Quinoa Tabbouleh


A refreshing, light lunch or supper for these late Summer months.

Ingredients (for 4 people):
1 packet of ready-cooked “Red & White Quinoa” (Merchant Gourmet brand)
1 bunch of spring/salad onions, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, or a good handful of cherry/baby plum tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper (diced)
1 green or yellow pepper (diced)
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
1 garlic clove (garlic purée/paste will work too), finely chopped or put through a garlic press if using fresh.
Other vegetables (optional e.g. cooked peas, French beans, asparagus…)
1-2 tbsp milled/ground flaxseeds &/or chia seeds…

Salad dressing: mustard (Dijon or English, optional), lemon juice or vinegar of your choice (light e.g. white wine, apple cider… not red wine, balsamic…), extra virgin olive oil or equivalent (e.g. rapeseed, sunflower, sesame, walnut, hemp, flaxseed oil…), balsamic glaze/syrup to drizzle at the end (optional), mint (fresh, chopped or a spoonful of mint sauce), pomegranate (optional, but if using then fresh is best), salt & pepper.

Tzatziki/Raita sauce… i.e. yoghurt, cucumber, garlic & mint sauce (ready-made/shop-bought works fine)

Recipe:
1) Mix the mustard, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper in a bowl.
2) Add the chopped spring/salad onions and chopped tomatoes to it and mix well.
3) Add the diced pepper, garlic & flat-leaf parsley and mix some more.
4) Add the red & white quinoa & mint (and pomegranate if using) and mix again.
5) You can also add a 1-2 tbsp of milled/ground flaxseeds or chia seeds (optional) at the end -this will provide a nuttiness to it, extra fibre, essential fatty acids (especially omega 3s) and protein. It will also help you feel fuller sooner, to avoid overeating. I like a product called “Miracle Matcha” (a mix of milled/ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, goji berries & white tea matcha leaves), which is packed full with omega 3s, antioxidants and other “superfood” bits!
6) Let it sit for a while if possible (cover with cling film & put in the fridge if eating many hours later or on the following day, or at room temperature if eating within 2-3hrs. The longer you leave it the more the flavours will marinade/infuse & become doubly tasty & delicious. Piercing a few holes in the cling film helps it breathe better.
7) Serve to your liking… I like making lettuce wraps, with Trocadero lettuce leaves, or Little Gem/Romaine lettuce (even Iceberg will do!), plus some baby spinach (helpful if there’s any cracks/holes in your lettuce), then spoon the salad, a dollop of Tzatziki/Raita on top…. then just eat & enjoy 🙂

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