Moroccan Chickpea, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Lunch Bowls

January 22, 2018

Continuing on the train of easy lunch ideas, these Moroccan(ish) lunch bowls with chickpeas, quinoa, sweet potato, and a killer orange ginger vinaigrette fit the bill. I usually roast my chickpeas to have in grain bowls but they can get a little chewy if they sit for a while, whereas this bowl is just as good on day two and three. Simple but delicious and really easy if you're big on batch cooking like I am. I tend to get caught up in work and forget about lunch until my stomach is screaming at me, and that's when I've been tossing this together. I always have cooked chickpeas in the freezer, usually roasted sweet potato in the fridge, and if I don't have quinoa already done, it only takes about 15 minutes to cook. Graham's been taking glass containers of this to work with him too. Much better than a last minute peanut butter sandwich!

If you're not already batch cooking, and you're interesting in plant based eating, I can't recommend it more. Start today! (Or on the weekend.) Having soaked/cooked legumes, rice, grains, some roasted veggies, and greens in the fridge and freezer make a world of difference when you're in a bind. It's saved me from eat a lot of garlic pasta over the past couple of years, the slightly healthier equivalent of butter noodles, hah. 

On another note, I want to briefly talk about how it can sometimes be easy to be discouraged as a creator. I subscribe to Half Baked Harvest and an email popped into my inbox this morning for Moroccan lunch bowls, and it made me reconsider my post calendar and if, now, I should post this recipe at all. Occasionally Eggs isn't a tiny blog, not anymore (thanks to all of you!), but I'm certainly not up there with superstars like Tieghan. Every once in a while something like this happens and I think, what's the point? BUT we all have similar ideas sometimes. I guess the important thing is that bloggers shouldn't rip each other off - if it happens through coincidence, it's not a big deal. In any case, when I actually looked, they're not the same recipe at all! It's always a bit of a confidence killer to see big bloggers post recipes within the same vein and knowing that mine will be buried because of it, but it's also a kick in the pants and a reminder to work even harder. 


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Moroccan Chickpea, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Lunch Bowls
Serves two

90 grams / 1/2 cup dry quinoa*
2 small sweet potatoes
150 grams / 1 cup cooked chickpeas
30 grams / 1 cup rucola

Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 250 ml / 1 cup of salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and roast cut-side down at 200C / 400F for 30-35 minutes, or until soft and browned. Cook a few extra while you're at it if you have them.

To assemble the bowls, divide the cooked quinoa, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and rucola between two bowls. Top with the orange ginger vinaigrette, pomegranate arils, and pumpkin seeds. Serve warm or cold.

Orange Ginger Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons orange juice (1 orange)
Zest of an orange
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon harissa (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place all of the ingredients into a jar or bowl and mix until fully combined. Any leftover vinaigrette will keep in the fridge for up to three days. 

Tips:
• If you want to pack this to bring to work or school the next day, you can add the dressing the night before. If you want to keep the lunch bowl in the fridge longer than that, add the vinaigrette when you eat it.

Notes:
1. This is about 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa if you've already made it.
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