I’ve been on a minor mission this year to use quinoa whenever possible. Quinoa is the current “it” grain, and that’s for some very good reasons. What’s not to love about an ancient, gluten-free, nutrient-dense, protein-packed powerhouse, cultivated by the Incas more than 5,000 years ago?
Quinoa Anything can be a vegetarian main course, and it can almost always be switched out for cous cous or rice. I say almost, because a few months ago, I went a little haywire and decided to try quinoa pudding — instead of rice pudding. Bad idea. It tasted like freshly mowed grass. Lesson learned: stick to savory quinoa dishes.
As far as Quinoa Tabbouleh: Perfect
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 large cucumber chopped well
- 2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1 cup parsley chopped very fine
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped, fresh basil*
*Classic tabbouleh calls for mint, which is not on my 100 Ingredient List — and I like it better with fresh basil.
- Rinse quinoa and add to a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat for 10 minutes until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
- In a small bowl, whisk together minced garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Set aside
- Chop cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, green onions and basil.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa with chopped vegetables and herbs. Add dressing and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper.
- Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.