Gluten-Free Moroccan "Couscous"

This Mediterranean inspired Gluten-Free Moroccan "Couscous" comes together in just a few minutes.  Made with the superfood quinoa, it's ultra nutritious and pairs beautifully with my Herbed Lamb Chops.

gluten-free moroccan

About the Ingredients

Quinoa

This gluten-free Moroccan "couscous" recipe is inspired by a post from a Mediterranean Cooking group I follow on Facebook.  I put couscous in quotes because I'm not actually using couscous in this recipe.

Many people think couscous is a grain, but it’s actually little pasta balls made from semolina wheat flour and water.  This of course means it's not gluten-free. 

You can buy gluten free couscous that is made from corn or other gluten-free grains, but I prefer to simply use quinoa as a substitute because of it's availability and nutritional value. 

Quinoa is considered to be a gluten-free grain, although it’s technically a seed.  It's rich in fiber and antioxidants as well as several vitamins and minerals like iron, folate and manganese as well as vitamins B6 and E.  Quinoa is also a good vegetarian source of protein.

If you have a sensitive tummy as many of us with gluten issues do, you may find that too much quinoa causes some upset. That’s because quinoa is coated with a naturally occurring chemical called saponins. This is why you should always wash your quinoa thoroughly. Just put it in a fine strainer and run water through it for a couple of minutes while rubbing the grains gently between your fingers.


Dried Apricots

Apricots are a common fruit in the middle east which is why you’ll see them popping up in many Mediterranean recipes. You can get dried apricots in the supermarket or your local bulk food store.

If you like you can substitute any dried fruit like raisins, cranberries or other dried berries and your dish will still be delicious.

Cooked Greens

The greens are an optional addition to our gluten-free Moroccan "couscous".  However, if you're like me, you're always looking for ways to get more greens into your diet, so why not take the opportunity . 

We know that kale is a superfood being rich in calcium and vitamins K and C.  

Spinach is packed full of good stuff too like iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, folate, and vitamins A and E.

You could also use chard, or beet tops or any other robust leafy green you have on hand.  Lettuce and other tender salad greens don't work quite so well. 

Gluten-Free Moroccan "Couscous" Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa. White or red or combination.

2 cups water or you  can use vegetable or chicken stock.

1 tbsp. olive oil or ghee

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup dried apricots, diced

½ medium onion, diced

Optional handful of chopped greens of your choice.  Kale or spinach work well.

Directions

Rinse the quinoa as outlined above.

Put the quinoa and water or broth in a pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 7 - 10 minutes. 

In a separate pan, heat the olive oil or ghee and sauté the onions until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and apricots and sauté for another two or three minutes.

If you're using chopped greens add them now and let them wilt down a bit. 

Add the cooked quinoa and stir.

Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for a few minutes while you finish up your herbed lamb chops and the sauce.