This dish is inspired by the traditional Lebanese dish – Tabouleh – which is made of bulgur, tomato, and finely chopped parsley and mint. If you have a wheat sensitivity though, quinoa can be a wonderful substitute, as it is gluten-free.
Quinoa is especially healthy, in that it contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is high in fiber and is rich in phosphorous, magnesium and iron. Many refer to it as a “super-food.” Collard greens are high in calcium, iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
When I made this, I was very happy with the end-product. It was very tasty and had a lot of flavor. You’ll see it isn’t typical to traditional Tabouleh in that I use some extra ingredients and don’t include mint. Try it and let me know what you think:
- 1/2 cup of Quinoa (dry)
- 2 vine-ripe tomatoes diced
- 6 scallions chopped
- 3 cups of collard greens (optional)
- 1/2 cucumber – peeled and diced
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
Fill a pot with 1 cup water and place on high heat. Add the 1/2 cup of quinoa and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender but still chewy. You will see spiral-like threads appear around each grain.
While you are waiting for the quinoa to cook, place the collard greens in a large sauce pan and fill with water until the greens are just covered. Heat on medium to high, constantly stirring the collard greens until they are slightly cooked and bright green. Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, scallions, cucumber, parsley, basil and oregano. When the quinoa is finished cooking, drain any excess water and stir into the mixture. Finally, add the collard greens and mix. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice, and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.