Monday, September 3, 2012


This weeks Food Matter's Project was hosted by Sara of Simply Whole Kitchen. Sara chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh. Mark's recipe inspired me to make this Moroccan Chickpea and Quinoa Salad.

  I used Rainbow Quinoa. You can find it in the bulk bins at Whole Foods. It is actually just a mix of white, red, and black quinoa. Equal parts. I like to mix the quinoa, each type has a slightly different texture so it makes the dish more interesting. The white is the fluffiest and the red and black are more dense. 

The quinoa is cooked and mixed with dried cherries, bell peppers, onions, chickpeas, and cilantro, seasoned with spices of Morocco....ginger, cinnamon, and cumin. The dressing adds another combination of flavors when you whisk together olive oil, rice vinegar, and orange juice.

I served this as a side dish to accompany a Roast Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Miso Glaze. They were perfect together. This salad is hearty enough for a main course and great as a stuffing for Patty Pan squash.

 For all the Food Project Members creative takes on the recipe click here.
For the original recipe go to Simply Whole Kitchen.


 1 C. dried quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa)
1/2 C. dried cherries
1 C. boiling water
5 TBSP. olive oil, divided
1 med. red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 med. orange bell pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 can chickpeas drained
1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro
3 TBSP. rice vinegar, unseasoned
3 TBSP. orange juice

Prepare dried quinoa according to package directions. This is usually 1 cup of quinoa to 1 1/2 C. water. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to low flame and simmer for approximately 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Pour cooked quinoa into a large serving bowl and set aside.

While quinoa is simmering, place dried cherries in a small bowl. Add boiling water to just cover cherries and set aside.

While cherries soak heat 2 TBSP. olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions along with the cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper; sautéing until tender crisp (about 5 minutes). Add to quinoa along with the chickpeas, cherries and cilantro. At this point I added an additional 1/4 tsp. or so of cumin, ginger, and cinnamon to the quinoa mixture.

Whisk remaining 3 TBSP. of olive oil with vinegar and orange juice. Pour over salad, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate.

6-8 servings

Recipe from theglutenfreekitchen


Sara said...

YUM! I love your take on this week's recipe too! Especially the spices and cranberries! I'm going to go add them to my leftover Tabbouleh now :)

Elaine @ JoinMeForDinner said...

I'm totally stealing your idea to stuff squash with it! I have some patty pans from my garden just waiting for me to do something with them. Thanks for a great idea!

Lexi said...

Thanks Sara, It was a great choice.

Lexi said...

Thanks Elaine! A few Patty Pans got a little big in the garden so this worked out really well.

Meg @ said...

The people who sell me patty pans at the farmer's market told me to stuff them, but I couldn't figure out how to do it... this looks great! Did you roast the squash for awhile before stuffing it, or just roast the whole thing together?

Lexi said...

Meg, This squash is really good sliced lengthwise and grilled like steaks. Just baste with olive oil, and a little garlic salt. To stuff them put about 1 inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add squash, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until a fork can pierce the stem with a little resistance. Be careful not to overcook it or it will become mushy. Then I drained it and cut the top off, stuffed it and baked it for about 15 minutes.

prairiesummers said...

I like the addition of dried cherries.

sandra said...

that patty pan squash looks amazing. i've never seen one before and your stuffing it is so cool.

Meg @ said...

@Lexi: Sounds super easy. I've just done them on the grill pan in thin slices and it's great, but I'll try that next time. Thanks!

Lexi said...

Thanks Jen!

Lexi said...

Thanks Sandra! This is my favorite summer squash.

Evi said...

Great idea to stuff a squash! Yum! And I like the idea of adding cranberries and mixing all of the different types of quinoa- colorful!

Lexi said...

Thanks Evi!