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Quinoa Tabbouleh

The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It is exceptionally high in lysine, cystine and methionine-amino acids typically low in other grains. It is a good complement for legumes, which are often low in methionine and cystine. The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. Some types of wheat come close to matching quinoa’s protein content, but grains such as barley, corn, and rice generally have less than half the protein of quinoa. Quinoa also contains albumen, a protein that is found in egg whites, blood serum, and many plant and animal tissues. The seeds are gluten-free which makes this a nutritious and flavorful alternative grain for those with gluten sensitivity. Quinoa would be a worthy addition to anyone’s diet, supplying variety as well as good nutrition.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
Serves 6

Quioa Tabbouleh
1 cup quinoa
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 avacado, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice

1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
3 Tbs. diced red jalapeno pepper
1.2 cup black olives, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 Tbs. cilantro, cut chiffonade
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbs. olive oil
3/4 cup cotija chesse, diced (If non-dairy then don’t add)

1. To make Quinoa Tabbouleh: Prepare quinoa accourding to package directions.  Remove from heat. Stir in olive oil, and chill quinoa until cool.
2. Gently mix avocado, tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, and lime juice in cooled quinoa.
3. To make salad: Mix together cucumbers, tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, olives, onion, and cilantro, and toss with lime juice and olive oil.  Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste (optional).
4. Place Quinoa Tabbouleh in a mound in center of a large platter.  Arrange salad around mound, and serve.
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