Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
I LOVE Greek and Middle-Eastern food. A Greek salad with some delicious grilled chicken or gyro meat and fresh, soft feta cheese is one of my favorite things to eat, with a nice heaping side of hummus and pita bread. Once I developed Celiac, it made it increasingly tough to find gluten-free alternatives to some of my favorite Greek and Middle-Eastern dishes.
I still haven’t found gluten-free pita bread to go with my hummus, and up until now I hadn’t found a substitute for tabbouleh either. Tabbouleh is a delicious Middle-Eastern salad typically full of bulgur wheat, tomatoes and fresh mint. It’s a great complement to salads, hummus platters, falafels and gyro meat. It’s also delicious eaten on its own.
A friend recently gave me a copy of this awesome cookbook called Gluten-Free Recipes for People with Diabetes. While I don’t actually have diabetes, this book is full of amazing-sounding recipes and is great for those of us that can’t eat gluten, and maybe that want to cut some sugar out of our diets, too. The recipes range from things that are naturally gluten-free like Sirloin Steak with Deep Balsamic Reduction to items that take a twist on traditional recipes to be gluten-free like Quinoa Cookie Balls, Pad-Thai Style Shrimp & Rice Noodles and Italian Veggie and Pepperoni Pasta.
I can’t wait to explore more recipes from this cookbook, but the first one that caught my eye was Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad! I love quinoa, and can’t believe I didn’t think to recreate Tabbouleh with it sooner. Quinoa is the perfect substitute for bulgur wheat in this recipe. It’s also incredibly high in protein and is a great source of iron, magnesium and other amino acids which aid in vision and reduce migraines. The list goes on. (I did a big campaign on quinoa in my senior year of college so I am full of facts on this delicious protein. :))
Back to the recipe. It’s bursting with delicious herb flavors from the mint and parsley, and is perfectly balanced with bits of tomato and onion. SO DELICIOUS!!
The first night I made this salad I served it as a side dish with some chicken that I stuffed with feta, herbs and garlic and my Lemon & Garlic Roasted Broccoli. I used the leftovers in salads the next day with romaine, more tomatoes and grilled chicken. I bet you’ll discover many ways to enjoy this salad. Enjoy!
What you’ll need: quinoa, tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley, mint, garlic, cider vinegar, canola oil and salt.
Start by cooking the quinoa. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and has absorbed all of the water
Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. To “seed” the tomato, I like to slice the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Or you can use grape/cherry tomatoes and halve them before mixing them in.
Combine the diced tomato, red onion, parsley mint and garlic cloves in a medium bowl with the cider vinegar and oil and stir to combine. Season with salt to taste. Stir cooked quinoa into the tomato mixture, taste for seasonings and enjoy!
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
- YIELDS 4 Servings
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced (or half a pint of grape tomatoes, halved)
- 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and has absorbed all of the water.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Stir quinoa into the tomato mixture.