Quinoa-tastic Tabbouleh

How fabulous is quinoa? Its versatility, nutrient profile and deliciousness have made it almost a household name, and I see it appearing more and more in cafes, restaurants and several print publications. Just in case you may have missed the news, here is a recap.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a fabulous nutrient-packed food that you should try to sneak into your diet wherever you can! And here’s why:

  • It has an amazing nutrient profile; high in protein, B vitamins (in particular B1, B2, B6 and folate), iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E.
  • It’s gluten free and lovely and easy to digest.
  • It is quick and easy to prepare.
  • It comes in red, black and white varieties to add colour and excitement to your meals!
  • It’s slightly nutty, slightly chewy, slightly fluffy and completely delicious!
  • It is a wonderful first food for babies mixed with vegetable or fruit purees. Note: pre-soaking the quinoa in water with a teaspoon of lemon juice for at least 6 hours will optimise digestion. Blend after cooking for young babies.

Quinoa flower

Cooking quinoa is similar to cooking rice. I prefer the absorption method.
Combine 1/3 cup of uncooked quinoa with 2/3 cup of water (or stock), bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for around 15 minutes. It will be translucent and plump when cooked. This will give you about a cup of cooked quinoa.

Go forth and add to soups, salads, breakfasts, desserts, and as a replacement to rice or combined with rice for added nutritional benefit. There are literally thousands of ways to use quinoa! Here is another fabulous idea – double broccoli quinoa from Heidi Swanson. So, back to the tabbouleh. Traditionally made with bulgur, I substituted quinoa and added fresh parsley, mint, basil, toasted

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