Vegan Moroccan Quinoa Lentils

December 19, 2016
vegan, moroccan, quinoa, lentil

This one pot colorful dish caught my eye this week when I was choosing something for lunch. What’s better than a one pot meal? Not much, especially when you’re sans dish washer. These Moroccan quinoa lentils did not disappoint in flavor!

Plus with quinoa and lentils together you’re bound to have a great source of plant-based protein.

When I saw all of the delicious spices in this recipe I got really excited. Finally an excuse to use my spice grinder that we brought back from Iraq. 45 minutes later though, my enthusiasm was waning. When you double this recipe there might be just a few too many delicious spices to put through a hand grinder. But, I eventually did finish, gave my hand a break, and then finished up this dish in no time!

vegan, Moroccan, spices

The spice grinder is from our trip to Iraqi Kurdistan.

Allspice berries were not to be found so those were unfortunately omitted, as were the almonds. Everything else was exactly as the recipe from Yup, It’s Vegan, which can be found here. The one other exception is that I used allllll of the spice blend. The recipe says that the spice recipe makes extra, but I just couldn’t bare to waste any after I ground it all by hand, so into the pot it went. And it was delicious.

It was a tight squeeze doubling this in one pot with 12 potatoes. But it all worked and it was delicious. I ended up with 8 total 2 cup servings.

Ingredients for single recipe (3-5 servings)
vegan, quinoa, lentils

Lots of healthy ingredients!

For the spices:
  • ⅛ tsp. fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. whole cloves
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp. whole allspice berries
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
For the Quinoa and Lentils
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 5-6 small red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. Moroccan spice blend (see above) or ras el hanout)
  • ⅓ cup red lentils
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (reduce to ⅛ tsp. for less spicy)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ tsp. salt or to taste (use less if your broth is salty – I omitted salt)
  • ½ cup freshly-squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • ¼ cup loosely-packed chopped fresh cilantro, mint, or a combination, for serving
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted almonds, for serving (I omitted these)
Directions:
  1. Toast all whole spices (all except sesame seeds, pepper, ginger, and cinnamon) over medium-high heat in a dry skillet. Stir frequently until fragrant.
  2. Grind toasted spices and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet or pot.
  4. Add carrots and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add onion and bell pepper, cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and spice mix, cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add red lentils, quinoa, cayenne pepper, vegetable broth and salt (if using).
  8. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, until lentils and quinoa are done.
  9. Add orange juice and lemon juice. Cook uncovered until juices are incorporated, 1-2 minutes.
  10. Toss with herbs and almonds before serving.

vegan, Moroccan, quinoa, lentilsIf the mixture begins to dry out before the lentils and quinoa are done, add a bit more vegetable broth. If there is excess liquid continue cooking with lid removed until liquid is incorporated/evaporated.

With an electric spice grinder and a little prep work, this recipe would come together in a snap. The hand held spice grinder did set me back a little time-wise but it was still fun to use.

These spices really make for a fantastic dish and you won’t be disappointed with this delicious vegan meal.

Nutrition Breakdown:
  • For 4 servings: 442 calories, 16 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 83 grams carbs, 9 grams fiber

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