Quinoa Tabbouleh

The quinoa tabbouleh salad may be one of the few recipes in the world that contains almost ten superfoods in a single dish.

And, while this salad is incredibly healthy, it doesn’t compromise on taste. This salad draws from its Middle Eastern roots to bring together the perfect blend of fats, herbs and spices for a refreshing and uplifting meal. If you don’t mind chopping, this salad is the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

What is Quinoa Tabbouleh?

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern vegetarian salad that typically includes a grain, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, herbs such as parsley and mint, and an olive oil and lemon-based dressing. The herbs and the lemon in the salad make the dish light and fresh tasting.

The quinoa tabbouleh recipe replaces the standard grain of bulgur wheat with quinoa. For many people, quinoa is a more familiar and accessible grain. Additionally, quinoa is very high in protein and is lower in calories compared to bulgur wheat.

Where Does Tabbouleh Originate From?

The word tabbouleh is derived from the word “tabil,” which in Arabic means “to spice.” Tabbouleh is considered the national dish in Lebanon. The salad originates from both Lebanon and Syria in the Middle Ages. When it was first created, people thought it was incomplete as it didn’t include meat. However, it quickly became a staple in the Lebanese diet as tabbouleh is both delicious and has many health benefits.

The typical tabbouleh recipe calls for bulgur wheat as the grain, but there have been many adaptations over the years, including the quinoa tabbouleh.

Tabbouleh Facts

In 2009, over 350 people gathered in an elementary school to make the world’s largest bowl of tabbouleh. It took them over ten hours to complete and weighed a total of 4,324 kilograms.

Tabbouleh has become so ingrained in Lebanese culture that the first Saturday of July is celebrated as National Tabbouleh Day.

Health Benefits of Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh has won the title of the salad that has ten superfoods in one dish. All of these ingredients qualify as a superfood: quinoa, lemon, garlic, onion, parsley, peppermint, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon juice, olive juice and allspice. However, allspice isn’t a “traditional” ingredient in all versions of tabbouleh. Regardless, this salad packs a nutrient-dense punch that is high in vitamins, minerals and has many health benefits.

How to Prepare Quinoa Tabbouleh

  1. Prepare your quinoa on a stove. For additional flavor, consider using broth instead of water to cook the quinoa in.
  2. Chop up your vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes) and your aromatics (onions, garlic, parsley and mint).
  3. When your quinoa is done cooking, remove it from the stovetop and allow it to cool to room temperature completely.
  4. Make a dressing with the chopped garlic, salt, pepper, freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.
  5. Mix your vegetables, onions, herbs and quinoa.
  6. Add dressing and mix thoroughly.
  7. Serve fresh or store in the fridge.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipes

For more detailed instructions, check out this recipe from All Recipes that only takes 30 minutes to prepare.

Many people choose to add an element of fat to this salad. Check out this recipe from the Food Network that calls for feta cheese or this recipe from Cookie and Kate that adds in avocado.

People often serve quinoa tabbouleh with meatballs, chicken or a delicious piece of bread.

Quinoa tabbouleh is inexpensive and easy to make. You can impress guests with this cultural delight and leave them feeling healthy but satisfied. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients to elevate the dish to your preferences. Add in feta, chicken or avocado, as you see fit!

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