Quinoa Tabouleh Salad|AFoodCentricLife.com

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

By Sally Cameron on June 27, 2012

beans, legumes & grains, gluten-free, Salads and Dressings, Side Dishes, the daniel plan, vegan, vegetarian,


When one of my best friends said “tell me what to do with quinoa” and this is first recipe I thought of. A chilled, refreshing quinoa tabbouleh salad. It’s a dish I make frequently in summer to serve with chicken or fish, and to eat on it’s own as a lunch or snack.

Nutrition-Packed Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

If you’ve only heard of quinoa (keen-wah) but never cooked with it, you’ve got to add this powerhouse to your pantry. It’s been grown for thousands of years high in the Andes. This ancient supergrain is what fueled the Inca Indians of Peru, and it can fuel your family too.

Quinoa is light and easy to digest and is packed with protein and fiber. It’s also a complete protein, which means it provides all of the essential amino acids our bodies need. This is one healthy grain that needs to be in your pantry and in your diet.

Traditionally made with cracked bulghur wheat, my version is a twist on the traditional. Since quinoa is gluten-free and wheat-free, its an excellent choice for everyone.

How To Cook Quinoa

Quinoa is easy to prepare with just 15-18 minutes of cooking in a small saucepan and a few more minutes to steam finish off the heat. When cooked, the tiny quinoa seed unfurls into a fluffy grain. What you see is the spiral-like germ that has separated. Think of quinoa as you would rice for recipes.

Refreshing Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

For the tabouleh, add finely chopped tomato, cucumber, lots of fresh parsley and mint, a little red onion, and dress with a lemony vinaigrette for a bright, fresh flavor. For how to dice a Roma tomato, see the photos below for help.

A note on using fresh herbs – they will cut much better when clean and dry. Wash and dry in a salad spinner or on layers of paper towels. Don’t try to chop them wet. They just become a mess.

How to dice a roma tomato|AFoodCentricLife.com

You can cook the quinoa and make the salad, except for adding the dressing, a day or two ahead. Dress before serving. Cooked and not dressed, it will last up to five days in the refrigerator.

Buying & Rinsing Quinoa

You’ll find quinoa in most markets in red, white, black and tri-color blend (which is my favorite). The red and black have a little more fiber and nutty flavor but cook the same as the white. You will find it in the packaged grain sections as well as in bulk.

Quinoa is covered in a natural substance called saponin, which acts like a natural bug repellant for the seed. As saponin is bitter, quinoa must be rinsed before cooking. I put my in fine sieve and run plenty of cold water through it using the sprayer.

Ideas for What to do With Quinoa and More Information


Leave a Comment
Shut Up & Cook | June 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Such fabulous photos! Is your husband a great and talented photographer by chance?


I love quinoa…this recipe is one of my faves: Quinoa with Feta, Tomatoes, and Basil, tossed with a lemon vinaigrette
Quinoa with Feta, Tomatoes, and Basil, tossed with a Lemon Vinaigrette


Madonna | June 28, 2012 at 1:36 am

Another great lunch.

I see where your stuffed portobello made the most popular at foodgawker. Congrats.

Ann Mah | June 28, 2012 at 2:38 am

I love tabouleh, but never thought of making it with quinoa — genius idea! Your photos are stunning.

Riley | June 28, 2012 at 9:30 am

Yum! I love tabbouleh and I bet it’s great with quinoa!

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