Friday, November 6, 2009

Easy & Healthy Sprouted Quinoa Tabbouleh

I seem to have taken on a lot this month between posting every day for NaBloPoMo, reviewing several cookbooks, starting a year-long distance learning program, continuing some consulting and renewing my pledge to improve my diet, so I have been spending time revisiting the recipes I have tabbed to make. This month I am going for lots of quick, easy and healthy recipes and this Sprouted Quinoa Tabbouleh fits that criteria. Tabbouleh is one of my favorite go-to dishes, it is easy, delicious and can be eaten as a salad, side dish, stuffed in a pita or in a lettuce wrap or dressed up with some feta cheese. I have made tabbouleh with quinoa before but always with cooked quinoa and so I was interested in trying it raw by sprouting. The recipe comes from Clean Food by Terry Walters, a great resource for natural, healthy, seasonal cooking and eating. (The recipe I posted here for Spiced Kukicha Iced Tea also from Clean Food is a new favorite).

A little bit about quinoa and sprouted quinoa--although often referred to as a grain, technically, quinoa is the seed of the Goosefoot plant, a "psuedocereal" which is a non-grass, broadleaf plant that is used in the same way cereals or grains are (buckwheat and amaranth are other examples). Quinoa is gluten-free and considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It originated in the Andes in South America and was held sacred and called "the mother of all grains" by the Incas for its nutritional properties. Sprouting or germinating quinoa in its raw form helps to boost its nutritional value by activating the natural enzymes and increasing the vitamin content. Sprouting also softens the grains, so they can be eaten raw in salads and other dishes and they are more easily digested.

About this recipe, Terry Walters says, "If you like tabbouleh as much as I do, but can't eat gluten, you no longer have to do without! Don't forget to leave yourself 24 hours to sprout your quinoa before assembling this high-protein, low-fat, non-gluten tabbouleh. I like to start soaking my quinoa at night just before I go to bed, rinse it when I wake up and then assemble my salad just before dinner."

Sprouted Quinoa Tabbouleh
Clean Food, Terry Walters
(Serves 6)

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
sea salt

Sprouting Quinoa: Rinse quinoa thoroughly and place in a bowl with enough water to cover. Allow quinoa to absorb water, about 4 hours. Place quino in fine mesh strainer, rinse and place the strainer on a plate on the counter. Rinse two more times during the day. Quinoa will sprout within 24 hours.

Preparing Salad: In a large bowl, combine sprouted quinoa with remaining ingredients. Season to taste with sea salt and served chilled or at room temp.

Notes/Results: Really good, a nice basic tabbouleh with clean flavors. I used some local cucumber, tomatoes and herbs from the farmer's market so it tasted really fresh and delicious. This was my first experience sprouting quinoa and it started to sprout fairly quickly, although it is a little hard to see it in the pictures as it ends up having a smaller "tail" than other sprouted seeds. The sprouted quinoa is a bit chewier than cooked but I kind of like that texture. I will make this again and continue to play with sprouting the quinoa too.

Happy Aloha Friday!


  1. My goodness, I didn't even know you could sprout quinoa!! Learn something every day. Thanks for taking time out of you busy schedule to teach us all something new!

  2. Great idea! We're always experimenting with raw food, and we've done a lot of sprouted stuff. But tabbouleh, we missed that one. Sounds like a perfect antidote for the upcoming I'm-going-to-eat-like-a-pig time of year!

  3. Very interesting to try the sprouted quinoa, this is delicious!

  4. I am a big fan of tabbouleh - I love this even healthier version! Great book, I am looking forward to reading it.

  5. I love your version. I've never used sprouted quinoa. Sounds and looks delicious.

  6. You are busy, busy!!This is a very interesting and intriguing idea. I really like the idea of sprouting the quinoa. I bought a bag of the quinoa awhile ago and haven't used it yet. This sounds really unique and tasty!

  7. Tabbouleh is one of my favorite Mediterranean dishes. I love this rendition of it with the larger, chunkier veggies. It makes it more of a main dish than a side. Yum!

  8. Quinoa, is a grain-like seed that is considered to be a very healthy food source.It is a good source of magnesium, that helps in relaxing the blood vessels


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