Roasted vegetables on top of protein-rich quinoa and spiced chickpeas, drizzled with a zingy herby dressing, and topped with crunchy toasted nuts: you can’t go wrong with that concept. See tips for adaptations.
Moroccan Quinoa Veggie Bowl [Vegan]
- 1 large graffiti or regular eggplant, cut into large chunks
- 1 medium-size zucchini or other green or yellow squash, cut into large chunks
- 12 pearl onions, or 1/2 medium-size red onion, cut into small wedges
- 4 garlic cloves , peeled
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon (20 g) pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) tamari
- 2 1/2 cups (412.5 g) cooked chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon harissa seasoning mix or paste, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt or Diamond kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil or other oil of choice
- 1 3/4 cups (3 24 g) cooked quinoa, chilled
Zippy Herb Dressing (makes 1/2 cup):
- 1 packed cup (weight varies, about 60 g) fresh cele riac leaves, mint leaves, parsley leaves, or cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) roasted pistachio oil, walnut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) tahini or plant-based Greek yogurt
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- Diamond kosher salt, to taste
- Zippy Herb Dressing, for serving
- Microgreens and/or thinly sliced red or green cabbage, for garnish
- Pomegranate molasses or lemon wedges, for serving
- Pomegranate seeds, for serving (optional)
- Fresh parsley and/ or mint, for serving
- Dry-roasted pine nuts and/or pistachios, for serving
To Make the Dressing:
- In a small blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth and blended.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
To Make the Vegetables:
- To make the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7).
- Place the veggie chunks, onions, and garlic cloves in a 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33 cm) baking pan. Drizzle with oil, molasses, and tamari.
- Roast until fork-tender and caramelized, about 24 minutes, flipping once halfway through the roasting time.
To Make the Beans:
- While the veggies roast, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients. Cook, adjusting the heat as needed and stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are coated, golden, and mostly dry, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- To make the grain: Add the oil to the skillet to heat. Add the quinoa and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 4 minutes.
- Assemble your dinner bowls or plates by dividing all the components into 4 portions. Drizzle with dressing. Garnish as desired with microgreens or cabbage, extra pomegranate molasses or a squeeze of lemon juice, pomegranate seeds, herbs, and nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This recipe is open to any changes you want to make: use whatever vegetable you love the most, changing cooking times accordingly. Don’t care for quinoa? Use bulgur, millet, or even couscous in its place. Just make sure the cooked grain is chilled for best pan-frying results. Pick a mix of herbs you have in your garden or in the fridge. Don’t want beans? Fry some super-firm tofu or tempeh cubes in a little bit of oil and soy sauce until crispy. It’s also easy to make this gluten-free (use tamari instead of soy sauce) provided you purchase certified GF quinoa and nuts. Nix the nuts if allergic and go for seeds if you can have those. If you cannot find pomegranate molasses, make your own. In a medium-size saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, combine 4 cups (960 ml) unsweetened pomegranate juice with 1 to 2 tablespoons (weight varies) sweetener of choice (I use agave nectar) and 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) fresh lemon juice. Cook until thickened and molasses-like. Adjust the heat as needed and stir occasionally. This will take a good 1 hour—some things cannot be rushed. The sweetener cuts down the tartness just a touch, while the lemon juice helps the molasses keep a brighter red shade. Set aside to cool before transferring to a heat-safe jar. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.