Quinoa tabbouleh is our introduction to Syrian/ Lebanese cooking here in Trinidad and Tobago. As I continue to explore our exotic and exciting culinary culture here on the island, I’m amazed at the richness and depth I haven’t even begin to uncover as yet. It’s like this; the more recipes I put up on the site, the more recipes come to me from all over the island from viewers and fans like you.
For me though, Syrian/ Lebanese cooking is becoming mainstream and is an equal force to reckon with in lines with East Indian and Creole Cooking on the island. One just has to look at the amount of gyro establishments that have popped up everywhere on the island over the past few years. In Curepe alone I know of 3 or 4 that has a steady stream of customers. That to me certainly says something about the food.
My personal love affair for Arabian food started with my almost daily visits to Lawrence of Arabia at Long Circular Mall. There I was exposed to a new culinary experience that my tongue quickly got accustomed to and was longing for more. Being the adventurous type, over the years, I have tasted every dish they have on their menu. And it was gooood. Not only good but the food was also healthy, since most of the food was either grilled, baked, lightly sauteed or steamed.
One of the dishes I always ordered was Tabbouleh or Tabouli. At first what attracted me to the salad was the colour; all that green parsley with red tomatoes and red onions. Then of course the taste sealed the deal; slightly sour from the lemon juice and a little salt but not too much. I was totally hooked. From then on that salad was perfect for me. I also wasn’t eating too many carbs and I needed something different to please my palate other than the normal salads with just carrots, cucumbers and lettuce.
Anyhow, as I said before, this is just an introduction to the exciting world of trini Syrian/ Lebanese cooking; a rather long introduction I might add. The only difference though is that we added a few raisins to balance out the sour and used quinoa instead of the usual bulgur wheat. Healthy is an understatement for this recipe. Here’s Quinoa Tabbouleh.
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup coarsely chopped seeded tomato
1 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. chopped onions or red onions
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. minced fresh onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, freshly chopped (optional)
Add the rest of the ingredients into the cooked quinoa. Mix together the olive oil, lime juice, black pepper, salt and minced onion. Pour into the salad and toss together. Cover. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Note: This recipe was inspired by www.myrecipes.com
So there you have it a simple but wholesome quinoa tabbouleh.