- 2cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and drained
- 3 3/4cup water
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 mini red and orange sweet peppers, chopped (or 1/2 cup chopped sweet peppers)
- 2ounces arugula, coarsely chopped
- 1/2cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4cup fresh mint, torn into small pieces
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste
- 1/4cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
There are so many ways to change this basic recipe. Try some other seasonal vegetables, such as cucumbers and tomatoes (actually this is a classic tabbouleh), spinach instead of arugula, and kidney beans instead of chickpeas. If you can find red quinoa, this would add such beautiful color. For the carnivores in the family, they might enjoy adding some shredded, cooked chicken or steamed shrimp.
Nutritionally, quinoa might be considered a super grain--although it is not really a grain, but the seed of a leafy plant that's distantly related to spinach. Quinoa has excellent reserves of protein and unlike other grains, is not missing the amino acid lysine, so the protein is more complete (a trait it shares with other "non-true" grains such as buckwheat and amaranth). Quinoa offers more iron than other grains and contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin, as well as other B vitamins: B6, niacin, and thiamin. It is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese, and has some folate (folic acid). For those of you following a gluten-free diet quinoa meets that requirement too!