Teach Eat Love

Moroccan Quinoa Salad – Ready in less than 30 minutes (and a giveaway!)

This salad was originally intended for a fun north african themed lunch box, but I like it so much that I’ll be making it for dinner, too. It comes together in less than 30 minutes – and you can shave some time off of that by using frozen diced butternut squash, dried orange zest, and orange juice if you really wanted to.

This dish is packed full of amazing flavor – cumin, honey, orange, toasted quinoa and pine nuts, and richness from a drizzle of olive oil and some winter squash. It’s a winner with my toddler, who loves “apple-cots,” as well as the rest of the family. It’s a great way to introduce new north african flavors to your kids’ lunch boxes since it can be served warm or chilled.

I am also thrilled to share a fun giveaway with you. (Giveaway is closed). I used this recipe to create a healthy, easy, and beautiful lunch using Laptop Lunches Bento-ware!

(Picture from Laptop Lunches)

I love the size of these lunch boxes, not to mention how easy it is to pack leftovers with the ready-to-go tupperware inside. They come in lots of fun colors, too! The only thing I’m not wild about is that they’re a little tricky to figure out how to open, so practice a couple times with your child before sending this to school (it’s a cinch once you get the hang of it). I love this fun system and one lucky reader will get to try it out, too – just scroll to the bottom for details.

Here it is with the lids on.

(Giveaway only applies to the contiguous United States. Sorry!)

Yield: 4 cups

Total Time: less than 30 minutes

Moroccan Quinoa Salad

A delicious north African inspired salad that can be served warm or chilled.

Ingredients:

1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
3 T. minced shallots (about 1 large shallot - or use some red onion)
1 c. peeled diced pumpkin (or butternut squash or sweet potato)
3/4 c. apricots, golden raisins, or a combination of both
1 orange
1/3 c. toasted pine nuts
1 t. honey (omit if you're vegan or sub with maple syrup or agave)
handful of chopped parsley
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 t. cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat, toast your quinoa for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. While your quinoa is toasting, cut the winter squash and mince the shallots.
3. Add water, shallot, and squash to the quinoa. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low; cook for about 12 minutes or until the water has evaporated.
4. While the quinoa cooks, chop the apricots. I use kitchen shears to cut the apricots into small bits because I don't like biting down on big chunks. Rinse and chop the parsley.
5. Grate the orange peel and then cut the orange in half. Fairly finely chop up one half and squeeze the juice out of the other half.
6. If your pine nuts aren't already toasted, toast them in a skillet until they become fragrant and begin to turn golden and brown in spots.
7. Stir the orange peel, juice, chopped orange, parsley, pine nuts, cumin, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper into the quinoa.

Other ideas:

  • Add 1 can rinsed (or 2 c. prepared) chick peas
  • Reduce pine nuts and use as garnish or substitute with less expensive chopped nuts (like almonds)

 

   

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