I am always looking for fun, inspired and unique ways to up my culinary creativity game, without too much extra fuss. Enter tea. I find tea-infusing to take the flavor profiles of recipes to new heights, with little to no extra work and the flavor combinations truly are endless.
This Moroccan Mint Tea infused rice is the perfect example. Beyond boiling some water and infusing the tea for 3-5 minutes, that’s about it for extra work. The rice cooks as usual and you are left with an incredibly flavorful dish, that will knock your socks off.
After sipping on a steamy mug of this flavorful Moroccan Mint Tea from Stash Tea, a beautiful blend of both mint and green teas with a hint of lemongrass flavor, I found I was inspired to create a meal focused on the very essence of the tea. Morocco. The rice is fluffy and fully of subtle Moroccan flavors from the mint to the spices and the flecks of sweet raisins and the crunchy toasted pine nuts. All of this pairs perfectly with the Moroccan Spiced Grilled Chicken Skewers which elevate this to a meal. If you want to go deep into the Moroccan flavors, I recommend adding some preserved lemons when serving.
The Moroccan Spiced Chicken Skewers are a perfect compliment to the tea infused rice blend, bringing a bit of heat and a lot of flavor with a symphony of spices and tastes. If you are dairy-free opt for unsweetened coconut yogurt for the marinade, you can also use goat or sheep’s milk, traditional Greek yogurt or your standard whole milk yogurt. These kebabs are going to blow your mind how simple they are, yet how much flavor they bring. They have quickly become a weekly favorite in our house.
While I generally eat grain-free almost exclusively at this point, to manage my autoimmune conditions and my digestive woes, but I have been spending time over the last month or so experimenting with various non-vegetable carbohydrates as means to replenish my body from the sometimes intense workout schedule I have adopted. I noticed I was eating so low-carb some workout days that I was feeling quite depleted, depending on intensity and focus of the session – I knew this wasn’t a good thing and I wanted to experiment to find ways to rectify this with yummy whole foods. In small amounts and at most once a week or so, rice has proven to be a great option for me, along with sweet potatoes and white potatoes in moderation, too. I am really excited about dishes like this utilizing the flavors of the tea but infusing the already delicate basmati rice , I plan to experiment with other Stash Tea blends and other flavors to change things up and keep it interesting.
And remember, when it comes to grains, I always recommend sprouting them whenever possible. Sprouting makes grains easier to digest by breaking down enzyme inhibitors, it also activates the nutrients and makes them easier to assimilate. You can sprout your own or now you can easily find pre-sprouted rice at many health food stores.
Moroccan Mint Rice with Spiced Chicken Skewers
Moroccan Mint-Infused Rice
- 1 cup rice, basmati preferred (sprouted if you can find/make it)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3 teaspoons Stash Tea Moroccan Mint Loose Leaf Tea
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ cup black raisins
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
Moroccan Chicken Skewers
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs (preferably pasture-raised)
- ¼ cup yogurt, I used unsweetened coconut milk yogurt, goat milk or Greek-style will also work
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons paprika, smoked or regular
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- For serving:
- flat leaf parsley
- yogurt, optional
- preserve lemons, optional
- Marinate the chicken. Cut the chicken into 1 1/2 - 2 inch cubes. Toss chicken, yogurt, olive oil, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, red pepper flakes (if using), sea salt and parsley in a medium bowl or a large ziplock bag. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
- Make the rice. Boil water and pour two cups of boiling water into a bowl with two heaping teaspoons of Stash Moroccan Mint Loose Leaf Tea. Let steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain out the tea leaves. Add the tea with the rice to a medium-sauce pan or a rice cooker and cook according to instructions.
- While the rice is cooking, in a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil or ghee. Add the onion and cook until golden about 5 minutes. Add the spices, raisins, pine nuts and salt. Stir around and let cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the rice once cooked. Add the parsley. Toss well to combine.
- Grill the skewers, heat the grill to medium-high heat and oil grates, if necessary. Thread chicken onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, be sure they have been presoaked). Grill the skewers, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 8–12 minutes.
- Serve the rice with the chicken skewers on top, garnish with fresh parsley, If you'd like, serve with yogurt and/or preserved lemons
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