Quinoa (keen-wa) is usually culinarily treated as a grain although it is actually a pseudocereal, the seed of a plant called Goosefoot (Chenopodium). Originally from South America it was a major crop for the Incas who referred to it as the "mother of all grains." With a very high protein content and a complete set of essential amino acids it is a great choice for anyone but especially for vegetarians or vegans. It is also gluten free which makes it an excellent choice for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. As a great source of fiber, and high in magnesium, phosphorus and iron to round out it's nutritional profile, it is truly a powerhouse of a grain. One very important note, it is essential that you wash quinoa before cooking it. There is an outer coating of saponin on it that, if not rinsed off, will give your food a soapy flavor. Quinoa is so delicious that even my picky teen likes it; give it a try and I believe you'll discover a new food that you will like too.
For the taboule recipe you can visit Chef Rachel's blog. Don't forget to check out her Poached Pears recipe while you are there.
Photo courtesy of Claire Wang