Note to our readers: This recipe was previously published, but we had to repost it due to our website being hacked recently. In any case, it is one of our most popular recipes…so enjoy!
I just love the fresh flavors and bright colors of Middle Eastern food. Today’s recipe is a twist on traditional tabouleh (sometimes spelled ‘tabouli’). The tabouleh sold in U. S. supermarkets is really nothing like true Middle-Eastern tabouleh. While we tend to go heavy on the bulgar (cracked wheat), traditional tabouleh contains a little bit of bulgar and a large amount of parsley. Parsley is an extremely healthy food. It is actually a vegetable, not an herb. Parsley, a cousin of the carrot, is high in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is fantastic for providing energy and ridding the body of toxins.
Now for the ‘twist’ in our Twisted Tabouleh. While I’ve honored traditional tabouleh by using lots of parsley and traditional seasonings, I’ve also changed it up a bit.
1.) You’ll notice I did not use bulgar. I decided to try using quinoa (pronounced keen wah) instead. While I do love bulgar, quinoa is also fabulous. Quinoa is not actually a grain, but rather, a seed. It is high in manganese, which fights off cancer and other diseases. Quinoa is also gluten-free.
Important – If you are buying quinoa in bulk form, it MUST be rinsed before using. It contains an outer coating called saponin which is very bitter. However, to make your lfe easier you can purchase quinoa pre-rinsed in stores or online at places like Amazon.
2.) As you see in the photo, the veggies are not chopped as finely as they are in traditional tabouleh. There is actually a nutritional reason for this. The more you chop foods, the more quickly they lose nutrients. If you prefer to chop your veggies finely instead to make this tabouleh more authentic, then go for it. You will still be eating a healthy salad, but your nutrient content will be slightly lower.
3.) We’ve changed up the traditional veggies. Quinoa is not as crunchy as bulgar, so I’ve included asparagus to add crunch. I’ve also used golden tomatoes instead of the traditional red tomatoes. But any color tomato will do.
1 large bunch ( about 2 cups) fresh parsley
1 small bunch (about 1/2 cup) fresh mint
8 asparagus spears (thin = better)
1 large golden tomato
1 red (purple) onion
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 teaspoon allspice
juice of 1 whole, LARGE lemon
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Cook quinoa according to package directions. (Generally, you boil 2 cups water for 1 cup quinoa, then add quinoa until water is absorbed – about 15 minutes).
Meanwhile, chop parsley, mint, and vegetables.
Once quinoa has cooked, allow to cool about 10 minutes.
Toss quinoa with vegetable mixture, lemon juice, olive oil, allspice, salt and pepper. DONE!