Morocco-Land of Muhammads


Moroccan Chickpea Salad

What do you get with a $5 dollar bill at an Ethnic Market? A LOT. If you haven’t discovered the awesomeness that is Ethnic grocery stores, then you’ve been wasting your pretty little pennies. You’ll find that a lot of things that are really expensive at your local supermarket are often cheaper at ethnic markets. I can’t defend the quality or origins of their products, but if you really are counting pennies then I suggest you take a gander.

The difference between your local “Ralphs” and “Raj’s Groceries & Random Household Supplies Store” is that Raj’s only stocks ingredients most commonly used by those of its ethnicity whereas Ralphs caters to Muhammed, Mrs. Goldberg across the street, your friend Wendy Fu’s mom, and Guadalupe’s extended family. Point being, the higher the inventory turnover rate, the cheaper your products. For instance, spices are often cheaper at the ethnic market they are most associated with because they don’t have to sit on the shelves for AS long (although I’ve seen my fair share of expired products in ethnic markets-so be careful). Also, keep in mind when buying the “cheaper” spices in those plastic bags at the end of the aisle instead of the nicely sealed jars, they might save you a couple of bucks but dried herbs get damaged when exposed to too much sunlight and air. But if your recipe asks for 1/10 of a sprinkle of dried oregano…meh.

Same goes for produce. I live a block away from Elat Mart, the Jewish/Persian grocery mart aka best place for produce. However, if you aren’t willing to put up a fight, don’t bother. Carts are lined up against aisles, cabbage is thrown across the floor, the bosoms of angry mothers are pushed against you to get to the 5 for $1.00 special, it’s supermarket sweep gone mad. But how can you argue against produce that literally costs dimes and nickels.

For a weeknight meal, I made my always reliable and easy chickpea salad. I don’t mean to sound like Rachel Ray, but it really can be done in 30 minutes and you can swap in ingredients here and there. If you don’t have tomatoes, who cares-put in more peppers. If you don’t have EVOO, use vegetable oil. I bought most of my ingredients for my Moroccan Chickpea Salad at Elat Mart and did not use more than $5.

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

1 15 oz. can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans rinsed

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 medium cucumber, seeded with a spoon and diced

2-3 “roasted” peppers (red, orange, yellow), chopped

¼ cup of parsley, COMMA chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ cup olive oil

1 tspn whole cumin seeds

¼ cup feta cheese

Juice of ½ lemon

S & P

1 pita bread toasted & torn

First thing you want to to do is “roast” your peppers. Now this may sound beyond you in terms of kitchen experiences, but trust me its super easy. You don’t need a large fire pit of any sort. All you need is a stove top, tongs, and a paper bag. Place your peppers directly on top of the fire and slowly turn them around until all sides are considerably charred. Place peppers in a paper bag and tightly seal. Let the steam cook the peppers for 15-20 minutes. Take them out of the bag and remove as much of the charred skin as possible. Cut out the seeds and stem. Here is a visual presentation brought to you by Maria Shirapova and her little dog:

Roasting Peppers in 1,2,3…..4,5,6.

Next, place olive oil and cumin seeds in a small pot and lightly heat. Do not overheat and burn the seeds or you’ll RUIN THE DISH!! jk. Just be careful.

*sigh.. it’s like I’m sitting right next to you isn’t it? 🙂

salad ingredients

Combine chickpeas, tomatoes, roasted peppers, chickpeas, garlic, cumin scented oil, s & p (salt & pepper), parsley, lemon juice, feta cheese and toss.

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Before you serve, tear up the pieces of the toasted pita bread and toss in to the salad. It will give the salad a nice crunch.

I had some leftover roasted peppers. What did I do with them? Combined them with MORE garlic, turkey sausage, and pasta for lunch the next day. Geez-I’m so efficient.

pasta on a fork.

Hugs & tacos,


P.S. Anyone know of a good Moroccan restaurant?




4 Responses to “Morocco-Land of Muhammads”

  1. 1 Shanna

    Are you from Morocco?…

  2. 2 Sarina

    I was wondering why the desk lamp was in the kitchen…

  3. 3 rachel

    lol at sarina’s comment

  4. 4 M

    All your food looks so nice!! All the ethnic markets around my area are cutthroat pirates! Just because they’re near the Italian market! Really good food though. I just wish I can make my pound stretch further. Then again that would makes my put the pounds on my scale!

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