Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Moroccan Spiced Vegetables and Quinoa with Olives and Lime

Moroccan Spiced Vegetables over Quinoa with Lime

Isabella had a sleepover with her friend Taylor last weekend. I made them go to bed at 11pm, after we let them watch a movie downstairs alone. I set these rules ahead of time since Isabella has made a habit of staying up all-freaking-night-long while sleeping over at other peoples houses. Ten/eleven year olds shouldn't be allowed do that. They are complete emotional hell the next day and choose to stay sleeping in the car after you've picked them up while you go grocery shopping. Just me?

I woke up that morning at 5am. I rolled out of bed at 5:24am. I was ready and downstairs by 5:45am. I was really excited for my morning quiet time. At 6am, the precise moment I settled into my comfy chair and cracked open my book, I heard talking and quickly discovered the girls were up. Not my normally rise-and-shine-up-and-at-em son, but my sleep loving tween. WTH? I seriously cannot get up early enough. It's now 6:40am and my son just strolled down too. The TV is on cartoons, and I'm blogging out my frustration instead of reading before my littlest rat gets up in an hour.

Rat is an affectionate name, I swear.

For the record, we watched my friends three kids, (ages six, four, and three) for two days and nights last weekend. This brings our grand tally up to three or four sleepovers hosted at the MacGray household in the history of ever, besides cousins. Sleepovers are hard when you have other little kids in the house, especially ones with special needs and sleep issues, plus limited space. It makes for interesting times...

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Since I'm almost six months pregnant and whiskey is not an option, I made sure to reward our hard work last Sunday with a lunch of Moroccan spiced vegetables over quinoa with plenty of salty olives, parsley, lime and salt. We get wild up in here. This was actually very welcome after a kid focused couple days filled with cheese pizza and pancakes. Besides, I don't even drink whiskey...Unless you've made me one. If you've made me a cocktail and you hand it to me, I'll drink just about anything. Unless it's Parrot Bay Coconut Rum straight out of the bottle because I have a "young adult" backyard house party story about that stuff. And also, unless I'm six months pregnant. I digress.

Moroccan Spiced Vegetables over Quinoa with Lime

I wouldn't have gone for roasted vegetables over quinoa if it wasn't for the bump in flavor from the warm spices like cinnamon, cumin, and coriander and the appeal of fresh tangy lime juice and olives to brighten the earthiness of the vegetables. Moroccan spices are awesome on sweet potatoes and carrots. The cinnamon helps to highlight their subtle sweetness, but the other spices ground it and keep it a savory vegetable which I like. I don't tend to like sweet on sweet vegetables. I'm thinking a crumble of feta might be a really great addition.

Moroccan Spiced Vegetables and Quinoa with Olives and Lime
adapted from Gourmand in the Kitchen

serves 4

  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus for for serving
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of red pepper for extra spice (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced in half and into thick strips
  • 1 pound of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • ¼ cup/ black Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • The juice of one lime or lemon, plus more for serving
  • Cooked quinoa for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Melt the coconut oil and whisk in the salt, spices and garlic.
  3. Toss the carrots and sweet potatoes with oil and spices and roast in a shallow baking pan in lower third of oven for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and tender.
  4. Squeeze the lemon over the warm vegetables and toss with the chopped olives.
  5. Top with chopped parsley and serve warm over a mound of quinoa with more lime wedges and salt


  1. Sounds amazing! Can't wait to try. :)

  2. What a fantastic looking dish! I think I might go down and roast some vegetables now. Thanks. :)