How to make it
This quinoa tabbouleh salad with feta and olives is full of fresh summer flavors — tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs for in your alkaline diet, best when just picked from the garden or a farm stand. Add a light citrus dressing, and you’ve got a great side dish or main dish salad.
Regular tabbouleh is usually made with bulgar, a wheat product, and therefore contains gluten; I wanted to make a gluten-free version and also wanted to ensure it contained a complete protein, and so I opted for quinoa. Because I love feta and kalamata olives, I added them too and liked the salty amazingness they added to the dish. So I guess this is really a cross between a quinoa salad and a Greek salad. It’s easy to make, and light, delicious and nourishing alkaline food to eat.
Quinoa is one of the few grains (or seeds, actually) that is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs and cannot make on its own and so we need to obtain them from food. Quinoa is also quick and easy to make — very similar to making rice. Just put the quinoa and water or stock in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Viola. Done.
Meanwhile, chop all your veggies and herbs and make the citrus dressing. Mix everything together, and you’ve got a beautiful, colorful side or main dish salad.
I’m hearing about bowls everywhere — burrito bowls, broth bowls, breakfast bowls. I didn’t really get it, until I tried one. What a quick, easy, inexpensive, HEALTHY dinner! Mine might not have alliteration, but it has legumes; it has whole grains; it has vegetables. It has flavor. And it’s good.
Other than how nutritious it is, and other than how delicious it is, the next best part is … the only cooking required is the quinoa. And how easy is that?
I used quinoa because I had it in the cupboard, and I like it because it’s a complete non acidic protein. Most alkaline whole grains aren’t. (Technically, quinoa is actually a seed, but it’s often categorized as a whole grain). A complete protein has all the amino acids that the body needs and can only get from food. So even though this is a vegetarian meal, you’re getting plenty of protein between the quinoa and the beans.
I topped the quinoa with a bed of Napa cabbage. Now before you turn your noses, Napa cabbage (also called Chinese cabbage) is much more mild and tender than other types of cabbage. I have made salads with a mix of alkaline Napa cabbage and Romaine lettuce before, and no one even knew it was cabbage. I especially like it because it is a good source of so many nutrients, including dietary fiber, protein, thiamin, niacin, phosphorous, Vitamins A, C, K and B6, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese. Where else can you get that many nutrients? But you can use whatever greens you like best.
I topped that with a nice little pile of my black bean salad, which has corn, red pepper, jalapeno, red onion, and some yummy flavorings like cumin, Tabasco, lime juice, and olive oil. Top that with some homemade acidic fruits or store-bought salsa and a dallop of Greek yogurt, and you’ve got one heck of a clean, vegetarian, nutritional powerhouse of a meal.
• 1 c. quinoa
• 2 c. water
• 2 c. tomatoes, seeded and chopped1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
• 4 radishes, chopped
• 10-12 kalamata olives, chopped
• 1 c. parsley, fresh, chopped4 green onions, chopped
• 4 T mint, fresh, chopped
• 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled zest from 1 lemon3 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed
• 6 T olive oil
• Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine water and quinoa in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, olives, parsley, green onions, and mint and combine in a large mixing bowl. Crumble in the feta and sprinkle in the lemon zest. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small mixing bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Add cooked quinoa to the large mixing bowl with the vegetables and herbs, add the dressing, and toss well to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. It’s best to make a couple hours before serving to allow time for the flavors to meld.…