Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, Herbed Freekeh & Moroccan Carrot Salad


This is a special post – it is part of the wonderful Cooking for One series! The very lovely Katie of Whole Nourishment invited me to get involved in this project which will see different bloggers all week posting recipes and tips around cooking for one. Before I get into my tips and recipe, let me just say that if you haven’t stumbled across Whole Nourishment before, then you most definitely should pop over for a visit. Katie has a real enthusiasm and passion for good clean food, which comes across in her wholesome and delicious recipes. And while you’re there, you should check out all of the other Cooking for One bloggers: Food To Glow / She Likes Food / To Her Core / Lynsey Loves Food / Earthy Feast / Nourished Roots.

roasted-chickpeas-angled  morrocan-carrot-salad-angled  herbed-freekeh

We all know how cooking for one can sometimes go. Toast for three meals a day, anyone? The thing is, when you’re home alone, cooking up a whole meal seems hardly worth the effort. And while there are certain meals you’re unlikely to make when you’re cooking for yourself, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to enjoy delicious and nourishing food when you are flying solo. And despite how busy our lives are, there are always times when we’re cooking for one – I live with a growing family now, but I’ll still often find myself standing in the kitchen at lunchtime wondering what to make myself. Food should be exciting and healthy and tasty whether you are cooking for one or for ten. Anyway, here are my top tips for solo cooking:

  • Embrace leftovers! Cook a meal that can either easily be reheated the next night (think lasagna, soup, pasta sauce), but also think creatively. For instance you might have quinoa with roasted veges for dinner, and then toss the remainder of the quinoa through a salad for lunch the next day.
  • Think sauces! To be honest, a lot of my cooking for one efforts involve preparing some kind of grain (quinoa, soba noodles, brown rice, freekeh) and then topping it with either roast or steamed veges. To keep it interesting though it’s all in the sauce – I’ll put together an easy miso sauce, or tahini drizzle, a yoghurt dip or a satay sauce. A very easy way to jazz up a simple dish.
  • Enjoy it! I know that sounds simple, but more often than not when I’m eating alone I’ll just throw the food on a plate and eat on the couch, or in front of my computer at the desk. But if you set the table, pour a glass of wine, and put on a little music, chances are you’ll also make more effort with the food itself.



Truth be told, this recipe of Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, Herbed Freekeh and Moroccan Carrot Salad wasn’t initially what I had planned to make for this series. But after I put it together for lunch one day while W was sleeping (vaguely planning it for a future blog post) it occurred to me that it would fit perfectly with this series. Plus, it is really delicious so I’m excited to share it as widely as possible. It does make enough for two serves but is perfect for left overs. I enjoyed it all in its separate parts for lunch, and then mixed what was left over all together in a container and voila I had tomorrow’s lunch without even needing to heat anything up. This recipe does make more of the herbed freekeh than chickpeas or carrot salad, so if you only have freekeh left over you could easily mix it up the next day with, say, some roasted sweet potato and parsnip.


As this recipe is in three parts, it actually looks more complex than it is – it is easy to make and the ingredients are all pretty standard. The one item you may not have has a pantry staple is preserved lemons (although you totally should), but you can replace them preserved lemon with the finely grated rind of a regular small lemon. It won’t be quite the same, but will still give a lovely lemony tang. Likewise, if you don’t have freekeh on hand go ahead and use quinoa, millet, or brown rice instead. But most health food stores stock it, and you really should give freekeh a go.

Either way, whether you cook this for just yourself, or to share with a loved one, I hope you like it.

Sarah x


Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, Herbed Freekeh & Moroccan Carrot Salad


Spice-Roasted Chickpeas
1 cup cooked (or canned) chickpeas
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp sumac
½ tsp cumin seeds
Pinch sea salt
½ tbsp lemon juiec
½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Herbed Freekeh
½ cup freekeh
1 cup parsley leaves
1 cup walnuts
¼ cup sultanas
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp brown sugar
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Moroccan Carrot Salad
2 – 3 small carrots
½ cup parsley leaves
¼ red onion
Rind from ¼ of a preserved lemon
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp roasted almonds
½ tsp cumin seeds
Pinch sea salt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


Heat oven to 180°c/350°f. In a bowl mix together the chickpeas with the spices, lemon juice and olive oil until the chickpeas are fully coated. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for approx. 35 mins, shaking at least once about halfway through.

In the meantime, bring the half a cup of freekeh along with one and half cups of water to boil on the stove in a small pot. When it is boiling, cover with a lid, turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the grains are cooked through but not yet soggy. Drain any remaining liquid and put the cooked freekeh in a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice and olive oil and stir through. Roughly chop the parsley and walnuts then add them, along with the sultanas, to the freekeh and mix to combine. Set aside.

To prepare the Moroccan Carrot Salad thinly slice your carrots into rounds using a mandoline (or very carefully with a knife) and place into a small bowl. Slice the onion thinly, roughly chop the parsley leaves, almonds and cranberries, dice the preserved lemon rind, and pop into the bowl with the carrots. Sprinkle over the cumin seeds and salt, add the oil, and mix to combine.

Serve all three dishes together, either a scoop of each on your plate, or mixed through into one big salad. Enjoy!

Serves 1 – 2.


  1. This totally looks like something I would love to make for myself when I’m home alone! I love crispy chickpeas and adding them to salads makes everything better! I love your tip about using creative sauces, I feel like I eat a lot of the same grains and vegetables, but adding a new sauce really spices things up and adds great flavor 🙂

  2. You are speaking my language, Sarah! These North African/Middle Eastern flavors are right up my alley and I would totally make this for myself. I love your tip about sauces. It’s really true that just a simple, but specially flavored sauce can really bring a dish together with little effort. Thank you for your kind works and I’m so glad you are part of this series!

  3. I have been dying to try freekeh but until now had no ideas about how to prepare it. This recipe sounds really yummy and I am anxious to add a new grain to my staples. Thanks for sharing!

  4. looks divine. what gorgeous colors and textures. the flavors practically jump off the page. thanks to you, and thanks to katie, for such a rich collection of meals for “flying solo.”

  5. I made this tonight and it’s delicious – Thank you for sharing this recipe! I did not have preserved lemon so I substituted the zest of one fresh lemon but otherwise followed the recipe as written. This is my first time having freekeh and I enjoyed it. The flavor of the walnuts, sultanas, cinnamon and brown sugar were familiar to me but I usually eat them in sweet things so it was refreshing to taste them together in a savory dish.

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