Fennel Soup
Chickpea-Rice Soup with Cabbage
Alphabet Soup
New England Glam Chowder
Quarter Pounder Beet Burger
Olive Lentil Burgers
Jerk Sloppy Joes with Coconut Creamed Spinach
Sunflower Mac (and Cheese)
Roasted Butternut Alfredo
Ancho Lentil Tacos
Dragon Noodle Salad
Bestest Pesto
Pesto Risotto with Roasted Zucchini
Chili Pumpkin Cranberry Risotto with Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Red Lentil Thai Chili
Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Penne with Broccoli
Chana Masala
Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings
Meaty Beany Chili with Corn Muffins
Okra Gumbo with Chickpeas & Kidney Beans
Lemon Garlic Fava Beans & Mushrooms
Summer Seitan Saute with Cilantro and Lime
Tamale Shepherd’s Pie
Nirvana Enchilada Casserole
Tempeh Orzilla
Garlicky Thyme Tempeh
Puffy Pillow Pancakes
Carrot Cake Pancakes
Marbled Banana Bread
Chai Spice Snickerdoodles
Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to next month’s Veg Cookbook Club.

Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book to review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. You know I would have loved this book and would have bought my own copy. 🙂

Harira with Eggplant and Chickpeas
Courtesy of Isa Does It

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt, plus a pinch (note: I used less)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo chile flakes)
8 cups vegetable broth (note: I used a combination of water with nutritional yeast, dried parsley, lemon pepper and 21-spice seasoning)
1 medium eggplant (~1 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup brown or green lentils
2 tsp sweet paprika (note: I used sweet smoked paprika)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp saffron threads, crushed (note: Isa says optional but it was a great addition; I would recommend a bit less, though)
1 (24-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
4 ounces angel hair pasta (note: I substituted one zucchini that I had spiralized, being sure to then cut them into manageable lengths)

1. Preheat a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. Saute the onion in the oil with a pinch of salt until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 more minute.

2. Deglaze the pot with a splash of broth. Add the eggplant, lentils, paprika, cinnamon, remaining 1 tsp of salt and saffron threads (if desired), along with 4 cups of the broth. If you add all of the broth it will take a longer time to come to a boil and break down the lentils and eggplant, which is why we’re not adding it all at once.

3. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Keep it at a boil but lower the heat a bit if it’s boiling too violently. Leave the lid slightly ajar so that steam can escape, and boil for 20 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally. The eggplant should be mostly disintegrated and the lentils should be soft.

4. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, mint and cilantro and at least 2 more cups of vegetable broth, and more if needed to make it soup-like and not too thick. Bring to a boil, then break the pasta strands into thirds and add to the pot, gently coaxing with a spatula to submerge and separate the strands. Cook until the pasta is soft then thin out the soup with the remaining broth, if needed. (Janet’s note: if using zucchini, just cook for 1 minute as it will soften very fast). Serve in big bowls, with extra herbs for garnish.

Serves 8-10 according to Isa, we had more like 4-5 servings.

  1. There are so many wonderful sounding recipes it is hard to decide but I think the first thing I would make would be Dilly stew with rosemary dumplings.

  2. Wow !!! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂 I want that book so bad 🙂

    Oufff…really, really difficult to identify only one dish cause I like many of her recipe. I’ve made the Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumpling and it was a delish. My husband and I really enjoyed it…miammm !!!

  3. so where is the recipe for this eggplant and chick pea dish?
    curious to see your version with zuccini noodles..!

  4. oops. never mind.. haven’t had my coffee yet……….. 🙂

  5. I LOVE Isa and her recipes, and it would be too difficult to choose a favourite. Really anything from her (and Terry’s) Veganomicon or Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World would make me happy 🙂

  6. I’ve never tried Harira but I’d love to surprise my vegan Moroccan-food-loving uncle with it for his birthday this month…thank you for the recipe! Isa’s cookbook looks swimmingly brilliant as always. I’m a burger fiend so I’d love to make the Bistro Beet Burgers from it. Cheers!

  7. My favorite thing from Isa Does It is either the pizza bowl or the chipotle sausage hash.

  8. Love her Mushroom and Leek Skillet, hope to find more wonderful recipes in the book, which I truly hope to win!

  9. I love Isa’s Pad Thai recipe.It’s flavorful and SIMPLE!

  10. I had tried many vegan burger recipes but when I made Isa’s quarter pound beet burger, I was in love. It would be great to have her new book!

  11. Isa’s Italian sausage recipe is one we make again and again!

  12. I loooooove isa! I ate her blueberry oatmeal waffles for MONTHS!

  13. Chili Pumpkin Cranberry Risotto with Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds sounds delicious, and just in time with all of the abundant pumpkins in season.

