Recipe of the Month
Art and Music
Role of Teacher
Classroom management and curricular tie.
Ingredients: Lentils / Onions / Garlic / Tomatoes / Carrots / Leafy greens / Cumin / Cinnamon sticks / Salt and pepper / Olive Oil / Turmeric / Coriander
Equipment: Cutting Boards/ Knives / Bowls and spoons (one for each student) / Wooden stirring spoons / Ladles / Saute pans (2) / Soup pot / Colander / Mortar and pestle
- Morocco is located in Northern Africa and borders Alergia, Western Sahara, Mauratania, Spain, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Large mountainous regions and vast deserts characterize Morocco’s geography.
- Morocco’s culture is ethnically diverse. Religions practiced in Morocco include Christianity, Islam and Judaism, among many more. Languages spoken in Morocca include Arabic, Berber, and French.
- Moroccan cuisine is considered one of the most diversified in the world, with influences from Spain, France, and Africa. The most popular Moroccan dish is couscous, the national delicacy, which is steamed small balls of semolina, which is a type of wheat used to make pasta. Bread is a major staple and is served with most meals. Spices are also used extensively in Moroccan foods, the most popular being saffron, mint, and lemon.
- Lentils are edible members of the legume family, high in protein and fiber, and as such, an excellent vegetarian substitute for meat.
- The fiber, folic acid, and potassium in lentils support heart health and may reduce cholesteral levels. Additionally, the calcium and magnesium have shown to reduce blood pressure.
- Once harvested, lentils can be stored dry for up to a year, making them an excellent food to enjoy during the winter when seasonal produce is scarce.
Topics / Goals / Learning Objectives
To learn how to cook a traditional Moroccan dish with our Harvest of the Month, legumes.
Opening / hook
Welcome to the kitchen! Today we will be making a popular dish in Morocco called Moroccan Lentil Stew! Does anyone know where Morocco is? (Allow time for brainstorming.) Morocco is a country in Northern Africa and just south of Spain, separated from where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. As you might assume, Morocco is a country that is influenced by European and African cultures, cuisines, and languages. Moroccan cuisine uses many different spices from all over the world, including a few that we’ll be using in our recipe today! Who has ever had cinnacmon? Cumin? What about coriander and turmeric? If you’ve tried them, great! If you haven’t, we are all going to get a chance to cook with and try them today.
But before we begin, we have to talk about another major ingredient in today’s recipe. Has anyone ever had lentils before? Can anyone tell me what lentils are? (Allow time for brainstorming.) Lentils are legumes, are incredibly high in protein and fiber, and are a great meat substitute for vegetarians.
Let’s begin cooking!
Procedures / Activities
- Peel the carrots, onions and garlic. Place into a pot, cover with water, add salt and pepper and bring to a boil to make the stock for the stew.
- Add 2 cups of lentils and 4 cups of water to a different pot and bring to boil, and then reduce to a simmer to pre-cook the lentils.
- Each table will be responsible for cutting a different vegetable: carrots, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Place a cutting board, knife, and one of the vegetables at each seat before class begins.
- Welcome students into the kitchen and have them wash their hands.
- Introduce lesson with the Opening (above).
- Go over proper knife skills and then have students begin working on chopping their vegetables into small pieces, keeping in mind that the carrots and onions and garlic should be chopped first.
- When the carrots and onions and garlic are finished, have some of those students come to the stovetop to sauté them and add the spices while the others can drain the stock and add it to a large soup pot. When the students chopping the tomatoes are finished, have them bring them to the stovetop, add them to stock. Add the lentils and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue stirring. Have students clean their cutting boards and tables while the vegetables finish sautéing, then add them to the soup pot.
- Have the students take their seats while a few students help plate and serve the soup. While the students are eating, lead the curricular tie.
This was a very successful recipe that the children truly loved. They’re still asking for more Moroccan Lentil Stew two months later!
Extensions / Adaptations / Games
Take out a large globe and have students find Morocco and the surrounding countries. Have a discussion about the influences of the other countries on Moroccan cuisine. What do they eat in those other countries? Can they find similarities?