This is the first in my new series, Lunches To Go. Moroccan Quinoa, a beautiful spicy dish of cauliflower and chickpeas roasted in turmeric and cinnamon, with quinoa, sultanas and halloumi, infused in paprika, lemon juice,honey and coriander (cilantro). Although halloumi is not a Moroccan ingredient it marries so well with the spices, giving a great chewy texture and salty sweetness that perfectly balances the dish.
The idea behind Lunches To Go is to find delicious, healthy and affordable dishes that can be made in advanced and eaten at your desk or place at work, either cold or re-heated.
My days of office based work are now some years behind me but I often prepare my lunch in advance as I don’t have the time to cook from scratch every day. I was really flattered and impressed when Mr Alpha asked if I could make extra of my lunches for him to eat at work. Surrounded by an array of fast food restaurants, cafes and take-aways I was really pleased that he was choosing to eat fresh, healthy unprocessed food.
It made me think of what I used to eat at my desk and what options I would have now? The thought then occurred that easily portable delicious lunches that are gluten and often grain free might be something a lot more people could benefit from too. So here we are. I’d love to know your thoughts and any requests?
Lunch To Go #1: Moroccan Quinoa
For 4 x lunches
- 1 x good sized Cauliflower (approx. 260g, 4 x cups) remove the stalk and leaves and chopped in to bite size florets
- 1 x 100g can of chick peas (ideally organic)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 x teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 x teaspoon cinamon
- 300g quinoa or 1 1/2 cups
- 1 x 225g of haloumi
- 4 x tablespoons of chopped coriander (cilantro)
- 1 x teaspoon of paprika
- 1 x tablespoon of honey
- 5 x tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 juice of a lemon
- generous pinch of Maldon or other sea salt
- 2 x good handfuls of sultanas
Pre-heat the oven to c.180, gas mark 4, 450f
- Put the chickpeas and cauliflower florets in a roasting dish, cover lightly in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the turmeric and cinnamon then roast in the oven for approx. 40 mins (until the florets cover and the chick peas feel slightly crispy to the touch)
- Whilst the cauliflower and chickpeas roast rinse your quinoa, and then boil in equal cups of water for quinoa used. If you don’t have US style measuring cups I often just use a mug so I put the dry quinoa in a mug and after rinsing add the equal number of volume of water in a mug to the quinoa. Bring the boil and then simmer covered for 10-12 mins. Then cover the pan for 5 mins with a tea towel and then fluff the quinoa with a fork.
- Grill the halloumi or fry in a little olive oil on a high heat for approx. 1 min on each side. Then leave to cool.
- Mix the paprika, honey, extra virgin olive oil, lemon and generous pinch of salt together and leave to one side.
- After taking the cauliflower and chickpeas out of the oven mix in the coriander, then add the quinoa, sultanas, and halloumi and then mix all together with the lemon and paprika oil season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy cold or re-heated. If using a microwave cover and re-heat on full power for 3 mins (time is based on a 800w microwave).
Notes: Will keep well covered in a fridge for up to 3 days