  14. Isa has many great recipes. My favorite so far is the Seitan Porcini Beef Stew

  15. I would like to try the Brown Sugar Cardamom Snickerdoodles.

  16. Her puffy pillow pancakes are my all-time fav!!!!!! They were the first vegan pancakes that I made and LOVED. In fact, I just re-mixed them with pumpkin 🙂 Yumm. I also tried her okra gumbo recipe the other day since I had okra to use up and it was interesting…not my fav but I was just relieved to use up the okra!

  17. So excited for this book! Definitely going to be one I have to buy straight away rather than holding out until Christmas or my birthday. Hopefully it won’t be out too much later in the UK.
    I love the sound of the harira. I’ve seen it on menus before but weirdly it’s always had egg in :S

  18. That Tamale Shepherd’s Pie sounds off the hook. That would definitely be the first item I’d try.

  19. Favourite Isa recipe is the Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens from Appetite for Reduction

  20. I would love to have a copy of Isa Does It, right now my favorite Isa recipe is probably the Corn Chowder from Vegan with a Vengeance. Can’t wait for next summer to make it again.

  21. The Chai Spice Snickerdoodles.

  22. I haven’t made anything from her Isa Does It recipes but I own and love Veganomicon and Vegan With a Vengeance. The Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings sounds really good

  23. My stomach is growling audibly just reading this!! And staring at those pictures. The spices here…totally my favorites. all in one bowl.

  24. How about this. Lovely and nourishing.

  25. I haven’t made any of her recipes but I really want those chocolate gingerbread cookies or the brown sugar cardamom ones. yes I do have a sweet tooth 🙂

  26. Her chocolate dipped bottom macaroons are to die for!

  27. I’m not in North America but I love the sound of this cookbook anyway 🙂 She does whip up incredible dishes.

  28. You had me at cinnamon and saffron. Mmmm

  29. So excited to read your review of this book! It is really difficult to identify a single favorite recipe from Isa but I have to say that the one I make most often is probably the Cauliflower Red Lentil Curry from Veganomicon (followed VERY closely by the Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir Fry).

  30. I don’t think I could pick a favorite, but one I really love is Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup from Appetite for Reduction. I’m eating it right now!

  31. […] Win Isa Does It Cookbook over at The Taste Space – Giveaway ends Oct. 31st. Open to U.S. and Canada. […]

  32. I would LOVE to try the BBQ seitan & broccoli! Mmm…

  33. The samosa stuffed baked potatoes from V’Con are AMAZING and my go-to recipe for any potluck. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

  34. I’ve made the Tamale Shepherd’s Pie before…yum!

  35. I have Veganomicon and Appetite for Reduction, both are awesome books! Some of my favorites are the Chickpea Cutlets, Snobby Joes and Cranberry-Cashew Biryani.

  36. the carrot cake pancakse are to dieeeee for

  37. Just one recipe? I love the Okra gumbo and I’m excited it made it into Isa Does It.

  38. Isa will be at the Atlanta VegFest this November! So excited. Her recipes are always good.

  39. […] P.S. VegCookbook Club member, Janet of the Taste Space reviewed our November VegCookbook, Isa Does It, in her post, Moroccan Harira with Eggplant and Chickpeas & Isa Does It Giveaway!  […]

  40. I haven’t made any of her recipes yet but I’d love to try the Everyday Pad Thai. Pad Thai is one of my favorites!

  41. It’s hard to pick just one favorite Isa recipe, but I think the Chelsea Waffles from Vegan Brunch is the recipe I make most frequently.

  42. Beautiful okra at my local farmer’s market. Making the “okra gumbo with chickpeas and kidney beans,” subbing tempeh for kidney beans because I have some Texas made non-GMO tempeh from an Austin, TX based mother-daughter company called The Hearty Vegan. Awesome product to cook with, and made in the USA.

  43. Looks so crazy good, want some on garlic rice!

  44. I’m so excited to see a giveaway open to US AND Canada! Woot! I’d love to try the Glam Chowder, mostly because I’ve never had Clam Chowder. I know it will be different, but that’s a good thing. 😉

  45. Olive lentil burgers!

  46. Isa is one of my favourite cookbook authors! I make her “perfect pancakes” almost every weekend.

  47. Cheddary Broccoli Soup sounds like just the thing for me as I nurse a nasty cold today. Fingers crossed! Love love love everything Isa does.

  48. I would love a copy of Isa Does It! I just baked a gluten-free version of the Mocha Chip Miffins from VWAV today 🙂 Now that I’m getting over having my gallbladder out, I want to eat all the food!

  49. Choosing only 1 Isa recipe is hard. I’ve made the Butternut Alfredo and it was sublime. The Olive Burgers are in regular rotation. But for me the Chickpea Cutlets were life-changing, also the Dressings (Green Garlic Goddess-oh how I love you!) from Appetite for Reduction. The Carrot Cake with Macadamia from Vegan with a Vengeance was superb! I loved the Rancheros from Vegan Brunch, the Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir Fry (and Quinoa Mango Black Bean Salad) from Veganomicon, the Pillowy Pancakes. In short, Isa’s culinary offerings are excellent.

