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Some things are meant to be sugar-coated, especially in the world of food.

And I’m not talking glazes or icings here.  But rather, little white lies, omissions, exaggerations that are scattered throughout a dish or, at the least, one’s description of it.

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For instance. If you asked The.Boy how often I make him something with cabbage in it, he would make some sort of grimace at just the thought of such a brassica on his plate, and reply with “little to never”.

Whereas I would coyly smile and say I put it in a noodle salad he ate two weeks ago, and he was none the wiser.

Although he did also inform me just a few days ago that leeks tasted too “cabbage-y” to him, and I don’t even know what to do with that information since now he’s apparently imagining cabbage where it is not, but doesn’t even realize it’s there when it is. Something is amiss with his taste buds, that’s for sure.

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That’s really neither here nor there for the purposes of this post, however, as what we’re really concerned with today is the use of prunes vs. dried plums.

Unbeknownst or unrealized to many out there…these are actually the same thing.

To-may-to. To-mah-to.

But whereas prunes sound like something my grandmother always tried to force me to eat, dried plums sound…fancy, decadent, and like something I want to shove into my mouth full speed ahead.  That’s quite a disparity.

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As such, I’m a hundred percent sure that had I presented this dish as a carrot, chickpea, quinoa salad with prunes, I would have gotten very skeptical looks from The.Boy and a whole lot of resistance/begging to be allowed to eat a PB&J instead at dinnertime.

As it was, he dug right in without batting an eye.  And barely came up for air until his bowl was clean. As did I.

All of the flavors in this salad come together to make it a hearty and delicious meal, with the cumin adding an earthy smokiness to the dressing, that is complimented well by tart lemon and sweet honey.  And feel free to throw whatever other vegetables you want in here. I happened to have roasted potatoes and cauliflower in the fridge, so into the bowl they went. They were not quite as easy to hide from The.Boy as the aforementioned cabbage was…but thankfully he didn’t seem to be bothered by their presence, especially after the first delicious bite – no sugar coating required.

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One year ago…Black Bean and Feta Tacos with Strawberry Mango Salsa
Three years ago…Caramelized Onions, Broccoli and Ricotta Pasta
Four years ago…Zucchini and Tomato Salad with Garlic-Chili Dressing

Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad with Dried Plums, Quinoa, and Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette
Serves 6, adapted from Roots

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dried quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • one (10 oz or 280g) package shredded carrots
  • 8 oz dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled until tender
  • 2/3 cup (100g) dried plums, chopped into chickpea-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup (30g) coarsely chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, the cumin seeds must first be toasted and ground. Put a small heavy frying pan over high heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Using a spice grinder, grind to a fine powder.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground cumin, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, cayenne, and black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, carrots, chickpeas, dried plums and mint. Add the dressing and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes – I had some roasted potatoes and cauliflower in my fridge that I tossed into this as well and it was delicious. Feel free to throw in whatever other veggies you have on hand!

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You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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75 Responses to Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad with Dried Plums, Quinoa, and Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette

  1. I’m telling you, you have the most creative and unique – and deeelicious – recipes! This sounds so amazing. We cook quinoa a lot but were just saying to each other the other night that we’re kind of sick of cooking it the same ol’ way…. This would be a great change-up!

  2. Oh yum! Thanks for sharing, Joanne. I was hoping to see this after your teaser. :) I’ve seen a few incarnations of this salad and it always gets raves reviews.. with my current chickpea and carrot kick, this will mesh perfectly. Gotta go try it now.

    But leek = cabbage taste? WHAT?

  3. This sounds straight up delicious! Haha I love how you’re throwing cabbage randomly into meals and your boy has no idea!! Too funny.

  4. Johanna GGG says:

    how funny you also have purple cauliflower – you seem far more blase about it than me – it always is exciting to discover it as it is a rare find – maybe more common for you!

    I have sometimes wondered if dried plums are a different beast to prunes – because prunes are always just dried plums to me – but I knew they have a bad reputation with me – whereas sylvia begs me for them. Lovely recipe using them – I would like to use them more in savoury recipes

  5. Lynn says:

    Ooh – this looks good! I’m making this. I don’t think I’ve seen purple cauliflower before.

  6. Beth says:

    Ha! What a perfect way to repackage this meal. You’ve got me thinking about how I might “sugarcoat” certain meals to my family now!

  7. I totally say dried plums even though I know very well they are just prunes in fancy disguise. Either way, I love them!

  8. Amazing how dried plums sound so fancy!

  9. Mira says:

    I love making these kinds of salads, and this dressing sounds so amazing. I love how colorful it is, as well! I have to admit, I’m usually that weird person who actually just loves prunes……. but I do think it sounds more normal to say that I love dried plums :)

  10. I love this salad! It’s so perfect!! You come up with the most creative recipes!

  11. I kind of love “dried plums” is that bad? I would love this for lunch and dinner!

  12. love all the flavors in this – sounds great!

