Tuesday, July 5, 2011

quinoa taboule salad

I love love love salads! I am always on the lookout for a new recipe to try, especially in the summer months because I love to hit up the local farmer's market or family garden for fresh and yummy ingredients. I am a huge fan of couscous and love to use it in salads. I would tend to stick with couscous as my go-to when I was not sure what to make, until I came across quinoa. Both are small in apprearance and many people tend to think of them as a grain, but techincally they are not. Couscous falls into the pasta catergory, whereas quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. They both are used as a grain and substituted for grains because of their cooking characteristics. The other day, I was trying to decide on a side dish for dinner and thought I would give quinoa a try - let me tell you, I was not disappointed! It is the perfect salad to make in the summer months because most of the fresh ingredients can be found locally.
Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa grain. I like to use Inari Organic Quinoa - you can buy it online with free shipping here
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 Roma tomatoes chopped (I usually take the flesh part out)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 garlic clove minced (or if you love love love garlic like I do, use 2)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of fresh black pepper
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers chopped (optional)
Preparation
  • Rinse quinoa with cold water before cooking to remove any powdery residue that many remain on the seeds.
  • Follow cooking directions on package.
  • Prepare all of the ingredients above.
  • Toss together all ingredients in large bowl.
  • Chill for 1 hour or more to allow flavours to blend.
  • Serve as a side dish with meat such as chicken or beef or alone with pita bread. 
The finished product.

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