  50. Love to hear about this new cookbook – have seen it mentioned about but it is great to read your review for more info – and the soup looks delicious

    • Thanks, Johanna. It is a lovely cookbook.. There are so many recipes I want to try and it was funny because I had already tried quite a few based on her blog posts. 😉 But now there are MORE! 🙂

  51. I don’t know how I would pick, but I really do love her healthy chickpea piccata! Somehow, she made me enjoy capers 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

  52. It is hard to choose a favourite… but I think I will go with the vegan cholent in Veganomicon? Maybe? Thanks for posting this recipe, and thanks for allll your recipes! 🙂

  53. The red lentil and cauliflower curry from Veganomicon is one of the delicious Isa recipes that have become regular additions to our repertoire. And we’d be happy to add new ones from that book, too!

  54. Everyday pad Thai sounds like something I need in my life!!!

  55. I love Isa’s soup recipes! Would love this book (I can’t get the table of contents on amazon, sorry!)

  56. I’m ridiculously excited about Isa’s new book, and your review made me want it even more! My all-time fave Isa recipe is from Appetite for Reduction — Red Thai Tofu w/ Pad Thai Salad and Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing. YUM. Thanks for the review and giveaway! 🙂

  57. I can’t wait to get this book (whether from a give away or Amazon!) I have veganomion and appetite for reduction and they are my top cookbooks we use! My current favorite is New England Glam Chowder which so hits the spot now that fall is here and something I really missed post vegan so glad for a GREAT veg option to new England clam chowder

  58. roasted beet salad…

  59. Mmmmm this sounds really tasty =)
    And ooh, I will so have to look out for this cookbook, it sounds awesome. Veganiomicon was the very first cookbook I bought (vegan or non actually haha) and it made the transition so much easier!

  60. This soup looks fabulous–so full of flavor and I love that you subbed in the spiralized zucchini noodles too. It looks perfectly satisfying without being heavy. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays!

    Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a rockstar for sure–I love all of her books and I am looking forward to this new one. It’s hard to pick a favorite recipe but her Chickpea Picatta Caulipots from Appetite for Reduction is one of my all time favorites. 😉

  61. I haven’t made any of her recipes yet but I am going to make the Red Lentil Thai Chili for sure!

  62. You can’t go wrong with Isa! I make her Basic Tofu Scramble weekly, and I’ve tried more of her desserts than I can count. I can’t wait for this cookbook!!

  63. I would say my favorite is a pretty easy (but of course delicious!) one from Appetite for Reduction called Jerk Asparagus. My hubby and I would eat it every night. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  64. I’m going to make this harira recipe, it looks good

  65. Wow, it’s really hard to narrow it down to just one favorite recipe of Isa’s. She’s seriously a mainstay in my kitchen. I think I’ll have to go with the Chickpea & Rice Soup with a Little Kale on Post Punk Kitchen. It’s so creamy and warming. It’s the perfect cozy soup!

  66. Isa’s chickpea cutlets are my favorite since (aside from being delicious), they were my introduction to vital wheat gluten in vegan/vegetarian cooking.

  67. […] VegCookBook Club is all about Isa Does It. Feel free to share your eats from the cookbook and enter here for your chance to win your own copy of Isa Does […]

  68. I still love Isa’s cutlets – and, having fallen in love with eggplant for the first time just this week, look forward to trying this recipe here for Harira. Great timing!.

  69. The chipotle macaroni and cheese (from the website), followed closely by chickpea cutlets.

  70. My favorite Isa recipe is her chewy chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I’ve made them for potluck and they’re always a big hit!

  71. […] The winner of the Isa Does It! giveaway is Josiane. I will be in contact with […]

  72. […] to some other books, like Isa Does It (with gorgeous photography that I forgot to highlight in my review), they are lacklustre. While there are a lot of colour photos, the colours are off and framing […]

  73. […] though, one of my favourite cookbooks (definitely one I would keep) is Isa Does It (see my review here). Quick and simple, creative recipes that deliver loads on flavour. This is one such example. This […]

  74. […] Harira You know how sometimes it’s hot outside, but you still want soup? I feel that way often. I […]

  75. It looks yummy! I am originally moroccan and never heard of this version with the eggplants. Here is my grandma’s recipe for an authentic harira: http://somoroccan.com/2016/06/07/harira-best-recipe-deliciously-famous-moroccan-soup/

  76. […] that I love this cookbook, with recipes that are a bit more glam than her last book, Isa Does It (see my review here). If you want recipes to impress (Epic eggplant lasagna, anyone?), this is where I’d turn to […]

  77. […] Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegetarian Harira (don’t add the pasta until you have it defrosted and are cooking […]

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