  13. Amy says:

    I noticed a couple of years ago that brands were re-packing their pruned to read Dried Plums instead. It’s actually a genius marketing effort. I eat them no matter what they’re called. Like in this salad.

  14. Erica Berman says:

    Oh my, this looks amazing, and ironically, I have a quinoa, chickpea salad concoction planned for our dinner tonight! I love the idea of adding dried plums.

  15. Jessie says:

    When I was little, my Chinese grandmother would sneak vegetables into my meat-and-rice dishes without telling me what they were. I totally fell for it every time. Perhaps if she had called the veggies by a tastier name, I would have eaten them on my own … ?

    I know I’d go for this incredible-looking Moroccan salad, though. I love PRUNES and quinoa and chickpeas! ;)

  16. Mo Diva says:

    This is a gorgeous salad!
    Is the boy a vegan too? I would have a helluva hard time feeding this to my bf at dinner without him looking all over the apartment for the meat. LOL.

  17. Gwen says:

    That’s hilarious! I have to sugar coat/ rename foods w my kids too. Whatever works ;)

  18. I never realized prunes were dried plums but I definitely thought dried plums sounded elegant and tasty whereas just hearing the word prune turns me off. I don’t think I’ve ever even tried a prune, now I feel bad for them that they get such a bad rep based on their name!

  19. Ashley Bee says:

    The cauliflower looks a lovely shade of purple! Pretty!

    I know what you mean–my boy hates veggies. I have to hide them!

  20. This salad looks so dang yummy, lady!!!

  21. Pam says:

    It’s so true! Saying dried plums sounds WAY better than prunes. I am loving how colorful and flavorful this salad looks. Great textures in this one!

  22. The purple color of the cauliflower makes this look so great!

  23. Dixya says:

    the whole debate on prunes vs dried plums – I agreeee. I am fancying this cumin dressing. yum yum yum.

  24. this.sounds.awesome. and way to go getting the.boy. to eat all veggies, especially those he doesn’t like ;)

  25. Eileen says:

    Oh, I remember when prunes got rebranded. So typical of the food industry. And prunes are good in the first place! Jeez. Anyway. this salad sounds like the best lunch! So many veg and beans and grains…and tangy prunes. :)

  26. Debbie says:

    I am hooked on chickpeas…seriously love them. I eat prunes every day and they are just so good. can’t believe you have a recipe with both. Where am I going to find the time to cook all these great things you’ve been posting lately?????

  27. This is so gorgeous, Joanne! Perfect springtime flavors and colors in this dish. Lovely!

  28. Guru Uru says:

    I love the flavours in this dish, especially the Moroccan twist on the vegetables :)

    Cheers
    CCU

  29. Hotly Spiced says:

    This dish would have plenty of flavour and crunch. I’m assuming dried plums and prunes are one and the same? I just couldn’t see them in the photo. Love the purple cauliflower – very pretty xx

  30. Suzie says:

    I must say you are very lucky that the boy has such a great palate. My hubs eats very, very little of what I cook. He wants meat and potatoes, every day! This salad sounds great, I can imagine all the flavors just from reading the ingredients…yum!

  31. I completely agree about the prunes vs. dried plums. I just pulled out the same explanation the other day to son! ;)

  32. Oh, the white lies….I’ve told a lot of those to Taylor at our kitchen table. This salad sounds fantastic!

  33. Jeanette says:

    Dried plums definitely sounds better than prunes. Love how pretty this salad is with the purple cauliflower!

  34. Candace says:

    What they don’t know really doesn’t hurt them. This is a beautiful and healthy salad! Love it!

  35. THIS is a purty salad. Like…much purtier than cabbage.

  36. sandra says:

    I love the purple broccoli. So pretty.

  37. Sam says:

    It’s amazing how renaming something will make it instantly delicious. My mom was the master of it–none of us would touch clam chowder or quiche, but “cream soup” and “egg pie”, we were all about it.

    The salad looks delicious!

  38. OohLookBel says:

    The purple broccoli looks fantastic with the orangey carrot. Very appetising.

  39. love marking salads like this and snacking on them

  40. That Girl says:

    I love cabbage. I’m lucky enough to be married to an Irishman, so cabbage is second nature to him.

  41. OMgosh, so true, sometimes you have to sugarcoat it to get people to eat it. I made a prune cake and made the mistake of calling it just that. Only a few at the dinner party dared to try it, despite the rave reviews the partakers gave. Lesson learned! I love the idea of dried prunes in this salad–I bet the sweetness is so nice with the veggies and cumin!

  42. Deborah says:

    Haha – gotta love that you are hiding things in his food. I have to do that with my kids often! This looks amazing!

  43. Kari says:

    I need no convincing to try this – I’d be sold even if you’d used the dreaded ‘prunes’ word! I totally get male taste buds being inexplicable though. I made orange brownies the other week and my husband swore there was no orange in them but that there was mint. I mean, really!

