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Quinoa Tabbouleh

This Valentine’s Day skip the chocolates and substitute salad. This stand-in can sound sacrilegious, but quinoa tabbouleh is so fresh, so bright and so, well, thankfully unique, that singles and sweeties alike will smile over this un-Hallmark inspired original.

Quinoa Tabbouleh (serves two)
1 cup quinoa
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
3 bunches flat-leaf parsley
½ cup finely chopped mint leaves
2 cups quartered  cherry tomatoes
1 diced English cucumber
Dried red pepper flakes

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, in a small cast-iron skillet (if possible), toast quinoa over medium heat until grains give off a nutty aroma and start to pop.

Pour quinoa into the boiling water, taking care the pot doesn’t boil over. Lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Combine parsley, mint, cherry tomatoes and cooled, cooked quinoa in a large bowl.

Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning, and let sit for 5 minutes before you serve. Serve immediately!

The colorful reds and greens of this dish may look like Christmas, but inspire just the right amount of romance on Valentine’s eve–much more than some sugar-sweet Hallmark heart ever could. Besides, this lovey-dovey holiday is already so 50/50. You already have to worry about heartache—don’t make yourself think about toothache too.

recipe: Food Network

cooking time: 30 minutes

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