The Perfect Pot Luck Dish, for Fruits and Veggies Monday

in #fruitsandveggiesmonday10 months ago

Need a dish to take to a pot luck that can be made ahead, travels easily, holds its own at room temperature, and almost anyone can, and will, eat?

Here's my favorite. I make it most in the summer when tomatoes are a thing of wonder and our gardens are producing more than we can eat, but this dish has appeal year round.

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Quinoa Tabbouleh

There are two things about most tabbouleh salads that cause them to languish uneaten at parties: they contain gluten and they are one of too many grain dishes on the table. This version is both gluten free and a salad, a yummy one at that.

I'll bet more people say they hate quinoa than those who say they hate brussels sprouts. Hate quinoa no more! You don't like it because it requires some special handling to remove the anti-nutrients (stuff that interferes with nutrient absorption, such as phytic acid and lectins) in it. It just so happens that when you remove the anti-nutrients, it tastes better too! Who would have guessed?!

So you'll have to start the quinoa at least 24 hours before you head out to the festivities. I've provided a recipe for precooking the quinoa and a couple of links about quinoa's nutritional value below, under the heading How To Prepare Quinoa That Tastes Good.

Once you've got the quinoa cooked and cooled, you can throw the salad together thus:

  • Rinse and coarsely chop one bunch of parsley. Put it in a large mixing bowl.
  • Rinse and coarsley chop one bunch of cilantro. Pop that in the bowl too.
  • Peel (or not) a cucumber and dice it, seeds and all. Into the bowl with them.
  • Dice two or three tomatoes, or halve a full pint or two of cherry or grape tomatoes (you might still be able to score some nice greenhouse grown cherry tomatoes at the farmer's markets) and into the bowl they go.

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Now for the hard part.

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  • Add your precooked quinoa (recipe below), but not too much! One cup cooked ought to do it. The quinoa will make up at most 1/4 of the bulk of the salad. It's a salad, not a grain dish, remember?

  • Add two tablespoons of lemon juice

  • Add 1/3 cup of your best olive oil, preferably from a Mediterranean country. None of that French stuff, which has its place, but not in tabbouleh.

  • I tend to leave raw onion out of dishes for potlucks, but for myself I'd add a little very finely chopped red onion or, even better, shallots. A tiny tad of garlic too. Too much garlic can ruin tabbouleh, so take it easy.

  • Sprinkle salt to your heart's content and don't be shy with black pepper, preferably freshly ground.

Toss it all together. Be careful not to stir it, just fluff it together with a fork. Adjust the seasoning and oil to your taste.

That's it!

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How To Prepare Quinoa That Tastes Good

I used to hate quinoa, then I figured out how to make it taste good. Here is my technique.

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First, ya gotta soak that stuff overnight to get rid of the nasty taste.

  • Rinse one cup of quinoa, put the quinoa in a one quart jar
  • Fill the jar 3/4 ish with water
  • Add 2 tablespoons of whey, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Cover the jar with something that will "breathe" and let it sit on your counter overnight.


Essentially you are fermenting the quinoa for a day. If you shake it a tiny bit the next day you will see foam at the top.

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And it sprouts a bit!
Voila!
Sprouted Quinoa.

You'll have way more than you need for the tabbouleh recipe above
so go ahead and enjoy some of it hot.

If you'd like to know more about the benefits of soaking your whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes before eating them, this article is a good place to start. Basically, they are much better for you that way. And in the case of quinoa, a grain (technically it's a seed) that many people hate, it tastes better too. Quinoa is worth the extra effort. It's a powerhouse of nutrients and is considered to be a complete protein because it provides all nine essential amino acids, pure gold for a vegetarian. For some quick nutrition facts on the stuff, look here

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When you're ready to cook the quinoa, strain it, rinse it once or twice, then let it drain while you bring 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt to the boil. Put the quinoa in the boiling water, bring it all back to a simmer, cover it tightly, lower the heat to low (the same heat you use to cook rice) and let it cook, covered, for 20 - 25 minutes if you are going to eat it cold in a salad, or for 30 minutes if you want to eat it hot right then and there. For the tabbouleh recipe above, see the pro tip below!


