Humans began harvesting and eating quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) throughout South America as long as 7,000 years ago. The amount of protein in quinoa rivals that of any meat that’s available, and contains no fat. Many dishes that call for rice or wheat can substitute quinoa, making it a healthier, cheaper option that provides unmatched nutrition. Most of all, it readily absorbs any flavor you decide to give it, making it a tasty alternative to foods that are traditionally rich in fat and carbohydrates. The dish you’ll find here, tabouleh, is a Middle Eastern dish that is served cold, and the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better the taste.
For this dish, you’ll need the following:
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1 cup fresh parsley (any variety), chopped finely
1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. While it’s boiling, add a cup of quinoa and a pinch of salt. Give it a quick stir to make sure the grains aren’t sticking to each other, then reduce heat to low, put a tight lid on the pan, and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, remove the saucepan from heat and allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, gently use a fork to fluff the grains.
5. Pull the parsley leaves off the stems, then chop them up. This doesn’t need to look really pretty, and don’t worry about achieving a uniform chop. Once it’s chopped, it goes into the bowl with the other vegetables, too.
6. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the bowl and give everything a really good stir. Then add the cooled quinoa. Stir everything again until it’s well-blended. You can serve it immediately, and it will still be delicious, but the cool thing about this dish is that it just gets better with age. It will keep well in the refrigerator in a container with a tight fitting lid. Enjoy!