This weekend, I’ll be hosting a number of my mom’s side of the family for great food (quinoa tabouli!), great games (badminton!) and great conversation. It’s been a year since I’ve seen many of these amazing peeps so it’s about time we make an occasion to get together again. In the meantime, I’ve been busy attempting to clean the house and get the yard in order. However, those of you with kids know as well as I do that cleaning the house in the summer is an exasperating event for multiple reasons.
1. They don’t want to help but they have no choice (insert long drawn out whining about how it’s summer and why do they HAVE to work and learn responsibility?). I know, Mom is such a slave driver!
2. The moment the bathroom or kitchen is clean, it’s immediately disgustingly dirty with yogurt fingerprints, soap accidentally sprayed all over the floor or toothpaste on the mirror (the “but mom! it wasn’t my fault!” argument now ensues when asking them to re-clean their mess).
3. The toys finally get cleaned up and then the kids decide to drag them all out again 20 minutes later because, well, it’s just too clean without them on the floor (more whining about picking up the newly dispersed mess of toys for the 3rd time today).
4. The windows have been ceremoniously wiped clean of finger prints. This also lasts a mere 30 seconds. Thank you, children.
5. The carpet and floors are all vacuumed and washed. This lasts perhaps 31 seconds until one child forgets to take off their shoes and creates a trail of muddy flip flop feet across the floor. Awesome. I now say a short prayer and accept my fate… Dear family, please accept my semi-dirty house. A dirty house is a happy house 😉 Sincerely, one tired (and happily fulfilled) mom.
And so it goes on. Really, my girls are pretty good with their chores as they do know the expectation is that we all use the space in our house and therefore we all share in the cleanup duties each week. The other “chore” they’ve gotten very good at is helping me in the kitchen. Yesterday, the girls and I made and canned pickled onions, a balsamic caramelized onion relish and then made dill pickles for the first time. They did great! The next few days they’ll be helping me with a few food items like a caramelized banana bread made with Einkorn flour for Sunday breakfast, my favorite spicy yogurt dip, perhaps a marinated venison or steak cut into kebobs for grilling, and this fresh quinoa tabouli.
A staple among Lebanese families, tabouli (or tabouleh) is a cold salad made from bulgar wheat, parsley, tomatoes, onion, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Bulgar wheat has a very similar size and shape to quinoa so I’ve replaced the wheat in the recipe creating a quinoa tabouli. I really enjoy the nuttiness that this ancient grain has and it gives the quinoa tabouli a light crunch as well. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free making this perfect for those of you who avoid wheat or just like to vary up your grain selection a bit. This light and delicious salad is equally amazing served alongside meat dishes or on a vegetarian spread as a part of any summery picnic fare.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (cook in chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water)
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 10-12 mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Toss all ingredients into a bowl and combine.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
Tabouli can be made 2-3 days in advance and refrigerated.