Quinoa is an Andean plant which originated near Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia (cultivated by pre-Columbian civilizations). It’s a good source of protein, fiber and carbohydrates (23 g per 3.5 ounces). Quinoa is also still harvested by hand.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared 2013 to be the International Year of Quinoa. You can make it sweet, savory or any way your taste buds want it.
Keep in mind that you need to thoroughly rinse quinoa before cooking.
Due to my love of saffron, cinnamon and sweet potatoes, quinoa is the perfect delivery system to combine these flavors. And also to make Moroccan-style quinoa.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 roasted medium sweet potatoes
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds lightly toasted
- 2 oz. raisins golden or regular
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flake
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Healthy pinch of saffron
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Zest of one lemon and ½ an orange
- Drizzle of honey for sweetness optional
How to Make Moroccan Quinoa:
Rinse well and drain quinoa and place in a hot skillet. Move around so not to burn and to get a little toasty flavor. Add chicken stock just to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and cover for about 22 minutes. Add additional stock or water if needed. Place 2 medium sweet potatoes in 400 degree oven for 37 minutes. Larger potatoes will take longer but medium should still keep firmness at 35 to 37 minutes. Place pumpkin seeds in a small skillet sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss for about 6 minutes until slightly toasted. They will burn very quickly so do not leave them. Mix all ground spices in a small bowl.
Once the quinoa is ready and potatoes are cooked, cut into cubes and mix with quinoa. Sprinkle in spices and pumpkin seeds. Add honey for sweetness if needed. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.