Thursday, March 5, 2009

a fabulous twist on taboule

With thanks to my friend Claire for bringing this recipe to my attention and for taking the beautiful picture of this gluten-free version of taboule using quinoa instead of bulghur (cracked wheat) created by Chef Rachel. Claire and I were fortunate enough to meet Chef Rachel at the National Association of Nutrition Professionals conference last Fall where she was making wildly delicious desserts that were gluten and dairy free. This quinoa is so tasty that I cannot get enough of it.  I have made it twice in one week and think that this is my new favorite for summer salad.  

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


K said...

This looks like a must try! Where would I purchase this?

Mira Dessy said...

You can buy quinoa in most grocery stores these days. Usually it comes boxed but if your grocery store has a "natural foods" type section they will have it in the bulk cannisters.

Maia Lagerstedt said...

Mira, it sounds like you're having so much fun--and the food sounds absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing!