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Moroccan-Spiced Kasha (Buckwheat)

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I love kasha (buckwheat) but rarely make it because the rest of my family doesn’t care for it. I created this dish using flavors that I know they love in the hopes they would be enticed. No luck on them…but my dinner guests gobbled it up! This sweet-and-savory dish is a symphony of succulent spices and tongue-titillating textures. Plus it’s gluten-free and vegan!

I served this as a side dish, but add chickpeas for an easy all-in-one meal—perfect for a bagged lunch.

Credit where it’s due: The herbs and spices here are lifted from one of my favorite recipes, Moroccan Chicken with Olives

This recipe, tasty warm or cold, also works well with quinoa or brown rice instead of kasha.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1 cup kasha
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms (one standard-size box), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 10 Medjool dates
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed (optional)
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, boil water (or broth) and add kasha. Cook 10-12 minutes until water is absorbed. (Tip: I actually cook kasha in my rice cooker using the White Rice setting so I can “set it and forget it.”)
  2. Chop and mince all ingredients—onion, garlic, pepper, mushrooms, ginger. (Tip: When I buy ginger root, I mince the entire root and store it in a plastic zipper bag in the freezer, pressing the ginger flat in the bag. Then I just break off what I need as I need it.)
  3. Heat a large sauté pan on medium. When warm, add olive oil and swirl to coat.
  4. Add onions and cook until onions start to soften, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add mushrooms, garlic and ginger and cook until mushrooms start to soften, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add peppers and cook another 4 minutes or so. (You want the onions and mushrooms soft but the peppers to retain some crunch.)
  7. Mix in dates and, if using, chickpeas.
  8. Add turmeric, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper. Stir to coat vegetables.
  9. Remove pan from heat.
  10. Add cooked kasha, cilantro, parsley and lime juice. Mix to evenly distribute vegetables and herbs.
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