The past few days, my brain and I have not been on the same wavelength. While I’m trying to get to class, my brain is debating if it would be smarter to buy a Happy Light or just stand a little bit longer in the cereal aisle. Maybe you and your brain have been a little out of sync lately, too. It’s been rainy and it’s not like October 31-November 1 are prime days for non-toxic living and inner tranquility (but the homemade butterbeer was so goooood). Can we just blame everything on Pumpkin Spice? Ok.
Chopping herbs is like a direct path to reconnecting with myself and my surroundings. It’s like Apparating to whatever bonkers universe my brain is living in, taking it by the hand, and successfully Apparating back to this world with all limbs intact. It reminds me how connected taste and smell are, and how often I tend to rely more on my eyes than my nose when deciding what to eat. You know what I’m talking about – how sometimes in your morning rush you blink and suddenly your breakfast is gone, nowhere to be seen (or remembered).
This tabouleh, however, makes me want to eat with my eyes closed. The fresh parsley makes fragrant magic with lemon juice and good olive oil and casts its spell on quinoa and veggies. Taboule is typically made with bulgur wheat, but I’ve been on a quinoa kick lately and not only does the substitution make this salad gluten-free, it also adds some complete protein.
Ok. Time to go find your brain. Are you with me?
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 cups parsley, chopped
1 English cucumber, diced into 1/4″ pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse quinoa well. Add to a medium saucepan with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cups water. Cook over medium heat until it starts to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer until water is absorbed, or about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff quinoa with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, toss together chopped parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, and onion. Drizzle with about 1/2 of the dressing over the vegetables and parsley. Add cooked quinoa and the rest of the dressing, tossing to coat. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
4. You can make this salad the day you’re serving it, but I find it’s best after sitting for a day in the fridge, when all the flavors get a chance to deepen and saturate the ingredients.