Let me introduce to you a new favourite grain (technically classified as a Pseudocereal) of mine — Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah). It's a bit like Bulgur (Cracked Wheat) but is loaded with protein, iron, & fibre. It contains other vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E, it's low GI, and gluten free. What else can you ask for?
Cooking Quinoa is easy, you need to rinse it in a sieve and let it soak for minimum 5 minutes — however some sites recommend at least 15 minutes to an hour. Reason for soaking is so it loosens up any traces of saponin (which is usually removed in processing anyway), which can give a bitter taste.
After soaking you need to drain it, add water and simmer. When it comes to what ratio of water to cook it in, again this varies. Some recommend 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. You cook it on a low simmer for about 10-15 minutes. I usually use less liquid, about 1.5 cups water to 1 cup grain.
I had about a cup of quinoa left in the pantry and all the right ingredients to make a tabouli. So I figured I would make quinoa tabouli, I also threw in some beans for some extra goodness.
Again, let me stress that when I cook I don't really measure exact amounts. I toss things in and taste as I go. Here is a rough indication of what went in.
- Quinoa, cooked (about 1 cup)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- parsley, chopped
- spring onion,chopped
- green pepper, chopped (mild or hot)
- 2-4 tablespoons of tomato paste (I like my tabouli red, use more or less according to your taste)
- lemon juice
- handful of canned beans (4 bean mix), any beans would work
- black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons oil
Mix all ingredients together. Feel free to mix with your hands. Easy!