March 27, 2010

Teeny Tiny Superheros

Tabbouleh is traditionally made with Bulgur wheat; I take the gluten-free route by toasting Quinoa & Millet then simmering the two together until light and fluffy.

I also add Kalamata olives & fresh cilantro, shhhh don't tell the Traditionalists!

Quinoa is a complete protein, with an essential amino acid balance close to ideal. If grains and seeds were villains and superheros, then Super Quinoa would surely be the most powerful of Superheros!

Millet is the perfect sidekick packed full of protein and plenty of Vitamin B. This tiny seed actually increases the level of serotonin in our brain and helps promote the feeling of well-being, optimism and peacefulness.

I am not a huge advocate of measuring cups and spoons outside of baking. However, I'm quite particular about measuring when it comes to rice, grains & seeds. It is so disappointing to partake in a mushy, lumpy, heavy grain dish or a dish that is so dry the grain is crunchy and not cooked properly. I'm all for al dente and tadig, but not at all a fan of undercooked grains and rice.

Toasted Quinoa & Millet Tabbouleh
Serves 4-6

Place 1 cup of quinoa & 1/2 cup of millet in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. Place a dry saute pan over medium heat and toss both the quinoa and millet in the warm pan and toast until golden brown and fragrant. You'll know you are near when you hear a bit of the millet popping. This process helps remove the phytochemical saponin which can add an unwanted bitter taste to quinoa.

Meanwhile, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Once boiling, add the toasted grains. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for approximately 23 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Uncover the pot, fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature.

Chop cucumbers, halve cherry tomatoes, halve Kalamata olives, slice the green tips of scallions, mince Italian flat-leaf parsley and cilantro. Add mint or any fresh herbs you like!

Season the toasted quinoa & millet with evoo and sea salt, drizzle with fresh lemon juice and toss with all of the fresh veggies and herbs.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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