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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad - Couscous and Quinoa Salad Recipe
Couscous Salad Recipe with A Twist
Couscous salad, or tabbouleh, or tabouli, is a Middle Eastern salad, made from couscous, with diced tomatoes, a lot of finely copped parsley, and mint. Tabbouli is a vegan/vegetarian recipe, easy to prepare, it is ready in 15 minutes, it is delicious and it can be a great side dish.
If prepared traditionally, it contains very little protein, so it cannot be a main dish by itself, but with a twist it can. The twist is to add protein rich seeds to make it a complete meal. The seeds that can greatly match this composition are Quinoa and shelled hemp seeds, two of the best super foods in the world.
What makes this dish special is the amount of iron contained in the parsley and the vitamin C. Adding quinoa makes adds more complete protein, whereas the original recipe with couscous only, contains less protein, and it is not a complete protein.
This can be a great side-dish for both vegetarians and meat lovers.
I discovered this side dish during my employment at Le Cordon Bleu, and I asked the chefs for the recipe right away.
Kitchenware for Couscous Salad
You will need the following kitchenware to make this dish:
- Measuring cups
- Dish towel
- chopping board
- lemon juicer
- wooden spoon
Ingredients for the Couscous Salad
- 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 large bunch of curly, or Italian parsley
- 3 medium hard tomatoes
- 2-3 spoons of olive oil, or better hemp seed oil
- the juice from one lemon
- 1 teaspoon of vinegar
- 1/2 cup Quinoa seeds
- 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons of minced mint leaves
Cooking the Couscous
As a first step, you need to cook your couscous and let it cool off a bit.
First prepare all the kitchenware and the ingredients you will need. Couscous cooking is a time sensitive operation.
Prepare the bowl, the measured couscous, add the water and the salt in the saucepan, measure the oil, and prepare the dish towel and the wooden spoon.
Bring the water to a boil and remove the saucepan from heat. In a bowl, add the couscous, the olive oil and boiling water mixing with your wood spoon. Cover the bowl with the dish towel and let it rest for 5 minutes. From time to time mix the cooked couscous.
Cook the quinoa
For the half of cup of quinoa add one cup of water and salt and boil for about 10 to 13 minutes, on medium heat, or until cooked. The quinoa boiled for 15 minutes will be very soft, so it won't be good for the salad. 10 minutes might be too little and it will leave your quinoa seeds uncooked.
Quinoa is a power food, and is the most protein packed cereal, (it is though a pseudo-cereal), and it is a complete source of protein.
Chop the Parsley
Chop the curly parsley on a chopping board. You can use Italian parsley too, which I often do. Italian parsley is my favorite actually, but for this recipe the curly one works better. Transfer the chopped parsley in a bowl.
Nutiva Organic Hempseed Shelled
Hempseed is one of the most nutritious food sources available. Shelled hempseed is packed with 33% easy digestible protein and is very rich in iron and vitamin E, omega-3 and GLA.
Hemp protein comprises 66% high-quality edistin protein, and hemp seeds contain a higher percentage than any plant source. Unlike soy, hemp is the pure plant, not modified genetically, and it contains anti nutritional factors as the ones found in soy.
Hemp seeds are an important source of protein, (33%) omega 3 (9%), and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid)These are raw, shelled, organic hemp seeds, they are cold-processedThey add light, nutty flavor to your couscous salad, or to your cereals, smoothies, or breads.
Nutritional facts for 30 grams:
Calories (110), Calories From Fat (80), Total Fat (8 g, 13%), Saturated Fats (1 g, 4%), Total Carbohydrate (2 g, Potassium (210 mg, 6%), 1%), Dietary Fiber (1 g, 5%), Sugars (1 g), Protein (6 g), Iron (10%), Zinc (15%), Magnesium (30%), Vitamin E (15%), Phosphorus (30%)
Prepare the Parsley with Vinaigrette
Prepare a vinaigrette from the juice of a lemon, teaspoon salt and one spoon vinegar. Mix well with the parsley.
I like to add with my lemon juice a little vinegar which balances the sweetness of the lemon. I also add salt so the salt gets absorbed in the parsley. You want to add the vinaigrette to the parsley because only the parsley needs it. There will be a little transfer to the couscous anyway but will be only the right amount.
Nutiva Hempseed Oil
Hemp seed oil is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). It is very tasty, with a nutty flavor, I love to dip bread in it and eat it as is. I also like to add a bit to my fermented vegetables salads, for a little kick. It looks great, it has a nice dark green color, but in our tabbouleh it will be almost invisible.
It will add personality and nutritional value to your salad. Do not confuse this oil with the hemp-oil produced from the psychoactive cannabis. This oil contains untraceable amounts of THC, because is produced from the non psychoactive hemp.
Dice the Tomatoes
Dice the three tomatoes on the chopping board trying to maintain the dices as even as possible. You need firm tomatoes, less ripe tomatoes are firmer. A general tip, never refrigerate tomatoes, refrigerating them kills its nutrients, flavor and the nice texture of a tomato. I usually prefer well ripe tomatoes, but for this recipe you need the opposite.
Mix All Ingredients
Transfer the diced tomatoes, the parsley, the mint, the cooked quinoa and the hemp seeds, and the couscous in a bigger bowl and mix all together.
When all is mixed and you couscous has absorbed the remaining vinaigrette, add the hemp oils or olive oil as desired, (you can even use a mix of the two, but in this case use light olive oil, so it doesn't overpower the hemp oil).
That's all, your salad is ready to be served.