Quinoa Tabouli

Not that I haven't been feeding many friends and crafting in my kitchen in the last year, but apparently it has been a year since I posted a new original recipe. So it's that time of year again, time for picnics and BBQs and summer salads! YAY tasty filling cold meals for hot days! I had a belated birthday potluck on my back porch Saturday, and made up this dish for the occasion. I added quinoa and chickpeas to some improvised tabouli to give it more of the heft of a full meal. It got a lot compliments, so I thought I'd share.

If you're not familiar, quinoa is a popular grain in South America where it has been cultivated for hundreds of years. In addition to have a mild nutty flavor and fantastic texture, quinoa is high in protein, amino acids, fiber, and vitamins, making it a healthy dietary staple for vegetarians and vegans. Go go quinoa power!

***Yields 10-15 servings.***
Quinoa Tabouli
1c Red quinoa
1c Couscous (or bulgar if you'd prefer more traditional tabouli)
1/2c Olive oil
2 15oz Cans of chickpeas
1/2c Lemon juice
1tbsp Sea salt
1tsp Cinnamon
1/2tsp Nutmeg
1/4c Fresh mint
1c Fresh parsley
2 Cucumbers
4 Roma tomatoes

In a large pot bring six cups of water to a boil, add the red quinoa, and cook at a rolling boil for 20 minutes. Stir in two cups of water, the olive oil and the couscous. Return to boil, remove pot from heat, and stir occasionally. Allow the quinoa and couscous mixture to cool for 30 minutes to an hour. Stir in the drained chickpeas, lemon juice, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cool the dish in a refrigerator over night.

When completely cooled, you can add the fresh ingredients. Wash the mint, parsley, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Peel a few lengthwise strips of skin off the cucumbers. Leave enough skin on for flavor and nutrients, but take off enough to give it a more palatable texture. Dice the cucumbers and tomatoes. Finely chop the fresh mint and parsley. Combine with the red quinoa, couscous, and chickpea mixture, and stir throughly.