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Pro tip: If you are going to use quinoa cold as in a salad (or rice, or cracked wheat, or buckwheat, or any "grain") you must let it cool to room temperature or even colder UNDISTURBED IN THE PAN YOU COOKED IT IN. It's OK to just put the pan right into the fridge, once it has cooled a bit of course, until you're ready to make the salad or cold grain dish. When the grain is cool, you can easily break it up into individual grains without its getting clumpy and mushy.

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This is my entry to @lenasveganliving Monday Fruits and Veggies Contest here Awesome recipes and information abound! Check it out!
I hope my recipe floats your boat, and I thank you for reading it.

All images are my own unless otherwise stated.


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I approve of this plant-based posts.
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Yummy...thanks for share your recipe.

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Why thank you for stopping by!

Hi @owasco. Great-looking dish. Love your step-by-step bullet point approach to fixing this dish.

I'm pleased that the format works for someone! Thanks for your support.

Veeeeeery interesting. In my city is the dinner's hour about, I leave you imagine what I thought when I saw these pictures 😆

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I don't really know what you mean, but I am grateful for your support!

At this stage in my life, I have come to the conclusion that you're either a cook or you're not. We eat only raw in my house.
I love quinoa and having recently feasted upon quinoa and cuscus, spring onions, spinach and avocado made by my chef brother in law, I decided last week to give it a go. He gave me step by step, foolproof instructions and off I went.
Suffice to say that the morning after, the pigeons on the square outside enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast.

lol that does sound like bird food to me, especially if the quinoa and cous cous were raw!

yeah I was in the restaurant business for more than 30 years. In the kitchen and as an owner. You might not be able to tell from my recipes, but I hate cooking now. I'd much rather spend 8 hours prodcing a blog post about food (writing out a recipe, providing images, doing research, meticulous layouting, proofreading a gazillion times, marketing (taggging) and publishing) than 1/2 hour cooking. For this, I had to do both.

We are SO proud to have you as a member of our
FANTABULOUS Power House Creatives family!
upvoted and resteemed!

❤ MWAH!!! ❤

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@tipu curate

I'm embarrassed to ask this, but that tipu curate did not come through. Maybe I don't understand what it is though. Things change around here so quickly!

You know what, I have been thinking the same thing. I used it only once today and as far as I know I should be able to use it 3 times. I am very sorry ;(

oh no problem. It actually happens quite a lot!

I guess no one knows how it really works, lol.

What a fantastic recipe!!! I will be making it for sure! Altough I don't have problem with quinoa I will try your method, because I am really curious, lol. 🍅🌿🍅
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I am so glad you like it. These posts are kind of fun for me, a life long dream of publishing recipes come true. We should all be so lucky.

Thanks for running the contest, and I see I should also be thanking @plantstoplanks. Thank you!!!

I am so happy to hear that and you are most welcome my Dear 😍

Looks really delicious, lovely post @owasco!

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I was very hungry, the quinoa salad is great friend @owasco. Receive my affections.


This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.
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yummy yummy

I love tabbouleh! My mom has made a quinoa version like this before, but it has been way too long since I've had it. Might have to put this on my meal plan very soon!

Oh my heavens. You made me so hungry !!!

I fall into the category of those who love quinoa and Brussel sprouts, even on the same plate (but not mixed together)!😀

I feel as if I read an article on a professional culinary site with the handy tips and prep tricks I learned from you!👩‍🍳🥗🍴

Definitely going to try making your delicious recipe and presoak my quinoa overnight from this point onward! @owasco

Why thank you for that comment! I am a pro actually, was in the food biz since I could first earn a living until my retirement. I'm glad that shows.

CONGRATULATIONS TO YOUR STAR AWARD DEAR @owasco, for this highly curated entry with exceptional quality content. Keep up the great job 😊
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xoxoxoxoxo

You’ve been visited by @trucklife-family on behalf of Natural Medicine.
I love quinoa, I have never thought to use it in tabbouleh, it generally don't eat it because of the gluten.I look forward to trying this. Remember to use the nat med tag when you post healthy vegan recipes.

Did you know that Natural Medicine now has it's own token, rewarding natural healing and health wisdoms? You can check out our front end, naturalmedicine.io If you've been involved in our community over the last year, check your wallets for LOTUS and stake them to start earning curation rewards!


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Thank you @truck-life et al! And thanks for letting me know a vegan recipe can use the tag. I'm afraid I've gotten a bit confused on its use.

 10 months ago Reveal Comment