I grew up in Florida with parents that were very much Southern. In a culinary sense, my life was very sheltered. Dinners were dishes like fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. About the most ethnic food ever got around our house was lasagna made with Prego.
There were so many things I never ate as a child. Asparagus, beets, avocados and sauerkraut are a few things that come to mind. I was in my 20′s before I had Chinese or Thai food for the first time and it was even later that I had any type of Middle Eastern Food. (Unless you count Gyros from the food court in the mall – I don’t.)
I guess that may be why I’m so comfortable making traditional ethnic food…well, less traditional.
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish that is typically made with bulgur. A less traditional but still common alternative is to make it with couscous.
I, of course, shun both of these options and make mine with quinoa. To mix things up a little more, I’ve added spinach, roasted red pepper and a splash of tamari. The result is a bright, fresh and flavorful dish that also happens to be quite versatile.
It is a great side dish and makes a nice vegan lunch served with hummus and pita chips. Today I enjoyed it with fresh spinach and sprouts in a gluten free wrap.
- 5 cups spinach
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- ¼ cup fresh parsley (or cilantro)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or gluten free tamari
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil OR ½ tablespoon chia seeds + ¼ cup water
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
- If using chia gel in place of oil, combine chia seeds and water and stir well. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until a gel forms.
- Combine spinach, mint and parsley in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add in garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce or tamari, and olive oil or chia gel and pulse a few more times until well combined.
- In a large bowl combine quinoa, grape tomatoes, cucumber and roasted red pepper. Top with spinach mixture and stir until combined.
With Olive Oil Servings 4, Calories 255, Fat 14.7g, Carbohydrates 27.5g, Protein 7g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 534mg, Fiber 4.7g, Sugars 4.1g, WW Points 7 With Chia Gel Servings 4, Calories 156, Fat 2.7g, Carbohydrates 28.3g, Protein 7.3g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 534mg, Fiber 5.3g, Sugars 4.1g, WW Points 4