The weather here in New Zealand doesn’t quite know what to do with itself. One day it’s beautifully sunny and singlets are being adorned, the next it’s pouring with rain and you’re berating yourself for leaving your umbrella at home. Likewise our food choices have been a bit in between. One minute we’ve been making these Flu Shot Juices (to battle a nasty bout of influenza Tony seems to have acquired somewhere). The next it’s been this delicious Lemon Meringue Pie, to use up all the sunny yellow lemons my dad and mother-in-law keep dropping to us in droves. Either way, it’s the essence of spring. In between. Undecided. Up and down. But full of new life, and simply, beautiful.
This delicious Moroccan Sorghum Salad is in keeping with that theme of in-betweenness. Not quite the light cascades of garden green we'll see in summer, and yet far from the hearty comfort food of winter too. It's made with a brand new grain I haven’t used on the blog here before, called sorghum. This gorgeous gluten free grain cooks up to make mounds of thick plump rounds, similar to Israeli couscous but with more nuttiness and bite. I’ve mixed them with a nourishing blend of organic apricots, almonds, and cinnamon, all warming foods by nature. We then go and lighten it all up (spring-a-zised if you will) with a generous helping of parsley, mint, preserved lemon and fresh creamy avocado. If you liked my Pomegranate Cauliflower Couscous from last summer, you will love this one!
This delicious nourishing salad is perfect for taking to your next pot luck dinner, and equally delicious for mid-week lunches. To serve, simply add a handful of greens on the side drizzled with balsamic and cold pressed olive oil. Voila - spring time cuisine epitomised.
Super Staple Sorghum
Sorghum is a relatively new grain to the Western world, and joins the plethora of granular choice we now have with the likes of quinoa, buckwheat, spelt, brown rice, millet, amaranth and rye. Sorghum is naturally gluten free and has a low GI, meaning it’s great for keeping you satiated (full) for a few hours post a meal, as well as keeping your blood sugars (and energy/sanity levels/mood) stable. It is a staple grain in Africa, and also grows in India, so works brilliantly with Moroccan inspired flavours such as in this salad.
Sorghum is rather super in that it is unusually resistant both to drought and heat, and requires less water than other grains such as wheat, which makes it especially valuable in arid regions such as in Africa. It also means it needs less pesticides, and is easier to grow organically. It contains plenty of protein at 11% (compared to chicken at ~20%), and I’m also a big fan due to its vitamin content. Specifically it’s an iron-pumping powerhouse, with 3.4mg per 100mg (more than a steak at 2.9mg), and a magnesium marvel providing 165mg/100g, or over 50% of your recommended daily intake.
Sorghum can be used in place of couscous, quinoa, or Israeli couscous. It’s very plain in flavour on it’s own, so be sure to cook it with plenty of punchy flavours, and add a seriously good dressing, like we’re doing in this salad here. It takes a little longer to cook than other grains, 50 minutes without soaking, but the nutrients are best absorbed and nutrient-inhibitors removed form the outer part of the grain by soaking, so this is what I recommend. Simply soak in a big bowl of filtered water overnight, then when you’re ready to cook, rinse and drain, and cover again with more filtered water and cook on a low boil for 35 minutes. Add your preferred flavours whilst cooking and afterwards, and a delicious, simple, affordable salad shall be yours.
I hope you try this gorgeous Moroccan inspired version - the apricot + almond + preserved lemon + mint + parsley + garlic is just… so very good! Nourishing yet light at the same time. If you try this gorgeous salad, share your beauties with me on Facebook, or tag me on Instagram @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I love seeing your creations and hearing what you think.
Off to enjoy this beautiful Saturday. I’m thinking a slow stroll, some reading, and a spot of seaside air is in the mix.
Til next week, stay happy and well.
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Takes 40 minutes (35 mins cook time + 5 mins to assemble)
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
2 c sorghum
2 avocados (cubed)
2 c parsley
1 c mint
2/3 c almonds
2/3 c dried apricots
1/2 c preserved lemons* (finely diced, ~1 lemon)
6 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp coconut nectar
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
* You can use fresh lemon instead of preserved lemon, although the flavour will not be as intense. If so, use the zest and flesh of 1 lemon, plus an extra 1/2 tsp sea salt (as the preserved lemon is very salty).
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon