Tabouli is a traditional Middle Eastern salad made with bulgur, herbs and tomatoes. Bulgur is parboiled and dried wheat that considered whole grain. In my recipe I substitute bulgur with red quinoa to avoid gluten hence Quinoa Tabouli.
The substitution works very well because most of the flavors come from the herbs and tomatoes anyway. Quinoa in addition to being free of gluten, has more protein, less carbohydrates and better mineral and vitamin composition than bulgur.
This recipe uses a lot of herbs. Compared to other green leafy vegetables, herbs are more nutrient-dense and contain many phytonutrients to the point that they can be used medicinally. Parsley, for example, helps the body eliminate excess water, stimulates the menstrual process, and as a carminative, alleviates flatulence and colic pain. Mint cleans breath and settles the digestion. It is cooling and warming, stimulating and soothing at the same time.
When you are picking cucumbers, look for small and hard ones with thin skin. You do want to eat the whole plant with skin and seeds because that’s where the good stuff is. But when the skin is too thick and rough and the seeds are hard they are difficult to digest. Cucumbers are high in silicon, which is lacking in our modern diets but is critical for collagen formation and bone health.
1 cup red quinoa
2-3 big tomatoes, cubed
1-2 cucumbers, cubed
1 bunch Italian parsley, minced
6 green onions, sliced
1 bunch of mint, stems removed, minced
freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
1/3 cup unrefined olive oil
salt to taste
- Soak quinoa over night if possible, bring to a boil, salt and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Drain and let the quinoa cool and dry. Place in a salad bowl.
- Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Mix well and serve.
- Enjoy by itself or with this lamb dish.