lunch

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Gluten-free

Many summers back we had an impromptu BBQ dinner with friends at our Taiwanese home. Our guests brought Pot Luck to our home, one of the dishes a fantastic Tabbouleh salad made with bulgur. My first attempts to remake Tabbouleh was disappointing since then I learned of my mistakes such as not squeezing hard enough to remove all liquid.

While parsley is the main herb ingredient, you can easily make adaptations with other herb options. Based on this salad but creating a different taste is by adding 1 tablespoon of sun-dried tomato tapenade instead of tomato puree for a pronounced flavour.

A healthy dish with memories, running out of bulgur gave room for another twist by preparing this salad with Quinoa seed. With every bite, the seeds will pop a little giving it an extra dimension.

 

With no fresh lemons available nor bottles of lemon juice, I substituted with Chinese rice vinegar and adjust seasonings for the olive oil based dressing. The same reason I tried Apple vinegar which would be my last resort since it has a higher acidity you need less. So start with just one tablespoon and increase with half if needed.

Last summer our youngest came back from her holiday in Morocco with student peers. She brought Aragan oil purchased from a local vendor in a small village. There’s a reason why it is called Moroccan liquid gold as one of the rarest oils in the world.

The nutty taste and fragrance is absolute heaven! I am not an exaggerating type but Aragan oil really does give an extra dimension to salad dishes. If not available you can replace with walnut oil, olive oil will work but has a different end taste.

Liquid gold, it is an unequalled and understandably rare commodity outside of Morocco. A food gem in my kitchen cabinet for as long as the treasured food gift last.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, Power food

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad


Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Quinoa is a basically a powerhouse full of nutritional value and a good choice on the menu. A super grain high in protein and fibre, an ancient seed re-ignited as a super food. If Aragan oil is gold liquid than the mother grain of the Inca’s are gold nuggets. Apparently, NASA sent astronauts into space with Quinoa on the menu as the power food.

Today’s Tabbouleh version has no parsley, instead, it is prepared with fresh mint and coriander. You can serve the dish for lunch with bread, dinner or barbeque as a side dish.

For other salad inspiration, try our Red Beet Salad with Orange, Feta Cheese, Mint recipe or Yum Nua Thai Beef Salad recipe.

AppleBerry Oatmeal bake recipe

Over the weekend I received a request by @Erdbeervogel from Australia on my Pinterest pin for my home-made Apple Blackberry Slice recipe on “What’s for dinner – Home Creations” board. On the Creations bar, you can click on our social media Pinterest icon for a direct link or here.

Keeping my promise to bake and write down the recipe I checked my ingredients and only had frozen strawberries, raspberries left. However, I had a last punnet of fresh cranberries waiting to be used so I substituted these instead for the filling and changed the title to AppleBerry Oatmeal Bake. My photos are not complete while doing the layering I totally forgot to shoot, but the instructions are easy to follow. Apologies for that will upload and add the missing steps with my next bake :).

It seemed more befitting since this base can be filled with any fresh and frozen berries, single or mixed (very nice, especially in the summer), the final bakes always came out right.  So I am adding the recipe for my Cranberry-Orange fruit preserve here according to the featuring photo as shown, which I cooked off the cuff. After preparation, I initially thought it would be too tart but the family and guests were nicely surprised with the end result.

Apple varieties: I used Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cox Orange (autumn harvest), Dutch Golden Reinette (goudreinet), Fuji. But having tried once with a sweet apple berry filling, let’s say it didn’t ignite any spark to repeat again. Grate the apples as last otherwise sprinkle some lemon juice to prevent discolouration.

Serving suggestions: Warm AppleBerry Oatmeal Bake by itself is a treat, for a brunch or dessert you can serve together with vanilla ice-cream, or a dollop of Greek cream (fat) yoghurt to make it special. When cooled down and firmed up nicely, the taste is even better and a light custard sauce or half-whipped cream will go down easily with the crowd.

Note: I stumbled upon the original Slices recipes in Better Homes and Gardens magazine June 2005, a quick bread recipe easy to assemble with cupboard ingredients. Have substituted and experimented with various berries and even adaptation to the flour-oat mixture by adding quinoa and flaxseed recipe variation will follow soon.