Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a light, fluffy, edible seed. I like its slightly nutty taste. Eating quinoa makes me feel healthy, too, knowing it is extremely nutritious. It’s very high in protein, so for you guys (and gals) looking for a meat substitute for Meatless Mondays or the Lent season, make some quinoa.
The usual variety of quinoa is white. There is also a red variety that is nice for added color such as in salads. Cooking quinoa is easy and quick. Here’s my basic recipe: 1 cup quinoa; scant 2 cups water (slightly less for cooking al dente such as for salads); a touch of salt. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
Here’s one way I’ve used quinoa for a healthy salad. The idea was spawned when I saw a lovely, huge bunch of flat parsley at the local German Coast Farmer’s Market. I paired my purchase with a bunch of spring onions, then headed home while wondering the best use for these goodies.
The idea for Tabouli Salad popped into my head. I had never myself made Tabouli, but had it at a Chicago restaurant a few years ago. I love parsley anyway, so loving Tabouli is not a stretch given that its main ingredient is chopped parsley. I did a few quick Google searches to review recommended recipes. Then per my usual cooking style, ad libbed with what I had on hand.
I basically followed the Tabouli Salad recipe at food.com, substituting red organic red quinoa for the bulgur (cracked wheat) and added fresh mint. Then there were a few other minor changes because of what I had on hand (see photo). I also took it up a notch by adding some cayenne pepper and extra freshly ground black pepper. (I have totally adopted the taste for spicy hot food here in Louisiana.)
Why not plan a meal with quinoa sometime this week?