It's a balmy 26 degrees here in New York City, and all I want for lunch is comfort: an endless bowl of spaghetti, a chicken pot pie, short ribs with mashed potatoes. Heck, maybe just mashed potatoes. But then two tiny words pop into my head: food coma. Satisfying though it would be to yield to those cravings in the moment, who can afford to waste an afternoon watching the clock until quitting time? Not I. So I'm opting instead for something healthy, hearty, and long-lasting: a Moroccan-inspired quinoa-, carrot-, and feta-packed pita courtesy of the Jewels of New York's Diana Yen. It'll give you steady energy throughout the day, plus it's loaded with flavor to help curb boredom.
Pita with Cumin-Glazed Carrots, Feta, and Quinoa
-- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
-- 2 tablespoons honey syrup
-- ¼ teaspoon cumin
-- 1 pound mixed baby carrots, trimmed, scrubbed and sliced into 3-inch long wedges
-- salt and freshly ground pepper
-- ¾ cup red quinoa, rinsed
-- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
-- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
-- ¼ cup crumbled feta
-- 4 whole wheat pitas, split and toasted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, and cumin, together in a small bowl. Toss the carrots in the mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Spread onto a baking sheet, and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, bring 1½ cup water, quinoa, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
In a bowl, toss quinoa with 2 tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice. Gently fold in tomatoes and crumbled feta. Stuff each pita with quinoa mixture and top with carrots.