Many people have creative outlets. Some sing , others paint. I create through my photography and Aromatherapy. I also love researching ingredients, shopping for them then coming back to my warm kitchen and preparing a simple nutritious meal for my family.
I have been strictly following MyFitnessPal’s 1200 calorie a day diet and have lost 4 of the 10-12 lbs I’d like to lose. This makes creating yummy food a little more challenging. I’m a sucker for comfort food (hence the diet). I got to thinking about how simple Morroccan food is. Most of it comes down to marinading with healthy spices like cumin, curry, tumeric and lemon. I also had zero desire to go out shopping after my hour long power walk in the pouring Vancouver rain. So using only ingredients already in my pantry and fridge I made this lovely chicken paired with a simple couscous salad with chickpeas, spinach and a curry dressing.
MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKEN
Ingredients For the Spice Mixture
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 lemon
- 2 large sweet onions, cut into 12 wedges each
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 6 skin-on chicken quarters
- 1 cup green olives, pitted
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Preheat oven to 475.
- In a small bowl, prepare the spice rub by combining the salt, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and chopped garlic. Pour this over the chicken and mix to coat.
- Cut the lemon in half and set one half aside. Cut the remaining half into thin slices, then arrange the slices in a single layer onto your pan. Scatter the onion wedges over the lemons, then drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the onions. Sprinkle the pan with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric.
- Place the chicken on the pan.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast for 3o minutes.
- Scatter the pan with the olives and cilantro leaves. Squeeze the juice from the remaining half lemon onto the chicken. Serve warm with couscous
Curried Couscous Salad (I made 1/2 of this recipe as it was only myself and Seth tonight)
- 2 cups uncooked couscous (you can also use whole wheat couscous)
- ¾ cup finely shredded carrot
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup canned drained chickpeas
- 5-6 chopped dates
For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey (Vegans: use agave nectar)
- 2 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- a pinch each of dill weed, dried basil, old bay seasoning (optional) & onion powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- To prepare the couscous, bring 2 cups of water along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil to a boil in a medium saucepan. As soon as it’s boiling, add the couscous and immediately turn off the heat. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and put it in a large mixing bowl.
- Add all the veggies to the couscous and stir to combine.
- To prepare the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the couscous salad, ⅓ at a time, stirring to combine between additions.