Jewish Journal


January 21, 2013

Quinoa Tabouli with Four Fresh Herbs (RECIPE)



Photos courtesy of Meal and a Spiel

A recipe from last Wednesday's Fab Five Cooking Class....

I do not propose to make a tabouli that will revolutionize world-wide tabouli. In fact, this recipe is not technically even tabouli at all.  It is made with quinoa and adds fresh basil and cilantro, all of which are no-no’s in the tabouli world. There is rarely any ingredient variation in tabouli* and rarely would I ever call for any ingredient variation in a recipe whose roots are far older than my deadest ancestors.Tradition is to be respected. 

However, this is an exception. And it’s not because tabouli is not good as is, but rather because tabouli is often not great on this side of the Red Sea. It rarely makes you think about the next time you will eat tabouli. It rarely starts a conversation about tabouli. It rarely makes you want to roll around on the floor and shout out “mammmma,” which is the  actual definition of good food. 

What I do propose is a recipe gives you, or at least me,  exactly what I want to eat: a healthy, wheat-free, heart warming dish with protein whose fresh herbed flavors meld together and heighten the experience of the entire meal. It is both rich and light, food adjectives that are often hard to achieve in the same dish. I love to serve this as a side dish to my Spiced Lamb Skewers, but also enjoy it as a small meal on its own. 

Remember, the key to making a good quinoa salad is to toss and dress it while it is still warm. And the key to any good food is to make it with love. Keep those two things in mind and life will seem easy....for at least a half hour or so. 

*A Middle Eastern dish, tabouli or tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgar wheat, mint, parsley, lemon, olive oil and chopped tomato. 


(Vigor Triggers: To read Health Benefits of each ingredient, click on it)

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 ¼ finely chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsely
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 15 cherry tomatoes (heirloom when in summer season) quartered
  • 2 scant teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • the juice of 2 lemons
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon wheat free-tamari (or good soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Aminos (available at amazon or health food stores) or Braggs Aminos which are more readily available
  1. Cook quinoa with water in a automatic rice cooker. Otherwise follow package instructions.
  2. When done, remove lid to let cool slightly.
  3. WHILE STILL WARM, add olive oil and salt and stir.
  4. Add fresh herbs. Stir.
  5. Add lemon and lemon zest.
  6. Add tomatoes. Stir.
  7. Add tamari (soy sauce) and coconut aminos. Stir.
  8. Let sit for at least an hour for flavors to harmonize.

Want to take classes with Elana in Los Angeles? Go to www.mealandaspiel.com

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