Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quinoa Tabouleh with Chickpeas

I suddenly realized how long it has been since I posted any new recipes and it is pitiful. this was a dish I found when I was asked to make a couple of dishes about gluten free. I know a little bit about gluten free issues, but not so much so that I could teach a class about it. However, I can talk about cooking.

The lady who puts together the calender at the health food store
I work in asked me to find a dish or two to make at a special event, and this one struck a cord, only because Tabbouleh is such a traditional dish in the Mediterranean diet but is made with cracked wheat. Not good if you are adhering to a gluten free diet. In comes quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). Other than changing the wheat to quinoa, this dish is pretty much like the traditional tabbouleh, but this was oh-so-good. So now, on to the recipe.

1 cup white quinoa, drained and rinsed
1&3/4s water, boiling
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1T lemon juice
1T white wine vinegar
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 cup canned chick peas (make your own whenever possible)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped mint (or 1/4 cup if mint is dried)(spearmint is preferable)
Rinse and drain the quinoa. Bring the water and 1/2 t salt to a boil. Add the quinoa, and reduce the heat to low. Cover pan, and simmer until grains are dry, fluffy and tender and the white germ ring shows, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil (olive oil being added last) lemon juice, vinegar, 1/2 t salt and black pepper to taste. Stir into the hot, cooked quinoa(for better absorption flavor). Transfer to a bowl, and let cool. If refrigerating, bring to room temperature before adding thee other ingredients. Combine the tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, and mint and let stand for 30 minutes to soften slightly. Add to the quinoa and toss gently.

This was a wonderful alternative to the traditional tabbouleh. And can easily be served and for those with gluten issues they can still enjoy the best of both worlds and us traditionalists miss out on nothing.

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