Moroccan Quinoa Salad

The thanksgiving weekend is over. It was our first thanksgiving ever and we did what all people in America do. Ate way too much. It turned out that one of David’s relatives lives in San Diego, and he invited us to celebrate a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family. It was a fun experience and all the zillion different dishes tasted delicious. Although next year we will arrange it ourselves, we figure that we could try to make those pies without using so much sugar.

After all the indulging this weekend we wanted to make something light and fresh. We decided on this Moroccan Quinoa Salad. They would probably serve it with couscous in Morocco but we prefer quinoa as it is richer in protein and is gluten free.

Most Moroccan dishes calls for a whole cabinet of spices. Since we are traveling we don’t carry many spices with us and have therefore stripped it down to the most important ones. The key ingredient in this salad is mint. Together with cilantro and lemon it gives the quinoa its fresh taste, the cinnamon and raisins adds sweetness and the almonds makes it crunchy and salty.

Moroccan Quinoa Salad
Serves 4

If you don’t feel like marinating the zucchini and eggplant yourself you can find ready-made at most supermarkets (but nothing beats homemade).

1 zucchini, cut in thin slices
1 eggplant , cut in thin slices
olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt

1 1/2 cup quinoa
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 lemon
2 bunches mint leaves
1 bunch cilantro/coriander
3 tbsp raisins

2 avocados, cut into 1 inch squares
4 small spring onions, chopped
1 cup almonds, divided in half, roasted and salted

Start by making the marinated vegetables. Spread out the zucchini and eggplant slices on a bbq, in a grill pan or in the oven, a couple of minutes on each side. Put them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil, garlic and salt over them and set aside.

Cook the quinoa according to the package but add one tbsp cinnamon in the water. When it’s done cooking, rinse and set aside to cool off. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon and add five tbsp of olive oil into the quinoa. Chop half of the mint leaves, half of the cilantro and all the raisins, throw them in the quinoa and toss it around until everything is mixed. Serve in bowls together with the marinated vegetables, avocado, spring onions, the rest of the mint and cilantro and the roasted almonds.

52 Comments

  • Miriam
    Hi, what do you marinade the vegetables with? It sounds like you add the garlic, olive oil etc. to the vegetables after they've been roasted in the oven - can that be right? (And you just roast them for a couple of minutes?) Thanks!
    • Miriam
      Well, I figured it out. This was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten!! Can't wait to make it again.
    • Hi Miriam, yes, we let the roasted vegetables marinate in garlic and olive oil. And we add cinnamon to the quinoa and squeeze lemon over the salad once it's assembled. /David
  • jamie
    I know you posted this ages ago but I wanted to let you know that I still make it all the time (including today)! thank you for such delicious recipes <3
  • hey made this for my lunch and it kept really well for a few days! thank you :)
  • kajsa
    hi there! this recipe looks fantastic. But I cant seem to find the recipe for the marinade anywhere? thank you for a great blog! kajsa
  • It was pretty good! Thanks for this nice lunch salad! It seemsed to be super healthy and that's amazing! I'm recovering from anorexia and I guess I need healthy fats. Almonds + avocado - so it's like perfection! Thanks.
  • Another incredibly delicious dish :) I need to buy your book! You guys make 70% of our recipes we cook! Where can I buy it in Australia? Any idea?
  • Jessica
    This recipe is amazing the only change I made was cooking the quinoa with 1/2 fresh organic carrot juice and 1/2 water.The leftovers were delicious for breakfast. I have just started reading your blog and love it so much I purchased your book (UK edition)and can't wait to receive it. Greetings from Seattle, WA
  • Tanya
    I love quinoa but there are some major issues caused by the recent rise in popularity. Here is one of many articles on the subject. It is two pages, make sure to read the second page. (Sorry to ruin quinoa for some of you out there!) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2110890,00.html
  • Susan
    This is a very attractive website with some lovely healthy food but I can never find a similar website that actually gives calories and fats and carbs and proteins. Just a calorie amount would be useful but a person often has to take a guess with these websites. Its seems healthy people eat a lot of fruits and grains (non-gluten of course) and I bet the calorie counts are really quite high. Whatever works for us as individuals of course.
  • mmmmmmmmm so delicious! I made a few tweaks to suit me personally but I really enjoyed the marinated eggplant and zucchini so thank you for sharing. I will be sharing your site with my Kiwi friends :)
  • Marion Suner
    I am in love with this recipe!!! With the vegi sushi salade, it is our top favorites vegi dishes! Every body loves it: from my partner (ok, he is a vegetarian) till my (very difficult eating) seven year old daughter, including my two teenage (meat lovers) boys! Thank you for your wonderfull recipes! It makes me feel so mindful preparing them, and I enjoy every bite! I recommand your app to every body I know in the Nederlands!!!
  • Rose
    Looks so lovely & inspiring, with fresh, clean flavours and presented soo beautifully. I can't wait to taste it - I'll be making it for a birthday picnic next weekend. Ron, just a guess but it's not unusual to rinse grains (or seeds in this case) when using them in cold salads to remove any extra starches that would make them stick & clump together.
  • Just found this recipe today. Really have to try that one. Loooks so nice! Yum yum.
  • Ron
    Hi Moroccan Quinoa Salad - the recipe calls for rinsing the quinoa after cooking. Why? Thanks Ron

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