Moroccan Roasted Carrot + Grain Salad with Tahini-Orange Dressing

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Moroccan Roasted Carrot and Grain Salad is a seasonal meal packed with flavor. The roasted vegetables, citrusy dressing, and crunchy chickpeas are married with warming spice to help balance yin/yang. 

I’m learning a lot about eating patterns rooted in Chinese medicine. A big focus of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is protecting ‘Qi’, which can be thought of as internal energy. In our modern eating environment, we can easily tip this out of balance due to food availability and preferences. 

We can go to the grocery store and get virtually any food at any time of the year. Instead, TCM teaches about eating seasonally. This means not only choosing foods which are in season, but considering the natural environment as well (weather). 

A big component of that is eating more warming foods during the winter: roasted/steamed vegetables, spices, and hearty grains. By keeping the stomach and spleen closer to the optimal temperature of 100 degrees, you are better able to digest and absorb the nutrients. That is, you expend less energy in the assimilation process.


Side note: Individual constitution is a big component of food choice. If you struggle with poor digestion, hormone imbalance, mood disorders, or other symptoms, I recommend working with a nutritionist or qualified TCM practitioner for a customized food protocol. 


Related: Air-Fryer Crunchy Chickpeas

Moroccan Spice Blend Warming Spices
Warming Moroccan Spice Blend

If you’ve been around for a while, you know I LOVE a big hearty salad. I tend to use lots of cold, raw veggies in my epic salads. As I lean more into eating to protect my Qi, I’m finding I do a lot better with cooked foods. 

To answer my cravings for a massive salad, I made this Vegan Moroccan Roasted Carrot + Grain Salad. The spices (chili, cumin, turmeric, and harissa) are themselves on the warm/hot spectrum. Adding roasted vegetables, a hearty grain, and gently cooked greens completes the meal to align with the seasonal pattern. 

Moroccan Roasted Carrot and Grain Salad Recipe
Roasted Carrots + Cauliflower plus a sprinkle of sea salt, fresh herbs and orange

HOW TO MAKE MOROCCAN ROASTED CARROT + GRAIN SALAD:

  • Make the seasoning blend. I used chili powder, turmeric, cumin, harissa, and sea salt for the perfect warming mix. You’ll use this to season the roasted vegetables, grain, and in the dressing for a bit of kick.  
  • Make the dressing. For the easiest dressing, add all the ingredients to a blender and mix until creamy. I prefer olive oil, fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh garlic gloves, and tahini. However, you can substitute the garlic cloves for garlic powder and use a different citrus in place of orange.
  • Roast the chickpeas. I make my crunchy roasted chickpeas ahead of time in the air-fryer. Get my recipe here. For this salad, I used the moroccan spice blend on my chickpeas.
  • Roast the vegetables. I looove roasted carrots, but I also had some purple cauliflower on hand so I roasted that up as well. You can use any combination here: brussels sprouts or broccoli would also be great substitutions.
  • Prepare the grain. If quinoa isn’t your thing, use buckwheat, rice, or farro. Cook the grain according to package instructions (or use your instant pot!), and season with extra moroccan spice after cooking.
  • Dress it up and plate it beautifully. Don’t skip the aesthetic step! Food tastes better when it looks pleasing to the eye. I prefer to dress my greens ahead of time, and gently warm them on the stove. Then, add an extra drizzle of Orange-Tahini Dressing and a wedge of orange to complete the plate.

Change things up:

Use this salad as a basic template. It works with any vegetables you have on hand to roast, any green, and any grain. Other suitable toppings can be Roasted Nuts, Chopped Medjool Dates, or Raisins!


My favorite canned chickpeas and spices are from Thrive Market. I can find organic, canned chickpeas and bulk spices at a great price. I always stock up in my Thrive Market boxes!

Moroccan Carrot Grain Salad Recipe
A beautiful thing
Moroccan Carrot and Grain Salad
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5 from 1 vote

Moroccan Roasted Carrot + Grain Salad with Tahini-Orange Dressing

A warming winter salad that is heavy on the flavor and rooted in TCM.
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword plant-based, vegan
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 490kcal

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups Kale, Arugula, or Spinach gently warmed
  • ½ cup Quinoa, Buckwheat, or Farro cooked
  • ¼ cup Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 cup Carrots
  • 1 cup Cauliflower, Broccoli, or Brussels Sprouts
  • ¼ cup Parsley or Mint
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Moroccan Spice Blend

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp sea salt

Orange-Tahini Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice juice of one orange
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 cloves garlic or one tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Moroccan Spice Blend
  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Make the seasoning mix: In a small bowl combine the seasonings. You’ll use this on the roasted veggies, chickpeas, and grain
  • Make the dressing: In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend. Add water to desired consistency.
  • Make the roasted chickpeas using 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 tablespoon seasoning mix. (See my AirFryer Roasted Chickpeas recipe)
  • Toss (peeled and sliced) carrots and (chopped) cauliflower with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon Moroccan Spice Blend. Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400 F for 30 mins until slightly blackened.
  • Prepare the grain as directed. When finished cooking, season with the remaining Moroccan Spice Blend and a squeeze of orange juice. 
  • When you’re ready to serve, toss the greens with 2 tbsp of Orange-Tahini Dressing. Gently sauté if desired. 
  • Plate the dressed greens, grain, and roasted vegetables. Top with fresh chopped herbs, crunchy chickpeas and (optional) chopped dates. Drizzle extra Orange-Tahini dressing over everything. 

Notes

This salad actually holds up well for meal prep. Leave the dressing off, and pour over just prior to eating. 
If you prefer animal proteins, add roasted chicken, fish, or grilled steak. 
[socialrocket-tweet quote=”TCM teaches that eating seasonally is best for protecting your ‘Qi’ – Here’s a Winter Warming Salad based on the principles of food energetics.” tweet=”TCM teaches that eating seasonally is best for protecting your ‘Qi’ – Here’s a Winter Warming Salad based on the principles of food energetics.” style_id=”default”]

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