After eating Tabouleh with a friend the other day, my mind was set on making it. So, I made it on my dad’s last night in town. He had never heard of it, and I like surprising people with exotic foods they have not tried before. We were both smiling from ear to ear, closing our eyes in enjoyment as we tasted the freshness of the herb and vegetable blend balanced with the nuttiness of the quinoa.
Tabouleh is a salad originally found in Lebanon and Syria, as the mountains in these areas were rich with a wheat variety that was suitable for making bulgar. It is traditionally made with bulgar, parsley, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, tomatoes, cucumber, and onions. I try to play around with gluten free grains, so I substituted the bulgar with quinoa, a high protein seed/pseudo-grain that the Incas considered holy and referred to it as the “mother of all grains”. Strangely, 2013 has been declared the “International Year of Quinoa” in order to bring attention to the role it plays in nutrition, poverty eradication, sustainable farming and also to the Andean indigenous peoples’ role in preserving the crop over thousands of years. So, eat some quinoa in 2013….and forever!
Tabouleh will be in my fridge at all times now. My only regret is not making some pita bread to go with it. There will clearly be a next time.
I started with my quinoa to save time.
I will never bore of seeing all of my vegetables and herbs chopped together. All of the different colors remind me of the importance of variety in healthy living.
The mixing part was my favorite. I could smell the parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil working their way into the nutty quinoa.
I change my mind. The eating part was my favorite. Pretty delicious!
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups cucumbers
- 1 bunch of green onions (stems and bulb)
- 2 cups of finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- feta cheese (I only sprinkled a bit on top)
Let’s Do It
- Clean the quinoa thoroughly. Add 2 cups of water to a small pot and add the quinoa. Bring to boil and turn to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. (For more information on cooking quinoa, go to this awesome blog, The Kitchn.
- While the quinoa is cooking, chop your tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and parsley.
- Let the quinoa sit for a few minutes to cool. Then, add your lemon juice and oil and stir.
- Add all the veggies and herbs.
- Add salt and pepper to your liking.
- Cover and refrigerate for a few hours. The longer it sits, the better the flavor.
- Serve chilled and top with feta.