Gin, and the world’s fastest zip line
Lemony Quinoa Tabbouleh
This time next week – all being well with Covid Q-tips and changeable flights – we should be safely tucked away in the UK.
It’s been 19 months since I left Bermuda and two years for the girls. My granny is 99, my mum just turned 70 … there’s a lot to celebrate.
I’m also celebrating another few years of my dad staying alive in general. He’s somewhat accident-prone and, whether it’s wedging his bike in a cattle grid, kayaking through rapids upside down or blowing himself up with a theatrical explosion (it’s a long story…), It’s always good to know he’s safe and sound.
For two of the three weeks we’ll be somewhere remote in North Wales with no wi-fi (panic!!); however I’m confident in my mum’s ability to provide sufficient gin and the kids’ ability to get up to mischief regardless, with their cousins.
We’re going from no family to a non-stop family-fest. I’m sure it will be crazy but amazing! Just to spice things up my brother has booked the kids onto the fastest zip line in the world. It goes over a slate quarry and looks absolutely ridiculous. Why, why, why?? I’ll be at the bottom taking photos and trying to breathe as my offspring hurtle through the air at a million miles an hour.
When they’re not on an adrenalin rush I think we’re all looking forward to lazy summer days and lots of long family dinners. I love the fading light and all the chatter of those kind of evenings. The good news is that the kids are old enough to cook too! I’ll be rolling this dish out a few times though, I am sure. It’s fast becoming my favourite summer side as I do love a dish you can prep in advance! It’s also fantastic for leftovers the next day. It’s a delicious, tangy and light side – perfect with grilled chicken or fish. You can also make this into a main salad by adding either strips of grilled chicken, or a combination of chickpeas and gently toasted pumpkin seeds for a vegan option. If you do that, then toast the seeds in your oven at the lowest setting (approximately 170F) for 10 to 15 minutes. You can give them a spritz with Bragg’s liquid aminos for extra flavour.
Quick tip: make sure you rinse the quinoa well prior to cooking. This removes the bitter-tasting enzyme inhibitors which can also aggravate people with a sensitive stomach. If you have time to soak it for two hours prior to cooking, even better!
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
¾ cup parsley, finely chopped
4 salad onions, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsps minced fresh mint
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tbsps)
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1. Cook the quinoa in plenty of water (like pasta) until the inner coil has been released and the grains are tender like rice. Packet instructions usually tell you to use a specific amount of water and let the quinoa absorb it all. However I prefer the former! Drain the quinoa well and allow to cool.
2. Combine parsley, scallions, tomatoes, and mint in a medium bowl; stir in cooled quinoa.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and garlic. Whisk in olive oil and season to taste with cayenne pepper and sea salt.
4. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and toss well. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours and serve chilled.
Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram