Quinoa Tabouleh with Avocado

Cooking with Quinoa!
I was never a big fan of tabouleh because I did not care for the wet texture of it. My husband loves it so I had to figure out a way to work it into my cooking. So I tried the classic recipe with quinoa in place of bulgur and viola! I fell in love with tabouleh.

Makes 4-5 Servings

Ingredient List: 

1 cup quinoa, rinsed very well
2 cups spring or filtered water
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon brown rice syrup
6 to 7 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
2 cloves fresh garlic, very finely minced
½ red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, cut into small dice
2 to 3 plum tomatoes, seeded, cut into small dice
½ cup small dice cucumber
½ avocado, ripe, but firm, cut into small dice

Step By Step Instructions: 

Add quinoa and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until quinoa has absorbed all the water and has opened (a small “tail” forms on each grain, like a tadpole), about 25 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a mixing bowl, fluff with a fork and allow to come to room temperature.

While the quinoa cools, whisk together ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, lemon juice, oil and rice syrup. Set aside.

When the quinoa is cooled, fold in oil mixture and all the vegetables, tossing very gently to incorporate, but not break the avocado into mush. Serve within 2 hours of making this dish or it will get soggy. (If making ahead, do not add the oil mixture until close to serving time.)

COOK’S TIP: It is important to wash quinoa very well, as it is coated with an oily substance called saponin that can make it taste bitter.