Moroccan Quinoa Salad & Tikka Salmon

by Gavan on August 21, 2009


Welcome to our 3rd and final installment for turmeric week. I suppose when I asked myself, ‘could I do more?’ I wasn’t messin’ about! I had a blast trying out all these new recipes and I definitely learned some new skills. I hope you enjoyed this week as much as I did.

If you’re not familiar with quinoa, it’s time to try it out! Quinoa is packed full of nutrients and is cooked very much like rice although it has more protein than most other grains. I’m a big fan of using quinoa in place of rice because it adds a nutty flavor, which also adds a new dimension. It’s not as heavy as rice tends to be, it’s light and nutty—just like my Missus. (Ha! I’ll get some brownie points for that!)

Serves 4

1/2 can garbanzo beans (15 oz can) Also known as chickpeas.
1  tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 lemon – zested
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove – minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup veg broth / water
1/2 cup quinoa – rinsed (any color quinoa works–I used Inca Red)
1/4 tsp salt
2 zucchini, topped and tailed, sliced in half lengthwise, sliced in diagonal slices 1/4″ thick
3/4 tsp ground cumin
2 green onions (scallions) – thinly sliced
1/8 cup chopped parsley


Begin by adding beans, lemon juice & zest and olive oil in a small bowl. Combine and let stand for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat medium saute pan on medium heat for 1 minute.
In small pot add broth and quinoa. Cook for 15 minutes, partially covered until tender. While that’s going, add 1 tbsp olive oil to a saute pan and add cumin seeds, turmeric, paprika and cinnamon. Mix together for about 30 seconds over low heat. Add in zucchini and minced garlic and continue sauteing on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once quinoa is cooked, drain.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, spiced zucchini and add in ground cumin, green onion and parsley to finish. Mix well. Taste and season. Serve warm or at room temp.

Here’s another great quinoa recipe to try out.

Now, the first time I made this I realized I forgot to buy quinoa. Luckily I had couscous in the pantry, which is my usual substitute for quinoa as they’re similar-ish in texture. So yes, you can use couscous instead if you wish.

Moroccan Couscous

One good one down, one to go.

Tikka Salmon

To accompany my couscous I made a traditional Tikka Marinade, which I decided to use with a lovely piece of wild salmon. I thought the flavours would work really well together. They did but….the salmon didn’t turn out as I had expected. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. It happens, right?
I decided to post it anyway, in hopes that you could help me out. Here’s what I did:

Tikka Marinade
Serves 2

1″ piece of ginger, minced or finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed to a fine paste
1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cumin (plus an extra dash)
1 tsp peanut oil
1/4 tsp salt


Mix the garlic and ginger into a paste-like mixture. In a bowl, mix together the paste, yogurt, lime juice, garam masala, cumin & salt.

Tikka Marinade

Heat the oil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat for about a minute or until hot hot. Then add in turmeric and cayenne–you should hear them sizzle upon contact with the hot oil. Mix quickly for just a few seconds so it doesn’t burn, then stir this into the yogurt mixture.

Marinating Tikka Salmon

I then marinated the salmon for about 2 hours and baked on 400°F for 15 mins approx. At first guess I think I put too much marinade on the fish. What do you think? Where did I go wrong and how can I make it better?

Ah, the glory of cooking!

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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