My dear childhood friend, Mae, send me a message asking about how I make my quinoa tabouli, so I thought I’d create a blog post to answer that question.
First of all, I get my quinoa from Trader Joe’s. It is the cheapest I’ve seen. That is, until I went to Costco last week. You can get a big bag of quinoa there for much cheaper (by volume comparison)! Go, Mae, get some Costco quinoa- post haste!!!
I like to make my tabouli in a huge bowl and divide it into smaller containers for lunch or snacks. It can feed me for a week if I restrain myself. Here’s what a normal serving looks like for me- my big batch makes almost a dozen of these:
Here’s the recipe (I probably need to figure out how to do those fancy “print” features)…
Rinse 1 cup of quinoa well. Quinoa has a coating on it that will taste very bitter if you don’t rinse it off. Dump it into a pot filled with 2 cups of water. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 13 minutes or so. You want it to soak up the water like rice, so you may have to give it some more time.
In the meanwhile, I start prepping my extras into the big bowl. I can’t stress how big of a bowl you need for this. Use your biggest mixing bowl. I have a big plastic bowl I got at Walmart or someplace for chips and I use that.
In the bowl goes:
1/2 fresh lemon juice and the zest of two lemons
1/3 C olive oil
1 can of chick peas (garbanzo beans) rinsed well
1 cucumber, deseeded and cubed
A LOT of parsley. I usually put in around 2 cups, chopped well. I’ve experimented with curly or flat leaf, and I like the flat leaf better.
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
A LOT of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved. I have tried romas or other larger tomatoes and it just makes it too watery, even when I tried to deseed them. I’ll use one of those plastic pints up pretty quick for this recipe.
In the summer, I like to put in some fresh mint too. If I’m feeling adventuresome, I may even put in some red onion, but rather sparingly. The garlic is enough.
By the time you’ve gotten through all of the chopping, the quinoa has probably finished. Just take it off the heat and stir it up. You’ll have made a hot mess by this point of your kitchen with all of the chopping and parsley everywhere. It’s a good 45 minute fiasco when I make my tabouli, but it’s so worth it!
After my counter is all cleaned off, I spoon my cooked quinoa into the big bowl of stuff and start stirring it up. Give it a taste before you add any salt. I like pink Himalayan salt from Trader Joe’s. It comes in a grinder and is inexpensive. To me, it tastes like it has a buttery flavor. Usually, I give a few twists of salt, stir, and taste. You’ll really need to do some stirring to get everything mixed.
I know that this is a little different than a traditional tabouli recipe, but the extras really make the ingredients go a little longer and provide some interesting flavor combinations.
Be prepared… It’s addictive!