Quinoa Tabbouleh

 

I used to love eating tabbouleh. It is fresh and a perfect side dish for summer. The only problem is that since becoming gluten intolerant, I can’t eat cous cous, which is one of the main ingredients in tabbouleh. For years I have had to say no to the delicious mix of tomato, onion and parsley. But a while ago I saw the idea of using quinoa as a substitute… Whilst I always have quinoa in my kitchen, I never tried this recipe… Until recently.

My street has a regular Christmas street party BBQ and we all bring along some meat and a side dish. I wanted to bring along a dish of something that was different, but fresh and delicious summer dish. Quinoa tabbouleh seemed like the perfect dish to bring!

It is a little time consuming to make, but I thought it was well worth the preparation.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 4 tomatoes (I used 3 large Roma tomatoes and one medium sized Truss tomato)
  • 1/2 Spanish onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approx 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: lemon wedges and parsley leaves to garnish

Method

1. Rinse quinoa under cool water before cooking. Cook in boiling water until quinoa is light and fluffy. Rinse and set aside to cool. Stir quinoa with fork to keep fluffy and speed up cooling process.

2. Dice onion. Place onion into a small bowl. Cover onion with water and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. This will soften the onion and make it more pleasant to eat.

3. Dice tomatoes and place in large bowl. Mince garlic clove and finely chop parsley, and place in bowl. Once quinoa is cooled, add to bowl as well. Drain onion from water and also add to large bowl.

4. In another small bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Add oil and lemon mixture to large bowl with all other ingredients and stir thoroughly. 

5. Allow tabbouleh mixture to sit for a hour or two in the fridge. There may be some excess moisture from the oil and lemon juice – this will eventually be soaked up by the mixture.

6. After an hour or so, season with salt and pepper. Stir again before serving and garnish with lemon wedges and parsley leaves. Serve as a side for barbecued meat. This tabbouleh mixture will keep for a few days in the fridge.

You can also add a tablespoon of finely chopped mint leaves to this mixture to give it an extra freshness kick! I didn’t have any mint so I decided not to use it and I think it turned out great without the mint, but other people may find that the mint gives it the little extra something it needs.

What do you think of my Quinoa Tabbouleh? Do you have a similar recipe or a recipe for Tabbouleh? Share your thoughts and links in the comments section!

Bye for now,

Vintage Barbie xoxo

All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

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Aussie Health Products

Rustic Rocky Road

I love taking my baked goods into work to share with everyone. I love trying out new recipes at home, but sometimes I don’t want to eat the whole batch for myself. The alternative is to take the treats into work, which is always nice for my work colleagues. 🙂

I have been wanting to make rocky road for a while, so I figured that making it for my work colleagues would be a good idea. I tried out one batch but decided it didn’t work out – I used too much coconut, and no where near enough chocolate… no one should ever have to hear the words “not enough chocolate”!

I decided that this previous recipe wasn’t good enough for work. Frankly, I was a bit embarrassed (although my partner and my sister seemed to enjoy it!)

So I tried the recipe again over the weekend. This time I used plenty of chocolate. I used a lot less coconut too. I also decided to mix it up a bit and use a pack of four flavour/colours of marshmallows as well as some soft jubes. Looks like it turned out well because everyone came back for a second (or third) piece of this batch of rocky road!

My recipe uses a lot of chocolate – half a kilo to be exact. And whilst this sounds like a lot at first, remember that you mix it in with other ingredients, so it’s a good idea to have a lot of chocolate so the taste chocolate isn’t lost in all the other ingredients.

When I mixed in my marshmallows, I let them sit on top of the chocolate as I was taking photos… In the meantime they melted slightly… When I mixed them into the chocolate they were a little gooey but I think this actually worked in my favour as they were mixed in just right.

The best part about this recipe (other than the chocolate and sugar hit) is that it’s super easy to make – just melt, mix, set, cut and eat! It really is that simple!

Ingredients

500g milk cooking chocolate – you could also use a mixture of milk and dark cooking chocolate

250g salted butter

2 cups of marshmallows – I chose a four flavour mix

1 cup soft jube lollies

1/2 cup glacé cherries – optional but recommended to use anyway

1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts – You could also buy whole and roughly chop up

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Method

1. Cut the marshmallows in half and set aside. Roughly chop the macadamias if using whole macadamia nuts. Measure out all other ingredients and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat.

3. Break up the chocolate and allow it to melt in with the melted butter. Mix butter and chocolate around with a wooden spoon (or large plastic ladell if you don’t have a wooden spoon). Ensure chocolate is fully melted.

4. Poor in the remaining ingredients. Mix around until all ingredients are completely covered in chocolate.

5. Grease a small baking tray with butter or oil and line it with baking paper – the butter or oil will help the paper stay in place. Poor in mixture. Ensure mixture is evenly distributed in tray.

6. Place in fridge for a minimum of four hours. I recommend leaving it in there overnight.

7. When mixture is set, remove from baking tray and remove baking paper. Use a sharp kitchen knife to cut strips of the mixture. Then cut the strips into bite sized pieces.

Store in a plastic container in the fridge.

Optional: you can sprinkle with icing sugar before serving

Do you have a rocky road recipe?

Don’t forget to tag me in your pics if you make this recipe!

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Pear, Cinnamon and Almond Muffins

I love this recipe because it’s a great way to use fruit before it goes off and needs to go into the bin. It makes for great afternoon tea, and there is no electric mixer needed. The mixture becomes quite thick and chunky with the end result being a rustic looking muffin with that traditional baking smell.

The fact that they are rustic means they don’t need to be perfect. I love cooking perfectly imperfect treats as it means that the mistakes can easily be disguised!

