Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad dish; it makes a great meal when paired with falafel (fried chickpea patties), dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), hummus and other Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food items. It’s primary ingredient is cracked bulgur wheat, something that is not allowed for those who cannot eat gluten. In order to make a version of tabbouleh that would be suitable for a gluten free diet I’ve substituted quinoa as the base.
Quinoa is a gluten free grain. Actually it’s a pseudo-grain. Quinoa has a lot of fiber, and is high in B vitamins, calcium and iron. It also has balanced amino acids which gives it a good protein profile. Before you use quinoa you’ll need to wash it (unless you buy pre-washed). This is because the outer coating has saponins on it. If they don’t get washed off they will make the quinoa taste soapy. When cooking quinoa the ratio is pretty much the same as rice, two cups of water to one cup of grain, simmered for 14-18 minutes.
Most tabbouleh is made with parsley and mint. In this recipe I exchanged the mint for cilantro which makes a delicious change and gives it a bit of a kick. Rich in phytonutrients, fiber, iron and magnesium the cilantro adds even more to the nutrient profile of this recipe.
This is one of my family’s favorite summertime recipes. Easy to make it’s delicious as a side dish or it makes a great part of a composed salad plate.
- 2 C. cooked quinoa
- 1 C. finely minced cilantro
- ½ C. minced parsley
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 t. sea salt
- 1 C. cherry tomatoes – halved
- 1 red pepper, small dice
- 3 scallions, mostly white part, minced
- 3 T. fresh lemon juice
- 2 T. olive oil
- ¼ C. pine nuts
- Mix all ingredients together
- Stir well
- Add fresh ground pepper to the top