Tabouli goes gluten-free when you use quinoa in place of the wheat grains. One of my favorite vegetarian dishes, traditional tabouli, is made with bulgur wheat. Since becoming gluten-free I’ve made this version with quinoa (a gluten-free grain) which has a texture similar to bulgur. Quinoa also has more protein than any other grain! Quinoa is an ancient food, first used by the Incas who referred to it as a sacred grain. I adapted this gluten-free version from my favorite vegetarian recipe book The New Moosewood Cookbook (Mollie Katzen). Summer and early Fall have been my favorite times to eat this when fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs are ready to pick from my garden. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, use your food-grade basil, peppermint and oregano essential oils – just take a toothpick and glide it around the inside of the essential oil cap and stir into your dressing. Oregano essential oil is a powerful antibacterial and anti-viral agent, so if you use the essential oil in your dressing you’ll get a boost to your immune system. Fresh lemon juice is ideal, but you could also substitute a Therapeutic food grade lemon essential oil if you don’t have lemons on hand.
1 C dry quinoa (whole grain form, not flakes which may contain gluten)
1 1/2 C water
1/4 C fresh lemon juice (or 5-6 drops Therapeutic, food grade lemon essential oil)
1/4 C olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste
Fresh herbs – oregano, basil, tarragon
4 scallions (whites & greens) or red onion finely minced
1 packed cup minced parsley
10 fresh mint leaves, minced
2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 small cucumber, seeded and minced
1/2 C cooked lentils
toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 C Nicoise olives
squeezable wedge of lemon
- Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Drain off excess liquid if needed, then pour into a bowl to cool.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over cooled quinoa. Cover tightly and refrigerate until about 30 minutes before serving.
- About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve cold with garnishes . May be served on a bed of fresh salad greens as a salad or for those who can eat gluten, serve with warm wedges of lightly toasted pita bread.
This is an excellent recipe to make a day or two ahead of time, and have it ready to take in your lunch. Just pack up your additional add-ins in a separate container and mix in right before eating. The dressing flavor gets even better after a day.