When slicing and dicing the pears, there is no need for precision. Just chop into small pieces that will work well in the muffins.

This recipe is an adapted version of a similar recipe on My Little Lunch Box – click here for original recipe. I changed it to use some almond meal as well as gluten free flour. I also decided not to use vanilla bean paste because, well I just didn’t have any in my pantry! I substituted for vanilla essence, and it seems that this did the trick.

This seems to be a winner with both kids and grown ups alike. I took these to work for afternoon tea recently and it seemed like everyone enjoyed these delicious treats.

They tend to last a few days, but they are best fresh or eatedn the day after cooking.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 & 1/2 cups diced pears (approx one large pear or two small pears)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Flaked almonds
  • Extra sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place muffin papers in the tin.

2. Roughly slice and dice the pears into small “cubes”.

3. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add the almond meal, cinnamon and sugar and stir in. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.

4. Combine the Greek yoghurt, oil, eggs and vanilla essence in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together for a few moments until all items are completely combined.

5. Pour wet mixture into the well in the dry ingredients bowl. Softly mix with a wooden spoon until ingredients are combined.

6. Add diced pear to mixture. Carefully fold diced pear in with a wooden spoon.

7. Line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases. Spoon a tablespoon full of mixture into each muffin case. Sprinkle flaked almonds on top.

8. Bake for 25 minutes. Check that muffins are cooked by poking a wooden skewer into the middle of one. If it comes out clean, they are ready to be pulled out of the oven. If it comes out with raw mixture, keep in for another 5 minutes.

9. Once muffins are cooked, pull out of oven. Sprinkle a small amount of extra sugar over the top of each muffin. Allow muffins to cool.

10. Enjoy with a cup of tea or pack them in the kids lunchboxes for a delicious school day treat!

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you try out this recipe, let me know and share your comments!

Stuffed Capsicums

I love finding new recipes and trying them out. Although I always tend to change things and substitute, so it’s never really the same as the recipe. This is because I’m one of those annoying gluten intolerant people, so I need to carefully consider every ingredient that goes into a dish – otherwise I will be regretting it later!

I also get bored if I make things the same time and time again. And sometimes I just think on the spot about what to add, hoping for the best!

This recipe for stuffed capsicums was something that came along by accident… I had some capsicums/bell peppers that I hadn’t yet used and they were sitting in the fridge about to waste away, so I decided to make some stuffed capsicums. I read a couple of different recipes online and nothing really screamed “Cook me!” So I decided to improvise and hoped for the best!

This is a great recipe when you’re trying to use leftover incredients before your regular grocery shop. It’s so easy to change and substitute, and I’ll tell you some of my variations below. For now, here’s the recent version of the recipe:

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Ingredients 

  • 500g Turkey Mince
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 4 medium sized capsicums / bell peppers
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp dried corriander
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp Pesto
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 400g Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 5 button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup tasty cheese
  • Pinch each of Salt & Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of boiled white rice

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Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Begin to cook rice as per normal. Wash capsicums and cut in half. Scoop out seeds and inside flesh of capsicums until they look like hollow bowls. Wash out insides and allow capsicums to dry on a paper towel.

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2. Add mince and oil to pan and brown. Chop onions and add to pan with garlic and ginger. Once onions are cooked, add salt and pepper as well as coriander and basil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer.

3. When mince mixture is cooking, put capsicum havles in a baking tray, skin side down with hollow bowl facing upwards. Bake in oven for 20 mins on 180 degrees (150 for fan forced oven).

4. Add pesto, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes to mince mixture. Stir in until all ingredients are combined.

5. Grate carrot and thinly dice mushroom. Add carrot, mushrooms and peas to mince mixture. Once vegetables are cooked, add in the Parmesan Cheese. Allow mixture to simmer for 5-10 minutes. If mixture becomes thick, add a small amount of water to mixture until it reaches a medium to thick consistency.

6. Take capsicums out of the oven. There may be some excess moisture gathering in the bowls – this is normal and ok as the mince mixture will soak up this excess moisture. Add a spoonful of rice to the inside of the capsicum. Spread out the rice so it creates a ‘bed’ at the bottom of the capsicum bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of the mince mixture until it covers the rice. Add some grated cheese over the top and place in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes.

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7. Once the cheese is melted, take out and serve! A delicious meal is ready for you and will surely be a winner!

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Variations

  1. I often use Turkey mince with this recipe, but beef, chicken or lamb could also be used
  2. Cheese is not necessary – I just like to add it for that decadent taste 😉 It makes the mince mixture creamy and gives another texture to the dish. But you can certainly make the dish without it.
  3. I used flaxseed oil but olive oil is fine.
  4. You can add vegetables of your choice – eggplant, zucchini, beans, other capsicums, corn, and so on.
  5. This definitely works with brown rice rather than white rice if you’re after a healthier alternative. And there have been times when I have taken the rice right out of the dish for those days when I feel the need to cut back on carbs.
  6. I have made an Asian Stuffed Capsicum – I use pork mince instead of turkey, I use soy sauce & fish sauce instead of tomato, pesto and tomato paste, swap the basil with chilli flakes (or fresh chilli), and don’t use cheese in the mince mixture. I bake with the rice in the capsicum, then garnish the finished dish with grated carrot, cucumber and lime juice.

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The beauty of this dish is you can make it the way you like it – add or subtract what you want to make it your dish! Next time I might try a Mexican version with some kidney beans and sour cream – YUM!

 

Let me know if you tried this dish and how it turned out for you. Does anyone have some suggestions on some good variations?

 

Vintage Barbie xoxo