If you're looking for an easy way to incorporate more protein into your diet without the added fat from animal protein, or maybe you're sensitive to gluten, this is a great option for you! Of course it's also a great option for anyone just looking for something awesome to dip chips in ... pita chips, tortilla chips, bagel crisps, crackers, celery sticks, etc.
When I was first introduced to Quinoa, I knew it could be used in place of rice in many instances. Say rice to an Armenian and Pilaf comes to mind. Aside from rice, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures are known to make Pilaf with Bulgur (wheat). What else do you make with Bulgur? Tabouli! Seemed like an obvious first stop to me.
I was sorta kinda worried I wouldn't like the textural difference. It was definitely softer than the bulgur, but most of my guinea pigs didn't even notice the difference between this and the wheat version!
1 c quinoa
2 c Hunt's tomato sauce
1/2 bunch parsley - chopped
3-4 scallions - chopped
1 lg onion - diced fine
1 lg green bell pepper - diced fine
1/4 c lemon juice
Drizzle of olive oil
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring sauce and quinoa to a slow boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until quinoa blooms - the grains will open and you'll see little tendrils unfurl. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in everything else and let it chill for a while for the flavors to meld. Depending on how much of the sauce was absorbed by the quinoa, you might want to loosen it up with some additional tomato sauce. No need to cook it - that was about the quinoa, not the sauce.