Sheet pan dinner uses classic Moroccan spices in place of salt

·3 min read

Many Mediterranean dishes use a clever mix of seasonings in healthful meals made from vegetables and dried fruit. Served on a bed of whole grains, the meals provide a balance of sweet and savory tastes without lots of salt.

In today’s recipe for Moroccan Sheet-Pan Buddha Bowl, we’ve created a satisfying meatless meal with classic Moroccan spices. Typical seasonings in Morocco include cumin, black pepper, ginger and turmeric, along with paprika, cayenne, chili and saffron. In addition, sweet spices (allspice, cloves, cinnamon) are used in veggie dishes.

Moroccan Sheet-Pan Buddha Bowl calls for a mix of vegetables that includes sweet potatoes, chickpeas and eggplalnt.
Moroccan Sheet-Pan Buddha Bowl calls for a mix of vegetables that includes sweet potatoes, chickpeas and eggplalnt.

In our recipe, we’ve sprinkled Moroccan spices on chickpeas and nutritious veggies before roasting them. The same spice mixture is added to plain Greek yogurt for a zesty topping on the roasted vegetables and cooked quinoa.

Just a quick note about herbs and spices: Herbs are the fresh part of the plant. Spices are the dried parts of a plant’s seed, bark, leaves or fruit. For centuries, herbs and spices have been used for medicinal purposes, but the small amounts used for seasoning provide little nutritional value in most dishes. Veggies, however provide lots of health benefits.

Herb tips

  • Buy herbs that are fresh, clean and without spots.

  • Trim the stems and place the herbs in water.

  • Cover them with a paper towel, refrigerate and use them within seven days.

Spice suggestions

  • Avoid spices with a faded color or those from dusty store shelves.

  • Buy whole spices when available. Prior to use, grind them for maximum flavor.

  • Place spices in an airtight container. Freeze if possible.

  • Replace old spices that have lost their flavor, usually in 6-12 months.

More:Berry parfait featuring Greek yogurt is a sweet way to get more fruit into your diet

More:Use cauliflower instead of rice in this beloved Chinese dish

Bethany Thayer is a registered dietitian nutritionist with Henry Ford Health. For more recipes and health information, visit henryford.com/blog. For questions about today's recipe, email HenryFordLiveWell@hfhs.org.

Moroccan Sheet Pan Buddha Bowl

Serves: 4 / Prep time:  25 minutes  / Total time: 1 hour

Moroccan Sheet-Pan Buddha Bowl calls for a mix of vegetables that includes sweet potatoes, chickpeas and eggplalnt.
Moroccan Sheet-Pan Buddha Bowl calls for a mix of vegetables that includes sweet potatoes, chickpeas and eggplalnt.

1 cup sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

Vegetable oil cooking spray

1 ½ cups cauliflower florets

1 cup zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces

½ red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

⅛ teaspoon ground cumin

⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne

½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

2 cups cooked quinoa

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave sweet potato cubes for 2 minutes to soften before roasting.

Spray a large sheet pan (one with sides) with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place sweet potato, cauliflower, zucchini, onion, eggplant and chickpeas in rows. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.

Mix ½ teaspoon black pepper, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, turmeric, cloves, cumin and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the chickpeas. Add the other half of the spice mixture to the nonfat Greek yogurt and mix. Set the yogurt mixture aside.

Roast vegetables for 25-30 minutes.

To serve, scoop half a cup quinoa into a serving bowl and add ¼ of each of the vegetables and chickpeas to each serving. Top each with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture.

From Henry Ford LiveWell.

344 calories (25% from fat), 9.5 grams fat (1.5 grams sat. fat), 50 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams protein, 366 mg sodium, 2 mg cholesterol, 128 mg calcium, 9 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 2 starch, 5 vegetable.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Sheet pan dinner opts for Moroccan spices in place of salt