This week one of my clients needed a bit of inspiration for her work lunches so I got to work and found this beauty of a recipe for her to try. Its quick and easy to prepare and makes enough for a few lunches. Its flexible in the way that you can chop and change ingredients to suit your own dietary needs or what ever you have on hand in the fridge.

saladI love trying new recipes so I jumped at the change to give it ago and I tried it last night. My husband and I found it quite tasty! 🙂

Filled with fresh ingredients such as parsley, garlic, shallots and quinoa its a perfect summer salad to mix up your work lunches.

So what are some of the nutritional benefits of this meal?

Parsley is a herb that is usually used in small quantities, often as a garnish. The great thing about tabbouleh is that is requires large amounts of parsley. And consuming large amounts of parsley really helps amp up the nutritional benefits of the herb. Parsley is a excellent source of Vitamin K, vitamin C, Vitamin A, folic acid and iron providing antioxidant and cardiovascular health benefits.

Quinoa is a seed that doesn’t contain gluten making it a perfect addition to a gluten free diet. It doesn’t belong in the same family as wheat, barley, oats or rye. It actually belongs in the same family as spinach, beets and swiss chard.

Besides being gluten free quinoa contains all the essential amino acids that make it a complete protein; protein is necessary for growth and repair. As well as being a complete protein quinoa contains the heart-healthy essential fatty acid omega-3; Vitamins and minerals manganese, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and calcium. Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient it can be used in its natural seed form or ground into a flour. It can be used in salads, baking, vegetarian patties, soups or a stir fry.

quinoatabQuinoa Tabbouleh

Dairy free, Gluten free, Vegetarian

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup diced cucumber* 
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley**
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mint***
  • 1/2 cup diced red capsicum or tomato
  • 1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan for 4 minutes. Fluff with a fork and leave to cool.
  2. Mix the cucumber, parsley, mint, capsicum, shallots and quinoa together in a large bowl.
  3. Combine the oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic, cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix well and add to cucumber quinoa mixture. For the best flavour let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Random Notes: refrigerateimg_1375 for up to 3 days.

* I only had zucchini and it worked beautifully.

** I only used 1/2 cup of parsley because that was all I had on hand.

*** I’m not a huge fan of mint so I opted this out. I really need to be brave and give it go!

Serving ideas: pair with zucchini fritters, salmon or grilled chicken, a boiled or poached egg. For lunch today I added a handful of spinach, 2 tsp feta, 1 heaped tbsp sauerkraut and a boiled egg.

References

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=100&tname=foodspice

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142

Marcel C, BS 2015, Quinoa, CINAHL Nutrition Guide EBSCO Publishing, p.171-175.

Recipe adapted from the recipe book: Quinoa, the everyday superfood 365 by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming