One of my favorite things to do in winter is make dishes from hot regions. I like to think some of their heat and sunshine gets captured in flavor, and I can cook it up for myself and dig into a big bowl of somewhere else, preferably somewhere hot, colorful and spicy. That’s what’s going on with this excellently easy Moroccan-inspired quinoa supper. It makes my mouth feel like it’s on a little Casbah vacay.
Quinoa and chickpeas are packed with fiber, nutrients and protein, and they’re especially welcome at my table after the holidays. It’s great to get some solid nutrition going again after two months of treating candy, cookies and things beginning with “krispy” as complete meals.
To capture that rich, spicy-sweet flavor I love in Moroccan food I combined dried figs, apricots and Medjool dates with plenty of garlic, onion, sweet pepper and ras el hanout in a tomato sauce. If you’re not familiar with ras el hanout it’s a Moroccan seasoning made up of cinnamon, cumin, coriander, ginger, cardamom, pepper and other delicious things, and you can get a decent McCormick version of it in most any supermarket.
Eat Healthy Eat Happy
40 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 4 tsp ras el hanout
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion, any variety
- 1 medium red pepper
- 1 medium carrot
- 5 dried apricots
- 5 dried figs
- 3 Medjool dates
- 1 6 oz. can salt-free tomato paste
- 1 8 oz. can salt-free tomato sauce
- 4 c water
- 1 c dry quinoa
- 3 c cooked chickpeas (cooked from 1 c dried, or use 2 15 oz. cans well drained and rinsed)
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Add the olive oil to a large, lidded pot and turn the heat to the lowest setting. Add the ras el hanout, cinnamon and red pepper flakes. Peel and chop the garlic and onion and add them to the pot.
- Turn the heat up to medium low and saute, stirring occasionally, while chopping the pepper and dried fruit and slicing the carrot. Add everything to the pot, turn the heat to medium and saute another five minutes.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, paste and water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in the quinoa, turn the heat down to medium, lid the pot and let cook for 12-15 minutes or until the quinoa has sprouted. Add a little more water and cook a few minutes longer if needed.
- Stir in the chickpeas, lemon juice and salt. Heat through on medium low for about 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe is vegan and gluten free friendly.
Per serving, about 302g: 295 calories (75 calories from fat); 8.3g fat (13%)(0g trans); 0mg cholesterol (0%); 185mg sodium (8%); 47.9g carbohydrates (16%); 9.4g fiber (37%); 10.1g protein; Vitamin A 51%; Calcium 6%; Vitamin C 49%; Iron 42%; Potassium 16%