To say this salad is amazing is an understatement. I love Moroccan food and this salad is so full of flavour and perfectly balanced. It is very important to have really good carrots. Seriously there are some bad carrots out there. There are Hotchkiss carrots are out right now if you can find them as I did at Planet Organic so go in search of some garden fresh carrots. Think local, fresh and full of nutrients because they were just harvested. This salad would work equally as well with grilled eggplant or even grilled sweet potato.
Some individuals have a hard time digesting quinoa, much like those that have a hard time digesting other grains. The problem with grains is they contain phytic acid, which consumed in high amounts can cause digestive issues and mineral deficiencies. One way to neutralize the enzymes found in grains that are undigestible, is to soak grains overnight or sprout the grain to make it easier to digest and make vitamins and minerals available to absorb. I soak my quinoa before cooking in filtered water and 1 tablespoon of goat yogurt or apple cider vinegar. I rinse it before cooking it and use 1/4 cup less water than normally required. It's an easy step to allow the grain to "predigest" before it enters your body.
For more information on soaking grains, I highly recommend Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I have been playing around with soaking spelt flour and making muffins for a while. For more information on soaking grains Passionate Homemaking has some great tips.
Moroccan Quinoa Salad with Grilled Zucchini and Carrots
adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked (preferably soaked)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup raw almonds, chopped
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup organic raisins
- 1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced and zest
- 3 - 4 carrots, grilled
- 1 zucchini, grilled
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Prepare zucchini and carrots, add a little coconut oil, sea salt and pepper and place in a grilling basket or directly on the grill. Grill until golden but not overcooked. They should still have some bite. I added my garlic in a few minutes before they vegetables were done to brown the garlic or you can add the garlic to the vegetables when they come off the grill.
- In a large bowl, add quinoa, cinnamon, cardamon, sea salt, mint, cilantro, raw almonds, raisins, green onion, olive oil and lemon juice and toss. Fold in avocado.
- Add the vegetables and toss lightly. Garnish with cilantro.
*For additional flavour you can toast the almonds.
*Grapes are highly sprayed so be sure to use organic raisins if you can.