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Quinoa – prounced (keen-wah) is gluten-free.  It has many wonderful titles: ‘Cavier of grains’ ‘Mother grain’ and ‘Gold of the Incas’  – Such empowering names!. It is not actually a cereal grain, but is used like one. (it is actually a seed). The shape and colour of the grains make it look similar to sesame seeds, it has a fluffy texture and a subtle nutty flavour when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food store and in the health/organic section of most supermarkets.

Quinoa can rightfully be called a ‘superfood’. It contains high levels of protein of good quality, so it is a very useful source of protein in a vegetarian/vegan diet. It has more calcium than milk (weight-for-weight); it is also rich in other minerals like magnesium, iron and copper, and has very high levels of fiber.

The high magnesium content of this grain helps support the many people who have low levels of magnesium: eg those prone to migraine headaches, many digestive problems, etc, and it is helpful for preventing type-2 diabetes and helping those who already have it.

I love to using it, specially in salads, the list of ideas running through my head are endless. Tabbouleh itself  is such a refreshing salad with its abundance of fresh parsley and fresh mint. The colourful sweet caramelized roasted vegetables makes it a real winner for summer entertainment weather it be a Bbq or Buffet or just dinner – come to think of it, why not eat it all year round – just use seasonal vegetables.

Serves 4 -8

Ingredients

  • 100 grams cooked quinoa
  • 25 grams fresh mint, finely shredded
  • 60 grams parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3 plum tomatoes quartered, seeds removed and diced small.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Seasoning

The Veggies

  • 2 young carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeds removed and cut into chunks
  • 2 small red onion, peeled and quatered
  • 2 small beetroot, pre cooked peeled and quatered
  • Vegetarian
  • Low GI
  • Diabetic Friendly
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
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Method

  1. Prepare vegetables as above. Place on a large tray and gently massage with a little olive oil. Spread them out that they have plenty of space. Place in oven at 190c for 15-20 minutes until lightly roasted gently tossing one or two times during roasting process. Remove from oven and allow to cool before adding to the quinoa mix.
  2. Place quinoa in a large bowl, then add all the ingredients: mint, parsley, onion, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning. When roasted vegetables are cool add to the mix.
  3. Serve on a nice salad platter along side fish, chicken, grilled halloumi or as part of a mezze.

Maggie's Tips

  • To vary this recipe slightly add any of the following: Juicy prawns, smoked chicken breast, plain chicken,  smoked or freshly cooked mackerel, organic salmon, halloumi, sheep’s feta or goats cheese etc.