Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa Tabouli
My parents have belonged to a Food Co-Op for my whole life.  While most kids’ first food store memories include images of rainbow colored cereal boxes and the slow hum of a checkout conveyor belt, my first food store memories smell of musty incenses and curries and are crowded with huge barrels wheat berries, oats, and bulgar that I could barely see over.  It was always an unconventional trip to pick up groceries, and when we arrived everyone who worked there knew us, and my mother would exchange normal catch-up conversation with people who were planning water births and eating kohlrabi chips so long ago that they might have been accused of practicing witchcraft in some parts of Upstate New York.
When your family is a member of a Food Coop in the 1980s, you get invited to a lot of macrobiotic potlucks—at the coop, in someone’s backyard, in a clearing in the woods on someone’s farm—and you eat a lot of food that 99% of children in the US would not even believe exist (Barbecue tofu? Yep!  Vegan Thanksgiving Turkey meatloaf? Oh Yeah!)  Though my Mom had a million different recipes to accommodate their dietary restrictions, one of her super easy, crowd pleasing wonders was her Tabouli, which I would eat by the plateful.  In honor of Spring and how impatient I am to have all of my CSA vegetables right now (BTW–the Early Bird Discount has been extended until 4/30/13 so there is still time to sign up!), this week I filled my grocery basket with a bunch of organic vegetables grown in warmer parts of the US, and brought them all home to make Tabouli–except I forgot to pick up some bulgar too, so I swapped it out for some Quinoa, and threw in a little bit of feta and garnished kalamata olives to add a salty bite.

3 cups prepared quinoa (approximately 1 cup raw quinoa)
1 cup cherry diced tomatoes
1 cup diced cucumber
1/4-1/2 of a medium white onion, finely minced (or substitute 2 scallions, thinly sliced)
Handful parsley, removed from stems & rough chopped
½  cup feta, crumbled
Zest of ½  lemon
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
15 kalamata olives, sliced for garnish
Salt & Pepper to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
Juice of 2-3 large lemons
1 ½ tbs of white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ clove garlic, grated
Salt & Pepper to taste

Raw Quinoa
Bring 1 cup of rinsed quinoa to a boil in 2 cups of water.  Cover and reduce heat to medium/low, simmer quinoa until cooked through.  Remove lid and let cool completely.  Fluffy grains using a fork, set aside.
Quinoa Tabouli Vegetables
While Quinoa is cooling, gather vegetables and vinaigrette ingredients.
Chopped vegetables for Tabouli Remove leafy portion of the parsley and give it a medium chop (save stems for another recipe).  Dice cucumbers and tomatoes, mince onion finely.
Lemon Vinegar Dressing for Tabouli
Combine Lemon Vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.  Set aside.
Taboui Mix IngredientsCombine parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and quinoa in a large mixing bowl.  Zest half of a lemon into the bowl and add feta crumbles and Lemon Vinaigrette.  Toss until combined and the vinaigrette coats the Tabouli.

Quinoa Tabouli 2Garnish with a few slivers of kalamata olives, and serve as a starter to a great Mediterranean or Middle Eastern Meal.

Quinoa Tabouli

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