If you haven’t thought about Christmas yet, then don’t worry because I’ve got your back. This Quinoa Tabouleh is a delicious version of the original. Using quinoa instead of cous cous makes this side gluten free. While the creamy cashew dressing, pistachios and pomegranate adds something a little different to your run of the mil tabouleh. The creamy cashew dressing is unreal by the way, even if I say so myself. This dish is gluten free, dairy free, egg free and sugar free.
Our Christmas Day menu is always a treat and often stays fairly consistent over the years. Everyone brings something so the burden isn’t solely on one person. We have a spread of different salads, cold meats and who could forget my mums devilled eggs (best!). This year I’ll be bringing along this quinoa tabouleh, plus a dessert of some sort. I’m thinking maybe a Cranberry and Pistachio Raw Cheesecake.
Anyway, enough about Christmas for now. It is 6 weeks away after all. Let’s talk about quinoa and why I love it!
Why I love Quinoa
Quinoa is an excellent food to add into your diet, if you haven’t already. It contains more protein then most other grains. Quinoa is technically a seed, however due to its similar nutritional properties to grains, it is often referred to a pseudo grain. Quinoa is a fantastic energy food, providing protein and complex carbohydrates for a sustained energy release. You can find other important nutrients like magnesium, b vitamins and fibre in quinoa, which makes it a great complex carbohydrate component of a meal.
How to Prepare Quinoa
Quinoa contains saponins on its outer, which reduce it’s ability to be digested well. To remove these saponins, soak the quinoa for ten minutes and rinse thoroughly under water. I pour the quinoa into a sieve and run under water until the water runs clear. Removing the saponins means that the quinoa will be digested and metabolised a lot more effectively.
The addition of pomegranate increases the antioxidant value of this dish, while pistachios increase essential fats and protein. Extra virgin olive oil provides monounsaturated fats that are important for the heart, skin, brain and immune system. Additionally, the lemon juice increases digestive acids in the stomach, helping to break down the food. This means more nutrients are released from the food during digestion. Parsley is high in vitamin C, which is fantastic for the immune system as well as skin health.
Whether you’re making this dish as a side for an upcoming Christmas party or gathering, you’re making it to go with your mid-week dinner or including it as part of your weekend food prep for lunches during the week, this salad is a winner.
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Quinoa Tabouleh with Pistachio, Pomegranate and a Creamy Cashew DressingPrint Pin
- 1 cup tri coloured quinoa
- 2 cups parsley finely chopped
- 1 cup mint finely chopped
- 2 cucumbers diced
- 1/2 pomegranate jewels removed
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup pistachios roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper to season
Creamy Cashew Dressing
- 1 cups raw cashews soaked for at least one hour
- juice of 1 lemon
- course sea salt to season
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp water
- Soak quinoa for 10 minutes and thoroughly rinse before cooking.
- Place rinsed quinoa into a saucepan and top with 2 1/4 cups water. Bring to the boil.
- Boil until outer husk begins to curl away from quinoa grain and then reduce to the lowest heat until all water is absorbed. Once all water is absorbed, turn the heat off, leaving lid on allowing the quinoa to further steam.
- Allow the quinoa to cool for 15 minutes before adding parsley, mint, cucumber, pomegranate jewels, lemon juice, pistachios and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper before stirring to combine.
- Make creamy cashew dressing bu adding soaked cashews, lemon juice, cumin and water to a high powered blender (bullet style blenders work really well for this). Process on high until creamy and there are no lumps. Add salt to taste.
- Place quinoa tabouleh in a serving bowl, top with extra pomegranate jewels to garnish and drizzle with creamy cashew dressing.