Saturday, 18 January 2014


Good Morning to you,

Do you forget words?

Do you know the word that you want to say, but another words springs to your mind, which sounds like the word you want to use, but you know it is not the correct word.

Well, this was a problem I experienced today, and the problem was compounded by George using a substitute word. Now, I can hear you wondering, what on earth is a substitute word.  Let me explain.

George is a great joker and has a tremendous sense of humour and one of the things he finds funny is substituting one word for another word, which sounds like the correct word, but it isn't the correct word. For instance, when he wants to use the mezzaluna, he will ask me, "Where is the Mona Lisa"..... and then I find myself, calling it the Mona Lisa and not the mezzaluna..... yes I know, it is confusing, but remember I have been married to George a very long time.

So when I was deciding what I was going to make for supper today, for the life of me, I could not remember the name, even though I have made the dish a hundred times before..... alright, that is a slight exaggeration, I should say, many times before. I described it to George and he said, Tabatha (his substitute word)..... I said no, but it sounds like Tabatha..... he said no, I'm sure it's Tabatha.... again I said no, as I didn't think there was a dish called Tabatha and anyway even if there was, that was not the word I was looking for. We were getting no where.  George walked away, saying "I'm sure it's Tabatha" with me saying again, "No it's not". So I decided to leave it for a while, with the hope that the correct name would spring into my mind. I have to say it did take a while, but finally, when I stopped thinking about it, Tabbouleh popped into my mind.

So today, we are not making Tabatha, we are making,

Tabbouleh, but not with pourgouri or cracked wheat, but with quinoa.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a nice alternative, and something I use quite often instead of cracked wheat or couscous, and the added bonus is quinoa is a very healthy grain.

So without further ado, it's on with the apron and the music I am listening to today,  is a fabulous jazz singer, which I am very excited to introduce to you,

the most amazing, Gregory Porter. I say I am introducing him, but you might know of him already.  I love his rich voice and I can listen to his voice all day and never tire of it.  This is the cd... Liquid Spirit and I have to tell you it is fabulous.  So whilst I am listening to Gregory sing  "Laura",  I will gather my ingredients.


200g of Quinoa
juice and rind of 2 lemons
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large handful of flat leaf parsley
8 spring onions
1 large handful of fresh mint
4 tomatoes
sea salt and black pepper


Using a wire mesh sieve,
rinse the quinoa in cold water.

Place the rinsed quinoa into
a saucepan with
1 litre of fresh water. 
Bring to the boil,
reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cook until all the water has been absorbed
and the quinoa becomes translucent.
This will take about 15 minutes


zest and juice the lemons.

I thought I would show you how
different the quinoa looks, once
it has been cooked.

Whilst still hot, place the cooked quinoa into a heatproof bowl
add the zest and juice of the lemons.

1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
and mix together.

Allow the quinoa to cool.

Once the quinoa has cooled,
4 tablespoons of olive oil
and toss together with
two forks.

Slice the spring onions


chop the tomatoes into small pieces.

Add both the spring onions
the tomatoes to the quinoa
and mix together.

Wash the mint

finely chop.

Repeat the process with the

flat leaf parsley



finely chop
the flat leaf parsley


add to the quinoa.

Mix together with two forks.

Check the seasoning and add more if needed.

The reason I add the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper whilst the quinoa is still hot, is because, I feel the quinoa absorbs the flavours much better.

This is a quick and simple grain salad, which we enjoy eating on it's own, as it is packed with protein and it makes such a nice alternative to meat.

So remember, when you make this grain salad...... you are making Tabbouleh and not Tabatha, although George still insists on calling it Tabatha.

Take care and I will see you later in the week.

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