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Quinoa Tabouli – a gluten-free spin on a classic dish.
I have converted this popular Middle Eastern salad to a gluten free version by using quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). Quinoa is an ancient crop, originally from the Andes, and is the seed of a plant which is related to chard and spinach. It has the versatility of rice and can be used in sweet or savoury dishes. Serve quinoa with a stir fry, use risotto-style or in a myriad of variations in salads.
Highly nutritious, it is a complete protein, ideal for vegetarians and vegans as it contains all the amino acids and many vitamins and minerals. It comes in three different colours; the most popular is white but there’s also red and black. I have used the three colours for this salad.
The tabouli is simple to make; the quinoa is cooked by the absorption method*, similar to a method used for rice.
After it cools, dress it with olive oil and lemon juice. Add the remaining ingredients and season to taste. It keeps well for a few days in the fridge; in fact, the flavours develop a little more over time.
As with so many delicious foods, it’s the balance of flavours that makes a dish successful. This is the case, too, with tabouli. I prefer my tabouli with a lot of parsley and the vibrant tang of lemon. Use the sunny, bright flavours of parsley, spring onions, tomato, lemon and mint to create the salad that is just right for you. To achieve your preferred style, just taste as you go.
To add another layer of protein, top it with feta cheese or add a few chickpeas. Delicious!
Love quinoa as much as we do? Be sure to also try our Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad!
Xx Alex and Faye
P.S. Looking for another great vegan salad? Give our Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad a try!
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed well *
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 3 spring onions finely sliced – the white and a little of the green part
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves chopped
- 2 cups flat-leaf parsley loosely packed very finely sliced *
- 250 gm cherry tomatoes quartered
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put the quinoa in a fine meshed sieve and rinse well under cold running water, swishing the quinoa with your hand. Drain the quinoa well.
- Pour 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan, add the quinoa, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, until the seeds are tender. When they’re cooked you will notice they have little curly “tails”.
- Remove from the heat, place a clean tea towel or 3 layers of paper towel over the saucepan, place the lid back on and stand 5 minutes. The tea towel/paper towel will absorb excess moisture.
- Place in a bowl and leave to cool.
- Mix well and check the seasoning, adding lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed. Serve either at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.This salad is even better the next day as the flavours have developed.