CHICKPEA & QUINOA 'TABBOULEH'
Traditional Lebanese tabbouleh is actually a lemony, herb salad consisting of primarily chopped parsley, with a sharp hit of lemon juice, and then a bit of mint, bulgur wheat and tomatoes mixed through. And I ate it every chance I got when I was in Beirut. And Dubai. And Jordan. Anywhere in the Middle East really!
That fresh, intense, lemony,herby taste was the inspiration for this dish, in which I feature chickpeas and quinoa for a high-protein, high-fibre, gluten free meal that is fresh and bold, and both light and filling at the same time!
PREP TIME: 10 min
COOK TIME: 15 min for the quinoa
SERVES: 4 as a main, 6-8 as a side
MAKES: roughly 5 cups / 950 g
½ cup (100 g) of dried quinoa, rinsed
Two- 15 oz (400 g) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed*
24 cherry tomatoes (240 g), finely chopped
¾ cup (75 g) diced green onion (about 12 green onions sliced from the white end to half-way through the light green part).
¾ cup (25 g) flat leaf or curly parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup (25 g) fresh mint, finely chopped
¼ cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ to 1 tsp crushed red pepper (to taste)
COOK THE QUINOA
Rinse quinoa thoroughly and cook according to the instructions on the package (tip: I cook it in 1 tsp olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic & ¼ tsp salt to infuse a bit of flavor into quinoa).
Fluff with a fork and let cool completely before mixing with the fresh salad ingredients.
ASSEMBLE THE SALAD
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. It’s that simple!
Recipe & Photo Credit: Cathy Menees
CANNED (TINNED) VS. DRIED
After you drain and discard the liquid from two- 14oz (400 g) cans of chickpeas, you end up with about 2 ¾ cups (460 g) of chickpeas.
So if you want to cook your own chickpeas, start with 190 g (just over 1 cup) of dried chickpeas. Soak them overnight and cook according to instructions on the package, or follow my Basic Chickpea recipe to infuse them with just a bit more flavor.
I noticed that I lost about ½ of the weight of the packet of mint when I stripped the leaves from the stems. So for planning, you want to buy about 50g of mint to end of with 25g of leaves for chopping.
I had this in the refrigerator for 4 days and it was great. The quinoa and chickpeas will hold up for 7-8 days, but the tomatoes will start to get a bit soggy after more than 4 days. So if you want to make a double batch of this to have on hand for the week, make as directed without the tomatoes, and simply diced and add them at the time of serving. Plan on 5-6 cherry tomatoes per person.