Ever since becoming wheat intolerant I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears open for good substitutes for things usually made with wheat. I’ve always loved Middle Eastern cooking which uses a lot bulgur wheat. Tabouli is a favorite of mine and when I came across this idea, I had to work with it and try it out. The idea came from a deli salad I picked up at a local health food store one day when I wasn’t going to make it home for lunch. It was so good, I decided to go home and try to replicate it. Today we enjoyed this for lunch and I can honestly say I didn’t miss the bulgur!
- 3 c. water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups of quinoa, rinsed (use a fine mesh strainer)
- 2 med. tomatoes, chopped fairly small
- 1/2 c. cucumbers, chopped fine (May leave skin on if using organic English cucumbers, also known as “burpless”)
- 3-5 whole scallions, chopped (use the whole green top as well)
- 1 bunch of parsley, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint (optional)
- 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. Vegetable season salt (or to taste)
Place water and salt in a 2 qt. pan, preferably with a heavy bottom. Bring to a boil and add the quinoa, stirring gently to mix. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30-45 min, stirring occasionally, until soft and done. Remove from fire and chill while you prepare the rest of the ingredients ( I actually stick it in the freezer, spread out in a large metal bowl, if I’m in a hurry!) Combine all other ingredients in a medium size bowl and stir well to coat all of it with the lemon juice and oil. Allow to stand for a few minutes. Then mix all with the quinoa, stir well, and serve chilled.
This is excellent for packing in lunches, it keeps well in the fridge for several days and the flavor improves as the seasonings continue to blend over time. Use as stuffing in pita bread, with a side of hummus or other beans and you have a great, healthy, high quality protein dish to share with your family or friends.