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hi there! i'm celina.

i enjoy sharing yummy, gluten free, plant based creations.  

Moroccan Spiced Carrot Salad with Quinoa and Arugula

Moroccan Spiced Carrot Salad with Quinoa and Arugula

This is one of my favorite meals to make for 3 reasons - it's simple, it's easy to impress others with, and it's JUST DARN DELECTABLE! Carrots are always a staple in my kitchen because of their natural sweetness and ability to absorb so many wonderful flavors. Although I have never been to Morocco, I adore the spices used in its cuisine! In this dish I used ras-el-hanout, a blend of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and a few other spices that are popular in Moroccan meals. For those familiar with Indian food, it's a bit similar to garam masala. I also added instructions on how to cook quinoa for those who may be unfamiliar. I make a big batch and use throughout the week. It's not as hard as it may seem - I promise!

INGREDIENTS
Carrots:
• 14-16 baby rainbow carrots, peeled
• ¼ cup vegetable broth
• ras-el-hanout blend (visual veg style)
** 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, teaspoon cayenne
• ¼ teaspoon sea salt
• ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
• three heaping handfuls of baby arugula
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• ⅓ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
• ¼ cup raw pistachios, crushed

Quinoa:
• 1 cup quinoa, dry
• 2 cups water
• ¼ teaspoon sea salt
• ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS
1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, add carrots, vegetable broth, and spices. Toss until carrots are coated with spices, then lay out on baking sheet. Place in oven, and start on quinoa. 

3. Make the quinoa by combining 1 cup dry quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Cook on stovetop at high heat, until water begins to boil (quite furiously). Then turn heat to low, and cover loosely with a lid, leaving a sliver open for air. Leave like this for about 15 minutes.
**You may want to check after 10 mins and stir slightly. You'll know if the quinoa is fully cooked by its texture - it should be much 'fluffier' and you shouldn't be able to see any of the hard kernels like when it was dry.                                                                                                                                                                     
4. After quinoa is done, turn stove off and let cool. Also add black pepper + salt, and toss in saucepan. Check on the carrots as well, tossing each with tongs so that the sides can cook evenly in the oven. 

5. After about 40 minutes, take carrots out of oven, and transfer to a large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat on medium high. Cook like this for 5-7 minutes, until you can see the carrots caramelizing. 

6. Place carrots back on baking tray, and use the same skillet to slightly steam arugula. I did this by turning heat onto medium low, placing arugula in the middle, and covering for about 1 minute. 

7. Now, PLATE YOUR DISH! Place arugula on bottom of a large plate. Take 1½ cups quinoa (save the rest for later, or use), and place on top. Next, take the carrots and layer over quinoa. Finally, add pistachios, parsley, and a lil extra salt + pepper (and/or olive oil) if desired. 

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