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Tabouli Inspired Quinoa Salad

Makes about 8 meal sized portions (lots more if using as a side dish)

Tabouli is pretty much my favorite food to eat. It is healthy and nourishing and absolutely scrumptious. I like to think of the traditional herb and bulghur salad as a framework for myriad combinations depending on what's in season or what I have in my fridge. I also don't eat too much wheat so I prefer quinoa; sometimes I'll use garbanzos, wild rice, lentils, or black beans too. Once you get the basic formula of grain, herbs, veggies, acid, and oil down, your options are limitless. I will eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as is or with a piece of roasted salmon on top. It's also a great salad for picnics and potlucks. This version here is one of my go to combinations with nutrient dense red quinoa, black kale, beets, parsley, cilantro, and a citrus and garlic vinaigrette. Delish!


2 cups uncooked quinoa

3 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1 large tomato

1 medium cucumber

1 medium beet

1 small shallot

5-8 leaves of black kale (aka lacinato kale or dinosaur kale)

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch cilantro

1/2 c mint leaves

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp salt

1 large navel orange

1 red grapefruit

2 medium lemons

1/2 c extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

fresh cracked pepper to taste


Combine quinoa, water, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes. Place lid askew to allow steam to escape and cool for around 30 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking prepare the veggies. Dice tomatoes and place into a very large bowl. Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp of salt. The salt with help the tomatoes to release their juices and add extra flavor to the dressing. Dice cucumber and place in bowl with tomatoes. Dice beet into very small cubes (you can also shred if you'd like--I don't because of the mess). In the bowl with the cucumber and tomato it goes. Cut kale leaves into thin ribbons by stacking them on top of each other and cutting from the top of the leaf to the bottom. Mince shallot. Finely chop herbs. Add to bowl and stir.

Make the dressing. Mince the garlic and add into a liquid measuring cup. Allow to sit for around 10-15 minutes to allow the healing properties of the garlic to form. Add 1 tsp of salt and plenty of fresh pepper to taste. Squeeze orange, lemons, and grapefruit into measuring glass, straining out seeds and leaving in as much pulp as possible. Juice should measure around 1 cup. Stir. Add in olive oil. Stir. Dressing will separate.

Add quinoa to veggies and gently fold together. Pour dressing over quinoa and veggies and fold to combine.

I almost always eat a bowl right away it's that good. Allowing it to sit in the fridge for a couple hours allows the flavors to develop.

And remember, this recipe is sort of a launching off point. You can substitute lots of different grains, legumes, veggies, herbs, etc and make it your own. Your options are almost limitless.

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