  44. Foodycat says:

    Purple cauliflower! Amazing!

  45. Monica says:

    I love so many elements of this salad – the ingredients and colors. It’s exactly the kind of salad I love to eat these days for lunch. Thanks for the inspiration!

  46. Blond Duck says:

    What are the purple broccali looking things?

  47. Love your colorful salad and happy that it was such a success with The.Boy.

  48. I want you to cook me savory stuff b/c everything you make looks amazing. Plums, purple cauli, carrots, the vinaigrette…all wonderful!

  49. Barbara says:

    Prunes have a bad name…sad, because they are wonderful in stews, salads etc. Beautiful salad, Joanne…I have a head of that cauliflower in my fridge right now.

  50. Ha Joanne thats very cute. Its a bonus that he doesnt know if he is coming or going because when they least expect it………I am a strong supporter of such hijinx. lovely salad and clever of course clever re-naming!

  51. Kevin Lynch says:

    That is one nice looking quinoa and veggie salad! I like the use of the dried plums for a touch of sweetness!

  52. Lori says:

    I have to laugh because the first thing I thought when I read the post title was — wait, dried plums are prunes. Ha, ha! I love all the goodness in here. It looks so tasty!

  53. Sara says:

    This looks fantastic! I love carrot salads, and I also love quinoa salads, so I am sure I would love combining them! The purple cauliflower looks so good too!

  54. I have never seen blue cauliflowers before…this looks wholesome!

  55. Gloria Baker says:

    Love so much Joanne I love chickpeas, yesterday I was thinking in soaked chickpeas last night!!Look delicious!!!

  56. What a fun dish! And dude, the purple cauliflower – I need that in my life!

  57. Isn’t funny how the way we word something can make such a big difference!? I’ve always liked prunes, but yes, dried plums sound so much more appetizing. And I love your sneaky cabbage ;)

  58. Your prowess in the kitchen always amazes me, Joanne, while juggling medical school and boyfriend handling :). This is a delightful dish on its own or as a side! Love that purple cauliflower.

  59. Joanne,this is completely fabulous! I’ve actually never seen a purple cauliflower in the “flesh”! this is SUCH a wonderful, healthy dish!!
    Mary x

  60. This recipe actually makes me want to eat a salad! Loving all the flavors.

  61. Dining Alone says:

    This is hilarious. The other day Tom said to me something about eating tofu and I said, you have NEVER had tofu. He thought for sure I had tricked him into eating it somehow in the past :)

  62. Monet says:

    Dried plums do sound so much more elegant, don’t they? I love how much a name can change things! I always see this at super fancy restaurants. The words they use to describe their meals are artistic, to say the least! Thank you for sharing. This looks like such a healthy and flavorful salad.

  63. I love prunes – so much. :-) I love eating them warmed by the sun when they’re soft and sticky and wonderful. This salad sounds delish! :-)

  64. Ashley says:

    I was totally laughing to myself at how much better “dried plums” sounds than “prunes” before I even got past the subject line here. Ha! This sounds so nice – I love the warm aroma of cumin seeds. Mmmm…

  65. I love the easy, healthy veggie dishes that you come up with — this is perfect for me to eat this summer as I attempt the shed my baby weight!

  66. Whenever I read any of your recipes, Joanne, I always wait for ‘the.boy’s’ responses since I know that my guy would respond in similar fashion . . . I have a super, boring, meat and potatoes and nothing else guy, so you’ve got a winner in this recipe for my cucina! Not only that, I have to say, that this is one of the most beautifully colored recipes ever! Very enticing to my eyes before hitting the tastebuds! Happy Memorial Day weekend from Maui!

    Roz

  67. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    This looks so satisfying! I love this recipe :)

  68. Amy says:

    The pictures drew me right in! I can’t wait to make this recipe this week, but I am wondering what are the advantages of soaking and boiling the chickpeas versus buying a can?

    • Joanne says:

      Amy – It’s totally a personal thing. I try to cook all my beans myself because (a) it’s cheaper and (b) I think they’re much tastier and have a better texture when you cook them yourself. To save on time, though, you can totally just buy a can!

  69. Amy says:

    I made a quick version of this recipe last week and it was a huge success! I used canned chickpeas and ground cumin–I imagine the flavor would be more robust in the original version. Despite these changes, this dish was delicious, and I loved how the roasted cauliflower and potatoes complemented the flavors. Who knew dried plums could be so good!

  70. Laura says:

    Whatever you want to call it, I call it YUM!

  71. […] last thing: I took the inspiration from the lovely Joanne who made this awesome salad which had me dreaming about it for weeks after I saw it. Doesn’t […]

  72. I just stumbled upon your blog after seeing the link on Honey & Figs and so glad I did, its so pretty and so many delicious looking recipes on here! This one especially sounds right up my alley – yum!

  73. […] This dish has a moroccan flair that includes chickpeas, broccoli and carrots.  Yum!  RECIPE  […]

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