delicious, fast and easy mediterranean quinoa tacos

my tabouli with hummus

my tabouli with hummus

Last night during his new 1 hour commute home, my hubby called to request a Mediterranean-inspired dinner.  I’m not much of a cook, especially during the week, but this sounded easy enough and I had the night off (normally I’m training till 7).

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been more deliberate about my food choices.  The holidays were quite relaxed for this food geek.  I really wanted to have a meat-free night.  I’m working on an incredible cleanse that I will be releasing soon (called the Inner Beauty Challenge) so I have been thinking about cleansing, healthy foods anyway.

Parsley is a wonderfully cleansing food, AND is really inexpensive, AND its readily available (heck, you can grow it in a pot).  So I decided to make some kind of tabouli and make Mediterranean-inspired tacos.

quinoa is a seed grain that is packed with protein. Its a great sub for most grains.  You can use it as is, or grind into a flour.

quinoa (in the back)  is a seed grain that is packed with protein. Its a great sub for most grains. You can use it as is, or grind into a flour.

Here’s the concept:

spinach flour tortillas (see ingredient list–these can be tricky), filled with hummus, my quinoa tabouli (see recipe below), cucumbers, mushrooms, lettuce (you could add feta cheese, tomato).  Its almost like a little slice of summer in January!

As you can see, these tortillas contain all the ingredients you would use in your own kitchen.

As you can see, these tortillas contain all the ingredients you would use in your own kitchen.

My hubby is not a big fan of tomatoes so I left that out, but they are normally a key ingredient in tabouli.  Another key ingredient is couscous, which can be hard to find.  Since this was a meatless dish I wanted to bump up the protein and plant fat content, so I used QUINOA and avocado in place of the tomatoes.

I absolutely love quinoa, especially for this kind of dish.  Its super fast, easy, versatile, and packed with protein.  It provides texture without being overpowering.

Hummus is super easy to make, but I prefer to buy mine (I told you, I’m not much of a cook–at least not THAT much!).  I always look at the ingredients, even in these seemingly simple foods, because food companies use preservatives, like potassium sorbate.  Sounds healthy enough, right–potassium is natural? Here are two short articles on potassium sorbate and other preservatives that companies sneak into foods.  This one even has a hummus recipe! And this one briefly lists other ingredients you should avoid.

Back to my dinner…

Here is the end result:

Its got a nice texture, not too much grain, and not mushy.  It tasted amazing!  My husband raved!!

Ingredients: I use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1/2 avocado chopped (firm but not hard)

1/4 red onion chopped (my hubby is not a huge fan of onions so I just added a little–I chopped up 1/2 and then saved the rest for a quick-add to something else)

2 cups of chopped fresh parsley

half an english cucumber (I like the english cuke because it has less seeds, but you can use a regular cucumber and seed it).

1/2 cup cooked quinoa (just add 1/2 cup quinoa to about 1 cup of water–cover and cook until water is gone–takes about 5-10 min)

1-2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Chop all the veggies and put into bowl.  Add cooked quinoa (I added mine hot and it didn’t mess anything up) and mix thoroughly.  Add lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Viola!  You are done!

For Mediterranean-inspired tacos, take the spinach flour tortillas, add hummus (holds other ingredients in place), tabouli, and any other ingredients you want on it.  I like to set it up like a taco bar, where everyone can make their own and customize their dinner.  Feta cheese, tomatoes, lettuce or more spinach, olives.  YUM!!!!

The flour tortillas can add a lot of calories, so opt for smaller ones and read the ingredients.  I’m not a huge fan of counting calories, but with something like this I want to go in eyes wide open.  I look at ingredients first. Then, if someone is really working on keeping their calorie load down to lose fat, I look at how much we are adding with a tortilla.  The avocado is so packed with nutrients, it doesn’t matter how many cals are in that.  Its pure nutritious plant fiber and fat–exactly the kind of fat your body craves and needs.

Let me know what kind of variations YOU used in your Mediterranean-inspired Tacos!  Leave a comment (and pic) below!

Enjoy!

Elyse

 

 

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