Cooking Class in Racine, Wisconsin

by Mary Pomerantz

Science of Spirituality regularly promotes a plant-based diet through cooking classes, Wellness Weekends and Veggie Fest.  At our Meditation Center in Naperville, Illinois, we have cooking classes the second Saturday of every month at 2:00.  But sometimes we take these classes on the road and this was the case this last Saturday in Racine Wisconsin.

Racine has an active meditation group that meets at that city’s Elmwood Community Center.  I was there on June 11 for a “Summer Salads” demonstration and spoke to 20 people on how to put together salads that are perfect for a light lunch or dinner on a warm summer day.  This post is the first of three that will contain a recipe that was presented to the class.

Quinoa Tabouli Salad
This salad is a take on a Mediterranean salad that is traditionally made with cracked wheat.   Quinoa is an ancient pseudo-grass from Peru.  It is very high in protein and potassium and has a mild nutty flavor and a light fluffy texture.  It can be used to replace rice and other grains in casseroles and salads.

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
juice of 2-3 lemons (add 2 and taste before adding the third)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 English cucumbers, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 bunches parsley, chopped (curly or Italian)
1 bunch mint (about 1/3 – 1/2 cup), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15 ounce can chick peas (garbonzo beans), drained and rinsed
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
sea salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Add quinoa and water to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat to low and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

When the quinoa cools, add the lemon juice and olive oil and set aside.  Wash and chop all of the vegetables.  Use some of the stems from the parsley and mint but not all.  Pick the tender ones.  The easiest way to chop the herbs is to use a food processor.  Pulse until chopped, but not pulverized.  Add to the salad.

Drain the chick peas, cheese, and salt and pepper.  Toss and taste.  The salad should be lemony with just a hint of garlic.  Another nice touch is to add kalamata olives, sliced.

This salad is hearty enough to serve as a light supper.  Serve with hummus and crackers.

Mark your calendars for Veggie Fest 2011 in Naperville, Illinois.  It is schedule for August 13th and 14th and is the largest free-admission veggie fest in the United States.  It is held on the grounds of the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center and will be fun for the whole family.  Check out our website at http://www.veggiefestchicago.org/index.php

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