Thursday, July 29, 2010

Veggie Might: Sprouted Quinoa and Mango Tabouleh

Written by the fabulous Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about all things Vegetarian. She continues CHG's No-Cook Month.

Remember last week when we sprouted quinoa in glass jars with only water, cheese cloth, rubber bands, and our devotion to Not Cooking? Oh, those were giddy days. Well, this Dear Readers, is the joyous, hip-shaking result.

Quinoa sprouts are quite tasty on their own: fresh, crunchy, and a bit nutty. They have the essence of alfalfa or mung bean sprouts but retain their recognizable quinoa flavor. You can use the sprouts to top sandwiches or salads, grind them into flour for baking, cook them like any other grain recipe, or make a fabulous grain salad, like tabouleh. (Though, yes, quinoa is technically a seed.)

Tabouleh is the original no-cook grain salad, traditionally made from bulgur, which only requires a little soak before chow time. Ubiquitous in Middle Eastern cuisine, tabouleh combines parsley, mint, tomatoes, and lemon juice with the wheat. Perfect for a hot summer… time.

Using my favorite tabouleh recipe from my very first vegetarian cookbook, the Vegetarian Times Cookbook, as a jumping off point, I added a mango, tossed in a red pepper, made a couple of last minute substitutions (cilantro for mint; yellow onion for scallion). Before long, I had a colorful, vibrant dance party in a bowl.

I took the celebration on the road to share it with my good pal Miss T after our weekly gym date. (Caution: Travel with a tight-sealing container, or you too could enjoy wearing Eau de Onion et Mango to cardio class.) After one bite she said, “You better take what you want, because I will finish this when you’re not looking.”

This is another salad combo that has everything: sweet, tangy, savory, and salty. It’s light enough for a side dish and hearty enough to be a small meal. And it’s equally good using the traditional bulgur base. So if you’re intimidated by sprouting, just soak some bulgur and crank up the house music. Try it on; it’s very you.


If this recipe tipped your canoe, swim on over to

Sprouted Quinoa and Mango Salad
Adapted from the Vegetarian Times Cookbook
yields 4 servings

8.5 oz (about 2 cups) sprouted quinoa*
1/2 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

* You can easily substitute traditional bulgur wheat for sprouted quinoa. Simply soak 4 oz (a little more than1/2 cup) bulgur in 1 cup warm water for about 30 minutes. The bulgur will absorb the water, becoming light, fluffy, and ready-to-eat. (Seen below.)

1) Rinse and drain the quinoa sprouts, and place in a large mixing bowl.

2) Add parsley, cilantro, onion, tomato, red pepper, and mango to quinoa sprouts.

3) Drizzle in olive oil and lemon juice, stirring gently.

4) Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

5) Chill for 20–30 minutes.

6) Serve as a side or green salad topping.

7) Get a good look because it’ll be gone in a flash.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price per Serving
170.8 calories, 5.7g fat, 4.3g fiber, 2.25g protein, $.79
Bulgur Alternative
127.6 calories, 3.9g fat, 2.4g fiber, 3.5g protein, $.74

8.5 oz sprouted quinoa: 412 calories, 8g fat, 16g fiber, 8g protein, $0.96
1/2 cup parsley: 11 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.25
1/4 cup cilantro: 5.5 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.12
1/4 cup yellow onion: 10 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.12
1 medium tomato: 22 calories, 0g fat, 1g fiber, 1g protein, $0.50
1 small red bell pepper: 5.75 calories, 0g fat, 0.25g fiber, 0.5g protein, $0.37
1 ripe mango: 85 calories, 0.6g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.50
1 tbsp olive oil: 120 calories, 14g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.08
2 tbsp lemon juice: 12 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.25
1 tsp sea salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.02
freshly ground pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.02
Totals: 683.25 calories, 22.6g fat, 17.25g fiber, 9g protein, $3.19
Per Serving (totals/4): 170.8 calories, 5.7g fat, 4.3g fiber, 2.25g protein, $.79

Bulgur Alternative (quinoa replaced with bulgur + other stats)
1/2 cup bulgur wheat: 239.5 calories, 1g fat, 8.5g fiber, 13g protein, $0.74
Totals: 510.25 calories, 15.6g fat, 9.75g fiber, 14g protein, $2.97
Per Serving (totals/4): 127.6 calories, 3.9g fat, 2.4g fiber, 3.5g protein, $.74

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