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Quinoa Tabouleh Salad

This fluffy, crunchy, gluten-free whole grain salad made with high protein quinoa (keen-wah) is delicious as well as nutritious. Serve chilled or room temperature, it’s my version of a Middle Eastern dish called Tabouleh. It’s great for lunch and dinner in the heat of summer or anytime. Serve with chicken, fish, or by itself as a vegetarian dish. I had a bowl this afternoon for lunch topped with diced avocado.

Ingredients

Quinoa Tabouleh Salad

  • 1 cup organic quinoa tri-color blend
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 Persian cucumbers diced small or half a large English seedless
  • 3 roma tomatoes diced small
  • 1/2 small red onion or use shallot, diced fine
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts optional
  • 1 cup fresh finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh finely chopped mint leave 13 grams
  • 6 tablespoons dressing recipe below

Vinaigrette

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add 1 cup of grains (192 grams) to a small saucepan a tight-fitting lid. I use a 2 quart (2 liter) pan. Add 2 cups (500 ml) water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover with lid. Turn heat to low. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 15-18 minutes. Turn off heat. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes to steam finish. The grains should be light and fluffy with the germ ring unfurled. Spread quinoa on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to cool. (See manufacturers box for alternative cooking directions for rice cooker).

  2. While quinoa is cooking, make the vinaigrette, then prep the vegetables and herbs. To make the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. This recipe makes extra, in case you need a bit more. For cucumbers, quarter them, slice out the seedy center, cut each quarter into three long strips and cut across into fine dice. Do the same with the tomatoes. See photos in the post for help.

  3. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, pine nuts and herbs to the cooled quinoa. When ready to serve add a few tablespoons of the dressing and toss gently. Add enough to flavor the salad but don’t soak it in dressing.  Serve chilled.

Recipe Notes

To chop fresh herbs, wash and dry well. Dry herbs chop easily. Chopping wet or damp herbs just becomes a mess. Wash and dry on paper towels or in a salad spinner.

You can make this salad a day, even two days, ahead of serving. It will keep for five days undressed in the refrigerator. Dress before serving.