Whether you’re in the middle of a weekday lunch rut or just need a nutritious recipe that can stand the test of travel, you’re going to want to toss together this simple yet flavorful Moroccan-inspired chickpea grain salad as soon as possible.
A random moment daydreaming about food (not much new there) left me wondering, what spices are actually used in Moroccan dishes? From memory, the flavors seemed familiar but were also put together in a way that I couldn’t place.
So to the internet I went and while a few minutes spent comparing recipes and spice blends from around the interwebs does not entirely make me an expert, I’m fairly confident that I put together a pretty delicious little travel-friendly whole grain salad at the very least.
Go ahead and switch up the whole grain if you happen to have another on hand or need a gluten-free version. This healthy lunch idea can also be made with cooked farro, quinoa, brown rice, and most other hearty whole grains in your kitchen.
I chose wheat berries because I like their texture – chewier than most grains and hearty enough to stay strong when smashed into a jar with chickpeas, dried apricots, cashews, salad greens, and an herbaceous pop of fresh cilantro.
To me at least, the real star here is the dressing, which incorporates my own (admittedly inauthentic) blend of Moroccan-inspired spices like ginger, cinnamon, cumin, and pepper to add that little extra zip to weekday lunches that I think we all could use in these last few weeks of the winter season. There’s no reason to stop at spring either; this is the type of year-round recipe I’m keeping around no matter the season.
- 2 cup cooked wheat berries or whole grain of choice, use gluten-free if needed
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/4 cup cashew halves
- 1 cup chopped baby spinach or greens of choice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro optional
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice juice from about 1/2 large lemon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook grain if needed and add to large mixing bowl with remaining salad ingredients. Set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss dressing with salad in large bowl until mixed. Transfer to jars if desired and enjoy chilled or at room temperature within the next 5-7 days.