Quinoa Tabbouleh

Cook meter: Amateur
Cost meter:  $$

So a short while ago I took a trip the the Mackay Farmers Market and picked up some Quinoa. I have heard about this product a while ago and how great it is for you. Apparently its very high in fibre and one of the "superfoods" that you always hear about. None of that really matters to me. All I care about is whether it tastes good. I do try to be healthy when I can but when it comes down to it, if it doesn't taste good I am probably not going to buy it. Another contributing factor to me buying the quinoa is that it was pretty and red. Yes I just said that, I am a girl you know and sometimes I get bamboozled by things that are just plain pretty.

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh

The first time I ever cooked with this it was a rush job experience. I was making a stirfry and didn't realise that we had run out of rice. I did however have my bag of quinoa, so quickly I jumped on the net and tried to figure out how to cook it. I didn't really follow the instructions and do things like rinse the quinoa to remove the bitterness. I also had no idea what quinoa looked like when it was cooked, so when these crazy little string things popped out of each grain i got totally freaked out and was about the bin the whole lot. Instead I chucked half of what I made into my stirfry, crossed my fingers but honestly wasn't expecting much.

I was however pleasantly surprised with the quinoa when it was mixed with the stirfry ingredients. It has a weird, popping kind of texture and can feel like tiny little marbles in your mouth, but with the chicken and stirfry vegies it was great. When I attempted to eat a mouth full by itself however, the bitterness definitely came through. I even managed to get Nick to eat, but he said the same thing, by itself "it was gross" but with the rest of the stirfry ingredients it was great.

I guess I didn't really give the quinoa a good shot, I mean it's not quinoa's fault that I didn't know how to cook it properly. So this is my second take on quinoa just a basic tabbouleh recipe, using quinoa instead of burghul. I managed to rinse the bitterness off the quinoa as I should have, and the combinations of lemon, tomato, parley, mint and olive oil coated the quinoa. With the added texture of this ingredient I was in love. I served this salad Harrisa Lamb. The combination of the two was worth giving quinoa a second go.

1 cup of water
1/2 cup of quinoa (I used an organic red quinoa)
Continental Parsley
2 ripe tomatoes
Juice of half a lemon (you can add more if you like)
Five spring onions
Half a cucumber
A drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper


1. Soak the half a cup of quinoa in cold water for 15 minutes and rinse. Don't skip this part, its very important.
2. Add 1 cup of hot water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down the element and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Quinoa is actually a seed so when it is cooked the germ will pop out and look like the following picture (don't worry, its supposed to look like that!)

 3. Set the quinoa aside to cool and while you do chop up the rest of the ingredients (except olive oil, salt and pepper) and add to a bowl.
4. Stir in the quinoa, drizzle with olive and season with salt and pepper.
5. Eat it by itself or serve it with my Harrisa Lamb.


  1. Interesting recipe.... Has anyone try it?

    Anyway, nice blog...


  2. I tried it a couple of times, it's about the only way I can get my partner to eat it and it tastes almost like burghul but better for you.

    Give it a try, especially if you like quinoa already!

  3. Tonight was the first time I ever cooked quinoa. I did so before finding your recipe, and I have it bookmarked for later (though it came out OK). I'm glad you said that about the way it looks. That's how I found your site. When I took the lid off the pan, my first thought was--well, you can probably guess, LOL!

    It took me a brief moment to have the courage to take a bite, but I'm glad I did. It tastes better than I anticipated it would, and it didn't feel at all "squiggly" (like I'd feared).


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