April 28, 2013 by Stacy McDonald


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My version of tabbouleh uses one of my favorites grains, quinoa, instead of the traditional ingredient, bulgur wheat. Not only do I prefer the taste of quinoa, it is also gluten free and far more nutritious! It’s very high in protein (12%–18%); and, unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It’s a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is also high in magnesium and iron.

I use it in place of many gluten products and our whole family loves the taste! I’ve used red, white, and black quinoa (you can mix them too). I consider the colors of the food I’m making before choosing which color grain to use (presentation counts!), but the red and black, which are a bit more expensive, have a tastier nutty flavor (and I’ve heard they are higher in protein).

1 C. rinsed, cooked quinoa
8-10 diced Roma tomatoes (can also use grape tomatoes sliced in half)
4-6 English cucumbers diced and seeded (do not peel)
1/4 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 C. olive oil
1 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C. chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 C.finely chopped red onion
garlic powder
salt and pepper

Soak quinoa for 15 minutes in hot water. Drain and rinse well while moving fingers through quinoa to remove the saponin, the protective, bitter outer layer. Add 1 C. water to 1 C. quinoa. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool. If you’re in a hurry, rinse with cool water before adding to salad. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

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2 Responses to “Tabbouleh”

  1. Jean says:

    Oooo, sounds delicious! We are gluten free, and I’ve missed Tabbouleh. I didn’t think of substituting quinoa. I’m looking forward to trying out this recipe as the days grow warmer. Thanks!

  2. Christy says:

    YUM! I just made this tonight and it was delicious! I too, had not thought of substituting quinoa in Tabbouleh. I don’t care for cucumber so didn’t add it and I minced one clove of fresh garlic instead of the garlic powder. It turned out great. Thank you for this recipe!

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