Quinoa Tabouleh Salad — Summer

This is a delicious new twist on traditional tabouleh. It's a great cooling option for a picnic on a hot day.  Parsley is an incredibly healthy food. It is considered an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. It is full of antioxidants, flavonoids, and is considered a 'chemoprotective' food because it can help neutralize certain types of carcinogens. Parsley is also an ideal food for healthy weight control. We usually consume parsley only as a garnish, but tabouleh lets us consume it in a much higher quantity. I recommend adding at least one of the optional list at the bottom to perk this side dish up into a main meal.

Base:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • ½ tsp salt

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper

Garnish:

  • 1 (or 2) bunches Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 small red onion

 

Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold, running water. Bring water to a boil in a small pot, add the quinoa and salt and bring to a boil again. Cover and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered for an additional 5 minutes. Strain off any excess liquid and spread the quinoa out to cool on a tray while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings. Set aside

Wash steamed parsley, shake off excess water and dry on a clean kitchen towel. Mince parsley, mint leaves and red onion. In a serving bowl, combine cooked quinoa, prepared herbs and onion. Pour dressing over the ingredients and toss thoroughly. Let the salad rest before serving for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Add one or more of the following: 
1 seeded and diced cucumber, 1 can rinsed chickpeas, 2 diced fresh or roasted peppers, chopped olives, minced green onions, 1 cup of crumbled feta, ½ cup raw sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds.

 

Adapted from the Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook