Like many families in the Santa Clarita Valley we are hosting a barbeque at our house. Everyone is contributing a side dish to accompany the variety of goodies we will be grilling. Unfortunately for me, I am wheat intolerant so the ever popular pasta salad is a big no-no.
Before I discovered that wheat was the culprit behind the stomach aches that I had suffered from all of my life, Tabouli was one of my favorite sides during the summer months.
Many years ago I started substituting Quinoa for the Bulgur Wheat that is typically used to make Tabouli. Quinoa is an ancient grain-like seed that was originally cultivated by the Incas and it is very high in protein. Even if you do not suffer from wheat intolerance this is a delicious and nutritious side dish for any meal.
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 large Roma tomato, seeds and pulp removed, cut into small dice; yields about ½ cup
½ cup seedless cucumber such as English or Hot House, cut into small dice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Note: I buy my Quinoa at Trader Joe’s as they have the best price. You can find it in the same area as rice.
In a 2 quart sauce pan with lid, bring chicken broth to a boil, add quinoa, stir, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes or until all the broth has been absorbed. Put cooked quinoa into a medium size glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. When quinoa is cold (about an hour) remove from refrigerator and fluff grain with a fork.
Add the rest of the ingredients and serve.
Here are some additional ingredients you can add if you like: Rancho Grande Queso Fresco, feta cheese, red onion, avocado and any chopped nuts that you like. This recipe is definitely open to interpretation so have fun!
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.
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