Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
22 Aug

Moroccan Chicken Casserole

We all know the saying: variety is the spice of life.

Everyone craves variety on some level, especially when it comes to what we’re eating. What is the easiest way to add variety to your meals? Turn that phrase around and you’ll have the answer: Spice is the variety of life in the kitchen.

Take a look at your spice rack. Salt, pepper, maybe some dried oregano. How about paprika and cinnamon? What about cumin, turmeric, or coriander? These aromatic seasonings can enhance anything you’re cooking. If you’re overwhelmed by all the options in the spice aisle, consider using a spice blend such as curry powder, Cajun rub or Chinese five spice. A tablespoon or less sprinkled over meat before you cook it will add a whole new dimension of flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous, buy a bunch of different spices and play around with combinations.

A blend of cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon gives chicken and cauliflower a Moroccan twist. The spices mostly add depth of flavor, with just a little bit of heat. If you want a dish that’s truly spicy, that’s where cayenne comes in.

If you’re just starting to add a new variety of spices to your pantry, the spice aisle at a grocery store is a decent place to get started. If you’re really serious about exploring spices, though, you’ll want to look for either a store that specializes in just spices or an ethnic grocery store where you can buy small amounts in bulk. Ideally, buy your spices whole and grind them with a coffee grinder right before use.

Either way, remember this – spices don’t stay fragrant and flavorful forever. They fade over time. If you’ve had a spice for six months or more, stick your nose in the jar. If there’s no aroma it’s likely there won’t be any flavor either.


1 head cauliflower
2-3 pounds of chicken
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ginger root, finely chopped or grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional – the other spices will already add a bit of spiciness to the dish, so only add the cayenne if you want a really spicy dish)
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1/2 cup minced parsley or cilantro
2 tsp salt
1 lemon


Preheat oven to 375.

The base of the casserole is cauliflower grated into a rice-like texture. Chop the head of cauliflower into small pieces. Push the pieces through a food processor using the grating blade. Spread the grated cauliflower out in a 9×13 rectangular baking pan.

Salt and pepper the chicken. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a deep pan over high heat. Add the chicken, browning well, about 3-5 minutes a side.

Remove the chicken from the hot pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium and add onion, ginger, garlic and carrots. Cook until the onions are soft. Add remaining tablespoon of butter and all spices. Stir well.

Add red pepper, the can of tomatoes, minced parsley or cilantro and salt. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Pour the chicken mixture over the cauliflower and mix really well, so the cauliflower is completely covered by the sauce. Slice a lemon into thin slices and lay on top of the casserole. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and cook for 25 minutes more.

Garnish with more fresh parsley or cilantro before serving.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Primitive by Roisin Murphy…my friend showed me this song. It’s quite fitting

    David wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  2. Nice recipe. now i finally have a reason to drop some money on spices. Looks delicious.

    FreeToLive wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  3. This looks like something I would enjoy tremendously.

    Charles Long wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  4. Looks Delicioso!

    Alex wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  5. The cauliflower is a great subsitute to rice!

    Robert Gioia wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  6. Count me in! For both the casserole and the timer!

    emmcubed wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  7. That looks tasty!

    Roman wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  8. I have a couple non-primal friends with questions. I think cooking this dish for them would do the trick of helping them understand how many options you still have as a modern Grok.

    Geoff Blake wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  9. looks good!!

    Sarah G wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  10. Great looking recipe! Even to someone who can’t stand cumin….

    Chelsea wrote on August 22nd, 2009
    • Infidel!!!
      Just kidding. The beauty of PB is lots of choices, huh.

      kuno1chi wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  11. so this chicken looks good enough for me to win a timer

    Brendan Boyle wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  12. This sounds delicious! I’ll definitely be trying this one. The cauliflower rice worked great in the jambalaya recipe I tried before. Looking forward to trying it here.

    JB wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  13. Yeah! Comment!

    Primalchild wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  14. What a beautiful dish. I love all the spices in it… It’s also a great reminder that I need to look through my spice rack and organize and restock it…

    Andrea@WellnessNotes wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  15. After doing sprints with my timer, I would come home and make this.

    Ray wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  16. WOW that looks delicious!!!

    John Park wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  17. Is there an easy way to prepare the cauliflower without a food processor?

    David C wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  18. Looks great. I’ll try it tonight.

    Peter Nathan wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  19. This is fine work!

    David wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  20. Wonderful recipe! I have so much chicken tucked away in my fridge that I think I will surprise my mother with this dish one of these days. I must add that although I love spices, it should be used carefully because depending on which is used, it can make or break a great recipe! Happened to me many times. 😉

    Raphael Silva wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  21. I like to add salsas (you can find fresh in stores) or chimichurri sauces (these have to be made fresh at home – hard to find any really fresh ones) to virtually everything.

    And how about spaghetti squash as another substitute for the pasta…pretty good and easy to make.

    Jason wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  22. This looks so good! I can’t wait to make it, thanks!!

    Maggie wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  23. Looks yummy! What’s the carb count like on that dish? (Yeah, I’m lazy and I don’t want to tot it all up myself… 😉 )

    Griff wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  24. I think we’ll try this this weekend.

    Chas wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  25. I think this looks amazing!

    Jess wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  26. This looks delicious. I’ve used cauliflower ‘rice’ before, but not in casserole applications for some reason. Now I have the option of adapting my grandmother’s beloved rice/pasta-based casseroles into something more primal!

    I think I’ll be trying this, but not until the weather cools down a lot more.

    Nikki wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  27. Gotta try the cauliflower crust thing!

    nedbee wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  28. Looks so good! wish I had a food processor :-/ I’m going to try the spice blend on some roasted cauliflower.

    Jennifer Wyatt wrote on August 22nd, 2009
    • Do you have a box grater? It takes a little longer, but you could always set your spouse or one of the kids to grate the cauli rice while you work on the other stuff.

      Griff wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  29. Time to hit the spice store!

    Rodney wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  30. Ahh, excellent. Tabata and ethnic food…my favorites!

    Tamara of In the Night Farm wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  31. Looks great.

    Geoff wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  32. this chicken and the timer both look deliciious

    Richard Coffey wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  33. Moroccan Chicken Casserole tabada eating sprints, this is going to be very cool and scary to watch.

    JUPITER BOONE wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  34. LOVE tabatas!

    suzbuff wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  35. Awesome usage for cauliflower!

    Rahsaan wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  36. I’m cooking dinner for my mom’s 83rd birthday tonight and I think she’ll love this! Thanks!

    Nancy wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  37. I would eat this chicken in tabata intervals

    xthomson wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  38. looks good

    Mark wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  39. Timer win!

    Anthony wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  40. MMMMmmmm….chicken.

    Rich wrote on August 22nd, 2009

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