Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh is a Levantine (Eastern Mediterranean) vegetarian dish served as part of a meza appetizer assortment or as a main dish on its own. Tabbouleh is a derivative of the word “tabil” meaning “to season”. There are many variations of the spices used in this dish including the use of Zaatar, sumac, cinnamon, and allspice. Try experimenting with the different seasonings if you like.

Instead of the traditional bulgur wheat or couscous, I chose quinoa. It is a complete protein (contains all the essential amino acids), high in iron and calcium. It’s also a good source of manganese, magnesium, copper, and fiber. It’s gluten free, softer and lighter in texture, cooks quickly, and is great for vegans. I like using a salad spinner to make sure the parsley and mint are dry. Chopping by hand with a sharp knife is preferred over using a food processor, to avoid bruising of the herbs. The high vitamin C content and the multi immune-enhancing properties in parsley make this salad an amazing immunity booster. You could also try using flat leaf or Italian parsley instead of curly.

Ingredients

Directions

Quinoa: Toasting the quinoa prior to cooking gives it a nutty taste (and is optional).
Heat 2 tbsp. EVOO on medium heat. Add quinoa and cook for 10 minutes, turning frequently until lightly browned. Add vegetable stock to pot, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking according to package directions. Once cooked, remove from heat, spread quinoa out on a cooking sheet to cool, fluff with a fork.

Salad: In a large bowl, add parsley, tomatoes, green onion and mint. Toss with EVOO, add lemon juice. Add 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa and toss. Season accordingly. This salad keeps well once seasoned.

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