My 15-year old son’s opinion is huge when it comes to planning and making our meals. And it gets exciting when the big sporting events come up. He actually has “the say” about the menu for that particular party and also invites friends and relatives to come and celebrate the occasion. When he was much younger, we used to even dress up for Oscar night to enjoy a special meal and grandma was usually his special guest. Well, he’s grown a bit now and has moved on from the Oscar celebrations (how I miss those times).
Last weekend was the Grey Cup and although the excitement can never match that of the Superbowl, we still made some special food and Austin gave mom one day’s notice for the menu: vegan black bean and corn chili, guacamole, baked falafel and tabouli salad. Most friends were away and it was too late to invite relatives so the three of us enjoyed our little Grey Cup party and we had some leftovers which we could really use for a day or two. I have decided to post our Quinoa Tabouli Salad and will share our chili recipe at a later time.
This dish is on our top 20’s list of favourite foods. It is so nutritious and refreshing! I made a party size one but you can always make half of the recipe if you find this too big for you. It can be stored in the fridge as a lunch option for the next few days. Add some chickpeas or beans to the leftovers for a great variation.
Tabouli or tabouleh salad is a Middle Eastern dish traditionally made with bulghur or cracked wheat grains, parsley and other vegetables. It can also be substituted with quinoa which, to me, is a better grain as it is considered a complete protein source. Parsley, usually seen and used as a garnish is actually a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s a good source of folic acid, iron, Vitamins A, C and K. What’s really great is that they are an inexpensive but nutritious additions to our meals and even when juicing vegetables and fruits.
Quinoa Tabouli Salad
2 big bunches of organic flat leaf parsley finely chopped
1 c. dry quinoa
2 c. water
1 organic English cucumber, cut into small cubes, about 2 1/2 cups
4 organic plum tomatoes, cut into small cubes, about 2 cups
1/2 c. mint leaves finely chopped
1/2 c. red onions, minced
3 Tbsp. organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2 medium size lemons
1/2 tsp. sea salt
pinch of black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cumin (optional)
1. Pour 2 cups of water into a small pot and bring to a boil. Wash the quinoa in a wire sieve then stir into the boiling water. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa turns transparent. When cooked, transfer to a bowl to cool.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, remove the hard stems of the parsley and wash very well. Dry the leaves in a salad spinner then chop them finely. Set aside in a mixing or salad bowl.
3. Wash and prepare the rest of the vegetables including the mint leaves and cut them accordingly. Combine them with the parsley.
4. In a small jar, place the ingredients for the dressing and with the lid secure, shake well to incorporate.
5. Add the cooled quinoa to the vegetables then toss with the dressing. Adjust the taste. It’s a good idea to prepare it at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving for a more tasty salad. Enjoy!