Oh yeah, it was all decked out Middle Eastern style, complete with stucco walls, ceiling murals with gold border paint, and hookahs scattered throughout, which, when I asked the owner what they were, was told that they were for making tea. Very funny.
Needless to say the Shahrazad became a haunt of ours over the years whenever we both found ourselves in town at the same time, even though the service left something to be desired. I even opted to have an anniversary dinner over a fancy restaurant. But I was a little disappointed when on another occasion I tried the tabouleh salad. It was too much parsley in my opinion, and that day it seemed the salad had been sitting around for a while. I've tried it maybe one other time since, and it was even worse at that location. But recently I have been delving into this cookbook by Susan O'Brien, as I am actively trying to reduce my sugar and gluten intake. I was surprised to find a bevvy of non-dessert recipes in there, including some great salads.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this was. The quinoa was a great substitute for the couscous. I am planning to make this often, and it's fantastic with added garbanzo beans to it to make it a complete meal, and I prefer it light on the tabouleh, but you can decide to add more than what I've listed. (Don't tell anyone) I ate the whole salad for lunch. It was so fresh and flavorful, and you can easily use your spoon as a shovel. You will find out over time how I like to shovel things into my mouth.
Adapted from "Gluten-free, Sugar-free Cooking" by Susan O'Brien
Quinoa Tabouleh Salad
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup homemade broth or water
1/2 cup carrots, grated
1 stalk celery, chopped small
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (optional), or two cups home cooked garbanzo beans
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tbl. minced garlic
2 tbl. chopped fresh mint (or 2 tsp. dried)--optional
salt and pepper, to taste
Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Rinse quinoa well and place in a saucepan. Add the broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for about 12 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
Combine carrots, celery, tomatoes, and cucumber, and beans, if using, in a large salad bowl. Add quinoa and parsley. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.