{foodie LOVES friday} ReFRESHing Quinoa Tabbouleh

This is my ULTIMATE summertime, go to dish.

I'm SO in lovelovelove with it.

Maybe you've heard of quinoa, or maybe you haven't.

It's pronounced (KEEN-WA) and in the health food world, it's a total superfood.

  • It has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains.
  • It's an extremely high energy grain and contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein.
  • It's high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E.
  • It's gluten free, strengthens the kidneys, heart and lungs and is the ideal food for endurance.
  • It's creamy, fluffy and has a somewhat nutty flavor.

Holy Guacamole!

Awesome, right!?!?

But, I just have to clarify something before I get to the goods.  If you eat this awesome superfood, super duper fast, while multi-tasking, standing up, checking email, talking on the phone, unloading the dishwasher, in the car and all the other ways to eat on the go, all those awesome nutritional facts won't do your body good.

It's SO important to STOP, BREATHE and FOCUS only on your food and SAVOR every bite by eating SLOWLY and CALMLY.

I for one know how HARD this can be.

Every single day I have to remind myself of this, especially  now that I'm a Mommy. Because if I don't eat this way, I end up hungry all afternoon because my mind and body NEVER got the memo that I was eating food and my stomach gets bloated and doesn't feel oh-so good (and I won't lose any more post-baby weight, either).

And none of those fabulous nutrients were absorbed into my body the way they should have been, so my body calls out for more food so it CAN get those nutrients that are still needed so they can be assimilated into awesome energy.

So if you want to spend good money on good, high quality foods, sit down and savor it.

'Cause if you don't, you're just wasting your money.

OK, so lets get to it! :)

Last Friday, I mentioned that we were going to a cookout for the 4th of July.

My husband asked me everyday last week if I was going to make my quinoa dish.

It's funny because he usually hates when I make these type of health foodie recipes. But this one, he totally digs.

It's been over a year since I've made it.

So I was excited to mix it up and dive into its deliciousness again, especially since it's SO hot out right now.  Thank you summer!

This dish is SO light and crisp.

If you want something that's cool as a cucumber, this is it.

Just make the quinoa ahead of time so it can chill.  Buy some roasted red peppers in a can, or roast them yourself, like I did.

Steam some kale for a little under 2 minutes, or watercress or any other dark leafy green of choice.

Chop some red onion, cucumber and parsley.

Whip up some lemony dressing.

Mix everything together and then, viola! (yes, I love using this word)

You have a reFRESHing Quinoa Tabbouleh.

So cold. So crisp. So flavorful.

The dressing really makes this dish POP!

Every time I make it, I always get...

"Mmmm...this is SO good! What is it again"?

"Quinoa Tabbouleh".


"What's that"?

LOL! :)

I gotta tell ya. I have THE hardest time saying tabbouleh.  I should video myself saying it because it totally cracks me up.

It's TA-BO-LI. LOL! I think.

But I say, TAB-BOO-LAY, every single time!

No matter how many times I finally get it right, I still get stuck on it every time it comes up again.

LOL!  Oh man!

The best part about this dish is it's so versatile.

You can have it vegetarian style (as is), or you can add some of your favorite protein to it.

I did just that on the 4th.  Grilled chicken was on the menu, so I just cut it up and mixed it in to the dish.

You can save it for reFRESHing leftovers and then put it in a wrap for lunch.

And you don't always have to make it exactly as is.  You can switch up the veggies, too, if you'd like.

So if you're looking for a new, fun and reFRESHing summer dish, try this one.

I think you'll dig it, just as much as my husband does. ;)

Have you tried quinoa before? If so, I'd love to hear about it.  How was it prepared?  Did it rock your socks off? Or, was a little disappointing?

If you haven't tried it, do you want to and need some help with preparing it?  Let me know, I'd be happy to help you out.

Until then...

{life IS reFRESHing}

ReFRESHing Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 cup of dried quinoa, prepared and cooled
1 red pepper, roasted and chopped
1 yellow pepper, roasted and chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 to 2 handfuls of kale, steamed and cooled
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Ingredients for Lemony Dressing
3/4 cup of Olive Oil
1/4 cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 handful of chopped parsley
1 tsp of sea salt
Dash of pepper

1. Rinse one cup of quinoa in strainer (it must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin.  Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution water. Quinoa is rinsed before packaged, but I always rinse it one more time before I cook it).  Heat up 2 cups of water.  Once it comes to a boil, add in quinoa.  Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Let cool. Fluff with fork and place in refrigerator.
2. While quinoa is cooking, halve both red and yellow peppers.  Clean all insides of seeds and white.  Coat outside of pepper with olive oil and then place on roasting pan, inside facing down.  Sprinkle with some sea salt.  Roast at 350 degree's for about 20 to 40 minutes, or until skin turns blackish.
3. Once peppers are done, let cool.  Peel off skin and then chop.
4. Take 2 handfuls of kale and place in pot to steam for 2 minutes.  Once done, take out and let cool.  Then chop.
5. Chop cucumber, red onion and parsley.  Set aside.
6. Prepare lemony dressing.  Add all ingredients and then mix.  Let set so flavors intensify.
7. Take out cold quinoa and then mix all veggies in with it, except for dressing.
8. Add dressing to it right before serving.  Add a little bit at a time.  You may like less, or you may like more.  Try it out first before adding it all at once.  If you add way too much, it can turn soggy.
9. Place onto your most lovely serving dish.
10. Turn off all distractions, sit down by yourself or with your family, take a few deep breaths, say how much gratitude you have for your food, your family, your life and dig in, slowly and savor the deliciousness!

Variations: Add some extra protein such as chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or tofu.  Mix up the veggies; watercress, spinach, radishes, carrots, or any others of choice.