Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Moroccan Sweet Potato, Red Quinoa & Chickpea Salad

Photo borrowed from "Style at Home"
Last night we had our first backyard bbq dinner party since I got back to Australia last weekend. It's mid winter here in Brisbane so I wasn't sure if we could have an outside meal, but we pulled it off! We lit a fire in our patio fire pit and got bundled up in hoodies (they call them jumpers here) and Uggs and sat outside. I originally wanted to do S'mores since they don't know them here in Oz, but the stores don't have Graham crackers or regular marshmallows! Booo.

Backyard BBQ ready for dinner
I wanted to try out a few new salads for the meal, one from Pinterest and one from a "Superfoods" book I received from my boyfriends mom. Here is the final menu, I will post a few more of the recipes in the next few days.

  • Rice crackers with homemade guacamole (avocado, cherry tomatoes, garlic, lime, cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper)
  • Carrot sticks with homemade curry yogurt dip (plain yogurt, madras curry powder, lemon juice)
  • Moroccan Sweet Potato, Red Quinoa & Chickpea Salad
  • Coconut-roasted pumpkin and cauliflower with chilli, lime and cashews
  • Homemade turkey koftas
  • Homemade lamb and mint koftas 
  • Sweet Potato/Ginger Pecan Brownies with vanilla ice cream, coconut chocolate sauce and toasted coconut (recipe here)

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3⁄4" cubes
  • 1 540-ml can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1⁄2 cup black lentils
  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped toasted pecan halves
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves + more for garnish
  • 1⁄4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

For honey harissa dressing
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp harissa paste or harissa spice
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1⁄4 tsp cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the honey harissa dressing.

Toss 1⁄4 cup of the dressing with the sweet potatoes and spread out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Toss another 2 tablespoons of the dressing with the chickpeas and spread out onto another parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

In a small pot, bring the lentils and 4 cups cold water to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Drain, rinse and place in a large bowl, along with the roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas.

Meanwhile, in another small pot, bring the red quinoa and 4 cups water to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Drain the quinoa and let dry in the sieve for 2 minutes. Add to the sweet potato mixture.

Stir in the green onions, pumpkin seeds, pecans, mint and cranberries. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and toss gently to combine. Place the warm salad on a large serving platter and garnish with the fresh pomegranate seeds and mint leaves. Serve. 

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