It’s Emmy from Vegan Diva Blog and I’m excited to be doing another guest post for Lunch It Punch It. Today, I’m sharing my tried and true recipe for Quinoa Tabouli. There are about a million recipes for Tabouli and probably just as many spelling variations too. I used to love getting Tabouli from my favorite Middle Eastern restaurants but it is traditionally made with bulgur. If you have wheat sensitivities, quinoa is a great alternative to bulgur in Tabouli. This salad is nutritious, tasty, and easy to make. What else could you ask for? Oh, you want something that makes a perfect lunch the next day? It does that too!
3 bunches – Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
¼ cup fresh mint, minced
1 English Cucumber or 4 small Persian Cucumbers, skin left on, quartered, then sliced thin
3 large Roma tomatoes, diced
1 bunch green onions (white part only), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
4 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
2 generous tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-1/2 cups cooked Quinoa (prepared according to package directions), cooled
In a large bowl, mix the parsley, mint, garlic, green onions, cucumber, and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Mix again. Add the cooled Quinoa about a half cup at a time, mixing afterwards. This helps prevents clumps of Quinoa in the Tabouli. Depending on the size of the Parsley bunches used, you may need an additional half cup of Quinoa (2 cups total). Chill before serving.
I prefer my Tabouli to be heavy on the parsley and light on the lemon juice/olive oil dressing. You can add more, but keep it at a 2:1 ratio, lemon juice: olive oil.
Serves: 6 large servings
Emmy’s Notes: For the olive oil, I use a Lebanese olive oil I buy at a Middle Eastern Bakery in Dearborn, Michigan. If you have a Middle Eastern market near you, see if you can find the olive oil there. However, any good quality extra virgin olive will work. Spices and olive oil are two places where I do not skimp in my budget. They are worth every penny.
Quinoa has a bitter saponin that needs to be rinsed off before you can use it. I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa as it is already pre-rinsed. I usually still rinse it anyway just to be sure because I’m picky. When rinsing dry quinoa, make sure you use a small, fine mesh sieve. I have two sieves and on one of them, the mesh spacing is just a little too big and the quinoa falls right through it.
I usually make 1 cup dry quinoa, which makes about 4 cups cooked. (1 cup Qqinoa: 2 cups water). I keep the leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge for other meals, or truth be told, sometimes, my hubby and I just eat it while we wait for the Tabouli to chill. Thanks to tip from another Lunch It Punch It fan, @Glenna Von Henna (That Girl), I have been making my quinoa right in my rice cooker. Super easy!
I like to eat the Tabouli by itself but it is especially good with hummus rolled into a large flat pita to make a sandwich. I hope you enjoy the Quinoa Tabouli.