"In contemporary times this crop has come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high, making it a healthy choice for vegetarians and vegans (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete food. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest."
So obviously, you need to eat this stuff. I've always thought it would make an excellent couscous substitute, but one thing at a time.
So here's my quinoa tabouli -- I sub out the traditional bulgur/cracked wheat (also yummy) for quinoa.
To prepare quinoa:
1 cup quinoa (easily found these days, we get ours from Trader Joe's or the Berkeley bowl)
2 cups water
(Quinoa directions from our Trader Joe's box):
Place 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups waters in a 2 cup of water in a large saucepan or pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover and cook until all water is absorbed 10-15 minutes. When done, the grain appears soft and translucent, and the germ ring will be visible along the outside edge of the grain.
Allow the cooked quinoa to cool at least until room temperature (you might want to refrigerate for a bit in a large, covered bowl once it cools down a bit).
For mix in:
1 small onion (you can use red onions or shallots if you like), finely diced
2 pickle cucumbers (kirby or persian would be best, or one regular/larger cuke if you can't find the small ones. Peeled and diced.
juice of 2-4 lemons (depending on taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
half bunch of mint minced (or whole pack if they come in those plastic box things at Trader Joe's)
half bunch of cilantro minced (or whole pack if they come in those plastic box things at Trader Joe's)
1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half -- prepare only when ready to serve
Salt to taste.
Preparing mix in:
Combine all onions, cucumbers, lemon juice, olive oil, mint, and cilantro. Leave salt and tomatoes out for now. (We leave them out because we might want to refrigerate the tabouli and you should never ever ever refrigerate tomatoes). Set aside.
Once quinoa is cool, mix in the onion, cucumber, etc.. mixture and toss to combine. Add salt to taste. When you are ready to serve, add the appropriate amount of tomatoes (either go with my suggestion of 1 cup/1 cup dry quinoa or add as much as you like) to the amount you're eating and enjoy. Otherwise, stash in the fridge until you're ready to enjoy.
We enjoyed it with our broiled veggie recipe.
IMPORTANT: NEVER REFRIGERATE YOUR TOMATOES! This deserved it's own post.
*This quote is something my labmate says a lot, so I cannot take credit for it.